Comfortably Numb, the SPH Saga

Konstructka Defence EVA truck mounted SPH. Konstructka

SHAH ALAM: It appears that the decades long SPH requirement may well be filled soon though it is unlikely any contract will be signed before the general elections. The Army would probably be putting the M109 SPH into service this year but the government in 2019 had quietly cancelled the deal.

Anyhow it appears that another contender has been elevated as a favourite. The yet-to-be sold Slovak Konstruckta Defence EVA truck mounted SPH. A Slovak think tank on September 1 wrote that:

Malaysia will shortly conclude a deal for the Slovak made EVA wheeled self-propelled artillery. The final specifics of the Malaysian purchase have yet to be finalized, but it is anticipated that the order will be in the range of 16-18 pieces. Further details regarding production and potential licensing have not been revealed at this time. This deal will be the first export, and indeed order of, the EVA wheeled self-propelled howitzer.

Nexter Caesar 8X8.

The report was first published by defence outlet, Shephard. A cursory look into the think-tank article however indicated that it is likely based on the conversations between Konstruckta Defence and its local marketing agent (unknown at this time) with the Defence Ministry.
MKEK Yavuz 155mm SPH. Internet

The Slovak angle came in the heels of a leak regarding the SPH deal by a political blogger, that a local company was supposed to get the contract via direct-negotiations instead of a tender. Malaysian Defence has posted last year that the SPH requirement was supposed to go through a tender but somehow it went into direct negotiations.
Atmos 155mm SPH. Elbit

It appears that the leak had worked as intended. It was basically a leak to kill. That is the reason of the story of another contender. Whether or not it will make it to the finish line, its beyond me for the moment.

— Malaysian Defence

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65 Comments

  1. The saddest part of this is that our defence procurement is still used to get massive financial gains for cronies, while giving defence substandard weapons. Even after what happened to the Gowind.

    The Turkish SPH is ranked 5th among the SPH that was trialed by TD. Basically it is trash. And the direct nego price is like double the price of proven SPH such as CAESAR. Better get the cheap chinese SPH rather than that unproven trash. At least the chinese SPH is used operationally by chinese army itself.

    Sad that our turkish defence relations is not used to get the best equipment that turkey can offer, such as the TB2, but to get unwanted and unproven weapons and flog them at insane prices.

  2. Most of the Malaysian do not like defense spend + our Politian always use defense spending as a topic and end up the user fail to get anything they want. Those have changes involve on defense supply do not put full effort into it by just gaining money from government or try to corrupt the pay given by government. We are far fall behind others Asian, like Philippine.
    Out of topic, Russian tank in HOT cake. Hmm… seriously we should forget about this legacy? Like our PT-91M
    https://twitter.com/HuarenNews/status/1569071968980451329?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1569071968980451329%7Ctwgr%5E5e2adeef5115c4440e850a971252e6d6914bc692%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chinapress.com.my%2F20220915%2Fe4bf84e883b6e6acb2e8bf94e7a596e59bbd-e58f8de8a2abe68b92e4ba8ee997a8e5a496%2F

  3. Hulubalang – “that turkey can offer, such as the TB2”

    Why do people still sing this tune?

    The TB2 is a tactical armed UAS and the Anka is a MALE ISR platform. The requirement is for a MALE ISR platform; it’s about requirements ….

    Michael- “Out of topic, Russian tank in HOT cake. Hmm… seriously we should forget about this legacy? Like our PT-91M”

    This discussion has been discussed extensively in the past.

    The Russians deployed armour badly: without proper combined arms; no flank screens; no aerial overwatch; no APSs; etc.

    No the tank has not been made obsolete; similar claims have been made before;notable after Yom Kippur in 1973; all premature. There remains no alternative to the tank when it comes to delivering mobile, protected firepower; if you did some objective research rather than just reacting to Twitter feeds you’d realise the tank is not a legacy.

  4. I’ve always preferred a fully automatic system; it does away with the need for the crew to be exposed out in the open; requires less crew and the vehicle can relocate faster [the Ukrainians manage relocate their M-777s in 80 seconds].

    Hulubalang – Basically it is trash”

    I thinks that’s a major exaggeration.
    Anyway, the actual system is merely part of the equation; arty needs to deliver accurate responsive fire and needs to be able to shift fire rapidly; the right organisation of needed; as well as the ability to locate targets and to be fully incorporated with maneuver units.

  5. @Hulubalang
    I won’t call our A400 transport aircraft ‘trash’. We were the first users and thankfully those 4 birds aren’t trash. I’m curious as to where you got your conclusions of TD basically saying Yavuz SPH stands 5th down the line. All weapons are good if utilised correctly. We can’t all flyy F35s and go crashing thru’ the plains in M1 Abrams mate.

  6. Tried a few times today to reply but cannot.

    A400M has zero trials before we buy it (it was a paper plane then).

    TD did trials on SPHs, either locally or overseas. From those trials it is said that the Yavuz is ranked 5th (basically bottom end) in the scheme of things.

    Ranked 5th while costing so much more than arguably the number 1 SPH (the CAESAR) is the epitome of trash.

    18 units of yavuz according to the direct nego letter will cost 0.854 billion ringgit. For around the same cost indonesia got 55 CAESAR in 2 batches (37 + 18). Is it acceptable? Is it a good deal?

  7. @Taib All weapons are good if utilised correctly

    Then it goes back to the question of why not get the stuff TD wants, which they think is the best out of their evaluation tests, with the same price or cheaper than something ranked lower?

  8. Hulubalang -”From those trials it is said that the Yavuz is ranked 5th (basically bottom end) in the scheme of things.”

    – Any sources you can share to back your claim that it was indeed ranked 5th or you merely peddling hearsay/speculation?
    – With regards to ”trash”; what makes a howitzer ”trash”:the inability to perform MRSI; a low Equivalent Full Charge; a sub standard FCS; what?

    Hulubalang – ”is the epitome of trash.”

    You seem unusually we acquainted with ”trash”. ”Trash” implies something doesn’t work; not good for anything. Can you point me to an actual artillery piece which has been produced the past few decades which doesn’t work or is not good for anything?

    Also; the Yavuz is not as unproven as you claim because the actual gun is the Panter; a towed piece in service in large numbers with the Turks. It’s also based on the widely operated MAN 6×6.

    Ultimately; as pointed out before the actual howitzer is part of the equation but does not operate in a vacuum; other enablers are needed: the ability to locate targets; to rapidly shift fire; to deliver accurate and responsive fire; to be fully incorporated with combat units and be decentralised…

    Hulubalang -”Because the TB2 is more than capable to perform as a MALE ISR asset”

    If you took a closer and objective look you’d realise that the requirement is for a MALE ISR asset; not a tactical armed UAS. Both are also in a different weight/size category; the Anka; by definition of being a MALE ISR platform; flies higher -major reason why the TB2 was not even offered ….

    Dundun – ”as unproven as Yavuz ”

    Fine line between ”unproven” and ”mature”. I have no preference over either because I prefer a fully automatic system with the crew not out in the open fully exposed and I’m more interested in the various enablers needed for arty to perform effectively. Since however there are claims that Caesar is ”proven”; is it really? Sure it’s employed in the Ukraine [so are many other types] but has it won any counter battery duels in the Ukraine or proven superior to other guns in the same category? Just because something is fired in anger; is it ‘proven”? Hypothetical scenario; if Aludra was used to monitor non state actors in the Sulu Sea does does it mean it’s ”proven”? If the Turks employ the Panter [same gun on the Yavuz] against Kurdish combatants in a permissive environment; is it “proven”?

  9. @hulubalang

    Do you still want the TB2 even when RMAF want a more longer range platform like Anka? Can TB2 fly faster and further than Anka? IF RMAF wanted a TB2 like capability ie cheaper at the expense of range and electronics, sure TB2 fit that bill. Personally I prefer using both Anka and TB2 but hey this is not a perfect world.

    @Azlan
    “I prefer a fully automatic system with the crew not out in the open fully exposed”
    Hence why I (any many others) think that M109 was a missed opportunity indeed. Though still are you okay with spending 2-3 times the money to get fully automated system?

  10. Akmal,

    Kindly share with us why Marhalim is wrong. If you’re going to make a claim; back it up. What actual sound info do you have to indicate that Yavuz is indeed being ordered?

  11. Luqman – “Do you still want the TB2 even when RMAF want a more longer range platform like Anka?”

    People like to conflate things because it’s convenient and fits in personal narratives. He’s apparently oblivious to the fact that Anka and TB2 are intended for different things and are in different weught/size categories.

    Luqman – “I prefer using both Anka and TB2 but hey this is not a perfect world”

    Yes I’m all UASs for but we shouldn’t assume that we’ll have permissive air space. UASs remain slow and vulnerable; especially if one side has the right counters. Look at UAS losses in the Ukraine.

    Luqman – “Hence why I (any many others) think that M109 was a missed opportunity indeed”

    Do you and the “many others” factor in that for our needs a wheeled platform can provide support just as effectively as a tracked one; that tracked platforms are inherently more expensive to operate and sustain; not to mention having larger footprints. How many low loaders do we have?

    I look beyond the procurement costs and short term costs savings.

    Luqman -“are you okay with spending 2-3 times the money to get fully automated system”

    Having crews inside rather than out in the open and having a platform which can relocate faster is worth the price – a sound long term ROI so yes I’m “ok” paying more. Crews are limited in numbers; aren’t easily replaced and are expensive to train.

    As it stands I have no idea how much we’ll pay if we order SPHs and have no idea if what others paid [which is used as a yardstick by many]includes ammo, documentation, training, etc.

  12. Albeit this is speculative but it appears TDM wanted both platforms for different purposes? Wheeled to support the infantry and tracked to support the armour. Tho both can perform at each other’s role, I do think it was a toss up and that TDM would have went for whichever comes first. Of course they’d wanted new (who doesn’t!) but realistically if we’re lacking in money, used would have been the viable option and so we’d have them M109s in operation by now rather than still waiting for the stonking brand new wheeled SPH which we have no idea when we’re gonna get nor would they come in sufficient numbers (likely not).

    Sure it would cost more to run and maintain, moreso if weren’t thoroughly SLEP’ed beforehand, but its been a case of the Armed Forces having a bigger OPEX budget than CAPEX and whatever operational cost they can spend is easier to do than justifying new buys (ie TLDM spending on rehulling & reengine old ships than outright buy new).

    As for my preference, auto or semi auto is immaterial, as long as the crew are inside a somewhat protected NBC cabin. Most arties have 2 crew members for loading anyhow.

  13. Yes they wanted both but from the start it was not going to happen especially when the bean counters were demanding whether the Army want to go with 155mm completely or mix with 105mm guns. When the Army dithered, the bean counters made sure that only one version of the 155m was to be financed so the Army was dithered further knowing they need both

  14. “if we’re lacking in money, used would have been the viable option”

    That’s a short term approach; depends but what we must never do is to achieve short term saving with longer term implications [we have a history of this].

    ” are inside a somewhat protected NBC cabin”

    Bugger the “NBC cabin”; it’s the cabin which protects them from splinters which is more important.

    “Most arties have 2 crew members for loading anyhow”

    For sustained/extended ops more than 2 are needed. With something like Caesar, Eva and others; laying and getting the gun into travelling position is not done manually; less crew. Less crew leads to savings.

    “weren’t thoroughly SLEP’ed beforehand”

    Even if it was “thoroughly” refurbished or upgraded there are inherent reasons why tracked platforms are more expensive to run and sustain [we can go into specifics if yous like]

    m – “to those that are seeking the info on the number 5 rank”

    That was me but ta. I’m actually looking for a firmer indicator rather than what appears to be a statement or claim which is merely passed on from one to another without us actually knowing more.

  15. yavuz

    based on proven parts does not mean it is a proven system.

    Yes the howitzer is based on an operational towed howitzer. However the towed howitzer loading are fully manual. A SPH due to the height and other needs, usually has a semi-automatic loader. what about its hydraulic or electrical gun training (pointing) systems? Is it as fast as the CAESAR? Those are of questionable design and robustness. Yes at least the truck is based on proven MAN chassis.

    The malaysian army low ranking of the evaluation for the yavuz must have meant something.

    The very high price of the yavuz (0.854 billion ringgit) through direct nego is bad for the countries finance, also less money for the army to get other things that it needs.

  16. @Marhalim
    If I understand correctly, from the response given by TDM towards the M109 project, it wasn’t something fully shoved to them but one that they do welcome enthusiastically. So it was probably something they would not have outright rejected if they’d knew the other option has lesser chance to materialise, not with a tight budget.

    “That’s a short term approach”
    I see… and the long term approach is not having SPH arties for the last 3 years and counting ever since we don’t know when we’re gonna get those brand new stonking wheeled SPH. That is an interesting thought. Very novel indeed.

    “Bugger the “NBC cabin”;”
    That level of protection should be the minimum with peer adversary and above front line armour. Debilitating gas from counterbattery fire has vaster effect than HE splinters tho a protected cabin will defend against that as well.

    “why tracked platforms are more expensive to run and sustain”
    I don’t doubt you there, but as I said maintenance and OPEX costs are easier to get/justify, something TDM would have factored in when they wanted tracked as well as wheeled.

  17. Hard to say from what I gathered at the top it was very enthusiastic at that point of time but then again when the leadership changes things went into the reverse. As usual the rank and file followed the lead and adjusted accordingly. That’s one of the problems of MAF and MY society in general, when the leadership changes, people down the line usually just hunker down and simply follow. Of course there are a few exceptions though those are few and far between

  18. Marhalim – ”Hard to say from what I gathered at the top it was very enthusiastic at that point of time”

    Yes I was told it was but reservations set in when they discovered what the long term sustainment costs were; the level of upgrades possible [this from someone who was on the evaluation team] based on the budget, etc. There was also indecision about whether a tracked or wheeled platform would better suit our needs.

    I have nothing against the M-109 but we have to be objective and look at it from various perspectives; the pros and cons; rather than just adopting the simplistic notion that it was cheap, available and thus; should have got it.

    Marhalim -”That’s one of the problems of MAF and MY society in general, when the leadership changes, people down the line usually just hunker down and simply follow.”

    To be fair; that’s also – to one extent or another – an issue faced by other militaries.

    Marhalim – ”Of course there are a few exceptions though those are few and far between”

    Militaries are bureaucracies and politics is always at play. Say the wrong thing or displease the wrong person and a career can end. We also have poor performers who get to attend the right courses or get the right appointments; not because of merit but for other reasons.

  19. hulubalang -”based on proven parts does not mean it is a proven system.”

    No but it doesn’t indicate it’s ”unproven” either. Also as pointed out earlier the term ”proven” is subjective.. ”Proven” in what sense? You’re speculating; nothing more.

    You can spend more time focused on the actual platform and indulge in speculation; your choice. My interest lies in the various enablers which would enable us to operate artillery effectively; ultimately the actual platform is secondary.

    hulubalang – ”about its hydraulic or electrical gun training (pointing) systems? ”

    Well, if you have firm facts do indicate certain components on the Yavuz are ”trash” or less than satisfactory; please do share rather than perpetually quoting an ambiguous claim about it being supposedly ranked 5th and cherry picking. Do you even know if live trials were performed or merely a paper evaluation?

    ”That is an interesting thought. Very novel indeed.”

    Unless your intention is to obfuscate and score brownie points; stick to the topic at hand… Again, what we must never do is to make rushed decisions to achieve short term gains only to pay penalties later which; again; is something we have a history of; this BTW is not in reference to the M-109 per see. As for waiting 3 more years; if you actually ask you’d realise that the army was more than willing to wait a while longer as long as it got something which suited its requirements.

    ”That level of protection should be the minimum with peer adversary”

    Whether it’s 66 year old men with crutches and armed with Kar98s or paratroopers with AK-74s; the requirement is for protection against splinters from airburst and HE rounds andsmall arms; emanating from any level of threat.

    ”I don’t doubt you there, but as I said maintenance and OPEX costs are easier to get/justify,”

    Well I’m gratified you have no doubts but ”maintenance and OPEX costs” being easier to justify is a completely different issue. You are aware that sustainment costs are a major issue? You also aware that having another tracked platform is an issue given the resources we have; how many Iveco low loaders do we have?

  20. The relook came into play once the chief changes and it was obvious that long term issues came into play with the new chief had already made up his mind on finding something else. It must be noted that at that point in time, the politicians had wanted to kill off anything that was decided by the previous government. The M109 deal was the easiest one to kill off whatever its merit or demerits as there was no one batting for it unlike the MD530G and Nexter guns. It is interesting to note that MY has never said anything official about the cancellation until now

  21. By and large artillery has not figured large in the overall scheme of things. It has not received the same level of attention as other combat arms; with the exception of AD missiles with are of course Royal Artillery Corps assets; the only hardware bought from 1988 to 2022 were 12 FH-70s [retired after about decade or so], 28 G-5s, 36 ASTROS and 18 Light Guns. All this for an army comprising 4 Divisions and 40 over odd battalions.

    I won’t include the Model 56s as they’re too short legged and fragile [some might know what I’m referring to]. Not only do we have insufficient number of guns in relation to the size of the army; a lack of funding means we are still unable to create the required kill chain needed to effectively operate artillery and MLRS fully incorporated with combat units. Nor have any changes been made with regards to organisation which remains largely unchanged since the time we got 25 Pounders after Merdeka.

    People have gone all “excited” [being cynical here] about us supposedly buying “unproven” Yavuzs [never mind that the Turks have a reputation of producing good kit and that Yavuz is based on a widely ordered gun]. They’d be surprised to know that before ASTROS we [or rather SME] actually seriously looked at getting an ex Yugoslav system produced by the Bosnians. In the early 2000’s form some apparent reason the Artillery Directorate explored the possibility of acquiring portable medium calibre mountain guns. I know this for a fact.

  22. the actual platform is not secondary when the least wanted platform is bought at 3x the price of the best ranked platform.

    What you will get is an underpar platform, while leaving you with no money to buy the best enablers, like new counter battery radars, UAVs for artillery spotting, manpack ESM systems to locate enemy electronic emissions.

    I don’t mind TD getting the Yavuz. But it needs to be at a cost much more lower than the arguably the best system out there, which is the CAESAR. Doing direct nego at the expense of the army is not the way. Direct nego should be at all times, must be to the advantage of our military, not the other way round.

    “The M109 deal was the easiest one to kill off whatever its merit or demerits as there was no one batting for it unlike the MD530G and Nexter guns”
    Heard that one before, that is the main reason why it was cancelled by PH. It is also the least painful for the army to give for sacrification.

  23. “They’d be surprised to know that before ASTROS we [or rather SME] actually seriously looked at getting an ex Yugoslav system produced by the Bosnians. In the early 2000’s form some apparent reason the Artillery Directorate explored the possibility of acquiring portable medium calibre mountain guns. I know this for a fact.”

    Azlan, this is again the sort of knowledge that the public record doesn’t deal in- be it the press, official or even most academic histories- but no less important if we are to know anything about where we’ve come from. I’m aware you have to strike a balance when deciding whether to reveal a certain fact, but I hope you will consider adding more to the collective memory. Without contributions from those who possess it, it’s not too much to say the knowledge would be lost for all eternity.

  24. ” In the early 2000’s form some apparent reason the Artillery Directorate explored the possibility of acquiring portable medium calibre mountain guns ”

    It is good for the army to explore everything. By closely looking at something then they can make a conclusion whether that item is suitable or not (which for this case of mountain guns, not).

    currently there are multiple new technologies that our military should be looking at, at least buy some for trials.

  25. Huhubalang – “What you will get is an underpar platform”

    So you keep saying but apart from repeating assumptions and quoting a so called report you have nothing firm to indicate that Yavuz is indeed “trash” or “underpar”.

    Hulubalang – “the best system out there, which is the CAESAR”

    More speculation from you. This is not a fanboy forum. Do a better job explaining so we can understand; CAESAR is great but how does it compare say to Archer? How is it the “best”; in what way exactly? Better FCS? Superior EFC? Higher sustained rate of fire? High grade steel used in its manufacter?

    BTW Caesar is known to have an overly complex hard to master FCS.

    Hubalang – “Direct nego should be at all times, must be to the advantage of our military, not the other way round”

    Thank you for stating the obvious but for years here I’ve been harping about the need for the armed services and the taxpayer to get their money’s worth; about the detrimental consequences our flawed defence policy has had and about our inability to.get the best value for what we spend.

    AM – ” but I hope you will consider adding more to the collective memory”

    We looked at ways in how we could help the Bosnians following the war and to also benefit ourselves in line with the then PM’s policy of defence procurement benefiting the country as a whole. The M-70 Orkan was identified as suitable for local production or assembly and SME got involved. A model of the M-70 was displayed at DSA; SME people went to Bosnia and ADJ briefly mentioned the Orkan – didn’t work out. Years later we also looked at Smerch but dropped it.

    AM – “it’s not too much to say the knowledge would be lost for all eternity.”

    Marhalim has lots of interesting stories which unfortunately he can’t share in a public domain.

  26. The commies had quietly cancelled the M109 SPH deal. (Zek MR)
    I am delighted someone actually used that term ‘commies’. We are all played out by the aversion that the PH regime felt for the Armed Forces that translated into purchase cancellations. We came through this road before in our discussions here too.
    Whatever arms purchase speculation that arises, it will depend on how much leverage the primary actors have with the PM’s Office and the Finance Minister. The Defence Minister knows this too well. The big question mark here is whether we are already stamping the King’s and PM’s visit to Turkiye as paid holidays sponsored by Turkiye or Malaysian public funds.(I don’t know).
    If I know anything about diplomacy and international relations, those visits are usually precursors to later public announcements. I am still positive that the Yavuz deal plus the other deals will go through. Damage control is done by H2O. The battering ram called Rafizi is trying to raise public opinion or awareness about the LCS saga but I’ll wager the public this time isn’t as gullible as before for PH ‘dressed-up’ facts. I’d say more laymen now want to see the Armed Forces strengthened to decent levels. If the Defence Ministry gets their 1.5% of GDP for defence come 7th October, I see the Cabinet winding down and confidently asking PM to see His Majesty to dissolve Parliament. Personally I don’t think UMNO will win big (may still beg PN/PAS/GPS for help), but a GE15 win will embolden the next PM and Defence Minister to demand all the extras that MinDef has long wanted. (I am not an UMNO fan, OK. Just pragmatic)

  27. No way the new government will pay attention to Defence lah, the more things change the more they remained the same. Only a few defence contracts were cancelled by PH. And it got nothing to do with commies, it was about the money. Everyone knew the government had reserved some RM800 million or so for the M109 deal (this includes the howitzers themselves and the upgrade). It was this money that they were and are going after. That’s why for both the Yavuz and Eva deals, it was to cost some RM800 million plus as this was the amount already allocated for the SPH project. It just needed to be signed really.

  28. This procurement is not a threat-based one rather to upgrade the capability of our mechanised brigade….just 18 pieces.

    For our mechanised brigade, a tracked SPH would be more suitable to complement the Pendekars. We don’t need to air transport them elsewhere. There is also rail transport for West Malaysia as an option. Private low loaders are also available.

    For the price of the Yavuz we can get the K9 Thunder.

  29. Hasnan – “For our mechanised brigade, a tracked SPH would be more suitable to complement the Pendekars.”

    Not really. Yes tracked SPHs were born [in WW2] out of the need for them to have the same mobility levels as armoured formations but in flat open terrain such as the Sinai or Russian plains. It also depends on the operational context; are maneuver formations moving over long distances at speed? Note that arty does not necessarily have to keep pace with maneuver units; merely be in a physical position to provide support.

    In our terrain which is increasingly becoming urbanised and has an extensive paved road network: vehicles will be operating a lot on roads rather then mainly cross country; thus a wheeled platform will suffice. If indeed we operate away from paved roads it will be in palm oil/rubber estates or rural areas with dirt roads; don’t necessarily need a tracked platform for that; especially given that units will not be covering great distances daily.

    We hardly ever move things by rail. In the past the only things we moved by rail were personal; either going home on leave or to new postings but almost never heavy gear. On low loaders yes in times of war we can requisition civilian ones but what about needs during peacetime?

  30. As for me an average malaysian anything will do be it yavuz,eva,caesar as long they can fulfill army’s long desired requirement and procured/bought at reasonable price/packages..Correct me on this but if im not mistaken with MYR850m them army can get more than 18 units of caesar (6×6 variant) or is that the standard contract value for just 18 unit of SPH?

  31. Firdaus,

    Funding has been approved for 18 units within the specified budget. The contract value however will include not only the actual guns but also [or should] include training, documentation and some spares. Ammunition will probably be ordered as part of a separate contract; from another source.

  32. “Everyone knew the government had reserved some RM800 million or so for the M109 deal (this includes the howitzers themselves and the upgrade)”

    This is new information for me. I have not heard that the original M109 SPH budget allocation is put at RM800 million. You also have never mentioned this in any of your previous articles.

    The original EDA cost for 29 units of M109 is less than RM5.5 million (actual amount 1.38 million dollars)
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/have-guns-will-travel/

    Refurbishment and upgrade to A5+ standards should cost about RM180 million.
    https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/bae-delivers-modernised-m109-howitzers-to-brazil/

    I don’t believe that the original budget for M109 Excess Defense Article buy is allocated RM800 million.

  33. Ah i see but 45m+ myr a piece still kinda high though all things considered excluding ammos unless assembled here which is asking for more trouble

  34. Why do i need to pay stupid money the marketing agent’s third and fourth wives..and the children’s wedding and honeymoon in Paris??

    Why can’t these procurement go through proper procedures, and give our military what they wanted in the first place?

    Sad to see many still agree on cronyism and illogical profit taking.

  35. Hulubalang – ” don’t believe that the original budget for M109 Excess Defense Article buy is allocated RM800 million”

    The budget allocated for “SPHs” was RM800 million; the amount allocated for the requirement; irrespective of whether what was bought was RM7 million or RM795 million.

  36. Most weapons purchased is pretty a consideration between

    Price
    Performance
    Political relationship
    Technology transfer & counter trade.

    Do note the amount of counter trade, FDI inflow, technology transfer, political support that the french give us in exchange for buying their boats & subs.

    MY like a lot of other countries particularly in Europe don’t really want to spend much on defence but still want to look tough thus we like them overinflated the defense spending figure by including economic, political & welfare spending into the defense budget. Those 1.5% of GDP ain’t going to be spent on defence and defense alone. That is pretty much the unfortunate reality.

  37. In case anyone blames the agents; remember that it’s policy to have them and agents like all commercial entities want/need to generate a profit. In an ideal world the contract would be signed between MINDEF and the OEM but we don’t live in a perfect world and this is exactly what I mean when I complain about our highly flawed politically driven self defeating policy.

  38. Wong – “Why do i need to pay stupid money”

    Ask a former PM who introduced the policy we have. Sound on paper but flawed in actuality.

    Wong – “Why can’t these procurement go through proper procedures”

    It is “proper procedure” to have agents. The policy; in the hope or belief that it will lead to actual long term tangible benefits.

    6zaft – “Price
    Performance
    Political relationship
    Technology transfer & counter trade”

    That’s from a political decision making level.

    From the end user’s perspective its; price, suitability, cost of sustainment over the projected period of service and commonality.

    6zaft – “Do note the amount of counter trade, FDI inflow, technology transfer”

    What is there to “note; well known. They know we’re suckers for such things; all paid by the taxpayer. Why do you think they offered local assembly for Rafale?

    6zaft – “MY like a lot of other countries particularly in Europe don’t really want to spend much on defence”

    If you’re referring to the same “Europe”; the invasion of the Ukraine will led to higher defence spending and European countries which are part of NATO are required to spend an allocated amount on.defence.

  39. 854 juta ringgit untuk 18 biji Yavuz

    Indonesia pula membeli 37 biji CAESAR dengan harga 141 juta dollar US. Termasuk 2,000 butir peluru 155mm. 141 juta dollar US pada tahun 2014 senilai dengan 465 juta ringgit.

    https://news.detik.com/berita/d-2619932/dengan-us-141-juta-indonesia-akan-miliki-2-batalion-meriam-caesar-155

    Indonesia membayar hanya 1/2 harga malaysia tapi dapat 2x ganda nilai barang yg terbukti lebih baik.

    Sampai bila kita perlu beli barang yang kualitinya sedang-sedang tapi pada harga premium?

  40. Qamarul,

    Correct, long overdue [like many things] but to be a devil’s advocate we also need UASs, a radar and other things to create a kill chain for us to effectively operate our arty.

    The Ukraine is a prime example. They are able to deploy arty and MLRS effectively because they have a kill chain and of course external intel assistance.

    It’s also important we get the right gun and not be straddled with something we’ll regret. All guns work just fine; even 35 year old FH-70s but there will be certain aspects in certain guns which might be unsuitable for us.

  41. I don’t mind if we have a policy for agents.

    We also have a policy on open tenders. Why can’t that be done properly?

    Almost all big spending is without tender and arguably not to what the user wanted. Gowinds, A400M, Rapier Jernas, SU-30MKM…

  42. Hulubalang – “. Why can’t that be done properly”

    Simple answer; because we’re not serious with defence and procurement is part of the system of patronage.

  43. Hulubalang – “all guns are fine”

    All guns are “fine” [you however made a spurious claim on Yavuz being “trash” and “underpar”] but some guns will have certain aspects or features not suitable or wanted by certain users. As it stands a gun which does away with the need for crews to be out in the open and vulnerable is my preference.

    Hulubalang – “when you buy it at gold plated prices”

    Must as well wish for Burundi to buy AV-8s; North Korea to win the Thomas Cup and the Caroline Islands to have a larger GDP than Canada. As long as we have the policy we have we will be unable to get the best value for what we pay for : period/full stop.

  44. We will know the price once it is finalized. RM854M for 18 SPH is okay if ammo & training included. Technology is not cheap i get it but considering the current economy situation it will be wise if we could slash down the price wherever possible. Beli ikut keperluan bukan kemahuan. For example if you have to choose between aircraft repainting or aircraft maintenance which one should be prioritized. Anyway what are the current conditions of the original M109 offered to Malaysia back then? Is it still for grab or someone else already got it?

  45. Yavuz 5th ranking in TD eval is trash. But if it costs so much less than of the CAESAR, why not?

    So why would you even touch it if it is ranked so low among the many wheeled SPH out there, and still cost 4x the price of a CAESAR (see azizan comment), which with its battle proven reputation you can conclude no way a CAESAR would be ranked lower than the Yavuz.

  46. hulubalang – “Yavuz 5th ranking in TD eval is trash”

    – Look up the definition of “trash”.
    – I’ve asked you before, please explain why you think its “trash” [better FCS, better EFC, what?] rather than just peddle speculation like a fan boy and quote a so called report [who actually ranked it 5th, did the army actually fire it or merely did a paper evaluation?] Do you even know or are merely perpetually peddling hearsay? ..
    – As explained before, “proven” is subjective. Caesar is “proven” you say. Ok but explain how? Just because it’s fired rounds in anger does it mean it’s “proven”? Fine line between “proven” and “mature”.

    Qamarul – ” i think Zuzana 2 SPH would be the better option”

    How so?

    Qamarul – ” Is it still for grab or someone else already got it?”

    Probably in the Ukraine by now.

  47. The Ukrainians learnt the hard way the value provided by UASs during the 2014/15 Donbas campaign when the Russians dominated the skies with their effective strike/recce complex. A buzz of a UAS would frequently be followed minutes later by accurate salvoes of arty or MLRS fire.

    Given that we can’t afford to equip every 155mm regiment [eventhough we don’t have many such regiments] with say Scaneagles we can however get inexpensive commercial UASs in decent numbers. They might not have much range but then not all targets will be deep in the enemy’s operational depth and UAS operators will be several kilometres away from the arty units they’re assigned to; closer to the targets.

    Without UASs and SIGINT we can only rely on FOs to locate unobserved targets and without counter battery radar we’ll be unable to perform counter battery work. Same with ASTROS; certain rounds have a range of up to 80km but we first have to be able to “see” that far in order to locate targets; unless of course targets are fixed preregistered ones.

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