KUALA LUMPUR: Since the show ended on Thursday, lets finish our discussions on the contracts that were actually signed during the show. Since the matter of the AV8 and the Cougar will come up again in the near future, I will reserve my comments for now.
What were the contracts that were signed during the DSA 2010? Well for starters, it include the spares and technical assistance for the Scorpene submarine simulator system (RM128.5 million), 2R2M mortar system (RM60 million), supply of spares and technical services assistance for the Sukhoi Su-30MKM (RM100 million); an order of various ammunition and ordnance worth some RM46 million from SME Ordnance Sdn Bhd and the delivery of HK416 assault rifles for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RM6.9 million).
Both the spares and technical services contract were for a 3-year period. I have no idea whether the amount for the Scorpene simulator system will be adequate for the period specified but I am quite sure that the amount for the Sukhois is too small compared to number of aircraft the air force has. I believed RM100 million per year will have been more appropriate. What does this mean for our Sukhoi fleet? I have no idea at the moment.
RM60 million for eight mortars? Its means that the mortar costs us RM7.5 million each. It is expensive as a mortar goes especially one without an automatic loader. I do not want to be a spoil sport, but a 120mm mortar projectile is bloody heavy and each Adnan mortar carrier will only have two soldiers as the loaders. Since no one is talking about a fire control version of the Adnan to go with the mortar carriers, I am guessing that our soldiers rely on their Mk I eyeballs so there is really no need for an automatic loader?
We will skip the ammo and ordnance deal for SME Ordnance since its difficult to make comparisons for such things and go straight to the RM6.9 million deal for the HK416. The contract signing was just formality as the guns had been delivered to the Paskal.
Since we are getting a new class of assault rifle, the Maritime Assault Rifle complete with accessories it was not surprising the EACH gun cost around RM38,000! They only bought 180 guns. I have no idea what super-duper accessories which jacked up the price of the HK416 to RM38,000 but torch-lights, lasers, optics and thermal devices were part of the deal.
Another funny thing about the RM38,000 assault rifle is that Paskal, actually wanted the HK417! So do not be surprised that within two years there will be another tender for a Maritime Assault Rifle in 7.62mm calibre!
The Paskal probably wanted to replace their Valmets that were used in the LMG roles in the past. I saw one team carrying the Valmet in 1995 but I dont have the photograph proof of it. Lets just say that by identifying the Valmet was the reason I was able to get close the Paskal team back then.
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