Contenders for the ATGW-MR Tender. Updated

The MBDA Akeron ATGW-MR after its launch from the Arquus Sabre SF vehicle.

SHAH ALAM: Apart from the usual suspects – the US made FGM-148 Javelin and the South Korean LIG Nex 1 AT-1K Raybolt – at least two China made anti-tank missile systems will be offered for the Army ATGW-MR.

As reported previously the ATGW-MR tender was published on April 18 and closes on May 18 (A check on the Eperolehan website today (May 20) showed that tender deadline has been extended to June 1. The new deadline was made on May 17.). From the tender specifications we know that the Army is looking for eighteen launchers and missiles.

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 4000m

Norinco HJ-9 Red Arrow 9. Norinco

The first China contender is the Norinco HJ-12 Red Arrow 12, which made its overseas debut in the Eurosatory 2014.
Norinco HJ-12 Red Arrow firing. Norinco

From Wikipedia:

The HJ-12 is a modern, third generation anti-tank missile developed by Norinco. The HJ-12 is a fire-and-forget system utilising lock-on before launch (LOBL) and is capable of being fired within buildings and bunkers due to its soft launch system. Once launched, it will home autonomously onto its target, allowing the operator to immediately take cover or reload to engage another target. Its fire-and-forget technology will reduce the number of anti-tank operators needed on a battlefield

FGM-148 Javelin in a firing position. Australia Defence Department.

The export version is the HJ-12E, with new control fins and rocket motors which was made public in 2016. The ATGW-MR has a range of 4,000 metres in the day-time and 2,000 metres at night, like the the Javelin and Raybolt.
Firing the METIS-M ATGM from the G-Wagen during a demonstration at PULADA in November, 2020. BTDM

The second China-made contender may well be the HJ-9 Red Arrow 9 also manufactured by Norinco. This is mostly a vehicle mounted system just like the in-service Metis-M ATGW-MR. Unlike the Metis-M, the HJ-9 missile uses the laser beam riding system to find its target, very much like Denel ZT-3 Ingwe anti-tank missile already in service with the Army.
FNSS Pars 4X4 equipped with a RWS with Omtas anti-tank missiles displayed at DSA 2022. EL/SC

If the HJ-9 is offered, it is likely that Roketsan Omtas ATGW system will also be in the mix. Like the HJ-9, the Omtas is more of a vehicle mounted system unlike the man-portable ones like the Javelin, Raybolt and Red Arrow 12. It is also likely the MBDA Akeron ATGW-MR will also take part in the tender.
Unlike the Carl Gustav and RPG-7, the NLAW can be fired safely in a confined space. SAAB

Based on the original specifications only the latter ones will be shortlisted though. It must be noted that the ATGW-MR will be operated from vehicles – the Cendana Auto ones – as with the Metis-M with the G-Wagens.

— Malaysian Defence

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20 Comments

  1. Marhalim, if I remember correctly, the tender has a weight limit of 25kg, so the OMTAS is over that limit.

    I would say the Raybolt which is both man portable and with vehicular mounted launchers is the best option IMHO.

  2. If we’re going with saclos missile we might as well add more Ingwe than to buy another missile.

  3. Tom Tom – ”is the best option IMHO”

    Whatever we eventually buy will fit the bill: no ”best option”; only what comes the closest to meeting operational requirements; preferences and the budget. The trick is to have it in decent quantities and to have it distributed and utilised in the right manner.

  4. dundun – ”If we’re going with saclos missile we might as well add more Ingwe than to buy another missile.”

    – It has no top attack capability.
    – Even for a vehicle mounted system; Ingwe is large and cumbersome.

  5. Buy more Ingwes. Raybolts and Javelins are probably all going to Europe and Ukraine. Perhaps there’s improved Ingwe versions from Denel. I was going to say this but dundun beat me to it.

  6. Zaft – ”Then we shouldn’t have bought the lngwe In The 1st place.”

    We shouldn’t have bought many things [want a list?] but we did didn’t we? Water under the bloody bridge.

    Ingwe is decent but it does not have a top attack capability and is large/cumbersome [orginally based on TOW 1]. It’s great as a IFV mounted system but should we buy more to equip infantry units : no. Even if it’s intended to be mounted on as softskin ideally it won’t weight a tonne and would be below a weight category in case it has to be manhandled/packed.

    As the saying goes; like a rear orifice everyone has an opinion. Everyone with a keypad has something to say; i.e. ‘X’ is better than ‘Y’ but ‘Z’ has better optics or range or we should get ‘A’; etc. If we get Raybolt someone will say we should have bought Javelin; if we bought Javelin someone would say we should have bought Akeron and so on and so forth. A clown might also mention Omtas and the ”best” price we could supposedly get due to the supposed Erdogan/Anwar ”best” friends/mates/pals/chums/rakan/buddies poppycock.

    I’m not really bothered what we get as whatever we get will do the job. What will make the difference is not what we get but how we distribute and operate it; as well as the numbers [unfortunately we’re buying a small batch].

  7. Ideally Since we are buying a small batch of consumables & military eat through consumables during conflict like no tomorrow at the same time we aren’t stockpiling enough consumables nor are manufacturing it locally because money doesn’t grow on tree and stockpiling/manufacturing consumables mean letting go of some asset, platforms or capabilities.

    then the supplier abilities to supply during conflict is a far more important consideration then delivery dates, price & performance. We don’t want to be the next Argentina whose run out of Exocet during a conflict won’t we?

  8. @Zaft
    TOW doesn’t have top attack ability yet it remain unquestionably effective against modern armour, so? Just cuz certain ATGM doesn’t have certain capabilities will not render it ineffective or obsoleted completely. Heavier missiles, ie TOW or Ingwe, have sufficient warhead size (plus tandem, plus shape charged) to punch thru MBT armour fired from the sides so its not like Ingwe is totally useless. This unlike man portables which would need such feature to be as effective in liew of a lighter warhead.

    Albeit Ingwe was a political buy (on top of the Denel LCT turret), but technically its a competent Western type ATGM for its time and still is. However since (if the new tender follows the older tender specs) it specifies top attack & direct mode, obviously the Ingwe will not qualify from a technical POV. Suit the horses for courses.

  9. From the requirement, it is clear that this tender is specifically for the replacement of Metis-M (all missiles expanded?) of the 7th Brigade, tasked to defend southern peninsular area.

    There is very little hope that we can get additional metis-m missile reloads from russia, due to the obvious current situation in Ukraine.

    For installation on cendana auto vehicles, I would prefer AT-1K Raybolt, with its dedicated vehicle launcher with twin missiles. This will enable a rapid second shot capability many other ATGM lacks.
    https://img.bemil.chosun.com/nbrd/data/10002/upfile/202104/20210416104021.jpg

    Raybolt can also be mounted on remote weapons station
    https://www.janes.com/images/default-source/news-images/bsp_36180-jdw-18784.jpg

    Another possibility if we do get the AT-1K Raybolt, is to request a free transfer of metis-m missiles from south korean army reserve stocks. This will enable us to both get a brand new top attack anti-tank missile, while keeping the old metis-m launchers operational/in reserve with additional missile restocks.
    https://m.facebook.com/ROKArmedForces/photos/a.805807109517678/4895109133920768/?type=3

  10. So the ATGW is deployed at the battalion level, the new ATGW will still be truck mounted, and it will replace the METIS-M. Is this still how it will be deployed? The previous tender with specifications suggested the system needed to be man portable – even if they did mount on a truck the Army might want something that could be deployed at platoon or squad level if needed, or that the longer term plan is to eventually deploy such systems at the platoon and squad level. Now without the weight limit all sort of ATGW is in play. Also, the original specification required a NATO stock number. Now there is no such requirement and Norinco is in play?

  11. @Kel
    “Now without the weight limit all sort of ATGW is in play”
    The more the merrier after all, likely the previous tender was too detailed and restrictive the specs as to limit the decision down to only a few obvious choices and the various players might have made noise as they were specced out. Now with no such requirements, is a free for all.

  12. The last time i checked, the raybolt, akeron and omtas does not have a NATO stock number.

  13. Zaft.

    In addition to having a tandem warhead and being non wire guided ideally a ATGW would have a top attack capability since the top of the turret is traditionally where the armour is the weakest.

    zaft – ”because money doesn’t grow on tree”

    Also because in line with our threat perception we don’t see the likelihood of being in a protracted was as high. That’s why we do a lot of the things we do; as have been alluded to.

    kel – ” Is this still how it will be deployed? ”

    Mounted on a 4×4 on a pinte mount but if circumstances dictate; operated on a tripod on the ground. Yes to replace Metis which we got in 2001/2002 followed by reloads later.

    Kel – ”eventually deploy such systems at the platoon and squad level”

    It’s a battalion asset which will be parceled out to where it’s needed; whether to a company or platoon. Almost nobody allocates ATGWs at section level organically.

    … – ”There is very little hope that we can get additional metis-m missile reloads from russia”

    Even if we could it would be politically unpalatable. As Dzirhan noted in an article some time ago the Treasury refused to green light Metis reloads. Yes there are other countries with reloads but whether they still have them [South Korea does – you suggested this years ago], whether we want to approach them and the age of their missiles are the prohibiting factors.

  14. “tandem warhead and being non wire guided ideally a ATGW would have a top attack capability”
    Also able to counter APS, jamming, and ability to fire from enclosed space.

    “Treasury refused to green light Metis reloads.”
    As we still have unresolved issue that happened earlier but which relates to the current conflict.

  15. ”Also able to counter APS, jamming, and ability to fire from enclosed space.”

    As it stands the only counter to APSs is saturation; from various angles. The ability to fire from enclosed spaces mainly is mainly with smaller, shorter range systems; i.e. Eryx, NLAW, etc. I have no knowledge about the effects of active jamming on ATGWs.

    ”As we still have unresolved issue that happened earlier but which relates to the current conflict.”

    We had issues related to Metis in the early days which I won’t mention here and the reason the Treasury decided against Metis reloads was to avoid any political unpleasantness.

  16. Top attack could also be countered by as easily as installing wire frame on tops of vehicles. Of course saturating with multiple rounds will go thru eventually.

    @Marhalim
    If we knew of a loophole, the US would have already known it. If we took it, CAATSA could hit us anytime the US wants. Locally it would also be damaging as 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 issue with Russia & their separatist minions remains unresolved.

  17. “Top attack could also be countered by as easily as installing wire frame on tops of vehicles”

    If only it were as easy as that. There’s a reason why hardly any Russian vehicles are still seen with the “umbrellas” or frames they were seen with during the early days of the invasion – ineffective. Another issue is they were an impediment to rapidly exiting the vehicle from the turret hatch.

    “Of course saturating with multiple rounds will go thru eventually”

    Saturation remains the only counter against APSs which have limited number rounds.

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