Cloudy with No Black Hawks in Sight

The red paint denotes that the Portugal Air Force Black Hawks will be used for fire-fighting. PAF.

SHAH ALAM: Malaysian Defence in previous three postings had written on the headwinds in the introduction of the four Black Hawk helicopters leased for the Army’s Air Wing or Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat (PUTD). The contract for the four helicopters was signed at LIMA 2023.

The current forecast is now cloudy even though the Army chief had stated on March 19 that the first helicopter will be delivered last month.

One of the two Black Hawks delivered to PAF on November 22 2023. PAF

It is interesting to note that Lockheed Martin – the manufacturer of the Black hawks – is listed as one of the biggest advertisers at the Defence Services Asia 2024 (DSA 2024) which starts on May 6. Though their interest may lie on the Army next funding cycle.

Perhaps, we will get an official statement on the matter next week at DSA as well. Of course there are other Army issues which had not been resolved, like the SPH, HMAV and HMLTV.

KNDS Caesar 155mm truck mounted SPH seen near Kemaman in 2019. Internet.

I have been informed of the latest developments, but I will try to get official statements on the issues and others of course. If I do not manage to get official statements, I will write about them after the show.
RMN planned procurement under the 15 to 5 plan.

RMN, according to its chief Admiral Rahman Ayob will also unveil the realignment of its 15-to-5 transformation plan at DSA as well. The new baseline is necessary as RMN will not be able to achieve the plan, mostly due to funding issues, and the delays in the LCS project.
RMN’s 15 to 5 plan, graphic posted on the service official Facebook page, TLDM

RMN cannot simply come up with a completely new plan as 15-to-5 has been codified into the Defence White Paper 2019 which had been passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I feel like laughing at the Army generals but stopped short as they aren’t exactly management aces.
    Qué Sera Sera
    What will be will be

  2. What is the main issues for black hawks delivery delays despite contract already signed last year? Army rejected them? Issues with the suppliers??

  3. From the PTD statements it seems to imply that its the failure of the vendor to get those choppers ready for delivery. How could they even fail this simple selection process of choosing the right vendor?

  4. The selection process I was told was done correctly. Unfortunately, when it comes to delivery other things cropped up which will not be visible/turned up at the selection process which was a documentation exercise really.

  5. “which was a documentation exercise really.”
    Documentation to the Govt, or documentation to get these choppers? Its precisely these kind of redtapes which the Govt prefer not to handle which is why they get private vendors to do the job. By right the vendor, if selected correctly, should be competent to know what they needed to do end to end (unless its something to do with getting US Congress approval to allow leasing of these US made choppers? Does it actually go that far if just to lease? IDK).

  6. In tender or qn you send in documents as stated by the notice. If all the documents were filled in correctly, they will be shortlisted and their offer will be based on these documents. And if they are selected because of their offer but failed to deliver them once selected, is it the fault of the selection or they themselves?

    There was no need to get the US Congress approval for the lease as these are not brand new equipment nor has strategic value. They just need clearance from the State Department.

  7. Waiting patiently to see if there is any major changes in the TLDM 15 to 5 plan.

    Will it be content to be a force that at best just able to deal with the Chinese Coast Guard, or re-geared to be able to hold off the might of the PLA-Navy.

  8. The earliest submarine purchase is on 2031? Buying 1 at a time will make it more expensive. They should buy 2 at a time.

  9. We simply cant afford a force that can take on a superpower navy. That is fact.

  10. If we cannot have a navy that functions as a navy, then just disband it.

    Just maintain a Coast Guard for non-war maritime security missions.

  11. selecting a failed bid is in fact responsible of the purchaser. Pre-qualification wasn’t done right.

  12. Based on your logic, just about every other 3rd World navies should be disbanded coz none could hope to take on any superpower.

    If you forget we arent exactly chums with our ASEAN neighbours and none of them have navies on par with a superpower. Go figure why each of us still needs a navy.

  13. That has been the case for the Singapore and Indonesia for the last 15 years really. Of course now even Philippines is moving ahead.

  14. Expected when you spend only 1% of gdp for defence.
    Yet we don’t want used equipment. All must be new and expensive. Thus we cater more for the needs of the rent seekers.

    Indonesia is using loans tu purchase new assets…crazy.

  15. @ joe

    “Based on your logic, just about every other 3rd World navies should be disbanded coz none could hope to take on any superpower”

    Madagascar or Bangladesh does not have China claiming all of their seas in front of them as Chinese territory. That is the difference.

    Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines are putting priority on their naval build-up to prepare for any war happening in South China Sea. Even Singapore defence minister said that “The risk of regional and even global conflict even in the next decade has become non-zero. I do not make this assessment lightly.”

    So why aren’t we seeing this situation in the same way as our neighbours when we are, like the Philippines will be the one that would be directly affected in any south china sea conflict?

  16. @Hulu
    “Majority of our ASEAN neighbours, have better naval fleet compared to Malaysia”
    Still not for the reason to take on a superpower and it doesnt mean Msia has no need for a navy since they arent a superpower either. On the contrary its more than necessary we need to have one, that can keep pace with our neighbours & with advancement of technology but not to trigger any unnecessary arms race with each other.

    @Jack Chia
    “So why aren’t we seeing this situation in the same way as our neighbours”
    What makes you so sure we arent and that they are all seeing the same things? SG naval supremacy has never been about China but it now takes on that angle since Uncle Sam is having a call for allies, Indo armed forces build up is not aimed at the big power above but the big power below that aims to assert its presence in SEA, Pinoy build up ostensibly is targeted to China but its really more to modernising their lagging navy (again vs peer nations as they have been neglected for so long).

    Even so non of their efforts could hope to beat back if PLAN gets serious and bring their big guns. So again, regional navies are modernising not because of a singular “bad guy” but simply for the sake they had to as ship & weapons technology improves.

    “Expected when you spend only 1% of gdp for defence.”
    Also we dont provision for deterioration in our currency exchange rate. 10 years ago USD only cost us RM 2.70 today its nearly double at RM 4.70 so just as today you go to the market to find that your favourite foodstuff are no longer affordable or you make do with less, the same goes when we go global and find that our RM today can only buy so little of defence stuffs that we need.

  17. China is a regional superpower, soft and hard power. It spends annually USD270b thereabouts on defence. Multiply that by 20 years and you know how big an advantage their military had over the whole of asean combined. So quite foolish to think that any Asean nation on their own can even think of putting up a fight with China especially in a maritime conventional war.

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