SHAH ALAM: Beretta SMGs out in the wild. Back in June, last year, Malaysian Defence posted about the Army putting back into service a Beretta firearm after a break of some 50 years.
In the past it was the AR-70 assault rifle but this time around, it’s the Beretta PMX 9X19 sub machinegun. Army chief Jen Zamrose Mohd Zain took delivery of 11 PMX sub-machine guns in a ceremony held on June 29. The Berettas is supplied by Kharisma Wira Sdn Bhd, the same company that fronted the JF-17 fighter jet for the RMAF FLIT-LCA tender.
The Beretta PMX sub-machineguns – 47 of them – was to be operated by the Defence Special Operation Division (DSOD) as the tender, published in February 24, 2022, was meant specifically for the unit requirements:
There is a requirement to equip the Defence Special Operation Division (DSOD) with Sub Machine Gun (SMG) 9mm. DSOD requires a highly reliable and accurate SMG of 9 mm caliber for use
in Close Quarter Battle environment and counter-terrorist operations. Counter-terrorist operation has become one of the crucial tasks of the DSOD. Close Quarter Battle environment and counter-terrorist operations. Counter-terrorist operation has become one of the crucial tasks of the DSOD. These tasks include hostage rescue operation, close-escort and storming/assaulting of strongholds such as buildings, aircrafts, ships, train, bus and so on where inevitable fighting is carried out at close range.
So, it is interesting to note that the first sighting in the wild of the Beretta PMX sub-machineguns were in the hands of soldiers of the 10th Para Brigade. The PMX were spotted during the appreciation parade for the retiring Army chief General Zamrose Mohd Zain. The ceremony was held at the 17th RMR parade ground on February 3. From the pictures published by Berita Tentera Darat Malaysia (BTDM) Malaysian Defence counted at least nine Beretta PMX at the parade. At least another four soldiers carrying the same sub-machineguns must also be in the ready reserve. This is based on Malaysian Defence memory of attending such parades.
As the whole brigade had turned out for the parade, one might assume that all 47 PMX sub-machineguns that were ordered are with the formation instead of the DOSD. It must be noted at the delivery ceremony, only 11 PMX sub-machineguns were handed over.
I stand to be corrected of course, but it seemed strange that an equipment bought for a specific unit and its specific requirements, are being used by a completely different unit which has a completely different requirements. The Army has also not issued any tender for sub-machineguns apart from another one within the last three years. And this was for the GGK.
As the DOSD is camera shy, we will have to wait for another time to see whether the operators are also issued with the PMX sub-guns. It must be noted that soldiers from the 10th Para Brigade seen issued with sub-machineguns in the past, were those with Pathfinder unit. They are mostly armed with suppressed by HK MP-5SDs. From the pictures from the parade, it is likely those armed with the PMX sub-guns were with the Pathfinder unit. It must be noted that there was no pictures of the GGK operators armed with the Sig MPX sub-machineguns at the parade held for General Zamrose earlier.
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