Carry On, Carry On

A close up of the MRSS model shown at PT PAL booth at Indodefence 2016.

JAKARTA: Carry On. Carry On. Although funding for the new MPA and MRSS has yet to be found, likely in RMK12, the technical work on them is continuing. This is of course normal as specifications and technical requirements must be ready when funding is available.

RMN chief Adm Kamarulzaman Badaruddin said the work will continue until funding are made available. He did not comment further as he was to be one of the speakers at a maritime forum at the IndoDefense 2018 exhibition on Nov. 7. I was told also that RMAF is continuing its work on the MPA just like the RMN on the MRSS.

Funding for both MPA and MRSS which made them a project of record was announced in the 2018 budget. However without the proper allocation to allow for the purchase, both remained “paper projects” and there is no confirmation when funding will be made available.

Anyhow, Defence Minister Muhammad Sabu launched the Malaysian Pavilion here at IndoDefense on Nov. 7. Although the pavilion featured a number of Malaysian defence industries it is completely overshadowed by neighbouring Vietnam booth which showcased its own defence industries with a number of indigenously manufactured firearms and ammunition.

Our pavilion is mostly catered to promote the two exhibitions to be held, Lima 19 and DSA 2020.

The Vietnam defence industry booth at IndoDefense 2018. The Malaysian pavilion is on the right.

As it is the host country, Indonesia showcased a slew of items manufactured mostly by its state owned companies. PT Pindad which specialises on land equipment its first medium tank, the Harimau. The Harimau was designed by Turkish firm, FNSS together with Pindad. For the medium tank role it is equipped with the Cockeril 105mm turret.

PT Pindad Harimau medium tank.

Also displayed are various other APCs and military equipment manufactured by Pindad and other companies. Also on display was a single Nexter Caesar SPH in service with the Indonesian Army.

Nexter Caesar SPH of the Indonesian Army.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2097 Articles
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  1. MPA and MRSS are still paper project…..noted.

    “Our pavilion is mostly catered to promote the two exhibitions to be held, Lima 19 and DSA 2020.

    There are already many exhibitions in region. I hope still many major defence industries attend Lima and DSA.

    “Although the pavilion featured a number of Malaysian defence industries it is completely overshadowed by neighbouring Vietnam booth which showcased its own defence industries with a number of indigenously manufactured firearms and ammunition.”

    Hmmm….good for them. China is their neighbour.

    “The Harimau was designed by Turkish firm, ”

    I think Harimau was a JV between FNSS and Pindad. It was designed and developed by both of them based on TNI requirements and both are share the intelectual right. Both have the right to produce and export. (Source:wiki)

  2. With small DE budget that could carry on for years, we need to refocus and reset our priorities in getting new stuff for our defence.

    Rather than planning for the time we have big budgets (unlikely), we need to reset the plans to reflect the lower DE budget that we will have.

    For the navy, i think my alternative 15 to 5 is still affordable. This would see TLDM buying stock SSV design of PT PAL for the MRSS requirements, leave OPV business to MMEA, buy more LCS and Submarines.

    For the air force, it seems at most the government can spare only USD1 to 1.5 billion per rancangan malaysia for DE. So we must set our expectations way lower than what we dream of right now. So no way we can afford Rafales or Typhoons ever. MPA, either we convert all 6 of our CN-235 to MPA variants (basic no ASW capability) or get some free hand me downs from Japan or Australia (BTW australia has started selling their P-3 and S-70 to private parties). Replace those hawks and aermacchis with 1 type to save operating and upgrade costs. Retire the Nuris.

    For the army, we cannot afford to have a program like the AV8 Gempita that costs a massive RM7.55 billion for just 257 vehicles. Additional Gempitas is obviously what we should get, but not at those costs. If we can pare down cost of projects like the MRT3 probably we can get say 200 more Gempita for like USD500 million only. Other items probably we can look into more Excess Defence Articles (EDA) or Foreign Military Sales (FMS) from USA or used items from friendly countries like Australia, UK, South Korea for example. Concentrate on improving soldier systems.

    sample army DE

    RMK12 2021-2025 USD1.0bil
    196 AV8 Gempita batch2 0.5
    250 J-LTV 0.1
    70 PT-91M batch2 0.2 (refurbished PT-91 include upgrade batch1)
    100 Polaris DAGOR A1 0.02 10PARA
    30 ZBD-03 IFV 0.06 10PARA
    90 LG-1 105mm 0.1
    72 LIG Next1 Raybolt ATGM 0.05 (replacement for ERYX)

    RMK13 2026-2030 USD1.0bil
    250 New MRAP 0.25
    250 J-LTV 0.1
    24 UH-60 used EDA 0.2 (replacement of Nuri)
    36 VL-MICA 0.25 (replacement for Jernas)
    40 Hawkeye 105mm J-LTV 0.1 (hawkeye howitzer on J-LTV chassis)
    60 LIG Next1 Chiron MANPAD 0.05 (replacement for IGLA)

    RMK14 2031-2035 USD1.0bil
    250 New MRAP 0.25
    40 new 155mm Towed Howitzer 0.25
    16 HQ-16 MR-SAM 0.3
    ?? Electronic Warfare 0.2

    For the MMEA, if we continue to maintain the 2019 DE budget for next 20 years, we can more than afford to fulfill a plan that is something like this

  3. Ok off topic but the French have confirmed there will be a VL MICA NG. I wonder if all the procrastination about the MICA might be because of this. Maybe the RMN should just go for the NG from start.

    No lah as I written in the past the RMN previously wanted the ESSM

  4. @…
    I really admire the phased acquisition proposal, but a targeted final force structure would be useful to help envision the goal in mind.

  5. @ chua

    I believe you are mentioning about my ground forces structure

    My final force structure would be something like this:

    1 brigade of para rapid reaction force

    3rd division consisting of –
    1 brigade of armour (2 tank rgt+2 adnan/KIFV tracked mechanized battalions)
    1 brigade mechanized (4 gempita battalion + 1 cavalry rgt gempita and J-LTV)
    1 brigade motorized (with MRAP and J-LTV)

    1 battalion each motorized (with MRAP and J-LTV) in 1st and 5th divisions (sabah and sarawak respectively)

    1 cavalry rgt each (with gempita and J-LTV) in 1st, 2nd and 5th divisions.

    all the current BIS infantry battalions (minus those converted into mechanized or motorized battalions)

    7 artillery rgt of 105mm howitzers (5 LG1 and 2 SPH with Hawkeye J-LTV)
    2 artillery rgt with 155mm howitzers
    2 rocket artillery rgt

    1 rgt HQ-16 MR-SAM
    2 rgt VL-MICA/Oerlikon 35mm Twin mix
    1 rgt Starstreak
    2 rgt Chiron manpads

    BTW care to share what do you have in mind for tentera darat?

  6. @…

    Haha, I have been mulling it for a while in the little spare time I have. I don’t have much idea yet. All I can say is I admire the British Army’s various proposed force structures and the USMC MEU, but still struggling to apply to Msian context.

    It’s easy to create a fantasy army modelled on something else, less easy to create one that fits the situation. I may be barking up the wrong tree in terms of what army I’m trying to model.

    Downsizing is one option. Have you noticed that a 8.5% cut in OPEX is a 33% increase in CAPEX? Maybe what we need is a smaller, better-equipped military.

  7. On IndoDefense 2018,

    Indonesia has signed USD89.4 million deal with KAI korea to provide:

    3x KT-1 wongbee (replacement for crashed aircrafts)

    retrofit of radar and guns to all T-50i golden eagles. This will bring the aircraft to TA-50/FA-50 standards.

  8. @ chua

    Downsizing the army and stuffing it with high tech weapons does not reduce the OPEX as our salaries are low. Buying advanced weapons is one thing, maintaining it in operational condition is another (see the MKM saga).

    British army and USMC MEU is geared towards expeditionary operations. We have only 1 brigade for that (10 PARA) while the rest of the army is basically geared for fighting on our own territory in homeward defence. So they are not at all a good benchmark for us.

    And as you can see, our budget is not high enough for fantasy Altay MBTs and such.

  9. @…
    Damen Omega (light DDG/heavy frigate) class is stil a concept, her platform based on DZP class. It meant to replace Karel Doorman class. I think Damen want to push the omega for TNI who is still looking for 6000 class frigate and interested at iver huitfeldt class. I think omega hull is pricey. But, if TNI buy omega then future TNI ships (KCR, Corvette, Frigate, Destroyer) are based on sigma design. Their ToT program works well.

    Btw, I know that gempita project is still on going. But, if TDM can have Kaplan/Harimau medium tank then I think it will be a good pair with gempita. Both have fnss signature.

  10. To … (triple dot) –

    Agreed on converting the CN 235 to MPA, I read the Indonesian firm have offered their service if TUDM wants it.

    Also no harm asking for the Japanese and Australian Orions.

    I however would like to see Malaysia sell off all its Russian fighters to India and just get 2nd hand Hornets from Kuwait and Australia.

    Yes retire the Nuris.

    And sell off our tanks. As well as the Scorpenes.

  11. Agree with Chua on most points. But want to say we make do with the assets we have and get supplementary fighters (F18s) ex Australia or Kuwait should that route get PM’s nod and the said countries’ consent. MRSS? I hate to say this but if (BIG if) it’s possible, try see if the local yards can do it. To be honest, I prefer to see MinDef requesting the Sarawak and Sabah yards to do it. Who knows, they might just succeed minus ‘kickbacks’. Give them a chance.

  12. Has anyone been to any MAF bases lately especially those pre-merdeka ones?Has anyone bothered to notice the conditions of the dilapidated barracks,with the broken toilets and rusty bended beds with stained and smelly matresses.Doors that can’t be closed or windows with missing panes.Not to mention the dripping roofs and broken floors of these places that the soldiers called home.Well,if you have not done so please take a walk around.I can mention a hundred other things (army kitchens,drains,unpaved roads etc) but see them for yourself,I dunt want to spoil yr fun.I feel that as long as those things mentioned are not overcome and brought up to the standard that I used to see so many years ago (1970s),then we might as well stop talking about the grand purchases of equipments.Face the fact,the country just don’t have the money to spend on shiny new toys for the next 10 or 15 years.(Had my breakfast yesterday at the famous stall at the end of the Kuantan runway,the base across the road was eerily quiet.nothing to indicate that it’s an active airbase)

  13. @ api 69

    I still prefer arrowhead140 (yes it is already RIP) aka iver huitfeldt.

    @ romeo

    From indonesian sources it is said that each kaplan costs USD6 million each.

    @ Melayu Ketinggalan

    Indonesia does not have the expertees to integrate maritime patrol electronics. For that it uses 3rd party companies from USA. I prefer if we go to turkey for MPA systems. The MKMs can fly up till 2045-2050. Hornet OTOH is a stopgap solution up till 2030 the most. I agree yes get those kuwaiti hornets, but not at the expense of the MKM. Sell off tanks? Scorpenes? Our neighbours are not exactly BFF with us, and everyone in the neighbourhood, even bangladesh has or going to have submarines.

    @ foxbat 25

    Makan nasi lemak is it @ kuantan? Those dilapated buildings are abandoned and not used. They build new barracks rather than repair the cramped old ones.

  14. Off topic

    Beside Harimau Tank, Indonesian pindad has shown their customize pandur II 8×8 with amphibious capability to be built locally for TNI need.

    If only deftech took the pindad way….

  15. “Had my breakfast yesterday at the famous stall at the end of the Kuantan runway,the base across the road was eerily quiet.nothing to indicate that it’s an active airbase)”

    The MiGs are grounded and the Hawks have moved to Labuan, which leaves the only jet unit at Kuantan 3 FTC. And with the number of jets we have in regular flying status, I wouldn’t assume they have many new eagles incoming. The unit itself has just 7 MB-339CMs in totality, and who knows how many in flying status.

    As to living conditions on base, it’s not like we don’t spend on them. It’s just that contractors have a free hand, to put it mildly. Local officers would be the last people equipped, much less empowered to assess and challenge the work of government appointed contractors. We’ve had fatter budgets in past years but things have gone on just the same and life been just as miserable in the barracks.

  16. The DAMEN Omega Frigate surely will be a competitor for the Iver Huitfeldt that TNI-AL previously looked at. They looked at the Iver Huitfeldt 3 times already.

    DAMEN even given the name Future Frigate Indonesia (FFI) especially for the TNI-AL requirement. They even postponed the unveiling at Euronaval weeks before Indo defence 2018.

    “However the main reason the new Omega class of frigates was unveiled at IndoDefence (and not Euronaval for example which was held two weeks ago) is because Damen is now ready to answer Indonesia’s potential need for a large frigate (hence the ‘FFI’ name on a Damen image, standing for Future Frigate Indonesia).”

  17. ATM is lagging behind in most vital areas of defence equipment needs for a modern military such as the use of combat and surveillance drones, frontline fighter jets, AWACS aircraft, mbts, extra submarines, MRSSs, medium altitude SAM systems and of course MPA. Budget constraints is alway the excuse while all our neighbours are steadily building up their military strength especially Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia and even the Philippines. Bear in mind the 3rd submarine in the under contract with South Korea is now under construction in Surabaya, Indonesia. Something to ponder about how the defense industres of Singapore and Indonesia can be viable economically and business-wise in the long run.

  18. @ dhuan abha

    FYI the 3rd changbogo sub is already complete and ready to be launched at PT PAL, and a 2nd batch of 3 more changbogo sub built in PT PAL is ready to be signed.

    Basically everyone in SEA is increasing their defence budget except malaysia. As for defence industry, Vietnam has exported plenty of Damen patrol boats to south america and europe; Thailand for its boats, jeeps (the GK-M1 is designed and build in thailand) and MRAP (Lipanbara); Indonesia for its small arms, ships and of course aircrafts; singapore of course no need to elaborate further. Only thing we are succesful is in MRO of military aircrafts.

    I believe even with limited budget, if carefully planned within the available budget we can get all the things you listed as i have written plenty of times here on malaysian defence.

  19. @Dhuan Abha
    What to do? Many people already concerned long long time ago. Nobody is listening. There are scandals in aquisition. No clear long term plan in defence sector. Local industry asking “tongkat” and project given by gomen rather than trying to compete and export their products. Even today the mentality has not changed.

    Indonesian has MEF plan, Philiphines has horizon plan. Both plans are integrated plans for the 3-services. While here, each one has their owned agenda.

    “Bear in mind the 3rd submarine in the under contract with South Korea is now under construction in Surabaya, Indonesia.”

    It is bigger than that. Indonesia PT PAL has sign MOU with DSME korea to built additional 3 submarines for next batch. All wil be built in PT Pal Indonesia.

  20. On the topic of MPA…

    Had this crazy idea.

    As our future PM is very close to Erdogan, probably we can swap our baseline CN-235 + money for their 6x MPA Meltem II spec CN-235s around 2020. We get our MPA, turkish navy can rationalize their fleet to their newer Melltem III spec ATR-72 MPAs. Win-win all round.

    How sure are you the future PM is interested in such matters?

  21. @ marhalim

    It is the defence heads that need to convince him and throw out the idea based on his good relationship with foreign leaders (in this example, erdogan). If you cannot harness the PM’s relationship with world leaders, you wont get anything then.

  22. If any person here believe that Indonesia, Australia and even South Korea defense industries survives without any tongkat.. Hmmm go on believing. Most of the export done by these countries involves some kind of cross subsidization or government incentives because their government willing to do so for so called domestic economic benefits, which in real life economics not really tangible or even really efficient.

  23. @ kamal

    of course there is tongkat. but tongkat for doing something in-country aka really using the TOT to do something. What has years of TOT done to malaysian defence industry? We cannot even design our own LMS! In contrast Indonesia has designed their own FAC, LPD (heavily modified from original korean design), tankers, APCs and aircrafts.

  24. Ecuador has completed SLEP on its 3 esmareldas corvettes (sister ships to TLDM laksamanas)

    They have been put through modernisation of ship equipments, new engines installed and a locally designed and built CMS. The total cost for all 3 ships is USD71 million.

    Would something like this a cheaper solution to the USD68 million per ship LMS? We would never know…

  25. Kamal is right. Those who believe our neighbors are having the right assets procured from their own backyard or sourced overseas with the right budget are dreaming. They have problems too. Only they are not telling all and sundry.

  26. @ Taib

    There is no perfect buy

    Yes there are issues like the Thai OPLOT MBT, Phillipines Sokol Helicopters, Indonesian EH101 fiasco.

    You can only try your best to get what is the best for your requirement. Sometimes it pans out good, sometimes not. But deliberately buying or wanting to buy something that is clearly not the best fit for your defense is, in the old days can be considered as treason to your country.

  27. @Taib and Kamal

    Nothing is perfect. Reality is there is a big noticeable differences between SG and indon defence industry with MY.

    Among the 3 nations. SG is the first nation who has clear plans in military procurement to support local defence industy. Indon wake up in the last 10 years learned from the embargoed. Now, Both nations have pride in local defence industry. MY is MY… is now the big issue, can not hope too much in short terms.

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