Black Arrow – the Turkish Delights

Roketsan Karaok anti-tank guided missile. Roketsan.

SHAH ALAM: In early June, Malaysian Defence reported that five bidders have been shortlisted for the tender of 18 Anti-Tank Guided Weapon Medium Range (ATGW-MR) which was published on April 18. It was supposed to close on May 18 but the deadline was extended to June 1.
From the story: The lowest bidder is RM42.075 million; followed by RM42.322 million; RM44.550 million; RM44.736 million and highest RM46.673.

Malaysian Defence can reveal today that the winner of the tender is the Roketsan Karaok. Roketsan said the

Man Portable Short-Range Fire-and-Forget Anti- Tank Guided Missile KARAOK is a system that is effective at both day and night due to its Imaging Infrared Seeker.

Roketsan Karaok ATGW-MR with its CLU and specifications. Roketsan

From the specifications above one will know that the Karaok is the shortest range ATGW-MR selected out of the other four bidders. The specifications of the tender (edited for brevity):

There is a requirement for the Anti-Tank Platoon of Infantry Battalion to be equipped with Anti-Tank Guided Weapon Medium Range (ATGW-MR) which is capable to engage and destroy enemy armour and heavily fortified bunker at a distance between 2000 m to 4000 m.
Penetration Capability. It shall be able to defeat ERA and subsequently main armour plate at least 900 mm RHA with BAE to inflict casualty to crew and vehicle.
Attack Capability. It shall have Top Attack Mode and Direct Attack Mode.
Effective Range. It shall be between 2000 m to 4000 m.
Guidance System. It shall be Imaging Infrared (IIR) homing guidance with cooled or uncooled system to provide better imagery.
Warhead. It shall be tandem shaped charge.
Quantity of Missile. At least one (1) missile foe each launcher.
Weight of Complete System. It shall be not more than 25 kg.
Guidance System. It shall have Automatic Command Line of Sight (ACLOS) fire and forget guidance system.
Reliability. It shall be highly reliable when used in any environment.
Observation and Launching Unit (OLU). Minimum 15 years.
Missile. Minimum 10 years.

Metis-M missile on the way at the 2017 Firepower exercise. Malaysian Defence

The 18 Roketsan Karaok ATGW-MR system purchased will come with six missiles for each launcher. The package should also include one indoor simulator; three outdoor simulators; three cut-open missile that expose its components and test equipment. The only other known user of the Karaok is the Turkish Army.
Firing the METIS-M ATGM from the G-Wagen during a demonstration at PULADA in November, 2020. BTDM

Once in service, the Karaok would replace the Metis-M ATGW-MR system currently fitted on G-Wagen 4X4 vehicles. The new ATGW-MR will be deployed on the Cendana Auto Weapons vehicles.
Cendana Auto SF-21X Special Operations Vehicle.

It is unclear whether the LOI has been issued to the local company offering the Karaok despite the selection as the Defence Ministry secretary general has yet to be appointed. The acting KSU can sign off the LOI, according to one of my sources.

— Malaysian Defence

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51 Comments

  1. So in a nutshell this karaok atgw not really fulfill the requirement for medium range atgw right? Maybe another separate tender for that? This will replace the bahktar shikan right?

  2. Well, another tender completed.

    In all this is worth just around USD10 million, which makes it a relatively small contract.

    For that amount, the army will have 108 top attack ATGM.

    Unlike the SOF vehicle marhalim posted, this will probably be installed on one of the 49 ARTAC Armed Tactical Ground Vehicles already ordered.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/20/Cendana_Auto_4x4_vehicle.jpg

    That is a great vehicle design, but unfortunately is a soft skinned vehicle just like a normal hilux.

    For the context, this ATGM buy is a recapitalization project of the ATGM platoon of support companies in the 7th Brigade infantry battalions (of which there is 3). The 7th Infantry Brigade is tasked to defend the southern malayan peninsular. This is the only infantry brigade with its own ATGM missiles (other than 10 PARA with NLAW and 4 MEK with Baktar Shikan).

    To have the rest of the infantry battalions (other than 10 PARA and 4 MEK) the same type of ATGM and the same numbers as this buy for 7th Infantry Brigade, we will probably need 72 more launchers, which will cost USD 40 million. But that will give us just 432 more missiles (at 6 missiles per launcher). USD 40 million is nothing, and we should have more ATGM anyway.

    I believe a minimum number of ATGM missile allocation that we should have is 3-4x of that per launcher.

    A combination of ATGM, and recoiless such as the latest Carl Gustaf, would be ideal to increase the direct fire lethality of our infantry formations.
    https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/005/598/484/large/elias-almen-carlgustaffinal72.jpg

  3. So the requirement only for 18 launchers or there will be another purchase to replace bakthar shikan also?

  4. @ firdaus

    The Karaok will replace the Metis-M, in service with the 7th Infantry Brigade.

    Baktar Shikan, is in service with the 4th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. We bought 450 missiles with unknown total number of launchers.

  5. @ marhalim

    Yes, Baktar Shikan is in service with 12 RAMD and 7 RRD, which is a part of the 4th Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

    I have seen Baktar Shikan Adnans with 12 RAMD and 7 RRD tactical markings.

  6. Hulubalang says: “For that amount, the army will have 108 top attack ATGM”.
    Would appreciate if you can elaborate and also, how your alternative recommended model is better in term of quality (not qty).
    TQ

  7. @ steelshot

    elaborate on how did i get the 108 missile number?

    From the article:
    “The 18 Roketsan Karaok ATGW-MR system purchased will come with six missiles for each launcher”
    18 launchers x 6 missiles each = 108 missiles in total.
    .
    .
    .

    How my alternative is better?

    It is not about better, it is about what minimum capability do we need to have.

    We have to defend not just the south of malaysian peninsular (where the units that is allocated all those Karaok ATGM is assigned to), but central and northern peninsular too. Then we also need to defend sabah and sarawak.

    now we have bought 18 Karaok ATGM launchers for 7th infantry brigade (which is a part of the 3rd Division, together with 4th mech brigade with Baktar shikan and Ingwe). Currently only 3 Division, 10 PARA & GGK have ATGMs at their disposal.

    If we want the same numbers of Karaok for
    1) north peninsular (2 Division)
    2) central peninsular (4 Division)
    3) sarawak (1 Division)
    4) sabah (5 Division)

    If each is to have the same numbers (18 Karaok ATGM launchers), then we need a total of 72 more launchers (18 x 4).

    If each launcher only have 6 missiles allocated, if there is an all out hostility, we would probably use up all the available missiles in just 1 day.

    So how deep is our ammo stock that we need to have? Is keeping 1 weeks worth of missiles too much or too little?

  8. So now we have the Roketsan Karaok.

    Maybe we could have Cakir (for TLDM) and SOM (for TUDM) next.

    PS. I still hope that we could have the Raybolt, at least for the baktar shikan replacement in the future.

  9. Hulubalang,
    No, I disagree. I think the better replacement for the Adnan mounted BS will be the OMTAS. No point getting the Raybolt, it’s just the same as the Karaok. The OMTAS can be fired from inside the Adnan without the operator being exposed.

  10. Nice but i still take omtas as bakhtar replacement though as this karaok already selected.From the same manufacturer..Raybolt is good to but akeron and omtas are new gen atgw ( correct me if im wrong )

  11. Hulubalang, thank you… but what I wanted to know actually is whether it was a good deal or could we have gotten better with the sum to be paid for the Turkish delight.

  12. “one will know that the Karaok is the shortest range ATGW-MR selected”
    Just to put into context, the operational ranges are as below
    Karaoke = 2500m
    Raybolt = 2500m
    Red Arrow = 2000-4000m
    Javelin = 4000m

    So unless we were intend on getting USA or China, it isnt any disadvantage compared to the others or rather its comparable.

    Should we have gotten ones that ranged to 4000m? Perhaps but their gonna be costly as well. And based on the tender specs it looks like TDM would have no problem for anything lower end in between.

    But once again its clear this is a politically decided buy if anything else (ie from fellow Muslim nation than Korean as such).

  13. @ marhalim

    So Karaok (yeah I bet it will be called as karaoke for the rest of its life) was the one with RM42.075 million bid?

    Interestingly, the tender calls for a minimum of just 1 missile per launcher. What the Karaok offer gave is actually a nearly 1 to 1 replacement of the existing Metis-M, of which we have 18 launchers and 100 missiles.

  14. So what do we have now?

    1000? RPG-7 launchers
    200+ Carl Gustaf M2, M3 launchers.
    110 Carl Gustaf M4 launchers (for RM27 million it is cheap)
    500 NLAW (disposable)
    ?? M72 LAW (disposable)
    ?? Baktar Shikan (with 450 missiles)
    18 Karaok (with 108 missiles)

  15. It seems to be a simple case of lowest bid won the tender. The challenge seems to be how its deployed. The ATGW is still a battalion level weapon. That’s one lengthy chain of command to be requesting a +2000m range anti-tank shot. Maybe it’s the doctrine – infantry expected to close in on enemy armour and engage them at short range – 500m Carl Gustav. Perhaps current doctrine has ATGW for stationary targets or emplacements.

  16. @ kel

    How is it deployed?

    6 ATGM (in a platoon) is placed in the support company, together with 81mm mortar platoon and 0.50cal M2 machine gun platoon.

    The configuration above is valid for battalions in 7th Brigade.

    Most other infantry battalions have 12 Carl Gustaf in place of ATGM for their support company.

  17. @Steelshot
    “could we have gotten better with the sum to be paid for the Turkish”
    None really as we get plenty quantity for the money since Turk Lira is like shit (not that RM is in any better shape but we’re still in the stronger position).

    @hulubalang
    “Indonesia paid USD 60 million for Javelin”
    The Javelin is also a vastly superior weapon and has been battlefield proven again & again & again & again.

    “Nope, because it was the cheapest bid.”
    The cheapest bid wasn’t all that cheaper, as the tenders ranged about RM42mil to RM 46mil or just under 10% difference which is really a close fight, such that if TDM insist it wanted a slightly higher offer it could justifiably go for that. But for the price, TDM will get more bang per buck for sure, which is not a bad thing – quantity has a quality all its own – but one wonders if that is the only tipping point or someone else nudged it ahead.

    Speaking of Turk stuff, is the Ejder Yalcin buy going to go ahead or KIV?

  18. Joe “But once again its clear this is a politically decided buy if anything else (ie from fellow Muslim nation than Korean as such).”

    A Muslim nation which happened to be a NATO members who have cheap currency which we happened to have plenty due to we having trade surpluses with them, desperate for any kind of sales to improve their foreign currencies reserved, Not to mention the cheapest bidder.

    There’s plenty of good reasons to buy Turkish rather than due to their religion alone.

  19. IMHO, Türkiye and South Korea will eventually become our main arms suppliers. Both are price competitive and NATO / US compatible. Very good possibility our MRCA will be either KAI or TAI. And why not?

    What’s happening with the ADAs, Marhalim. No news lately..

  20. @ joe

    ” The cheapest bid wasn’t all that cheaper, as the tenders ranged about RM42mil to RM 46mil or just under 10% difference which is really a close fight ”

    But look closely at the tender requirement…

    All the offers are priced closely (probably because they knew what is the available budget), but what did they actually offer?

    Yes probably Javelin was offered. But is the offer just to the minimum tender specs (1 missile per launcher)? Is there any other offer that gives more missiles (108 units) than the Karaok offer? Looking at Indonesian order, it is pretty much impossible for anyone to offer 108 javelins at less than USD 10 million.

    Personally I am not so excited on the army getting an unproven missile like the Karaok, but at the price and quantity, I really cannot complain. Unlike the Yavuz 155mm SPH fiasco, the Karaok deal is pretty much bang for the buck and other top attack ATGM systems would be hard pressed to better that deal.

    Hopefully all of our future military equipment deals will be as good value as this Karaok deal.

  21. @Zaft
    “There’s plenty of good reasons to buy Turkish”
    And there are just as plenty not to buy from them as the military rulers had usurped democracy and they are somewhat PNG with USA and nations aligned to Muslim Brotherhood. IINM Anwar was close to them. Buying from one side could be construed as tacitly siding with them and might cause us to be alienated by opposing Muslim nations sometimes. But locally it will be a good political tool for rakyat consumption to infer that we buy ‘halal’ weapons. Haha.

    @hulubalang
    “Personally I am not so excited”
    Indeed as you said Karaoke is unproven so its as much a matter of quality(range & proven) vs quantity, as much as getting more bang per buck, which I did not deny the Karaoke is giving.

    It would seem TDM is satisfied with all the tender entrants and minimum would be a launcher and 1x reload, so anything more is just an advantage not a criteria. Thus performance should be the deciding factor but as pointed out Karaoke isnt too big a range hit vs other entries.

    As for Javelin, that is firmly in the performance level far above those tendered so the price will reflect that. TNI doesn’t seem to have a need for 108 missile but they wanted the range advantage so the clear winner will be Javelin anyhow.

  22. A Muslim nation which happened to be a NATO members who have cheap currency which we happened to have plenty due to we having trade surpluses with them, desperate for any kind of sales to improve their foreign currencies reserved, Not to mention the cheapest bidder. (Zaft)
    I quite agree. The Turkiye Lira is cheap compared to our Malaysian ‘Lira’! So anything from Turkiye is a damn bargain! Pardon my language 😉

  23. Tom tom
    “IMHO, Türkiye and South Korea will eventually become our main arms suppliers.”

    There’s more to a buying decisions then just exchange rates price & performance

    Thus Turkiye sure. There’s plenty of financial, political & economics incentive to buy from them. SK probably not so much. Infact they tried to sell us plenty for decades now and we mostly never bite.

    As for the MRCA, I’m in the if it ain’t got sensor fusion & VLO then it’s not a ‘true’ 5th gen thus only F35 is the one & only true 5th gen fighter in the planet & nothing less than F35 is worth it club.

  24. @Zaft
    “There’s plenty of good reasons to buy Turkish”
    And there are just as plenty not to buy from them. Its whether which reasons we can live with.

  25. Hopefully it they want to buy additional launchers and missiles, they can deal directly with manufacturer instead of having to call a new open tender.

    The Government should sign a long-term framework contract with the manufacturer (let’s say for 5 years) so that the Government can buy the stuff as and when necessary, without having to go through the tender process. If the current procurement procedures don’t allow this, then change the procedures.

  26. @ h

    In US military, the procedure that you talk about is called IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity Contracts)

  27. @dundun
    “In what regard?”
    As I clearly stated above: range
    Karaoke = 2500m
    Javelin = 4000m

    “The transaction will be done in US Dollars”
    Indeed but the sum value will follow either ours or theirs currency ie how much you can buy for each USD.

    @Zaft
    “thus only F35 is the one & only true 5th gen fighter”
    As I pointed previously, there is the big bro F22, the Russki PAKFA, China J20 & J31

    @hulubalang
    “Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity Contracts”
    Is what MAS had with Brahims for their plane food and that has turned into another fiasco. Nothing that was not tendered can easily be abused.

  28. @ joe

    IDIQ contract is tendered.

    IDIQ has fixed cost per product, and a fixed timeframe. Its just that they can buy however many (or however little) they want within that timeframe.

  29. >javelin vastly superior
    Yeah and tell me again which variant that TNI use? It’s the older block I variant with 2.5km range.

    If you’re talking about Spike ER or Spike NLOS then it has “vastly” superior range

  30. You should read my newer posts. The Metis M deal did not go through due to the latest sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

  31. Joe “As I pointed previously, there is the big bro F22, the Russki PAKFA, China J20 & J31”

    Whether a jet is a 5th gen or not depend entirely on one own definition really.

    For me, I go with VLO & sensor fusion as the defining requirements for 5th gen and thus only F35 is the only true 5th gen in the planet.

  32. @hulubalang
    “IDIQ contract is tendered.”
    Only once. And during in contract, the supplier has rights to raise prices as they see fit.

    @dundun
    “It’s the older block I variant with 2.5km range.”
    Which has been proven to hit with high probability on the field.

    “If you’re talking about Spike ER or Spike NLOS”
    Which TNI is not getting for obvious reasons. So why bring this up.

    @Zaft
    “I go with VLO & sensor fusion as the defining requirements for 5th gen”
    Those planes I pointed out has those in your definition. F35 isnt the only one.

  33. F22 do not have sensor fusion & one of the reasons NGAD is launch is because upgrading the F22 to have sensor fusion would cost as much as building brand new jet.

    IMHO for us to acquire the like TFX & KFX is a penny wise pound foolish decision. Safe a few million on acquisition cost but would lose a whole lot if billions when the jet need upgrading which would put us back exactly at our current MKM dilemma’s.

  34. @Zaft
    F22 is trialing with autonomous loyal wingman drones. If that is not an example of sensor fusion, I dont know what is.

  35. … – ”That is a great vehicle design, but unfortunately is a soft skinned vehicle just like a normal hilux.”

    The saving grace is that the vehicle is not expected to be placed in a situation where it’s exposed to direct fire.

    … – ”I believe a minimum number of ATGM missile allocation that we should have is 3-4x of that per launcher.”

    I ”believe” that we should have ”sufficient” stocks of reloads. What ”sufficient” entails in ambiguous; similar to your ”3-4x of that per launcher”.
    The problem is what war are we expected to fight and against whom? Note that for decades our policy is that we are unlikely to be involved in a high intensity protracted war; this drives the way we do things and – right or wrong – is in line with the policy of having some deterrent capability.

    … – ”If each launcher only have 6 missiles allocated, if there is an all out hostility, we would probably use up all the available missiles in just 1 day.”

    Same goes with ammo stocks; fuel; spares and just about everything else. The only regional; army which has large stocks in reserve is the SAF followed by the RTA; the SAF because it caters to fighting a war against the MAF and TNI and the RTA because of events which took place on its eastern flank in the 1970’s/80’s.

    As for the Karaok being ”untested” or ”’unproven”; true but name me a ATGW
    which failed to perform as advertised when first used in combat [whether the Sagger in 1972 during the Eater Offensive; MILAN in the Falklands or BILL in the Ukraine]. There is also the pertinent fact that the Turks would have thoroughly teste/trialed Karoak before Turk army acceptance and before offering it for export.

  36. … – “1000? RPG-7 launchers
    200+ Carl Gustaf M2, M3 launchers.
    110 Carl Gustaf M4 launchers (for RM27 million it is cheap)
    500 NLAW (disposable)
    ?? M72 LAW (disposable)
    ?? Baktar Shikan (with 450 missiles)
    18 Karaok (with 108 missiles”

    Lets put things out into context. Whilst CG, RPGs and other shoulder fired weapons have a AT utility; they would more accurately be described as multi purpose weapons [against IFVs and other light vehicles; against structures; etc]. 1. Unless one has a clear flank or rear shot one is the unlikely to achieve penetration with a MBT; even an older less protected one. 2. Unless one is operating in restricted terrain in which natural vegetation or man made structures enable enable short engagements ranges and attacks above or to the rear; getting to into range would be problematic.

    I would be extremely interested in knowing how you came up with the “1000? RPG-7 launchers”. If we take into account that RPGs are issued to BIS sections; to Gerak Khas and that some are maintained as war reserves; I fail to see how one can come up with a “1000? RPG-7 launchers” figure or even something close to that. We also know the number of launchers acquired from Romania and Serbia.

    BTW we know the number of rounds acquired from POF because a press release was issued by the company at DSA 2002 and was subsequently carried by the NST. I can also tell you for a fact that we did not acquire “450 missiles” Bakthar Shikan rounds.

    Also, do we actually have any Mk3 CGs? The Mk2s we had were refurbished by SME with help from Saab about a decade ago but this is the first I’m hearing of us having Mk3s.
    The “500” NLAW figure came from a entity which often gets its numbers wrong; years ago it issued a the number of Alamos and Archers we supposedly bought which was way off the mark.

    Dundun – “If you’re talking about Spike ER or Spike NLOS then it has “vastly” superior range”

    Having “long range” and actually being able to acquire and engage a target at “long range” is profoundly different; dependent on variious factors.

  37. 1000? RPG-7 launchers?

    BIS sections (8 person) are assigned with 2 RPG-7 each. There is about 12 sections in a company, and at least 3 company in a battalion (some have 4).

    That is at least 72.

    We have 27 RAMD battalions and 11 RRD battalions

    even with my conservative 1000 number, that would only equip about 14 battalions with RPG-7 launchers in their inventory, that is less than 50% of the infantry battalions.

  38. “Turks would have thoroughly teste/trialed Karoak”
    Testing is one thing, a real combat is another thing. Many sound idea & weapons “works” during trial but did not become operational or used widely due to many factors. Unlike Javelin is uncontestably been proven time and time again.

  39. ”Testing is one thing, a real combat is another thing. ”

    Yes but has any ATGW when fired for the first time actually failed to perform as advertised? Also, what if trials are conducted in conditions as realistic as possible?

    ”Unlike Javelin is uncontestably been proven time and time again.”

    First used in Helmand.

    … – ”We have 27 RAMD battalions and 11 RRD battalions”

    Yes but as was pointed out; RPGs are only issued to BIS sections and in reality do all sections actually have them? Paper/authorised TOES and ones in reality can differ.

  40. “Also, what if trials are conducted in conditions as realistic as possible?”
    Don’t know if that is the case, or it could varied from country to country. Most proof of concept trials are usually done in ideal situations/scenarios where high probability of success rates are premediated. While all systems put into the field will “work” to a certain degree of success, different systems will have different hit rate probability depending on a lot of factors and also system maturity of which Javelin has reached a high level and is still being improved upon. We will need to see whether others follow suit will able to reach its milestones or not.

  41. As far as I know there have been no ATGWs or anything else which have failed to perform as advertised when first employed in combat, i.e. Sagger and TOW in 1972; MILAN in 1982 and BILL in 2023.

    The danger in buying something not widely operated lies not in whether it’s ”proven”/”tested” [a cliche many are fond off but one which is subjective] or not but whether the OEM can ramp up production; i.e. Ingwe which has 3 [?] users and a OEM which is not producing it in large numbers. With anything operated by the Turks and South Koreans; at least there are stocks in large quantities; operated by the Turkish and South Korean army; with may be made available to others if the situation warranted it.

    Tom Tom – ”MHO, Türkiye and South Korea will eventually become our main arms suppliers. Both are price competitive and NATO / US compatible.”

    Since when does logic enter the equation? Way before both countries approached others; they approached us for strategic collaboration. In the early 1980’s South Korea had already approached us and Turkey first started cultivating us in the late 1990’s.
    The problem is us; indecision; lack of funding; shifting priorities; etc.

    Kel – ”Perhaps current doctrine has ATGW for stationary targets or emplacements.”

    ???? First of all do we actually have a ”doctrine”? Don’t assume; for all the jungle fighting/counter insurgency tradition; we don’t even have a ”jungle fighting/counter insurgency ” manual… Secondly our requirements [note I avoid using the term ”doctrine”] call for ATGWs to be employed against a variety of targets; at various ranges; whether stationary or mobile….

  42. Kel – ”The challenge seems to be how its deployed. The ATGW is still a battalion level weapon. ”

    A ”battalion level” asset which can be parceled out on an ad hoc basis. As for ”deployment”; as part of combined arms units; everything working in sync.

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