Cancelled, ATGW-MR Tender

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

SHAH ALAM: On March 21, Malaysian Defence posted that the tender for the purchase of 18 Anti-Tank Guided Weapon – Medium Range (ATGW-MR) was published in the Eperolehan website. The tender was supposed to close on April 11.

Unfortunately, upon checking the Eperolehan website today, I found that the tender has been cancelled. As usual, Eperolehan did not say when it was cancelled nor the reason. Perhaps they will retender it soon though honestly, I have no idea whether it will be done.

Back in 2021, they also issued the same tender and subsequently cancelled it, again with no explaination. This is the reason, sometimes I wonder if there is a need for me to post the tenders here shortly after they are published on Eperolehan. That said it may well the tender was cancelled as the specifications was listed in the public version allowing Malaysian Defence and others to know them. Instead of allowing the specifications to be accessed by potential bidders as had happened in the past. One recent example.

The technical specifications of the now cancelled tender, edited for brevity.

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

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. Educated guess wise it’s either

    1) change in leadership results in changes in priority. That there is a legitimate operational reason that $$$ for the ATGM be better utilised for other priorities

    2) the ATGM tenders is a results of a personal interest of a person in power but nearing retirement who intend to just bought a few examples but hoping that it would become the standards and subsequent order would be made base on the desired for commonality which would bag such person a sustainable long terms golden parachute schemes.

    Which is why I opinionated that procurement need to go through a committee because it’s almost impossible to bribe everyone.

  2. Zaft – ”Which is why I opinionated that procurement need to go through a committee because it’s almost impossible to bribe everyone.”

    ”Which is why” I mentioned everything must be based on consensus which is apolitical and aimed at ensuring the armed services and taxpayer get their money’s worth. On the other issues I will not speculate on stuff I don’t know; leave that to you.

    On ”committees” look at things in a broader strokes will you . We’ve had ”committee” after ”committee”; didn’t stop us getting a whole list of stuff [need examples ask] which turned out to a disaster because one man overrode all the ‘committees” which were just a formality to rubber stamp things [ask round to those in the know if in blissful doubt]. Also, I know you have a lot to say but ”committees” must go hand in hand with a sound policy; note the defence industry has had [you’d know if you’ve observed things for long] ”committee” after ”’committee” which in the end were all just cosmetic bureaucracies which achieved nothing; i.e. the MIDC.

  3. Sometimes it can be a simple case of no winning bid. Not sure if most have participated in tenders (any tenders). A tender does not always lead to an award, especialy if its not time or issue sensitive. This could simply be a case of no winning bids since this is a retender of a cancelled. In 2021, perhaps no one could deliver based on the schedule due to covid disruptions (i.e. fail technical proposal). In 2023, with the MYR having depreciated and production cost up, all the quotes exceed budget, if the Army didnt adjust the 2021 budget (i.e. fail financial).

  4. Probably the reason is they need to change the specifications in the tender. For example the Nato number requirement.

  5. Lee – ”We need m9re artillery”

    There is a whole list of things we ”need” and long have. As it stands it’s not only a question of getting what we need but changing the way we operate what we get and already have.

    kel – ”especialy if its not time or issue sensitive.”

    The fastest in the history of Malaysian procurement was for the 1st batch of KIFVs; diverted from South Korean army stocks. Other companies which were approached; including GKN with the Warrior; didn’t bother because of the tight delivery schedule.

    Kel – ”Sometimes it can be a simple case of no winning bid.”

    Could be due to various mundane reasons but I highly doubt it’s because there are no winning bids.

  6. Not sure about defence tenders, usually there are informal communications to get more information that couldn’t fit into the tender document. Sometimes we get insights into preferences and biases, who are the decision makers (as in which person(s)), what are the value add that could tip the proposal, the approval process (which may give insights as to the budget due to delegated authorities), if there are other dependencies to consider, etc. These information can be useful, for example, in knowing if this a dead duck proposal because the tender issuer already knows what they specifically want (and thus who they will buy from). Sometimes you can see this in the tender or RFP document where its specified in a very distinct manner (e.g., certain terminologies, very specific metrics that seem to match a specific model, a specific request that only 1 model has or only 1 vendor can fulfill, etc.). Such communications goes both ways, such as the issuer is told the tender cannot be completed based on the “indicative” budget or delivered within the required timeline. Lastly, not sure about the process, sometimes its better to cancel or withdraw the tender before close than to close the tender without a winner. I believe withdrawn tenders can be reissued as-is subject to tender validity period since the tender doc is unchanged. If close the tender with no winners, the tender document would need to be changed, which I presume goes through a different approval process – might even be treated as a new request. Or it could be the “one” pushed for tender cancellation to give them more time to be the “preferred one”.

  7. It could have been cancelled and reissue with a new one but without specifications listed out in the open. It happened recently with the MTO tender for Kedah-class RESM. The first one named the manufacturer of the RESM but it was cancelled and reissue without naming the manufacturer.

  8. Perhaps will be packaged together with FA50 as a 2 for 1 GtoG deal, hence no longer need to tender out anymore. Whether Raybolt will suit what TDM needs is another story.

  9. This was written for ONE contender, Javelin ER which is now no longer on offer any time soon. Can’t you read specs?

  10. Simon – The specs would have pre-qualified 3. Raybolt, Karaok, and Javelin. There is already another article and discussion on the specs and likely candidates. And no its not worded to favour Javelin ER, in fact it has been pointed out the use of the term OLU is unique to Raybolt. Lastly, there is a reason why Javelin is not likely the favoured, that is cost and delivery schedule. Javelin is significantly more expensive (as in very significantly more expensive) and you will not get the orders delivered anytime soon since just like the F-16, the production line is filled for the next few years (replenishment of US stocks, replenishment of allied stocks, transfers to Ukraine, and fulfilling of existing orders). So no its not written to favour Javelin ER.

  11. Another possible contender is the Japanese Type 01 LMAT.

    By the way, there’s no ‘Javelin ER’. Spike ER ada lah.

  12. The tender for the procurement of mmea’s MULTI PURPOSE MISSION SHIP (MPMS) has also been cancelled. (QT220000000041412 / KDN/PL 2/2023-PT)

  13. @ kompius,

    It is good that the MPMS is cancelled. Why budget RM350 million per unit on ships that you can buy off oil and gas companies for fraction of the cost?

    If MMEA want, there is 2 large AHTS ship that is for sale in malaysia for about RM100 million each.

  14. … – ”Why budget RM350 million per unit on ships that you can buy off oil and gas companies for fraction of the cost?”

    Look at things objectively and in totality. A ship ”you can buy off oil and gas companies for fraction of the cost” will not have any DC standards and will be lacking various things which the RMN needs in a purpose built MPSS which is intended to have a projected in service lif of 25-30 years.

  15. @ azlan,

    When exactly did I talk about MPSS for RMN??

    and how could an AHTS perform roles of a MPSS??

    looks like you are the one that is not looking at things objectively and in totality

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