Briefings For MPA and UAS Tenders

Kawasaki P-1 MPA. JSMDF

SHAH ALAM: Briefings for MPA and UAS tenders. The Defence Ministry’s Procurement Division together with Defence Industry Division and RMAF hold separate briefings for the procurement of the MPA and UAS last week. Though the tenders for both were published on 25 August, the one for MPA (two aircraft) will closed on 3 December while the UAS system on 26 November.

Leonardo ATR 72 MPA. Leonardo

The briefings were held via video conferencing due to the current pandemic, the MPA one on 1 October and UAS on 2 October at the Intermark Hotel, says the RMAF in two separate releases. Not much details were issued in both releases though it stated that both are international tenders. Only companies which took part in the briefings are eligible to take part in them, it must be noted.

Bayraktar

As both are classified as international tenders, OEMs can bid their products directly without going through a local company, though one can be appointed later for maintenance and support. OEMs could also appoint a local company to act on their behalf, of course, from the start.

Chilean Navy C295 MPA. Airbus

What does this means in the practical terms then? This means Leonardo, Airbus, Boeing, Kawasaki and PTDI can take part directly in the MPA contest without the need for a local partner.

RAAF P-8A flying over RMAF Butterworth. Australian Defense Department

This also mean Turkish Aerospace and Baykar Makina can go head to head with others for the UAS contest though it is likely they will be partnered with local companies from the start. I am putting the companies as examples only as I have not got any confirmation whether any of them had actually attended the briefing which was mandatory for them to take part in the tender. Of course they could also have their local representatives take part in the briefing.

CN235 MPA of TNI-AL displayed at LIMA 2015.

The MPA release also said this : Kerajaan Malaysia telah meluluskan sejumlah peruntukan di bawah Kelulusan Keperluan Kritikal (Rancangan Perbelanjaan (RP)-4) bagi perolehan dua (2) buah pesawat MPA bagi Fasa 1. Melalui perancangan awal CAP55, jumlah keseluruhan adalah enam (6) buah MPA yang diperlukan oleh TUDM.

A picture of the MPA briefing. RMAF

Pictures from both briefings showed mostly the ministry’s personnel together with grainy pictures of the companies representatives, locally and from overseas. A picture of the UAS briefing showed a couple of slides of the technical specifications of the system being sought, however.

A picture from the UAS briefing, note the screens. RMAF

From what I can see, it stated that the UAS and its associated systems must be certified for NATO standards or the equivalent. One thing that can be seen clearly on the screens were “Prototypes will not be considered”.

A PLAN KQ200 MPA as provided by the Taiwan Defence Ministry. This is the same type of MPA flying over the SCS. It is unlikely to be offered for our MPA programme though. If it was it will be front page news. Taiwan MND

Anyhow I was told for the MPA tender that only new airframes will be considered leaving us with the ATR, C-295, P-8, P-1 and CN235 as the most likely aircraft to be offered for the competition.

Kawasaki P-1. JMSDF

That said I could be wrong of course as I have no access to the tender documents.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

154 Comments

  1. Yay for the UAVs

    Nay for the MPAs.

    The current tender is for 3 units of UAV/UAS and 2 units of MPA.

    What we need is at least 12 MALE UAV/UAS and 6 MPA.

    If we can convert all 6 of our CN-235 into MPAs enabling enough budget to get 12 MALE UAV/UAS at 1 go.

    The current setup will mean we will just have a token MALE UAV/UAS and MPA capability.

    Please just cancel the new MPA tender and get on with converting all our CN-235 into MPAs. As for UAV, i hope the battle proven Bayraktar TB2 wins it.

  2. Marhalim, any idea of allocated sum budget for the new MPA?

    Reply
    Without knowledge of the specifications I am guessing that it should be around RM1 billion at least

  3. I would think that all of the UASs on offer will have been used by various players over the skies of Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq. Thus their OEMs can make the “battle proven” claim.

    Naturally certain deficiencies/weaknesses (i.e. issues at certain altitudes, vulnerability to jamming, bandwidth issues, etc) will not be mentioned but it’s hoped thorough trials in non scripted environment will be performed.

    One of the things we’ll be looking out for is the cost of spares and operating costs. It’s also hoped that political imperatives don’t become the driving factor in choosing an eventual winner.

  4. Talk about MPA if I’m not mistaken Australia stationed their P-8 Poseidon in RMAF Butterworth Penang right? If there any benefit we get from that detachment? I mean like any inteligent especially submarine movement in the region?

    Reply
    It’s an adhoc detachment mostly for looking for illegal immigrants. Of course they also look out for submarines and other maritime duties. It is unknown whether we are privy of the details from such deployment

  5. @…

    There is a possibility that it is RMAF is the one pushing for new MPA airframes instead of converting all existing CN235 for reasons such as longer airframe life etc. Being the government is so cash strapped/kedekut on defense i don’t think it was originally the government decision. That being said i do see your point in saving money now for more UAS. We also might not know if in the future they will convert the rest CN235 for a total of 8 MPAs do we? Let’s hope this time RMAF will get what they actually wanted.

  6. @ luqman

    Having the possibility of token amounts of 2 different MPA platform (3 CN-235 and 2 new MPA) and systems plus a token amount of UAS (3 units) isnt going to give us any good overall capability.

    Next we still need to look at other stuff like LCA/LIFT (this is an urgent requirement IMO), AWACs, etc. How to concentrate on other stuff when we still need to look at additional UAS and MPAs?

    With the want to do open tenders for everything, there is also no confirmation that the next batch of UAS and MPA will be of the same type, further compounding the rojak issue of our equipments.

  7. A,

    RAAF MPAs whilst at Butterworth undertake various tasking; as part of the PFDA; under the control of HQIADS. We benefit from the info/intel which is shared under the FPDA platform. If they happen to be there; they also assist in SAR.

    “Operation Gateway” involves RAAF MPAs operating mostly over the SCS but not as part of the FPDA. As such; intel obtained from those missions are shared with us at their discretion.

  8. Luqman – “There is a possibility that it is RMAF is the one pushing for new MPA airframes instead of converting all existing CN235 for reasons such as longer airframe life etc”

    Many years ago the RMAF publicly announced that it was looking at converting the CNs if cash for MPAs were not released.
    IPTN submitted a proposal but the government wasn’t keen on the idea.

    My guess is that irrespective of what’s mentioned in CAP 55 (like the 5/15 both already undergoing changes) the RMAF is – for
    various reasons – not ready to immediately do away with the twin engine transport capability; even if it’s limited to a mere 3 airframes.

  9. On the UASs whilst it’s vital to pick one which comes closest to meeting our requirements; of far more importance is us having right C3 set up/mechanism in place. I’d we don’t; and we have a cumbersome bureaucratic C3 in place with limited “jointness”;
    it won’t matter which UAS we get.

    The Turks are a good example of a UAS operator which over the years steadily improved its capabilities. At one point they didn’t have the right C3 in place to take advantage of intel obtained; including time sensitive situations. Today; minutes after intel is obtained and shared;
    F-16s can lay ordnance in the target.

    I’m not suggesting we go for armed UASs; only that we need a proper C3 set up in place to ensure intel is made available in a timely manner to those who need it and that no single service hogs the capability. A few years down the road: as we mature as an operator and (hopefully) acquire tertiary capabilities; MALEs should be operated by a “UAS Command”; like whet the Sings have done.

  10. The suitable contender would be C-925, its a versatile bird proven to be fixed with any configuration…mpa.. awacs etc…where as the rest it have ti go certification..test etc..2 is for trial usage and will see a follow on order with different type of configurations.excuse a pre retiree english….but it feels good to exchange thoughts with tertiary young pple they understood me alright that is why they can reply me…..I use to have laptop but since smart phones existence it is very convenient but full of spelling mistakes.cheers young men

    Reply
    What do you mean by that others need certification, P8, P-1, CN235 and even ATR72 MPA are all already in service. Whether we can afford some of them is the biggest question

  11. @ azlan

    I am also not pushing for us to get an armed UAS/UAV for now, and the requirement so far does not mention the same too.

    Just the Bayraktar TB2 is so far an impressive piece of hardware with good price, we can fly them without armament if we want to, and there will be that option to arm them in the future if we need them.

    Turkey sold 12 TB2 and three ground command centers to Ukraine for USD69 million. That cost is IMO totally affordable for us.

    http://english.iswnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/%D9%BE%D9%87%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-Bayraktar-TB2-en.jpg

    http://idsb.tmgrup.com.tr/ly/uploads/images/2020/03/05/23825.jpg

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/DY-vZouW0AAY1pU.jpg

  12. I did not eleborate sorry Sir.to convert p8…cn235 atr72 into awacs.. tanker…sigint…etc…they need to go thru test n OEM certification dont they….whereas rhis beast c925 can be converted into the above configuration easily n readily…and perhaps those articles that is supplied by uncle Sam into cn235 might one day be transfered to c925…if RMAF wanted to expand its fleet of AWACS…MPA wirh just using same bird but this will be in the future i guess if RMAF are focus into using only single type of bird for MPA…AWACS…TANKER…sigint…etc…sorry Sir my bad i did not elaborate…

  13. As much as i wish TUDM to convert all CN-235s into MPA.

    It is also worth noting TUDM still needs some CN-235s to perform the light cargo / utility roles. Example flying equipment and personell directly into and out of Lahad Datu/Kudat where the runway / taxiway /apron strength is not suitable for the C130 to land.

  14. @ redsot

    You really have no clue what “certification” means for an aircraft.

    @ johnny 101

    Lahad datu has a runway length of 1380m.

    A400M at max weight needs a runway length of 980m for takeoff and 770m for landing. It can takeoff and land in shorter distances with less cargo.

    Smaller volume cargo could always be carried with smaller aircraft, why i have suggested PUTD to have something like the PAC 750XL. Helicopters could also carry the smaller loads too

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HbShalU2Qpg/WwqfGb5eiXI/AAAAAAABQ1o/a6CMVF8dFuovUv9h30867uNvCfcIFzCkgCLcBGAs/s1600/P1060453.JPG

  15. Johny101 – “It is also worth noting TUDM still needs some CN-235s to perform the light cargo / utility roles”

    Plus the fact that when it comes to moving small loads; far cheaper and practical to use a CN rather than a Charlie or a A400M.

    I’ve always been very sceptical and cynical about the CAP 55. Let’s see whether the RMAF really intends on doing away with the twin engine transport capability.

    … – “I am also not pushing for us to get an armed UAS/UAV for now”

    Nobody is. At least not here. There is indeed no such requirement.

    My mention of armed systems was to highlight the progress the Turks have made : armed systems able to share intel which can be acted on by fighters in a timely/time sensitive manner. If we ever got an armed system; the biggest challenge would be having the right ROEs in place.

  16. P.S.

    Should also be noted although Layang Layang has a runway capable of accommodating Charlies; CNs have been used far more regularly (some have experienced corrosion issues) .
    No surprises given that not all loads require a Charlie.

  17. Johnny101 – “and out of Lahad Datu/Kudat where the runway ”

    Kudat use to have.a landing strip which could accommodate Fokkers. No idea if it’s still the case but the PFF base in Ulu Kinta during the 2nd Emergency has a landing strip which could handle Caribous.

    The whole idea of having a twin engine transport; is for loads/sorties which don’t require a larger more expensive to operate platform; as well as loads which might not be able to be delivered by a rotary platform or a smaller plane; either do to range or the actual size/weight of the load.

    If indeed the RMAF really intends to do away with twin engine transports; then the resulting penalty would be the need to rely solely (a penalty various arms are willing to incur) on larger more expensive to operate and mountain platforms; irrespective of whether the load is just a pallet’s worth of spares or 15 men.

    In addition to various types of tasks to support tri service requirements; the CNs (like the Caribous before them) are also utilised for tri service basic jump training.

  18. My opinion is that the new MPA should go for CN235 MPA. It would ensure commonality with the 3 MSAs being converted and in future we could upgrade these into full MPA config as these 2 planes being ordered. OTOH my preference is to convert the remaining TUDM CN235s into MPA instead of buying new. There is also the pertinent question, do we really need 3 tiers of light (CN235), medium (Herc), & heavy (A400M) lifters.

  19. @…says

    Lahad datu runway & taxiway LCN = 20
    A C130 on an asphalt surface
    requires LCN = 37

    Lahad datu airport aip also states that:
    ” Aerodrome is not avbl to aircraft with multiple wheel undercarriage systems. ”

    So no, even though the runway is long and wide enough doesnt mean it can support the aircraft. This explains why during Tanduo incident, only CN235 flew into Lahad Datu. No C130 ever landed in Lahad datu or kudat before.

    Pulau layang2 surface is different all together. I hope this clears the air.

    Currently lahad datu only supports aircraft up to ATR72 while Kudat Viking 400.

  20. @Azlan

    Yes Sir, Kudat airport is still operational with x3 weekly pax flights, Operated by Maswings.
    Common opertors there include sabah flying club C172, layang2 aerospace Nomad, BN2 and of course police air wing.

  21. Bayraktar isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done, essentially, in the Bekaa. It’s a good lesson in how SAMs are far from invincible and why combat aircraft are still needed to contest the skies…

    …and also how important keeping up readiness and training is.

  22. … – “Turkey sold 12 TB2 and three ground command centers to Ukraine for USD69 million.”

    Various countries are selling various things to various customers. Each will have respective plus points; each will also have certain deficiencies which their OEMs will make little or no mention of. Which is why thorough non scripted trials are needed for us to determine what comes close to meeting our requirements and to discover from the onset whatever limitations or deficiencies there are.

    … – “That cost is IMO totally affordable for us””

    Procurement costs aside: a major concern for us will be operating costs: as well as spares. We have a history of buying things but failing to take the needed steps to ensure sufficient funding in a timely manner for maintenance/support.

    Some UAS will be more expensive and maintenance intensive others: Predator; as mentored in “The Kill
    Chain” (a good read on the subject) was notoriously expensive to operate/maintain.
    Chinese systems whilst “cheap” (unsurprisingly) to buy are not as “long lasting” as others. “The Kill Chain” also mentions the various issues still inherent in UASs and their usage; despite all the high technology.

    I really hope we eventually create the right C3 set up; one with real “jointness”; one with minimal bureaucracy and staffed by the right minded people. Another issue is attrition. UASs are expensive but we have to come to terms with the fact that over time; due to weather, technical issues or human error: UASs will be lost.

  23. On the topic of TUDM transporters. Something that I didn’t know we had.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-en6E9_TdtaM/X3s34zlPleI/AAAAAAAAZXM/VIG3EQaabYwL0lcTfyL1HEIppw48oMbPgCLcBGAsYHQ/s925/Royal%2BMalaysian%2BAir%2BForce%2Boperates%2BRheinmetall%2BA400M%2Bcargo%2Bhold%2Bsimulator.jpg

    This is a Rheinmetall A400M Cargo Hold Part Task Trainer (CPTT). Something that is very important to have to train our personnel on loading and unloading cargo from the A400M. Allows us to test and practice loading stuff without using a real plane, so that any mistakes would not damage a real plane.

    http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/public_relations/news/latest_news/index_24768.php

    Seems like we had them since February 2020. Why something important, something good like this is not even announced to the public?

  24. @ azlan

    ” the biggest challenge would be having the right ROEs in place ”
    I dont think malaysian public would be receptive of the idea of remote assassination from the air. Any use of armed UAV in anything other than a full blown all out war is not acceptable IMO. So no UAV preemptive strikes on pirates or terrorists. So best to keep those UAVs as unarmed surveillance tools only for now.

    ” We have a history of buying things but failing to take the needed steps to ensure sufficient funding in a timely manner for maintenance/support ”
    And this buy of just 3 UAS/UAV and 2 MPA has a big probability to continue that history. But seeing how we go out of our way to have good support system for the A400M I am hoping that this would not be the case in the future.

    @ johnny101

    If C-130 or A400M used to fly to Lahad Datu, its cargo needs to be delivered by LAPES drop then. If the current runway is to be upgraded to handle A400Ms, the airport is too near to the town. To have a better runway it would be easier to build a whole new airport a bit further from the town rather than upgrading it . Or a long grass/gravel airstrip to be build in the Sahabat area itself.

    Also another reason why the parachute capability of 10 PARA is still useful.

  25. Several issues
    1. Several days ago it was reported in the news that Boustead is asking for another 4 billion to complete the remainder 4 units of LCS. For all we know it will be approved as Bousted is owned by the LTAT . Bousted has been making losses n this hurts the LTAT
    2. buying UAS that can be armed n purchasing the weapons for the UAS only makes it more flexible n versatile. It may make intruders think twice. Knowing the UAS cannot hurt them n meed to call up other platforms to strike these intruders may have disappeared under cover
    3. Its Ok to buy just two MPA for now. Nothing wrong in that. We are not rich. So buy just we can afford. When we have money again we buy another two more until we have the 6 units we require. See how the Indonesians n Thais have been buying

  26. … – “I dont think malaysian public would be receptive of the idea of remote assassination from the air”

    Public opinion can be shaped. Depends on how the government “sells” the idea and the nature of the threat. The “shoot to kill” proposal some years ago was shit down by the AG in legality issues: the public wouldn’t have made a fuss due to knowledge of what was happening.

    At present we have no requirement for armed UASs and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

    .. – “And this buy of just 3 UAS/UAV and 2 MPA ”

    A continuation of our longstanding policy of “buying a bit but not enough of anything” which leaves the armed services in a ‘neither here nor there position”.

  27. @ joe

    ” There is also the pertinent question, do we really need 3 tiers of light (CN235), medium (Herc), & heavy (A400M) lifters ”

    A400M isn’t really a heavy airlifter.

    Yes if we do away with the CN-235 airlift capability, there will be a lot of airfields we cannot access. But even with the CN-235, there is a lot of airfields that once can be accessed by the Caribou, cannot be accessed by CN-235. Many airfields in Sabah and Sarawak can only be accessed by something like the Caribou or the Twin Otter (usually airstrips around 400m in length). Still many air forces does not see the need of an aircraft with STOL capability similar to the Caribou, or to look at aircrafts still in production, the Twin Otter, NC-212 or the PZL M-28 Skytruck.

    There is still 4 PZL M-28 Skytruck (C-145A Combat Coyote) available for US EDA. Would getting this for PUTD be a solution to having all our CN-235 converted to MPA?

    http://warnesysworld.com/another-ex-afsoc-c-145a-being-prepared-for-an-fms-customer/

  28. Chua – “Bayraktar isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done, essentially, in the Bekaa”

    Not withstanding the fact that “drones” has been used the previous decades in Vietnam; by 1982 they were still relatively “new”. The Syrian crews; whose level of training came nowhere close to their Soviet counterparts; had never faced them. Surprise played a huge part.

    What UASs are being used for at present is a huge cry from whet “drives” were capable of in the 1980’s or even the 1990’s. What Turk UASs are doing isn’t very different from what other systems made by others are being used for by other operators.

    When it comes to integrating tactical UASs into an integrated recce/strike ability; whet he Russians did in Ukraine was very impressive. The people who planned the attack on Saudi oil facilities did a brilliant job in terms of planning, coordination and execution; even if Saudi defences were mainly looking at another direction and were optimised to deal with larger higher flying targets.

  29. @ Lee Yoke Meng

    1. Several days ago it was reported in the news that Boustead is asking for another 4 billion to complete the remainder 4 units of LCS. For all we know it will be approved as Bousted is owned by the LTAT . Bousted has been making losses n this hurts the LTAT
    Reply: So that is on top of the current nearly RM6 billion already spent. If they can really complete all 6 Gowinds before 2025 at a total cost of RM10 billion, IMO yes go for it. But this article says otherwise
    http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/newsbreak-boustead-seeks-more-funds-complete-rm9-bil-lcs-project
    They are asking for RM3 billion to complete at least 2 ships, and another RM3 billion to complete the rest of the 4 ships. That is a total of at least RM12 Billion for 6 ships.

    IMO just forget about it, go to Plan B. Buy 6 Korean HDF-2600 Frigate build in Korea for RM3 billion ringgit, and install all the weapons and equipments that has been bought for the Gowind into the HDF-2600. Then buy another batch of 6 HDF-2600 in RMK13 2026-2030 for a total of 12 HDF-2600 Frigates. Sell off all the gowind empty hulls and engines to recoup some of the costs.

    2. buying UAS that can be armed n purchasing the weapons for the UAS only makes it more flexible n versatile. It may make intruders think twice. Knowing the UAS cannot hurt them n meed to call up other platforms to strike these intruders may have disappeared under cover.
    Reply: Can be or should be is two different matters. IMO for now we should not arm our UAS. But if we get say the TB2, our adversaries will know that it can be armed if we want to.

    3. Its Ok to buy just two MPA for now. Nothing wrong in that. We are not rich. So buy just we can afford. When we have money again we buy another two more until we have the 6 units we require. See how the Indonesians n Thais have been buying.
    Reply : What is wrong? Buying 2 now, and 4 later does not guarantee us not having a rojak fleet of MPAs. There is a big possibility now we will have 2 types, the 3x CN-235 and and the 2x New MPA. There would be a big possibility that it could be 3 or even 4 different MPA aircrafts in the future. The Thais and Indonesian way is not the best benchmark out there.

    @ Azlan

    ” It was announced somewhere, some time ago that we had ordered such a training device ”

    There was a small mention in passing earlier in the year that TUDM has a training device but no mention of what type. TUDM is the 4th country in the world to have an A400M cargo trainer after Germany, UK and Spain. France got theirs a month after TUDM (march).

  30. Lee – “buying UAS that can be armed n purchasing the weapons for the UAS only makes it more flexible n versatile. It may make intruders think twice”

    “Flexibility and versatility” depends on the operational circumstances. Armed UAS will only be useful against an opponent who has no or little defence against UASs.

    Lee – “ Its Ok to buy just two MPA for now. Nothing wrong in that. We are not rich”

    We don’t have to be “rich”. The fact that we’re only getting 2 when the main challenges we face are along our maritime domain is a sharp indication of just how serious we are. Buying mote then 2 MPAs will not result in the education or healthcare budget being slashed.

    Also what’s your definition of “for now”? What if shifting priorities and the need to focus on other areas results on a very long and indefinite wait for follow on examples?

    Thanks to the U.S. taxpayer; 3 CNs will be converted. With just the 2 MPAs allocated for funding; ensuring one is operational at all times will be a challenge.

  31. … “I dont think malaysian public would be receptive of the idea of remote assassination from the air. Any use of armed UAV in anything other than a full blown all out war is not acceptable IMO”

    I doubt this public is so discerning and particular in a field they care so little about. They’ve shown themselves apathetic to almost anything one can imagine and at other times, quick to rationalise other things. If we hypothetically take out an alleged armed intruder, people will be quick to rationalise and praise the act.

    I also question how different and unique weapons employment by armed UAV is, compared to employment from manned platforms. If one is bothered by there not being a man on the UAV, should one be bothered by the employment of standoff weapons from manned platforms? Is it any better if an unarmed UAV spots a target and a manned fighter comes along to take it out? Should we put the duty on the UAV operator, the air ops centre or the pilot?

    … “full blown all out war”

    In a conventional conflict, expect to lose plenty of UAVs. As it is, loss rates are high in less intense conflicts currently ongoing. All the more reason to see that we are able to get the most from our UAVs before they are inevitably lost.

  32. … – “here was a small mention in passing earlier in the year that TUDM has a training device but no mention of what type”

    It was clearly mentioned that it was device to enable crews to practice loading/unloading stuff.
    I memory serves me well; it appeared about a year ago.

    AM – “In a conventional conflict, expect to lose plenty of UAVs”

    Never mind conflict; conventional or otherwise. In peacetime; due to human error; weather or technical issues; UASs will be lost. Yes they are a national asset requesting a huge investment but we have to accept and adopt the mindset that we may lose some.

    AM – “I also question how different and unique weapons employment by armed UAV is, compared to employment from manned platforms”

    Indeed. The result is the same; people obliterated or burnt alive. The only difference is that it’s done “remotely” and despite the “remoteness” operators spend a lot of time viewing and observing those they are about to target. It also doesn’t help that U.S. ROEs permit a vehicle carrying a “ high value target” (another of the numerous acronyms the military has a penchant for) to be targeted even if there are non combatants beside him.

    AM – ““I dont think malaysian public would be receptive of the idea of remote assassination from the air”

    If the government has done its job by “selling” the idea and convincing the people about the necessity; public perception wouldn’t be an issue.

    As things stand however; I can’t foresee a non state threat; nor the accompanying circumstances which would warrant armed UASs. Things have reached a stage where non state actors have a better UAS capability than the MAF; yet the discussion has steered towards armed UASs for which we have zero need/requirement for 🙁

  33. Johnny101,

    Personally I’m not convinced the RMAF intends on doing away with the twin engine transport capability anytime soon.

    Operating costs is a major issue and the bulk of the time; loads which require transporting (loads which for whatever reason can’t be delivered by helos or fixed wing transport smaller then the CN) don’t call for a Charlie or a A400M. The fact also stands that physically having an aircraft land in order to deliver cargo is a far more practical and safer method; although means to deliver cargo by other means are maintained.
    If indeed the RMAF intends or is forced to do away with the CNs; then a penalty has to be incurred – no ways around it.

  34. @ joe

    ” There is also the pertinent question, do we really need 3 tiers of light (CN235), medium (Herc), & heavy (A400M) lifters ”

    A400M isn’t really a heavy airlifter.

    Yes if we do away with the CN-235 airlift capability, there will be a lot of airfields we cannot access. But even with the current CN-235, there is a lot of airfields that once can be accessed by the Caribou, cannot be accessed by CN-235. Many airfields in Sabah and Sarawak can only be accessed by something like the Caribou or the Twin Otter (usually airstrips around 400m in length). Still many air forces does not see the need of an aircraft with STOL capability similar to the Caribou, or to look at aircrafts still in production, the Twin Otter, NC-212 or the PZL M-28 Skytruck.

    There is still 4 PZL M-28 Skytruck (C-145A Combat Coyote) available for US EDA. Would getting this for PUTD be a solution to having all our CN-235 converted to MPA? http://warnesysworld.com/another-ex-afsoc-c-145a-being-prepared-for-an-fms-customer/

    @ azlan

    From TUDM FB release,
    ” TUDM telah membentangkan perancangan strategiknya untuk memperolehi pesawat MPA yang berspektrum penuh ”
    What does TUDM meant by pesawat MPA yang berspektrum penuh? ASW capability? Anti-ship and torpedo launch capability?

    Also the stated 6 MPA requirements. How does the 3 CN-235-220 MPA conversion fit into the overall scheme of things? Is it inclusive of the stated requirement of 6 MPAs?

    IMO those CN-235-220 can be further equipped with sonobuoy launch and also MAD sensor for ASW capability. As for torpedo and anti-ship missile capability, this can be skipped in the regards to the bigger overall maritime surveillance capability scheme of things.

    I would prefer a homogeneous fleet of 6 MPAs, based on the CN-235-220, rather than a hodgepodge mix of platforms and equipments. Small airlift capability could be covered by PUTD, with US EDA C-145As, PAC 750XL or PC-12s.

  35. @Lee Yoke Meng
    1. We need these ships. We should do what is necessary to complete as many possible, if not all, and make sure there are no corners cut (ie no FFBNW bullsh*t). After these are settled, the Government must seek legal redress from Boustead to recoup as much penalty monies.

    2. We need to learn how to walk before we start running. Better to get MALE UAV observers and built up our UAV operation playbook, getting them right before we consider going for UCAVs.

    3. The cost of 2 new MPAs could be used to convert 3-4 more CN235s into MPA/MSAs. Which is better, 2 or 4 planes? And when the 2units B200T MPA have exhausted their airtime, we could buy new CN235s and port over the AMASCOS from the B200Ts, giving us a total of 9 MPA/MSAs.

    @…
    “A400M isn’t really a heavy airlifter.”
    In our context it is. And this is the heaviest military lifter developed by Europe for their heavy lifting requirement. Can’t compare with US heavy lift term as their lifting requirements is humungous hence why they need Galaxies.

  36. @Johnny101
    Infrequent light rural freight runs can be serviced by various private logistics and air transport companies. There is no longer necessity for TUDM to do the legwork into these areas unlike the past.

  37. @joe

    Imo they are still relevant. ASFAIK, not all dangerous goods such as explosives can be carried by other ” civilian operators ” or the airlines. The fact is the operator first needs to be certified to carry these cargos. ( Dangerous Goods Rating )

    Lets say Lahad Datu,Tanduo incident, i am very sure they depended heavily on the CN235s to bring in explosives and any other dangerous goods directly into Lahad datu.

    That itself solved a lot of logistical nightmare. Rather than using helicopters or by road to transfer ” these goods ” or even VIP personells from Tawau airport.

    By road it takes up to 2 hours if you are lucky…. plus another 2 to 3 hours to the Far East of Lahad datu.

  38. @ joe

    ” We need these ships ”
    We need 6 Frigates. But that can be fulfilled by going for 6 ships that is not those partially built Gowinds. RM12 billion for 6 ships with unknown commissioning dates is not what we need. Writing off RM6 billion and starting over by buying Korean HDF-2600 with known timeline and costs is less risky. There is no surety that the Gowinds will be completed on time and on budget even after RM12 billion is spent on the programme.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/nothing-to-see-here/#comment-433231

    The HDF-2600 costs USD165 million complete with guns, radars etc. Getting HDF-2600 hull but installing all the equipments that we have already bought for the Gowinds (Guns, missiles, radars, towed sonar arrays, EO targeting systems etc.), we can get the HDF-2600 for absolutely less than USD165 million. That would cost less than the RM12 billion now needed to complete the gowinds, and will pave the way to get more (batch 2) of the HDF-2600 in RMK13 2026-2030.

    “A400M isn’t really a heavy airlifter.”

    It was designed as a C-130 replacement. It is not even as large as the C-17 Globemaster III.

  39. … – “IMO those CN-235-220 can be further equipped with sonobuoy launch and also MAD sensor for ASW capability”

    If one is going to go through the trouble to fit MAD to the CNs one must as well also fit a torp capability. Nice to be able to detect contacts with MAD but MAD is also intended to be employed with sonobuoys. Given that there’s a ramp to the rear; is there space ob the CN to mount sonobuoys?

    … – “. Small airlift capability could be covered by PUTD, with US EDA C-145As, PAC 750XL or PC-12s”

    On paper. Assuming the army sees a need for the capability (small loads can be lifted by helps and bigger loads might not fit in the examples you mentioned – Catch 22) for service centric need and the RMAF in the best tradition of inter service rivalry doesn’t oppose the move …

    The whole idea of the RMAF having twin engine transports (fit tri service needs) is to move loads which can’t be moved by helis (either due to range or weight/size) and loads which don’t require a larger platform. If the RMAF is indeed doing away with the capability then so be it. Like others it will just incur the penalty and view it as worth incurring.

  40. @ azlan

    ” Given that there’s a ramp to the rear; is there space ob the CN to mount sonobuoys? ”

    Yes.

    We can fit something like this
    http://u0v052dm9wl3gxo0y3lx0u44wz-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/airdyne-sabir-08.jpg
    a few in-flight reloadable tubes to launch sonobuoys.

    This is the sonobuoy launcher for turkish navy CN-235MPA
    http://turkishnavy.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/cdy_7210-kopya.jpg

    Or we can just hang this onto the wings instead. enabling it to be fitted only when doing ASW missions.
    http://www.ultra-css.com/media/news/ultra-to-showcase-worlds-first-sonobuoy-mission-pod

    Various new technologies have been invented to enable ASW systems to fit even onto UAVs. This can be leveraged to fit into the CN-235.

  41. Johnny101 – “. The fact is the operator first needs to be certified to carry these cargos. ( Dangerous Goods Rating)”

    If we do away with the CNs then the penalty is having to use Charlies and A400Ms; even if the load is just a pallet or 25 troops. It’s the trade/off penalty we’re wiling to incur in return for whatever advantages to be gained by having a fixed wing transport fleet just comprising Charlies and A400Ms.

    There’s no right or wrong or most ideal situation; just the trade offs one is willing to make and willingness to accept whatever penalties that come with it.

    As you’re aware; we don’t have regular worldwide tasking. The bulk of the time our fixed wing transports are flying with small loads. Ideally we try to use the CNs when we can but if they’re not available; we use our larger transports.

  42. … – “This is the sonobuoy launcher for turkish navy CN-235MPA”

    I don’t doubt it can; even the Wasp was certified to carry a single torp or depth charge: for obvious reasons nobody did.

    The question is how many can be carried and is it enough? It’s not uncommon for MPAs to expend numbers of sonobuoys just to do a basic search and if unsuccessful; to move to another location to lay another pattern of sonobuoys. Depending on how solid a contact is; another pattern of sonobuoys might have to be laid before a torp is released.

    What made stuff like the P-3, Nimrod, Atlantique.etc, suitable ASW platforms was not only their range. endurance, mission/sensor suite and lift capacity but also the ability to carry “x” number of sonobuoys; given of course that they were of a different size/weight category to the CN-235.

    Reply
    That’s why in our discussions in the MPA I always mentioned the P-8. I know its expensive yadda yadda perhaps an overkill for our requirements…

  43. … – “Various new technologies have been invented to enable ASW systems to fit even onto UAVs”

    They may be so but ASW is a time intensive game. We haven’t reached the technological stage where a platform doesn’t require the range, endurance, lift capacity and space that ASW entails.

    UASs will naturally reach a stage where they can be used in conjunction with other assets for ASW but ultimately something with the lift capacity to carry the means to physically destroy a contact is still required.

  44. … – “Or we can just hang this onto the wings instead”

    We can but I have to ask : if it’s fitted to the wings: how many torps will be able to be carried?

    Marhalim,

    A jet powered platform as you know also brings several advantages. Same goes when deciding on a AEW platform.

  45. @ azlan, marhalim

    Electronics miniaturisation means next generation miniature sonobuoys that are smaller (less than 50% of current sonobuoy size) can perform as good if not better than current sized sonobuoys.

    http://www.ultra-css.com/uploads/downloads/sonobuoy-and-sonobuoy-systems/miniature-sonobuoys.pdf

    http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/ultra-electronics-sonobuoys-fit-for-unmanned-asw-capability

    Our advantage is that we don’t have any stock of old large sized sonobuoys. We can go straight to adopt these next generation sonobuoys.

    There is also miniaturised sonobouy processors that have been designed recently that can work with the ultra miniature sonobuoys

    http://www.asdnews.com/news/defense/2019/11/14/leonardos-submarinehunting-acoustic-system-passes-sea-trials-with-flying-colours

    ASW capable CN-235 MPA variant is in service with Turkey so there is no doubt that it can be done. Using miniaturised sonobuoys and MAD and processors will give the CN-235 a better performance (less weight to carry around), and enabling it to carry more sonobuoys too. Which is why I am confident that instead of getting new MPAs, we can get a very capable ASW MPA by converting our current CN-235-220 aircraft and installing all these new generation systems.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ItsijEZlYPM/UregTvZ97vI/AAAAAAAAg6E/Kmq-k8Vbj0I/s1600/Turkish+Coast+Guard+CN-235+Meltem+II+Maritime+Patrol+Aircraft+export+pakistan+navy+atr72+missile+harpoon++(4).jpg

    Then there is another important puzzle that is missing from our ASW ecosystem. Our ASW Frigates (along with its embarked ASW helicopter). Our ASW MPA should always be operated in conjunction with our ASW Frigates. Why I always say that we need a batch 2 of any ASW Frigate that we are going to get. We should have at least 9 ASW Frigates of the same design with towed array sonars, to enable us to deploy at least 3 ships at all times. At least 2 should be on station in SCS off east malaysia at all times. Together with our scorpenes, the ASW MPA should have to only cover the gaps in our ASW Frigate sonar coverage.

    ” We can but I have to ask : if it’s fitted to the wings: how many torps will be able to be carried? ”

    The CN-235 is designed with 3 pylons on each wing. the new stub wings can also be configured to carry torpedoes.

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/CyNfkdWzqA0/maxresdefault.jpg

  46. @…
    C-130H load capacity = 19,000kg
    A400M load capacity = 37,000kg
    Just saying. Sure it doesn’t match the loads of Galaxies & Globemaster 3s but those are designed for US airlift needs which are humongous. You might think airlifting an entire tank division is impractical but the US doesn’t think so, and therefore they ensure to have the means for it. It doesn’t really apply to most other armed forces because none (other than Russia or China) has the same need to airlift that much. To those other armed forces (incl ours), the A400M and Globemasters could be considered the heavy lifters.

    @Johnny101
    Transporting munitions for operational usage via light transporters are impractical, in the sense that usage will outstrip supply runs very quickly in combat. Far easier and quicker to haul as close via overland/ by ship and transport to operational theaters via choppers either internally or by sling load.

  47. @Azlan,

    This is where the Cn235 ( similar utility/transport category ) aircraft fits in. It compliments the C130s. Just like the an-24 / smaller an-2 compliments the larger an-12.

    Safe to say the C130 is a great aircraft, it can do almost everything, but not everything needs the C130.

    I have no problem rmaf converting all their cn235 into the MPA platform as it promotes commonality. But who will fill up the cn235s role?

    And honestly i think, if RMAF is looking for a ” full spectrum ” MPA, the CN235 performance might be a limiting factor.

    So… is the CN295 with higher performance engines better for the ” full spec ” MPA role? Perhaps?

  48. @…
    We talked extensively about the frigates so no need to rehash it again. But fundamentally, if the issues that plagued LCS weren’t resolved and ensured it never happens again, odds are your HDF will run into the same wall again. Then we are truly screwed.

  49. … – “Our ASW MPA should always be operated in conjunction with our ASW Frigates”

    No they don’t necessarily have to.

    Depends on the operational circumstances; at times both an be doing things in their own. A MPA will be operating much further afield and if possible might be called upon to help but might not necessarily be needed: especially if the frigate and it’s embarked helo (preferably one with adequate range, endurance and levy capacity) are facing no difficulties. Having both MPAs and helos in the immediate area hunting the same contact can hamper things.

  50. @ johnny 101

    ” MPA, the CN235 performance might be a limiting factor ”

    In malaysias case, we are not going to do ASW patrols very far from our shores. Our main operating area would be in south china sea off east malaysia within our 200nm EEZ. In extreme cases, we could stage the CN-235 MPAs off Layang-layang for greater on station coverage.

    Even then, if we really need additional time on station, an in flight refuelling probe can be fitted.
    http://www.aircraftcovers.com/media/images/12369.jpg

    Rapid advances in the past 1-2 years in the miniaturisation of ASW equipments (MAD, Sonobuoys, processors, dipping sonars) although not going to change how we do ASW fundamentally, is enabling us to equip platforms that in previous years considered too small for ASW work. Using smaller, more lower operating cost platforms for ASW work will enable us to undertake ASW missions within our limited budgets.

  51. Johnny101 – “This is where the Cn235 ( similar utility/transport category ) aircraft fits”

    I don’t need any convincing. I’ve stated the reasons why twin engine transports are operated/needed Not all loads can be lifted by helis or a smaller plane and not all loads justify the use of a larger much more expensive platform. Not all circumstances will be ideals for loads to be delivered underslung or via chute.

    It is what it is; if we really decide to do away with the CNs then we have to incur the penalties that come with it as part of the intended trade off.

  52. … – “Electronics miniaturisation means next generation miniature sonobuoys that are smaller (less than 50% of current sonobuoy size”

    I’m aware that things have got smaller but a CN (as opposed to a larger platform) will only be able to carry so many sonobuoys when it’s already loaded with fuel, crews, torps and other things.

    Same reason why just because it has “x” number of hard points doesn’t mean it can actually hdge all those hardpoints loaded with torps and sonobuoy canisters.

  53. … – “. We should have at least 9 ASW Frigates of the same design with towed array sonars•

    In an ideal world; any navy serious in ASW would have surface units (either multi role like the LCS or ASW configured) fitted with both a towed and hull mounted sonar (both are good at slightly different things and complement each other), an embarked ASW configured helo (with the needed range, endurance and lift capacity so essential for ASW) and would be “linked” to others assets in order to share a common picture (e.g. a MPA operating 120NM away could share the data via data link).

    Depending on the circumstances; the surface unit whose main means of killing a sub surface contact is her embarked helo; would also ideally be able to call upon the services of a MPA to assist (indirectly or otherwise) in the hunt or to keep track of other, faint, contacts whilst the surface unit and its helo are occupied detecting, tracking and engaging a contact which is much closer.

  54. Johnny101 – “Safe to say the C130 is a great aircraft, it can do almost everything, but not everything needs the C130”

    – At this times; range, the type of load and the lack of a runway will necessitate the use of a Cougar.

    – Other times; e.g. ferrying MAF and MIINDEF people to Singapore Aerospace or the Army Chief to officiate a bilateral exercise in Mindanao; will only require a CN. Anything larger would be an expensive and unnecessary misuse of resources. .

    – On the other hand a battalion level para drop; including the dropping of arty and prime movers will necessitate the need for a Charlie or a A400M; even though CNs are the ones normally used for basic jump training.

    – On the rare occasion we need to send stuff say to Lebanon for MALBATT or to evacuate nationals from somewhere; range and space considerations dictate we use a Charlie or a A400M.

    Johnny101 – “who will fill up the cn235s role?”

    The answer is nothing/no one. It will be the same approach other air arms have taken. In our context it will go by a Cougar when possible; if not by a Charlie or A400M.

    It’s about the trade offs/compromises one is willing to make. Operating costs are a major concern for the resource strapped RMAF and the major downside will be the operating costs associated with the Charlie and A400M; when certain loads are required; which would normally be undertaken by a smaller and cheaper to operate platform if it hadn’t ceased performing the transport role.

  55. Johnny101 – “And honestly i think, if RMAF is looking for a ” full spectrum ” MPA, the CN235 performance might be a limiting factor.”

    The RMAF is looking for a MPA to be fitted with a decent sensor/mission suite to perform mainly routine surveillance of our maritime domain. There is no requirement for it to be armed for ASuW/ASW.

    In line with our operational requirements; something the size of a CN or ATR is sufficient – anything larger would be superfluous and anything smaller (like the Beechcrafts – which also have no toilets) would be inadequate and impractical.

  56. I think the top choices for the new MPA/MSA have to be the CN 235 or even 295. I did read somewhere on the AIRBUS website that the 295 MPA equipment is on pallets, and can be rolled out if the aircraft is needed for transport. It’s really hard to go beyond these 2 but of course the ATR is 3rd. Then again, it’s only used by 1 country, Italy.

  57. @ azlan

    ” I’m aware that things have got smaller but a CN (as opposed to a larger platform) will only be able to carry so many sonobuoys when it’s already loaded with fuel, crews, torps and other things.

    Same reason why just because it has “x” number of hard points doesn’t mean it can actually hdge all those hardpoints loaded with torps and sonobuoy canisters. ”

    Why I say weight. Miniaturisation means the equipment weight is also lower, not just smaller size. Aircraft full load depends on its maximum takeoff weight. Lets say Turkish CN-235 MPA can carry 30 full size sonobuoys. As the latest miniature sonobuoys are 40% of the weight, using them the sonobuoy capacity doubles to more than 60 sonobuoys. Weight reduction of equipment such as MAD and processors will also contribute to the increased load of sonobuoys and torpedoes. previous generation MAD and processors weigh hundreds of kilos each.
    Latest MAD-XR sensor weighs just 1.5kg, with its processor 27kg. The latest ULISSES sonobuoy processor weighs less than 20kg.

    ” like the Beechcrafts – which also have no toilets ”

    http://avfab.com/content/upload/products/attachments/King%20Air%20Toilets%20COVER.jpg

    The belted potty hides under the rearmost seat. It can be used as a normal seat (even on takeoff and landing), and flipped up to be used as a toilet (with privacy curtains). Unless it is removed due to low engine power and low maximum gross weight. Why engine upgrades such as the XP51 to increase power and Garmin G1000 EFIS avionics that is much lighter in weight compared to old steam gauges is useful.

    @ johnny101

    “ who will fill up the cn235s role? ”

    The biggest most pressing issue for our airlift capability is the abrupt loss and without any proper retirement ceremony of our Nuris.

    I feel we can do without the CN-235 (which can land in lahad datu, but not in the various 400m airstrips around sabah and sarawak) by getting some C-145A/M-28 (which can land on those 400m airstrips).

    What we really need urgently now is to replace the medium helicopter lift capability lost when we lost all the nuris. We need our budget to get other things like MPA, UAS, LCA/LIFT etc. Lowest cost way to plug the capability gap is to get 6 more used EC225LP for TUDM, and get 18-24 going to be retired this year S-70A9 Blackhawks from Australian Army for PUTD.

    ” Five of the Army’s 34 surviving Black Hawk helicopters have also been earmarked for preservation and will be allocated to the Australian War Memorial, Australian Army Flying Museum at Oakey, RAAF Museum Point Cook and the RAAF Aviation Heritage Centre at Amberley.

    “Defence expects that 34 Black Hawks will be disposed. Five have been allocated to heritage purposes, with the number to be sold commercially yet to be confirmed,” the spokesperson added. “Defence will not know the buyers until completion of commercial approach to market.” “

  58. Azlan

    “The answer is nothing/no one. It will be the same approach other air arms have taken. In our context it will go by a Cougar when possible; if not by a Charlie or A400M.”

    Hmm…
    Didn’t you previously said that RMAF preferred to have its Cougars in CSAR role and wanted to transfer the utility role to the Army Air Wings? Or did I misunderstand you?

  59. @ azlan

    ” ferrying MAF and MIINDEF people to Singapore Aerospace or the Army Chief to officiate a bilateral exercise in Mindanao; will only require a CN. Anything larger would be an expensive and unnecessary misuse of resources ”

    Why I suggested the single remaining VIP CN-235-100 to be retained as is.

    ” Having both MPAs and helos in the immediate area hunting the same contact can hamper things ”

    Latest generation multistatic sonar engagement capability (which can make dipping sonar, towed array sonar, sonobuoys work as 1 large interconnected system) actually makes sub hunting better. Just read more on the capability of say the Leonardo ULISSES processor.

    @ joe

    ” your HDF will run into the same wall again ”

    My HDF is going to be built in Korea, where even meeting the deadline is considered a failure in their culture (they will strive to always beat the deadline).

  60. ASM – “Or did I misunderstand you”

    The army’s Nuris are retired. The RMAF at the moment is the only one with a medium lift rotary capability and still provides support to the army: in addition to non military roles.

  61. … – “r, towed array sonar, sonobuoys work as 1 large interconnected system) actually makes sub hunting better”

    You are talking about technical specs/technology. I merely said that a MPA and a helo do not necessarily have to operate in the same immediate area hunting the same target; they can be hunting the same target but both in slightly different areas whilst still working towards the same goal and complementing each other ..

  62. … – “Same reason why just because it has “x” number of hard points doesn’t mean it can actually hdge all those hardpoints”

    I won’t assume so. Maybe you’re right but I’m also aware of weight and range considerations determining just hie much stuff can actually be carried in reality as opposed to on paper.

    … – “Why I say weight. Miniaturisation means the equipment weight is also lower, not just smaller size”

    Thank you but I did naturally assume that with “smaller” came “lighter”…. Assuming the sonobuoys are not mounted under the wings but in the traditional way; I’m questioning how many will actually be practically carried onboard a CN.

    … – “The belted potty hides under the rearmost seat”

    Great but given that the type is slated for retirement in a few years and that we’re unlikely to to add this feature;it doesn’t change the fact that crews have to piss in a bottle (unless this has changed in the past couple of years).

    Another major issue with using the type for extended patrols including crossing the SCS to get to Labuan is the cramp conditions which make it very uncomfortable and tiring for crews.

  63. … – “Why I suggested the single remaining VIP CN-235-100 to be retained as is.”

    Your suggestion aside; I was merely providing an example as to the various roles the various aircraft are utilised for; how they all fit in in the larger scheme of things.

    The sole VIP configured CN, being VIP configured, isn’t suitable for transport and unless ownership was handed to the RMAF from the PM’s Department is normally assigned to carry only individuals above a certain rank/status.

  64. @…
    ” single remaining VIP CN-235-100 to be retained”
    Our VIPs aren’t so special as to have a plane always on standby to ferry them. They can take commercial or chartered flights (or TUDM VIP jet) to the nearest airport and hitch a chopper ride if they need to.

    “HDF is going to be built in Korea”
    Realistically, no way your HDF will be built in Korea. Even if Boustead weren’t in it, it would be done locally by another.

  65. ASM – “Hmm…
    Didn’t you previously said that RMAF preferred to have its Cougars in CSAR”

    You’re on a different narrative.

    The RMAF indeed wanted to do away with the utility/transport role and focus on CSAR/SAR and SF insertion. The army however was in no position to assume the role due to a lack of resources and later took longer than expected preparing for the Nuris. Prior to the Cougars being ordered he RMAF had looked into CSAR/SAR configured NH-90’s.

    As it stands the RMAF will still have to shoulder the bulk of the utility/transport role; even after the army gets its Nuri replacement. The army is in a position o operate a squadron’s worth of medium helis but anything more than that will be hampered by manpower and other constraints.

  66. “Even then, if we really need additional time on station, an in flight refuelling probe can be fitted.”

    That would be an expensive way to obtain the desired endurance. I assume your suggestion is to rely on AAR for only small percentage of missions, otherwise we are better off getting an aircraft with enough unrefueled range.

    “My HDF is going to be built in Korea, where even meeting the deadline is considered a failure in their culture (they will strive to always beat the deadline).”

    Good enough for shipbuilders. But an obsession with looking good has a less salutary effect on a military and the individuals in it.

  67. @ azlan

    ” they can be hunting the same target but both in slightly different areas whilst still working towards the same goal and complementing each other .. ”

    Which is exactly why I said – Together with our scorpenes, the ASW MPA should have to only cover the gaps in our ASW Frigate sonar coverage.

    __________________

    “Same reason why just because it has “x” number of hard points doesn’t mean it can actually hdge all those hardpoints”

    I won’t assume so. Maybe you’re right but I’m also aware of weight and range considerations determining just hie much stuff can actually be carried in reality as opposed to on paper.

    ^^^^^^^

    Why did you reply to your own comment?? That is your words I quoted…

    ______________________

    ” I’m questioning how many will actually be practically carried onboard a CN ”

    That is as I said the function of the size and weight. Smaller size and lighter weight of new generation miniaturised sonobuoys will let us carry more. From Turkish Navy sonobuoy internal launcher pictures, there are space for around 30 normal sized sonobuoys. Using miniaturised next generation sonobuoys will enable at least 60 to be carried, as it is more than 50% smaller and lighter than normal sonobuoys.

    ______________________

    ” The army is in a position o operate a squadron’s worth of medium helis but anything more than that will be hampered by manpower and other constraints ”

    With the abrupt retirement of the Nuri, overall we have 3 squadrons worth of manpower and infrastructure now suddenly idling. We have

    3 Skuadron Butterworth

    7 Skuadron Kuching

    882 Rejimen PUTD Kluang

    So what do you mean by manpower and other constraints?

    If we get additional EC225LP and Aussie Blackhawks, I am seeing that we will have

    10 Skuadron Kuantan – EC725/EC225LP (9 helicopters)

    5 Skuadron Labuan – EC725/EC225LP (9 helicopters)

    882 PUTD Kluang – S-70A9 (9 helicopters)

    883 PUTD Kuching – S-70A9 (9 helicopters, taking over 7 Skn hangars)

  68. @ AM

    ” I assume your suggestion is to rely on AAR for only small percentage of missions, otherwise we are better off getting an aircraft with enough unrefueled range ”

    99% of MPA missions will be within our 200NM EEZ, so there is no practical need for air refueling. My suggestion is for those who still think 8-9 hours of endurance is not enough.

  69. …. – “With the abrupt retirement of the Nuri, overall we have 3 squadrons worth of manpower and infrastructure now suddenly idling.”

    Manpower which belongs to the RMAF. There’s also the fact that by the time a Nuri replacement arrived; not all the manpower will still be there. Some will leave the service, others will be posted elsewhere, etc.

    … – “So what do you mean by manpower and other constraints?”

    We have discussed this previously. The army is in a position to operate another squadron of helicopters. Anything much more than that will usher tine given the lack of manpower and the need to expend its ground support and training infrastructure.

  70. …. – “That is as I said the function of the size and weight. Smaller size and lighter weight of new generation miniaturised sonobuoys will let us carry more. From”

    Let’s make this clear : I understand that things have got smaller and hence lighter; I understand what “miniaturisation” means. Thus you explaining what I already understand and reinforcing the point that the Turks are already doing things is unnecessary; as we’d just be going around in endless circles.
    I’m not disputing that things have gotten smaller and lighter.

    I questioned how many sonobuoys can actually be carried inside a CN irrespective of the fact they’re now lighter and smaller …, If you insist ‘x’ can indeed be carried then great – I’m not disputing this.

    … – “Why did you reply to your own comment??

    Did I really?

    …, – “Which is exactly why I said”

    You originally said that “ Our ASW MPA should always be operated in conjunction with our ASW Frigates”

    I pointed that they must be networked to share info when needed but don’t necessarily “always” have to operate in “conjunction” with other assets. Depends on the operational circumstances.

    By and large; by virtue of being able to move faster longer distances MPAs will be operating over different areas but depending on the actual circumstances might not be operating “directly” in “conjunction” with a surface unit.

  71. … – “ith the abrupt retirement of the Nuri, overall we have 3 squadrons worth of manpower and infrastructure now suddenly idling”

    The discussion was clearly in context of the army”s ability to operate more than a squadron’s worth of medium helis: i.e. Nuri replacements. If it wanted to operate say an additional squadron; it would take time to get the trained manpower which at the moment is limited. It’s not as if the army has a large pool of trained manpower sitting “idly”
    and not as if all of the existing manpower will still be there by the time a replacement for the Nuri actually arrives.

    It would also need to expend its ground support infrastructure at Kluang which is limited and at present catered to the existing
    A-109s and the Nuris which were prematurely retired.

  72. @ Azlan

    ” It would also need to expend its ground support infrastructure at Kluang which is limited and at present catered to the existing
    A-109s and the Nuris which were prematurely retired ”

    No need.

    Kluang already can support 12 Nuris of 882 PUTD. Kuching has infrastructure for Nuris too.

    So

    882 PUTD in Kluang with 9 S-70A9 using existing 882 PUTD infrastructure.

    883 PUTD in Kuching with 9 S-70A9 using 7 Skn infrastructure.

    3 Skn and 7 Skn personnels can be seconded to PUTD.

    On another topic

    If we do have a need for additional CN-235-220. One of Senagals CN-235-220 is for sale. This example is an ex-Merpati Nusantara airframe, sold secondhand to Senegal for USD7.5 million. So the sale price this time round should be much more cheaper than what it is sold to Senegal in the first place.
    http://cla.aero/aircraft/casa-cn-235-220/

    From my info there is also more than half of Merpati’s original fleet of 15 CN-235-220 (all now retired) is still available for sale.

  73. @ azlan

    ” not as if all of the existing manpower will still be there by the time a replacement for the Nuri actually arrives ‘

    Ex Australian Army S-70A9 Blackhawks could arrive in Malaysia as soon as next year if we can decide to take them now.

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/EQGLCxwXkAAHDJj.jpg

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Sikorsky_S-70A-9_Blackhawk%2C_Australia_-_Army_JP6533263.jpg

    We can quickly have Nuri capability replacement even by next year if we can just decide to quickly get 6 EC225LP and 18-24 S-70A9.

  74. … – “Kluang already can support 12 Nuris of 882 PUTD. Kuching has infrastructure for Nuris too.”

    So you confidently insist but the hard fact remains that the Kluang’s infrastructure is already stretched the the limit with the A-109s and the retired. Nuris.

    Whilst it can support a Nuri replacement: anything mote than that it’s not possible in the short term – thar is that point I’m driving at. Manpower aside; the existing hangars:shelters and other facilities are barely enough to accommodate the A-109s and the retired Nuris.

    Again – the army is in a position to operate a squadron’s worth of medium helis in the short term but not much more than that.

    … – “3 Skn and 7 Skn personnels can be seconded to PUTD.”

    So you’ve mentioned before. On paper yes anything’s possible but in reality the RMAF is unlikely to sanction such a move (moving scarce manpower and infrastructure to a sister service) and not all of the existing manpower will still be around when a Nuri replacement actually arrives …

    …. – “882 PUTD in Kluang with 9 S-70A9 using existing 882 PUTD infrastructure.

    883 PUTD in Kuching with 9 S-70A9 using 7 Skn infrastructure.

    3 Skn and 7 Skn personnels can be seconded to PUTD.”

    That is your hypothetical preferred solution. How it actually pans out in reality remains to be seen.

    … – “From my info there is also more than half of Merpati’s”

    I flew in one in 1997 from Lombok to Denpasar.

  75. … – “Ex Australian Army S-70A9 Blackhawks could arrive in Malaysia as soon as next year if we can decide to take them now.”

    So you keep mentioning but the keyword is “if” they are actually ordered and “if” there’s any interest on our part. As it stands the intention is to lease a few helis from a private company; Weststar was approached.

    As such a Nuri replacement is unfortunately not going to happen anytime soon and a lot of the existing manpower the army and RMAF has will not be around when it actually arrives.

  76. On the subject of airlift capability for our agong, government and military leaders.

    Now with the safety issue created by the Covid-19 pandemic, a safe and secure transport for our leaders is much more critical.

    Military leaders down with Covid-19 will create a command problem.

    I would prefer most of the fixed wing VIP aircraft to be under TUDM, not flown by chartered plane and personnels like it is right now. Yes the budget for aircraft and operations can be from the PM Department, but operationally to be flown by TUDM crews.

    Say 2 Skuadron TUDM now flying
    – 1x Falcon 900 (upgraded in 2015 by RUAG)
    – 1x Global Express

    to be expanded to
    – 2x ACJ319 (used around USD30-40 million each, replacing the current leased 1x ACJ319 and 1x ACJ321, or buy outright those current ACJ319/321 and place them under TUDM)
    – 1x Falcon 900
    – 2x Global 6000 (replacement for global express and also as training aircraft for Erieye ER global 6000 aircrews)
    – 1x CN-235-100 VIP (transferred from 1 Skn)

    If the PUTD to get ex australian army Blackhawks as Nuri replacement, I would also suggest the 2x VIP Whitehawks to be transferred to PUTD. As the Army have a full brigade dedicated to ceremonial functions (12 Briged Infantri Istiadat), so attaching a PUTD squadron to the brigade for this task would be a natural fit. A new PUTD squadron (880?) based in Subang to be created with
    – 2x S-70A34 VIP (ex TUDM)
    – 4x S-70A9 (ex Australian Army)
    – 4x AW109E Power (additional used from commercial market, around USD1.5 million each)

    PUTD having its own small fixed wing aircraft would also enable military leaders to travel securely and cost effectively. Something like PC-12 can be quickly converted from passenger, cargo to a mix of the two, and can land on unprepared grass and gravel airstrips. Would also be a good capability to support our SF (Gerak Khas, PASKAL, PASKAU) operations.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/15/Pilatus_U-28_Niamey.jpg/1200px-Pilatus_U-28_Niamey.jpg

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/EbMKbHNWkAAzAt0.jpg

    So by 2030 i am seeing a PUTD force consisting of:

    880 Skn VIP (Subang) – S-70A34 (2), S-70A9 (4), AW109E (4)

    881 Skn (Kluang) – AW109LOH (10 + 4 AW109 EMS medevac version used)
    https://docplayer.net/docs-images/43/4160936/images/page_11.jpg

    882 Skn (Kluang) – S-70A9 (9)

    883 Skn (Kuching) – S-70A9 (9)

    884 Skn (Lahad Datu) – MD 530G (6 + ?)

    885 Skn (Kluang/Kuching) – PC-12 (3), C-145A (3), PAC 750XL (6)

    @ Azlan

    ” As it stands the intention is to lease a few helis from a private company; Weststar was approached.

    As such a Nuri replacement is unfortunately not going to happen anytime soon and a lot of the existing manpower the army and RMAF has will not be around when it actually arrives ”

    Which is why I am making noise here hoping that it would be heard.

    Weststar was approached for the MUH and Ops Benteng Helicopter requirements of TLDM. Nothing yet AFAIK for Nuri replacement for TUDM and PUTD

    Reply
    The VIP Black Hawks cannot be transferred to PUTD as it is too expensive to return them into transport helicopters. I had written about this in the various posts on the aborted Brunei Black Hawk deal

  77. … – “Nothing yet AFAIK for Nuri replacement for TUDM and PUTD”

    Weststar was approached to provide 2-3 helis as part of a leasing arrangement. I was told this by a ex Nuri pilot who’s in Trengganu flying offshore.

    There is indeed no immediate intent; nor any funds allocated; for acquiring a Nuri replacement for either the army or the RMAF.

  78. …. – “PUTD having its own small fixed wing aircraft would also enable military leaders to travel securely and cost effectively”

    A role the A-109s and other aircraft perform. The problem is that a lot of the areas which senior officers visit have a landing zone but not a landing strip. Another factor is that when it comes to deploying certain numbers of men and loads of certain size/weight; it can be done by existing helis : no added value or pay off using a light aircraft.

    No doubt you’re going ho about the idea of the army having a fixed wing capability but in our context; there is no operational need; this is not to say however that other users might be in a similar position. If we really wanted the army to have a fixed wing capability; there must be a sound operational reasoning behind it.

    There are various things which are useful to have and various things which one can justify buying but in our scheme of things; I fail to see why the army would need or want a fixed wing capability.

    … – “Would also be a good capability to support our SF”

    A rotary platform provides far greater utility in the overall scheme of things: whether it’s for tactical deployment; landing on ships or oil rigs or remote areas which may have a landing zone but not a landing strip to enable a light aircraft to land. Sure a fixed wing platform provides certain advantages over a rotary one but it also applies vice versa.

  79. … – “t, I would also suggest the 2x VIP Whitehawks to be transferred to PUTD”

    This occurred to me many years ago; to support SF ops; whether for tactical deployment or routine transportation.

    For a number of years the SAS was provided the services of a pair of captured Argie A-109s.

  80. @…
    You opposed my idea of TLDM being handed the fixed wing MPA planes for maritime surveillance duties but came out with the idea of TDM having a fleet of fixed wing planes for the sole purpose of VIP transportation. Brilliant.

  81. @ azlan

    ” VVIP aircraft are owned and funded from the PM’s Department but are crewed/operated by RMAF crews ”

    Not the current VIP ACJ321 and ACJ319. They are currently not flown by TUDM, but leased and flown by civilian crews.

    The ACJ319 was originally supposed to be for TUDM, but then diverted to be flown by a private company on contract to PM department.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-w0r7_vAcjGg/WX2VOWAuLrI/AAAAAAABnbc/fDtZahEvxEA14TObCTakG1U9umxEV6dAwCKgBGAs/s1600/A319_DAVXC_126x.jpg
    A rare picture of her originally in TUDM VIP Livery (which is what a malaysian official plane should look like IMO)

    Registered commercially as 9M-NAA and repainted with 1 Malaysia colours during najib times
    http://i.pinimg.com/originals/58/54/a4/5854a46f008c5cee685e9ce80c2d47a0.jpg

    9M-NAA now without 1 malaysia logo
    http://www.aviationpix.nl/albums/userpics/10055/9651_A319CJ_9M-NAA_Malaysia.jpg

    The second plane ACJ321 9M-NAB
    http://www.netairspace.cc/photos/9M-NAB/Malaysian_Government/Airbus_A320-214CJ_Prestige/HAM_EDDH_Hamburg_Fuhlsbuettel_Helmut_Schmidt/photo_260496/full.jpg

    Both of them was supposedly leased from a company called Jet Premier One Sdn Bhd but now all traces of the company has gone.

    It would be good if both of these airplane to be repainted in traditional Malaysian VIP colours, and to be operated directly by TUDM.

    _________________________

    ” There is indeed no immediate intent; nor any funds allocated; for acquiring a Nuri replacement for either the army or the RMAF ”

    I fully understand this predicament, which is why i am pushing (for quite sometime now) for us to quickly decide on getting additional 6 used EC225LP and 18-24 just retired Australian Army S-70A9 Blackhawks.
    _____________________

    ” The problem is that a lot of the areas which senior officers visit have a landing zone but not a landing strip. Another factor is that when it comes to deploying certain numbers of men and loads of certain size/weight; it can be done by existing helis : no added value or pay off using a light aircraft ”

    Of course there are instances where you need to go by helicopter. But for the big distances, like between sabah and sarawak, fixed wing would be faster and cheaper (50% of helicopter operating costs).
    ___________________

    ” If we really wanted the army to have a fixed wing capability; there must be a sound operational reasoning behind it ”

    Sample of fixed wing use
    – Parachute training (especially free fall training). Able to do more training with lower operating cost of small fixed wing airplanes. Can operate from army base fields, no need to use airports.
    – Regular resupply of a location that has an airstrip (that currently cannot even be accessed by CN-235 and needs heliopters before). For example remote border posts in Sarawak. Costs cheaper than using helicopter.
    – Point to point location that is not catered by commercial flight.
    – travel distances that are longer than helicopter range.
    – travel time that is faster than taking helicopter flight.
    – priority time sensitive taskings
    – casualty and medical evacuation
    – discreet travel especially for SF.
    – ISR with podded system like the SCAR pod.
    ______________________

    ” For a number of years the SAS was provided the services of a pair of captured Argie A-109s ”

    Now the capability is replaced by Dauphins, also painted in civilian like liveries.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/ZJ780_%288489535587%29.jpg

    I am for having some fixed wing and rotary wing assets assigned for SF use. Why i have mentioned before about converting 1 C-130H for SF support, with satcom, DIRCM, FLIR turrets, armour and refuelling probes. Then those fixed wing aircraft like the C-145A, PC-12 and PAC750XL to be painted in civilian like liveries. Also good to have some of our AW109 painted in civilian liveries for discreet shuttle of our SF forces.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HbShalU2Qpg/WwqfGb5eiXI/AAAAAAABQ1o/a6CMVF8dFuovUv9h30867uNvCfcIFzCkgCLcBGAs/s1600/P1060453.JPG

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2c/G-ZIPE_Agusta_A109_Helicopter_%2826309123740%29.jpg/1280px-G-ZIPE_Agusta_A109_Helicopter_%2826309123740%29.jpg

  82. @ joe

    ” TDM having a fleet of fixed wing planes for the sole purpose of VIP transportation. Brilliant ”

    When did i say anything about TDM fixed wing airplanes solely for VIP transport? What part of to be a part replacement of lost CN-235 transport capability dont you understand?

    The capital cost of getting PC-12 (3 used, USD3 mil each), C-145A (3 US EDA , free), PAC 750XL (6 new, USD2 Mil each ) is less than getting 1 CN-235.

  83. @…
    “When did i say anything about TDM fixed wing airplanes solely for VIP transport?”

    See; “PUTD having its own small fixed wing aircraft would also enable military leaders to travel securely and cost effectively.”
    The TDM doesn’t lose any CN235 transport capability because they didn’t have any. Its the TUDM that would lose it and I don’t see a big impact on that either.

  84. “PUTD having its own small fixed wing aircraft would also enable military leaders to travel securely and cost effectively.”
    So where is the solely part?

    As if that CN-235 transport capability is only to service TUDM and not for the army. The army is who is using many of the CN-235 capability especially for free fall parachute training.

    Non value added discussions. I am ignoring joe from now on.

  85. @…
    All the other reasons you gave is superfluous as its currently handled by TUDM and they aren’t going to give up to any others, even VIP transport is handled by TUDM (which I see as unnecessary anyways). Non valued it is, since it it wasn’t I who brought up this topic.

  86. … – “Of course there are instances where you need to go by helicopter”

    A lot of the bother areas where there are army posts as well as army camps nationwide have landing zones but not landing
    strips. These are the areas where top brass routinely visit.

    … – “Sample of fixed wing use”

    Anyone of us can provide justification as to why we would need something from a operational level. The trick is to strike a right balance between what we actually need, what we should get and the trade offs we’re willing to make.

    There is no doubt that the army would have need for a fixed wing capability and that such a capability has utility; the question is whether we should get such a capability; especially given that various things such a capability provides can be performed by helicopter and the other capabilities not enabled by helicopters can be performed by other assets should a need arise.

    …. – “I am for having some fixed wing and rotary wing assets assigned for SF use”

    If indeed we ever get a platform intended primarily to support SF operations; it should be a rotary platform intended for tactical or merely routine deployment; by virtue of the fact that it can land and operate on far more places then a fixed wing platform.

    …. – “Why i have mentioned before about converting 1 C-130H for SF support, with satcom, DIRCM”

    Fine. That is your opinion.

    Personally I see no reason why we should acquire such a platform given our operational requirements including the way we would deploy our SF units in times of conflict. Given a choice I’d rather pour resources into something that has more operational utility; to improve the capabilities of SF units to operate and deploy at a tactical/operational level rather than a converted C-130. For SF ops in our context a standard C-130 or A400M will suffice. They all come with SATCOM anyhow.

    …. – But for the big distances, like between sabah and sarawak, fixed wing would be faster and cheaper (50% of helicopter operating costs)”

    Which is a tri service role performed by RMAF transports which can also perform various roles. A smaller platform operated by the army would be a service centric platform and would not be able to lift the types of loads which are routinely carried by CNs.

    You are making operational justification for a capability you feel we need. Fine. You can provide a long list of what such a capability enables. I can agree but can also point out that quite a lot in your list can be performed by other existing assets and those which can’t are something we have to life with. I can also point out that there’s a reason why the army has no plans for its own fixed wing capability.

  87. … – “t Premier One Sdn Bhd but now all traces of the company has gone”

    I have zero knowledge of this company nor the circumstances behind it but same goes for a long list of other companies which sprout out from nowhere to handle certain contacts (often as just middlemen bit providing no added value to the end user or taxpayer) and later disappearing; leaving the armed services in the lurch.

  88. I personally think if fixed wing aircraft are acquired and placed under army opcon, they need not be treated differently from helicopters under army opcon. It doesn’t matter to me which service administratively owns them, whether the army as of now or the RMAF as in the past.

    I believe the beef is over who funds the buy and pays the bills- logically this should be the service that benefits from the asset and logically they should be the ones having opcon over it.

    I would think the question of who provides the cockpit crew and who administratively owns the squadron is a secondary one. Singapore chose to put all flying and maintenance expertise under the RSAF. All helicopters and MPA are under RSAF squadrons and piloted and maintained by RSAF crews. But the SAF and RSN pay for and have opcon of their respective machines. They all fly from RSAF bases, aside from the times when helicopters operate from forward points and aboard RSN ships.

  89. @ azlan

    ” the question is whether we should get such a capability; especially given that various things such a capability provides can be performed by helicopter and the other capabilities not enabled by helicopters can be performed by other assets should a need arise ‘

    To recap, we are discussing this because

    a) The theoretical idea of converting 6x CN-235-220 of TUDM into MPA and losing CN-235-220 transport capability.

    b) The need to transport military officers not using C-130 or A400M

    c) The loss of Nuri medium lift helicopter capability.

    I am proposing for the army fixed wing capability to partially cover those 3 points above, while doing it cost effectively.

    As for landing area, something like the PAC 750XL can takeoff (officially) in 240m only, that is just the length of 2 football field length back to back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF9egPPC3kI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJacFh_myWI&t=315s

  90. … – “I am proposing for the army fixed wing capability to partially cover those 3 points above, while doing it cost effectively.”

    You’re proposing what you’re proposing. By this stage of our conversation in pretty aware of the point you’re driving at.

    I’m pointing out why the army having a fixed wing capability isn’t needed in our context, how for many things we do a helicopter is a more practical means and how we’d really have a good reason to move in such a direction.

    … – “As for landing area, something like the PAC 750XL can takeoff (officially) in 240m only”

    And that’s great but in our context; the vast majority of places in which troops are deployed, exercise in or where visits are made by senior officers such as Chuping (10 Para’s common training ground), border posts along the Thai and Indonesian borders; as well as numerous other areas; do not have landing strips or flat, even surfaces needed for a light aircraft; even STOL ones.

    In short; some armies would have a greater need for a fixed wing capability to perform the various roles you keep mentioning; compared to others.

    .. – “b) The need to transport military officers not using C-130 or A400M@

    You were discussing that; not me. I pointed out that ferrying officers is done by a variety of platforms and have been so decades. The need to transport officers should not be a driving factor behind any decision to get a fivex wing capability.

    If indeed we ever do; I doubt it; it will be based on various factors; not just the need to fill in various capability gaps which may not not occur and the fact that a certain platform can do a few things slightly better than existing platforms. Some armies have a need for it, some don’t and some have done away with it compared to previous times….

    AM – “I believe the beef is over who funds the buy and pays the bills- logically this should be the service that benefits from the asset and logically they should be the ones having opcon over it”

    That indeed is the issue. It’s often overlooked how serious inter service rivalry is and the competition amongst the armed services to not only get funding but to justify it. Not only that but “jointness” is still a major issue.

    As far back as a few years ago I pointed out that the RMN should operate MPAs but the next best solution would be the Sing approach of mixed crews. In our context I pointed out that not only would the RMAF object to handing over the role to the RMN (and the allocation that goes with it) but that it would also complain that it’s being made to pay for something which the RMN benefits from.

    Given that resources are so tight and that there’s a greater need for real “jointness” as opposed to politically driven but ineffectual ones hampered by bureaucracy: it’s essential that in the coming years MALE UASs are operated by a UAS Command. This will avoid any one service hogging the capability and ensure those who need it get it.

  91. AM – “I would think the question of who provides the cockpit crew and who administratively owns the squadron is a secondary one”

    In the larger scheme of things it is as long as those who need the capability gets it and as long as funding is allocated as it should; e.g. the RMAF has no issues if a CN is used for visit by the army’s Eastern Command to his PA counterpart in Mindanao and the army has no issues if 2 battalions are trained to operate exclusively in a littoral/coastal environment in alongside the RMN but sparks would fly if either sister service tried to acquire a similar organic capability.

    AM – “But the SAF and RSN pay for and have opcon of their respective machines”

    The SAF has made much more progress and has achieved a much higher level of “jointness” than anyone in the region. In most other places “jointness” is something understood to be very essential and is politically correct but something which is still hampered by inter service rivalry and parochialism.

  92. ” SF ops in our context a standard C-130 or A400M will suffice ”

    Our standard C-130 and A400M is not equipped to fly into hostile airspaces.

    Additional upgrades on a C-130H would make the aircraft much more safer to fly into hostile airspace. Additions such as

    – Armour (we already have a few sets of this bought during Bosnian era)
    – Underbelly gravel protection
    – DIRCM (directional infra red countermeasure)
    http://www.britmodeller.com/walkarounds/aircraft/c-130/c-130j/j41.jpg
    – chaff/flare
    – SATCOM
    http://s3.manualzz.com/store/data/029377169_1-a3ee7c60dc5dba59b1913a297c833870.png
    – exhaust IR suppressor
    http://www.davis-eng.com/docs/newsletter15.pdf
    – in-flight refueling probe (can cannibalise our Skyhawks like what Israeli air force did to their C-130H)
    http://www.airteamimages.com/pics/149/149403_big.jpg
    – EO turret
    http://i.pinimg.com/originals/61/73/af/6173af5e4f031645ec1df2537905731e.jpg

    Other than SF support, something like this would also be useful to fly 10 PARA pathfinders. It is a capability we have done without, but would be good to have in the future.

    @ AM

    ” I personally think if fixed wing aircraft are acquired and placed under army opcon, they need not be treated differently from helicopters under army opcon ”

    Yes, that should be the way. Choosing to use a fixed wing aircraft like the PAC 750XL or a helicopter like the EC725 to would depend on the operational need. If the place to go has an airstrip, then a fixed wing aircraft should be used to save on operating costs. Just an example, flying helicopters, whether it is the EC725 or the S-70 would cost around USD4k per hour. Flying say the PAC 750XL costs less than USD1k per hour.

  93. Azlan “As far back as a few years ago I pointed out that the RMN should operate MPAs but the next best solution would be the Sing approach of mixed crews. ”

    I don’t consider the first arrangement ideal. The RMAF is the only service with experience, personnel and infrastructure involving fixed wing aircraft. It doesn’t make sense to duplicate or split these resources for a very few MPAs. Ideally, the RMAF will operate the airframe on the RMN’s behalf and the RMN will have opcon and man the mission package, and the RMN will pay for everything.

    “In our context I pointed out that not only would the RMAF object to handing over the role to the RMN (and the allocation that goes with it) but that it would also complain that it’s being made to pay for something which the RMN benefits from.”

    The RMAF currently has the allocation because transport aircraft are pressed into the role and because the allocation is small. But funding should be the RMN’s responsibility to begin with, since the benefits accrue to the RMN and it can’t expect to enjoy them for free.

    … “– in-flight refueling probe (can cannibalise our Skyhawks like what Israeli air force did to their C-130H)”

    They are probably corroded and clogged from two decades among the trees. The RAF had refueling probes disused but still attached to the Vulcans. These had to be repaired before they trained for the Black Buck missions.

  94. … – “Our standard C-130 and A400M is not equipped to fly into hostile airspaces.”

    I never said they were; what I’m saying is that for our needs we don’t need a converted medium transport specifically or primarily to support SF ops. SATCOM is a capability that’s already there and a self defence suite can be added.

    Also whose to say that our SF units – whether in a converted transport or a standard one – will “fly into hostile airspace”? Doing so would also necessitate the need not only for a transport with a self defence suite and other things but also key enablers like fighter escorts and a SAR/:CSAR capability (very resource intensive) in case things go rat shit.

    Whilst I no doubt foresee SF units operating behind enemy lines; they won’t necessary be operating beyond the enemy’s operational depth and they might infiltrate by means other than by air. Depending on the operational circumstances existing aircraft with the needed systems/components might suffice.

    If we were really focused on improving our ability to deliver small teams of SF men behind enemy lines or close to hostile elements by air; we’d be better off utilising resources expanding our rotary capability with additional helicopters; with a decent NVG capability, a self defence suite and FLIR; manned
    by crews which spend a lot of time flying tactically in adverse weather conditions.

  95. … – “– Armour (we already have a few sets of this bought during Bosnian era)”

    Assuming we still have them and they’re still usable. We only flew to Split (where the Saktis also docked) which being some distance away from the frontline was much safer than say Sarajevo but naturally the possibility of danger was a concern to us.

    Shortly after the Nuris entered service their standard seats were replaced by armoured ones to protect the pilot and co-pilot. I’f I’m not mistake the Nuri detachment which operated in Cambodia, to support the elections, received some type of Kevlar protection.

    There was the case of the RAF C-130 which landed on a isolated Afghan airstrip to deliver a million USD to a warlord. A mine was detonated and the plane and cash was lost. If I’m not mistaken the crew escaped.

    Reply
    The Cougars are also equipped with armoured seats

  96. … – “in-flight refueling probe (can cannibalise our Skyhawks like what Israeli air force did to their C-130H”

    Assuming they haven’t rusted and corroded away after almost a quarter of a century since the type was retired. The last Skyhawks – a handful – were retired in the 1994/95 period after serving as tankers for the Hawks.

    The Israelis have a reputation of never throwing anything away. There’s the joke – a Israeli pilot gets into his cockpit and finds a pin sticking out from his seat; he puts it in his pocket in case he might need it later. The Soviet/Russian pilot encounters the same thing; shrugs his shouters assuming it’s meant to be there and sits on the seat. The American pilot removes the pin and chucks it out.

  97. AM – “But funding should be the RMN’s responsibility to begin with, since the benefits accrue to the RMN and it can’t expect to enjoy them for free”

    Assuming the government agrees and overrides the objections of the RMAF; the RMN in due time – with RMAF assistance and the necessary funding – could be in a position to operate and maintain a small number of MPAs in 2-3 years. There are various places MPAs could be based. Prior to Rajawali there were plans for the helos to be based on Sitiawan.

    AM – “I don’t consider the first arrangement ideal”

    Nothing is “ideal” but it works, enables “jointness” and gives the navy a say. It’s also driven by the fact that one service doesn’t have the resources needed.

    AM – “and it can’t expect to enjoy them for free.”

    If one wants to go on that basis how does the RMAF benefit when one of its CN has to urgently lift spares for the RMN to Labuan or when a RMAF C-130 has to allocate ‘x’ hours a year enabling Gerak Khas and Paskal to conduct jump training? What does BOMBA get when Gerak
    Khas people use its Hips for few fall training; no wash from the main rotor when jumping from the ramp unlike the doors on the Nuri and Cougar.

    It actually is happy because doing so provides justification on its budgetary and capabilities. With the MPAs granted it’s different : the bulk of sorties will be in the maritime domain.

  98. AM – “The RMAF currently has the allocation because transport aircraft are pressed into the role”

    The RMAF has the allocation because it and only it is the traditional and only operator of fixed wing military platforms in the country. It is also the only service which has the needed operational/training/maintenance infrastructure in place.

    That’s why.

    It had no objections to relinquishing certain roles but would resist any attempts to relinquish certain other roles. Same applies to its sister services and the roles they would never relinquish unless forced to. It’s all due to turf guarding and the need to justify and enable funding: same applies everywhere in slightly different circumstances.

  99. @AM
    “only service with experience, personnel and infrastructure involving fixed wing aircraft”
    In the past, TUDM was also the only service with choppers but today each branch and law enforcement has their rotary airwing. Circumstances change as time goes and new needs arises when the old way can no longer support these new requirements.

    TUDM won’t want a role that does little to benefit them, and TLDM won’t want to pay for a service they don’t have full control over. Having mixed crews only increases redtape & bureaucracy and neither service will be fully satisfied unless they can see past their individual interests and look at what benefits both of them.

  100. @ azlan

    ” SATCOM is a capability that’s already there and a self defence suite can be added ”

    Our C-130H has none of those.
    _____________________________________________________

    ” We only flew to Split ”

    Our C-130H did fly directly to Sarajevo. Once carrying the then defence minister Syed Hamid Albar.
    _____________________________________________________

    ” we’d be better off utilising resources expanding our rotary capability with additional helicopters; with a decent NVG capability, a self defence suite and FLIR; manned
    by crews which spend a lot of time flying tactically in adverse weather conditions ”

    We used CSAR argument for getting our Cougars, but yet they are not fully equipped for CSAR, unlike RTAF cougars. RTAF cougars equipped with additional armour (look at the black plate blocking the pilot head on the door window), Missile Approach sensors (near pilot feet and on the rear of sponsons), Chaff/Flare dispensers on the tail.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rpa3HbMiWA8/W9CO1P4US8I/AAAAAAAAH-0/uiyBidHGygUXU2JngQ9wlKTruFmC12d8ACLcBGAs/s1600/EC725%2B203-13.jpg

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dXyQOtz5FQg/XXOGdm4CK6I/AAAAAAAALn0/C8P1GlgWKa4E8rGef8iWjbkDBkl0CkHWgCLcBGAs/s1600/EC725%2BUH-1H%2B203%2B50th%2BAnniversary-1.jpg

    Additional CSAR helicopters for SF and the training to get proficient on that will cost much more.
    ________________________________________

    Anyway back on the topic of MPA and UAS

    A very interesting observation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    I would like to comment on everything about it (especially in the regards to our ground forces) but for now, concentrating on the issue of the importance informational and situational superiority of MPA and UAS.

    http://rusi.org/publication/rusi-defence-systems/key-armenia-tank-losses-sensors-not-shooters

    in the regards to our MPA and UAS
    – informational and situational superiority is everything. If we cannot implement arming of the MPAs for example, that can be an acceptable compromise in our current non-war situation.

    – EW/EA is important. We need to get as much of this capability as we can afford. Both of our MPA and UAS should be equipped with ESM systems.

    – When you can track and know the exact location of your adversary (ships, submarines, aircraft etc), taking them out can be by variety of ways at the choosing of our own. So if you need to choose between more sensors or more armament for MPAs, we should choose the former.

  101. … – “Our C-130H has none of those”

    They do when there’s a need, e.g. the one which flew to Afghanistan had one, so did the one which flew to Siberia and the ones which deployed to Australia to search for the MAS plane.

    … – “Our C-130H did fly directly to Sarajevo. Once carrying the then defence minister Syed Hamid Albar.”

    The ones which carried troops/supplies at the very height of the war only flew to Split. Sarajevo was considered too dangerous and our main supply/logistics base was in Split.

    …. – “We used CSAR argument for getting our Cougars, but yet they are not fully equipped for CSAR, unlike RTAF cougars. RTAF cougars equipped with additional armour (look at the black plate blocking the pilot head on the door window”

    The ones supposed to have been equipped for SAR/CSAR were the NH-90s we seriously looked at way before the Cougars were ordered.

    The Cougars still have a winch, spotlight, FLIR and hover system. Stuff like ballistic protection and a self defence suite can be added.

    .. – “Both of our MPA and UAS should be equipped with ESM systems.”

    It’s given and I doubt that any of them won’t come without one.

    A few years ago we bought ESM payloads from Saab for use on UASs.

  102. P.S.

    Syed Hamid as Defence Minister landed at Sarajevo at a time when the fighting was over. During the time of the actual fighting out C-130s landed only in
    Split.

  103. Off topic.

    While Australia and New Zealand just recently went for the Supacat HMT for their SF needs, UK on the other hand is looking to replace their SUpacat HMT (Jackal) with Polaris DAGORs!

    http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/premium-uk-tests-polaris-dagor-vehicle/

    The DAGORs would be a good fit for our 10 PARA ground mobility vehicle. Able to carry 1 full BIS section for every vehicle.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6Bz3MPS0qow/XOWBpKyUbUI/AAAAAAABvD4/wSZOPTAuPn49vWeA5wj5mc3kHfPGbLM5wCLcBGAs/s1600/Polaris%2BDAGOR%2Bnew.jpg

  104. Azlan “If one wants to go on that basis how does the RMAF benefit when one of its CN has to urgently lift spares for the RMN to Labuan”

    You got it- MPAs overwhelmingly exist for the benefit of the sailing service. The same cannot be said of airlifters because they exist for the shared benefit of all the services.

    I feel that an aircraft should be flown and maintained by the organisation that is best qualified to keep it flying. This can be an army air corps or a fleet air arm if we have the numbers. Since we don’t, I feel we shouldn’t have three small and separate organisations trying to do the same thing. Who the aircraft is flown and maintained on behalf of, who has opcon and who pays, can be dealt with separately.

    As to the point, it follows that there is nothing to stop the services from having to share the cost of airlift assets at a determined ratio that is roughly comparable to their respective rates of usage.

    For example, if an RMAF squadron performs medium airlift and the navy accounts for a quarter of medium airlift demand, then the navy can pay for a quarter of the squadron’s costs. The navy doesn’t have to own any specific aircraft but would have a call on that proportion of total availability for its taskings.

    joe “Circumstances change as time goes and new needs arises when the old way can no longer support these new requirements.”

    We did not get into the current arrangement because any new needs arose, but rather because the services had a desire to expand their respective empires and a reluctance to embrace jointness (if one is less charitable, one could even say a desire to avoid it). The problem is that operating three separate helicopter fleets, each very small, has diseconomies of scale and does not serve jointness. There will be times when helicopters from several services should work together, stand in for each other or perform missions for each others services.
    For instance, a naval utility helicopter performing an ad hoc mission of lifting army supplies. Such operations become easier when crews train and operate together on a routine basis.

    joe “Having mixed crews only increases redtape & bureaucracy and neither service will be fully satisfied unless they can see past their individual interests and look at what benefits both of them.”

    Others have shown that mixed crews can operate effectively and with a minimum of red tape. If we remain averse to working together, then we will have to keep paying the price.

  105. AM – “same cannot be said of airlifters because they exist for the shared benefit of all the services.”

    They serve/fulfil tri service needs and provide an all round capability in the way which other services wouldn’t be able to even if they got a fixed wing capability; in that whether it’s a mercy mission or a 1 tonne of spares or 60 men and equipment; they can be lifted.

    AM – “I feel that an aircraft should be flown and maintained by the organisation that is best qualified to keep it flying”

    The capability should be operated by those who need it the most but only if they have the manpower and support/training infrastructure. In the case of the RMN; it clearly doesn’t thus the ideal solution would be for the RMAF to operate it.

    To avoid the capability being hogged and to ensure the RMN has a say as well as promoting the “jointness” which is so essential; the most practical arrangement would be for mix RMAF/RMN sensor crews. The RMAF has previously stated that it would seek the views of the RMN on the MPA selection – a step in the right direction.

    AM – “Others have shown that mixed crews can operate effectively and with a minimum of red tape”

    Indeed; “jointness” is the way to go; to avoid duplication and enable multiple assets/services to complement each other; maximising strengths and minimising weaknesses.

    As long as there is a genuine desire; rather than just superficially doing it rather because it’s the “in” thing or politically correct and as long as the right people are placed and in service parochialism is done away with; there is no reason at all why it would be ineffectual or bogged down in bureaucratic infighting.

  106. @ AM

    Actually I would prefer TLDM not to be in the medium airlift mission, which is now greenlighted as rented heli requirement. Why it happened? Of course due to the reduction of medium helicopter airlift capability caused by Nuri abrupt ending.

    Also there would be less a need for PUTD to have its own fixed wing capability if it can still rely on Nuris and CN-235s. But as the CN-235 missions arguably revolves mostly around the army AND the TUDM looking to divest the capability in its CAP55 plan, it would be good for PUTD to have its own fixed wing capability, getting something that should cost little to acquire and maintain obviously. It would be better for TUDM too, rather than having its CN-235 fleet divided into 2 tasks, which gives it just a token capability for each of the transport and MPA tasks.

  107. AM,

    An early and rare example of in service rivalry being set aside to enable those who need a particular capability to operate it; was the decision many years ago for the army, rather than the RMAF, to assume the role of operating attack helicopters.

    Another area where common sense and practicality prevailed was when the RMN announced that responsibility for evaluating possible contenders for Starstreak would in the hands of the army and that the RMN would merely go along with what the army decided on.

  108. … – “Of course due to the reduction of medium helicopter airlift capability caused by Nuri abrupt ending”

    Not really. Even if the Nuris weren’t’ prematurely retired; the RMN would still have a need for a medium size rotary capability as things like ferrying Paskal teams and other service specific tasks is hard to do given the limited weight capacity of the Lynx and Fennec.

    This is the main driving factor behind the need for a medium lift capability (the RMN has also said as such); not only due to space/weight imitations with the Lynx and Fennec but also due to the fact that the small number of RMAF helicopters aren’t always available at short notice.

    … – “But as the CN-235 missions arguably revolves mostly around the army”

    It fulfils various tri service taskings such as Handau and Paskal jump training; ferrying supplies intended for the RMN; supporting the IMT in Mindanao, ferrying MAF and MOD officials, etc, etc.

    … – it would be good for PUTD to have its own fixed wing capability”

    Yes it would. Various other capabilities would also be good but it depends on the overall scheme of things in how it fits in which what one already has; plus the decision to introduce a new capability to do certain things which can largely be fulfilled by existing assets.

    A fixed wing army capability would have utility but on the occasions when certain loads have to be lifted reliance would still have to be placed on the RMAF and instances where there are no landing strips; helicopters would still have to be used…

    The vast majority of places in which army aircraft would be required to fly to; whether for CASEVAC, resupply or ferrying people around; do not have landing strips or areas long and flat enough for a light aircraft to operate from (even one with STOL features) but they have landing zones/spots for rotary platforms. Same goes with the vast majority of army bases; as well as the hospitals which mercy flight and CASEVAC patients would be delivered to.

  109. … – “ AND the TUDM looking to divest the capability in its CAP55 plan”

    That was laid out in the CAP 55 but I’m unsure of how serious RMAF really was/is in this regard and whether at present it still feels the same way about relinquishing the twin engine transport capability. For that matter we don’t even know whether other aspects of the CAP 55 will ever see the light of day; just like how the 5/15 isn’t really the 5:15 anymore.

    The idea of relinquishing the capability was to reduce its logistical footprint but as the CN is being retained for the MPA role this becomes a mute point. Even more so if additional CNs are ordered as part of the MPA requirement.

    Also; a mere 3 airframes is indeed a limited or token” capability but the sane applies to most other capabilities we have and for our needs; a mere 3 might suffice for taskings which don’t require larger and more expensive to fly and maintain Charlies and A400Ms.

  110. Azlan “The capability should be operated by those who need it the most but only if they have the manpower and support/training infrastructure. In the case of the RMN; it clearly doesn’t thus the ideal solution would be for the RMAF to operate it.”

    One could argue that with each service operating no more than ten plus helicopters, the current arrangement of having three separate infrastructures is not financially or operationally efficient. We are a long way off from the day when we have enough aircraft to justify that sort of arrangement.

    “An early and rare example of in service rivalry being set aside”

    Still, if the RMAF had sought attack helicopters under its remit, doing so would have diluted its budget and gotten in the way of more pressing priorities in its core business.

    Likewise one can infer that the RMN renounced an independent effort to acquire SHORADS in favour of acquiring the systems more quickly.

    In both cases, it benefited the services to step aside. It would mean the decisions were motivated by self interest rather than any effort to set aside inter service rivalry.

  111. @ azlan

    ” due to the fact that the small number of RMAF helicopters aren’t always available at short notice ”

    That is exactly due to the Nuri abrupt grounding. With the Nuris, TUDM has around 24 available medium helicopters, along with PUTD another 12 Nuris. Now our overall armed forces medium lift helicopter capability is down to just 12 EC725s. If TUDM had able to maintain the 24 medium helicopter capability up till now, there is no need for TLDM to have its own medium lift helicopters.

  112. ” It fulfils various tri service taskings such as Handau and Paskal jump training; ferrying supplies intended for the RMN; supporting the IMT in Mindanao, ferrying MAF and MOD officials, etc, etc. ”

    Yes there is a need for small fixed wing airlift capability. Can we afford to not have the capability as TUDM themselves wants to divest that capability (yes the CN is still around but with all to MPA configuration?)

    Would a smaller aircraft than the CN-235 can fulfill all the tasks above much more better? Say using 2x PAC 750XL that can do 4 trips of freefall parachute trips per hour (it can go from takeoff to 12,000 ft/ 3700m and land back in 10 minutes), for the deployment of 120 parachutists? and can do that from any army camp that has a 240m long field? That has an operating cost of less than USD1k per hour?

  113. AM – “One could argue that with each service operating no more than ten plus helicopters, the current arrangement of having three separate infrastructures is not financially or operationally efficient”

    It is the most ideal and practical of arrangements given each service requires platforms to perform different things in different operational ways and settings: e.g. how practical would it be for naval configured helos to be operated by the RMAF or for RMN helos in addition to naval duties; to have as one of their responsibilities the role of also having to transport army troops on a regular basis?

    We have a long way to go before we can even consider something like a “Joint Helicopter Force” which is funded from all 3 services, is a tri service command and shares a common training/support infrastructure.

    AM – “It would mean the decisions were motivated by self interest rather than any effort to set aside inter service rivalry”

    The Starburst replacement example was no surprise given that GAPU was in a better position to conduct the evaluation and that the 3 services realised it made sense to operate a common system.

    As for the attack helicopters; we have no idea if the decision to have the RMAF relinquish the role came from the very top or if was by mutual consent between both services. From an operational perspective it makes sense for attack helis to be army operated; even if we take into account that on certain occasions they will be operated “jointly” with assets belonging to sister services. With other things however; such as MALE UASs; it makes sense for them to ultimately be operated by a joint “UAS Command” to ensure that those who need the capability are given it.

    “Self interests” naturally governs the way the services go about things; budgets are tight and all
    are competing for a slice of the budget. All also need to justify why they need certain things and the funding which comes with it. To be fair this remains an issue not only here but everywhere: albeit of course to different degrees. Even in the U.S. military inter service rivalry remains a major issue.

    Whether it’s the MAF or any other military; there are capabilities respective services will fight tooth and nail to hold on to and those they would be willing to relinquish. As mentioned in a previous post the army for example would have no issues converting a couple of battalions to operate in a littoral setting but would fight tooth and hail if any suggestion was made that the RMN should have the capability; the greatest worry here would be that funds from the army’s budge would be diverted to the RMN.

  114. … – “That is exactly due to the Nuri abrupt grounding”

    I was pretty certain you would say that. It is not ….

    Way before the Nuris we’re retired the RMN had already looked into the possibility for the very reason that the limited capacity of its Lynxs and Fennecs was a major limiting factor when it came to moving men (Paskal teams primarily) and other loads.

    Even if the Nuris weren’t retired; the small numbers available can’t guarantee that they will available on time when say Paskal team has to be lifted at short notice within ESSCOM – which has indeed been the case ….

  115. … – “Yes there is a need for small fixed wing airlift capability”

    You certainly think so and various armies think so but other armies including ours don’t.

    You’ve gone all out to provide reasons why the army should have a fixed wing capability. Let’s make in thing clear : I’m not suggesting the idea has no utility.

    I have pointed out that the vast majority of areas where army aircraft would need to operate from have landing spots for helis but no landing strips long and flat/firm enough for a fixed wing platform: even one with STOL features.

    The fact also remains that a lot of the things small fixed wing platforms are capable of can also be performed by rotary assets which we already have and which have far more places they can operate from; whether an oil rig, ship deck, landing spot at a hospital, army base or a border camp.

    There is no need to mention costs as this is not a matter of contention. It’s about utility and about how fixed wing platforms would fit in the overall scheme of things in our context. One doesn’t go around raising new capabilities merely because they can perform a number of things better than what is already operated; irrespective of how often they might be required to.

    … – “and can do that from any army camp that has a 240m long field”

    What about the many camps and other areas which don’t have a 250m strip? What about the occasions where using it provides no added value compared to using a helicopter? You’re looking at the plus/paper points; I’m being a devils advocate by looking at it from various practical angles …
    The bulk of the places the army operates in don’t have landing strips and despite what ever virtues a small fix wing platform has; in many cases a heli will suffice.

    If the army felt it had a need for a fixed wing component there would be a requirement for one. Quite obviously certain army have a greater operational need for it; which is why some don’t (including those who have done away with it) and some do.

  116. P.S.

    You’re always quoting paper prices and the need to prioritise and make best use of our funds.

    No doubt raising a small fixed wing capability isn’t going to break the piggy bank but it still entails money, resources and manpower. The fact remains that the Army Aviation Corps is resource limited in that it’s infrastructure is limited to Kluang (never possible hypothetical scenarios you mentioned which are unlikely such as the RMAF resources from the retired Nuris being utilised) and manpower is limited.

    When all things are taken into account and considered wouldn’t the resources be better placed towards expanding the rotary capability; irrespective of whether it’s pre owned helis which you keep on about or something else?

  117. … – “Would a smaller aircraft than the CN-235 can fulfill all the tasks above much more better”

    What happens when there are loads which can’t be handled by this aircraft? What happens when the place (like most places) it’s supposed to go to has no landing strip? Do we construct/prepare landing strips to cater for the fact that we have this capability; even when places have landing zones for helis?

    You asked about this aircraft fulfilling fill “all the tasks above much more better”. What about the circumstances which are not conducive for this aircraft or circumstances in which using a heli can do the job just as well?

    As stated previously; if we wanted to raise a new capability it would be because it offers niche capabilities offered by no existing asset and because those capabilities really are needed : not merely because it happens to be able to do certain things better or even certain things which nothing else csn.

  118. @AM
    “the services had a desire to expand their respective empires”
    Not really. When TUDM was the sole chopper operator back in the 1960s, the chopper role was very basic; troop & materiel transport, emergency airborne helilift.

    Now the chopper roles are so varied, from the general purpose utility transport, to CSAR/SAR, to maritime surveillance, to ASW, to ISR, to battlefield gunship, to VIP transportation, and not all these roles can be fulfilled satisfactorily by a single branch of air service. By nature of these varied job functions, not all of them can be dispersed at TUDM airbases and be used efficiently & effectively.

    “Others have shown that mixed crews can operate effectively”
    Others which have lesser interservice rivalries amongst the Armed Forces branch that ours. Realistically, it would take a long time for such to gain acceptance and some might even want it to fail. The only possible way is perhaps a tri-service joint command in control of multi-service operations (ie MPA, ISR, UAVs, etc).

  119. @ azlan

    ” Do we construct/prepare landing strips to cater for the fact that we have this capability; even when places have landing zones for helis? ”

    What part of i am proposing to get 6 EC225LP and 18-24 S-70A9 that you don’t understand?? There are 16 instances that i have specifically mentioned about S-70A9 on this page, not to mention countless other times on other topics. I have even laid down specific PUTD squadron by squadron, quantity of aircraft and basing location of my proposed plan that includes additional medium helicopters. If that is still not clear, i’ll repeat to you that my proposal for the fixed wings is additional to the helicopter requirements, and the acquisition of the capability would cost less than a single CN-235, and just about the same cost as a single EC725. Flying small fixed wing aircraft instead of helicopters when it can be done can save millions of ringgit (saving around RM12k or USD3k for each flying hour compared to a EC725 or S-70, say 500 hours flown on fixed wing that is already savings of 6 million ringgit) in operational costs annually. So why do you keep talking to me as if i want to scrap the whole helicopter fleet?

  120. … – “What part of i am proposing to get 6 EC225LP and 18-24 S-70A9 that you don’t understand”

    What part about the fact that helicopters can do a lot of what your fixed wing platforms can do and that your fixed wing platforms need landing strips (just like how you like to repeat your wish ORBATs I can repeat the numerous places which don’t have landing strips) which don’t exist do you still not understand?

    I asked about the lack of landing strips needed and you mention helicopters; two different things here ….

    … – “ that is still not clear, i’ll repeat to you that my proposal for the fixed wings is additional to the helicopter requirements”

    Oh even if it’s “clear” in sure you’ll still see fit to repeat it at some point in time. Also what do you mean by “clear”? If I happen to agree with you then I’ve got it ‘clear”?

    … – “ why do you keep talking to me as if i want to scrap the whole helicopter fleet?”

    That the silly conclusion you’ve come up with. In all my posts I’ve made it crystal clear as to the point in driving at … If you can’t understand or conveniently fail to see the point of the subject just because someone doesn’t agree with you that’s fine but don’t go around suggesting it’s others which can’t understand you or who have got it wrong ….

    I’ll recap the discussion in again in a simple manner so you won’t be able claim I’ve got it wrong or that I’ve gone off tangent.

    I never said a fixed wing capability has no utility merely that in our context it provides no added value: irrespective of the fact that costs ‘x” in comparison to other things. Most of the places your fixed wing platforms will be needed have no landing strips and a lot of the taskings can be performed just as conveniently by helicopters which we already have and which can deploy to a lot more places compared to your fixed wing platforms. Some armies have a need for fixed wing platforms; others due to specific reasons have no need – ours fall in this category.

    You mentioned 250m landing strips. I mentioned that 250m landing strips simply don’t exist in many places but landing spots do. You then made it sound as if I was implying you were calling for the retirement of our rotary capability – “So why do you keep talking to me as if i want to scrap the whole helicopter fleet? – which is downright silly and unneeded.

  121. … – “Flying small fixed wing aircraft instead of helicopters when it can be done can save millions of ringgit (saving around RM12k or USD3k for each flying hour compared to a EC725”

    Again; one doesn’t simply add a new capability merely because it can do certain things better or cheaper (notwithstanding your penchant with mentioning prices to strengthen your narrative) compared to what’s already operated ….

    That’s not how it works. If we want to add a new capability it must be because it really
    adds great practical value or because it actually enables us to something we need to do on a regular basis which we can’t with existing assets.

    Putting aside the fact that small fixed wing platforms require landing strips which are mainly
    absent; despite bring cheap to run; still require resources, including manpower. Those resources are better off utilised for the rotary fleet which provides far greater overall utility. The army is resources limited; even a small fleet of fixed wing inexpensive to buy a run platforms soaks up resources.

    For instances where the rotary fleet can’t hack it, that’s where the RMAF’s transport fleet comes; even if the CNs are retired and it isn’t written in stone they will. Even a fleet of just 3 might suffice for the occasions a Charlie or A400M aren’t needed. We can’t simply add a new capability to partly fill a gap left by the loss of a particular capability operated by another service.

    If the army felt there was a place for fixed wing platforms then obviously there would be requirement but there clearly isn’t. The requirement is for helicopters which for our needs, including the operational setting, provide much more overall utility.

    Note that quite a few of the roles you foresee your small fixed wing platforms doing were previously performed by RMAF Cessna 402 in support of the army. The RMAF has done away with this capability and neither does the army have any intention to acquire such a capability. There are sound operational reasons why …

  122. ” I asked about the lack of landing strips needed and you mention helicopters; two different things here …. ”

    The ask about lack of landing strips (why even ask that when you talk about CN-235 in the immediate prior sentence) will mean helicopters needed to go there, so how can that be 2 different things?? Unless you are taking crashing CN-235 there instead.

  123. … – “, so how can that be 2 different things?”

    “2 different things” in your mind and narrative….

    If you care to read/see again what was written; it’s clearly/plainly understood what I meant and the context it was made. You seem to have a remarkable tendency to misinterpret what I say or draw certain conclusions; normally only after we’ve reached a certain point in our discussions …

    For you benefit I’ll go thought it again – helicopters can – in our context – can do what small fixed wing platforms can do and with more utility. Given that that’s far more landing spots rather than landing zones; this is no revelation. In the cases where a heli cant do the job; the services of RMAF transports (whether a CN or something else) can be called upon; whether to physically land of it not possible to airdrop.

    We can’t simply add fixed wing platforms on the basis that there may be cases where helis can’t do the job or on the basis that the CNs might be retired.

  124. ” RMAF Cessna 402 ”

    http://www.aviastar.org/pictures/usa/cessna_402.jpg

    – it is used as normal liaison and twin engine training aircraft.

    – have an issue with wing spars needing expensive remedial works
    http://www.flightglobal.com/faa-acts-on-twin-cessna-spar-cracks/59102.article

    – uses avgas which is expensive.

    – cannot go into unprepared airstrips. not STOL aircraft.

    – cannot be used for parachute training

    – low cargo weight limit

    – small doors for cargo.

  125. joe “Now the chopper roles are so varied, from the general purpose utility transport, to CSAR/SAR, to maritime surveillance, to ASW, to ISR, to battlefield gunship, to VIP transportation, and not all these roles can be fulfilled satisfactorily by a single branch of air service. ”

    For one thing, the RMAF used to perform all the missions you stated- with the exception of ASW for which we still don’t have the assets. The Cougars now do everything that the Nuris used to do. The A109s do “ISR” which the Alouettes used to do, but they only recently gained the ability to do what the Alouette “gunships” used to do.

    For another, the army and navy have smaller human and physical infrastructures than the RMAF. If we were to acquire any new capabilities, they would be in a worse position to absorb them than the RMAF.

    The joint arrangement is what I consider ideal for our responsibilities, asset numbers and infrastructure limitations. Others disagree. In practice, the issue is moot and the army and RMN are never going to give up their helicopter arms.

  126. joe “Now the chopper roles are so varied, from the general purpose utility transport, to CSAR/SAR, to maritime surveillance, to ASW, to ISR, to battlefield gunship, to VIP transportation, and not all these roles can be fulfilled satisfactorily by a single branch of air service. ”

    For one thing, the RMAF used to perform all the missions you stated- with the exception of ASW for which we still don’t have the assets. The Cougars now do everything that the Nuris used to do. The A109s do “ISR” which the Alouettes used to do, but they only recently gained the ability to do what the Alouette “gunships” used to do.

    For another, the army and navy have smaller human and physical infrastructures than the RMAF. If we were to acquire any new capabilities, they would be in a worse position to absorb them than the RMAF.

    The joint arrangement is what I consider ideal for our responsibilities, asset numbers and infrastructure limitations. Others disagree. In practice, the issue is moot and the army and RMN are never going to give up their helicopter arms.

  127. – ” RMAF Cessna 402”

    Never mind the paper specs and limitations. Like a lot of other assets we was used for tasks it wasn’t intended or ideal for. The Cessna 402 performed various tasks in support of the army; as well as as non military tasks such as mapping and CASEVAC.

    The fact remains that the RMAF saw no need to replace it (despite whatever useful capabilities such aircraft enable) and the army as it stands had no need for such a capability.

  128. ” as it stands had no need for such a capability ”

    This is a discussion of future needs.

    Plenty of times you have said that my suggestions has no need from the services that the services later see a need for it.

  129. … – “It goes both ways it seems.”

    Naturally you would say that.

    In this instance it has been clearly pointed out that in our scheme of things a fixed wing capability doesn’t provide any added value in that many the things we need can be performed by helicopters. Not only that but most places don’t even have landing strips ….
    We can’t simply add a new capability merely on the basis that it can perform certain things better compared to what we already have.

    … – “This is a discussion of future needs.”

    I’ll keep that in mind the next time around so I’m able to adjust my comments accordingly to keep of notice of the distinction between your current and future needs ….

    … – “Plenty of times you have said that my suggestions has no need from the services that the services later see a need for it.”

    Only if you insist …. I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.

    No doubt you have a long list in your mind in which things you said or proposed eventually turned out the way you intended; even if in actual reality they didn’t …..

  130. ” I’ll keep that in mind the next time around so I’m able to adjust my comments accordingly to keep of notice of the distinction between your current and future needs …. ”

    It is not now as currently we still have our CN-235s as transport planes.

    But as a supplementary capability to cover to the loss of Nuri capability and the current availability of just 12 EC725, yes it should be a current need.

    It is a proposal to give the army better capability and the ability to reduce costs of needing to fly expensive helicopters from airfield to airfield. As you will always argue the need for helicopters when i talk about fixed wing airplanes, yes we still need more helicopters to cover the loss of 24 Nuris, and I have suggested those too, not as if i am just fixated to the fixed wings while oblivious to our current lack of medium lift helicopter predicament.

    Anyway just counter my suggestion as usual by using the no such requirements from the forces argument. I am used to it. This idea for improvement is for our armed forces anyway, not directed to you.

  131. … – “. As you will always argue the need for helicopters when i talk about fixed wing airplanes”

    I has nothing to do with me “arguing” anything but the simple and plain fact that helicopters can do things just as efficiently as a fixed wing platform, that the landing strips needed for your fixed wings platforms simply don’t exist, that one doesn’t raise a new capability simply because it can do certain niche things and that there’s a reason why certain armies have zero need for such a capability.

    From where I’m standing you have a tendency to ignore things which don’t fit in your narrative. When I pointed out the lack of landing strips;; you come up with a platform which only needs 240metres. When I point out that the bulk of areas where the army operates don’t have 240metres of flat/even surfaces but have helicopter landing spots and whether we’d have to create landing strips for you fixed wing platforms; you react by saying I was acting as if you suggested doing away with the rotary capability …. Not only that but you make the erroneous claim that I conflated the heli/CN capability merely because I mentioned CNs in a prior sentence.
    You
    …. – “I am used to it”

    You better be used to it…

    Whenever any of us makes a suggestion we’d better be “used to it” if others don’t agree or point out flaws in our arguments. Applies to all if use, not just you ..

    … – “This idea for improvement is for our armed forces anyway, not directed to you”

    Did I imply it was directed at me?
    If I happened to agree with you would you see the need to even say this? If I agreed with you then I can see “clearly”?

    .., – “o reduce costs of needing to fly expensive helicopters from airfield to airfield@

    In paper it sounds great. What happens if your small fixed wing platforms can get there because of no landing strips? What happens if for other reasons it’s more practical to use a heli?

    If a heli can’t be used because of the load; then we’d do we’ve been doing for decades – call upon the services of a transport which is already operated. We don’t simply have to raise a new capability to factor in the rare possibility that it can’t be delivered by helicopter and that having a small fixed wing platform would do away with the need to call in a CN, C-130 or A400M.

  132. @AM
    “the RMAF used to perform all the missions you stated”
    Rudimentary at best. The Nuris lack many of the sensors and systems present on today’s Cougars, Super Lynx to perform specialised functions that is necessary in modern day needs. Things changes and the mission profiles also had widened some missions which the Nuris are ill-equipped, hence why the separate services had to go for their own choppers fulfilling their own needs.

    Having a tri-service organisation would cut on operational redtape and improve comms but still if the rotary fleet is going to be a rojak of Airbuses, AWs, Sikorskys, it won’t improve on the cost savings as spareparts will need to be purchased separately, training & maint done separately, certification done separately, many things. Unless we could streamline into a single multipurpose chopper; for that I would prefer the US way of commonising to use Blackhawks as the base platform.

  133. joe “Rudimentary at best. The Nuris lack many of the sensors and systems present on today’s Cougars, Super Lynx to perform specialised functions that is necessary in modern day needs. ”

    This is simply not the reason the army and RMN air arms were established.

    – Assets have naturally become more capable as time and technology march on -Nuri has given way to the Cougar, the Wasp has given way to the Fennec and the Lynx- but this does not make the argument that the RMAF is unable to keep up with the changes.

    – To the contrary, the most sophisticated helicopter -Cougar- remains in the hands of the RMAF for some of the most demanding mission sets -CSAR and special forces lift.

    – The RMN did not establish its own air arm in order to introduce more capable aircraft than the RMAF had. In fact, the RMN’s air arm started with the Wasp, which was a platform you would describe as “rudimentary” and not something more sophisticated than the Nuri that the RMAF was already routinely operating in conjunction with the RMN at the time.

  134. AM – “This is simply not the reason the army and RMN air arms were established”

    Indeed. Furthermore the Nuri can be fitted with avionics to enable IFR, an auto hover and various other things to enable it to perform similar roles to the Cougar – if a customer desired.

    AM – “ for some of the most demanding mission sets -CSAR and special forces lift”

    On paper yes. The problem is a helicopter with a FLIR, winch, NVG capability, auto hover system, self defence suite and all the other essentials needed for CSAR are merely one part of the equation. If a CSAR tasking over hostile territory with enemy forces expecting a CSAR attempt was called for; enablers like fighter cover, helicopter escorts, the means to neutralise enemy air defences, UASs, etc would also be required.

    Ideally there would also be a backup CSAR platform on readiness in case the CSAR platform allocated for the mission was itself shot down. Same goes for the other aircraft taking part; one of them also getting downed complicates things …

  135. @AM
    Choppers, like many other equipment, have became highly specialised for the purpose of efficiently completing the missions it was designed for. You cannot be asking a general purpose chopper to perform such roles that I mentioned earlier anymore. A PUTD chopper cannot be tasked to do ASW role because it wasn’t meant for it. Hence why the various services divergent needs resulted in their own rotary airwings and their preferences for the various platforms to cater for those needs.

    As mentioned, the chopper role is no longer the simpler general purpose role of the past.

    The RMN had to go their way too as their roles are mainly maritime domain, and the Nuris are too big to land/store on board their ships.

  136. In the end, there is no true right or wrong on who should manage the rotary fleets. Take Australia for example, even after RAAF divested the bulk of rotary airwing to the Army, they still see the need for new choppers, and from an altogether different make (AW139), for other purposes.

  137. “A PUTD chopper cannot be tasked to do ASW role because it wasn’t meant for it. ”

    Nobody said to force a utility helicopter into a specialised role. RMAF operating flying assets (specialised or otherwise) on behalf of other services i an entirely different thing.

    What you are saying here is different from when you earlier said that because helicopters have become sophisticated or specialised, therefore the RMAF cannot operate helicopters on behalf of the other services. The former does not lead to the latter.

    Take MPAs- sophisticated and specialised platforms You don’t see a problem with the RMAF operating MPAs on behalf of the RMN, in addition to the RMAF operating its many other sophisticated and specialised aircraft. So why would you make a different case for helicopters just by virtue of them now being “sophisticated” and “specialised”?

  138. @AM
    PS. Actually I have mentioned few times my preference for MPAs to be TLDM responsibility since they are the main users and main beneficiary of the plane’s functions. Keeping under TUDM, they risked being given lower priority and their aircrew could be doing other duties when a need is requested by TLDM.

    A compromise would be to park under a tri-service organisation where resources & priorities could be distributed more evenly and more efficiently used (in theory).

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