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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If all the 47 units supposed to be for DOSD, perhaps it was simply loaned to 10 Para just for the event? Gen Zamrose is AFAIK quite a handson person and takes particular interest in any newly bought stuff. So maybe the TDM decided to trot out all their shiny new toys just for him?
Why would a proud unit use a small number of firearms just to show off to the chief? He might not even notice it. It is unlikely for the DOSD to lend out around 15 sub machine guns.
”perhaps it was simply loaned to 10 Para just for the event”
No doubt you have your own reasons for coming up with some of the things you do but ultimately such an occurrence as you described has never happened. If the unit had such a SMG it’s because it’s issued with it; not because it’s borrowed it for some event.
I put up my theory, may or may not be true as i don’t know the whole story but it would seem weird, at least to me, why a unit is using equipment that was ordered and given to another separate unit.
Like if you bought a new Mercedes, but instead it got sent to your brother’s house and he goes balik kampung to shows off with it. Weird is it not?
Unless, of course, those guns were partly or wholly transferred to 10 Para some time beforehand. I don’t know. Perhaps someone might know?
”I put up my theory”
Everybody has ‘theories; you included as evident by your claims or insistence that the AW139 flight was nothing but a PR stunt and that the ability of an asset to deploy long range with minimal or no backup has no utility; that the change in army leadership was due to the change in government [Marhalim took the time to debunk this theory] and that supporting combat assets; which tend to operate away from situations where they can be exposed to direct fire; have visible markings which make them vulnerable.
”Weird is it not?”
Like Elmer Fudd who’s a farmer with limited means but who can buy endless amounts of buckshot? Yes ”weird” but hardly germane to the topic.
”why a unit is using equipment that was ordered and given to another separate unit.”
Such things have happened before and I’d be happy to provide examples.
” I don’t know. Perhaps someone might know?”
I did ask an ex 10 Para chap bu the laughed ad said I must be absolutely bored to come up with such a question which to him is not relevant. All I know for certain is that 10 Para did not get the SMGS on loan and if a certain piece of kit was seen with the unit then it’s on issue.
To me and I’m speaking for myself naturally; rather than focus on trivial things; I’d rather put my energy in wondering how this SMG compares to the MP-5. How certain things which were/are performed by MP-5 variants operated by SF/SOF units like the ‘short’ or ‘silenced’ version can be replicated by another newer design or the penetrating effect of the 9x19mm round given it was found wanting against types of body armour.
I would also ask if there’s a need for vehicle crews and other non combat elements [in the past they and boat coxswains had Sterlings] have a need for a shorter more compact weapon [that was the rationale behind the FN90] that the issue service rifle.