End of An Era?

A GGK trooper with his well worn MP-5 submachine gun. BTDM picture taken on 4 Nov 2020 during the PTD visit to Kem Iskandar

SHAH ALAM: End of an era. It appears that the GGK counter-terrorism unit will be re-equipped with a new submachine gun replacing its venerable HK MP-5s. The MP-5s are used by the GGK’s CT unit as it preferred weapon though in some demonstrations the operators were armed with the Colt M4A1 carbines.

Despite this the Defence Ministry has issued two tenders in 2019 and 2021 to procure 155 9mm sub-machine guns. I am assuming that the 2019 tender lapsed after they failed to finalize the deal though 17 bidders took part with prices ranging from RM1.4 million to RM8.1 million.

GGK operators conducting a demonstration on Aug. 3 2019 as part of the deactivation of Task Force 450. They are armed with M4A1 carbines. Tentera Darat

In September, they tried again though the tender notice was called PEROLEHAN MEMBEKAL DAN MENGHANTAR SUB MACHINE GUN 9 MM (COMPLETE SYSTEM) – PERALATAN VITAL GGK. The tender closed on 12 October, just 21 days after it opened, and this time around only five bidders took part with proposals ranging from RM4.3 million to RM4.9 million.
GGK troopers posed for the camera after a ceremony at Kem Iskandar on May 7, 2018. Most are armed with rifles and carbines. BTDM picture

Interestingly the specifications for both tenders are basically the same and the weapon they are looking for need to be

(a) sub machine gun (b) Passive Sight. (c) Optical Sight. (d) Laser Aiming Module. (e) Visible Illuminator. (f) Suppressor. (g) Weapon Carrying Case. (h) Storage Case.

SF troopers prepare to move out after an exercise in 2010. Note the Ford Ranger assault vehicle of the 11GGK. The leader on the left is from 11 GGK, the other troopers who knows?

The technical specifications:

4. Technical. a. Sub Machine Gun. (1) Calibre. 9 x 19 mm. (2) Modes of Fire. The weapon shall be able to provide semi-automatic and fully automatic fire. (3) Effective Range. It shall be not less than 100 m. (4) Ammunition Feed. Magazine shall feed not less than 30 rounds. (5) Rate of Fire. It shall be not less than 850 rpm. (6) Muzzle Velocity. It shall be at least 400 m/s.
(7) Length. (a) Overall length shall not be more than 650 mm extended. (b) Overall length shall not be more than 530 mm telestock collapsed. (c) Barrel Length. It shall be not more than 210 mm. (8) Weight. Weight without magazine shall be not more than 3 kg. (9) Method of Operation. (a) It shall be rotating locking bolt system. (b) It shall utilize a short-stroke gas-piston system and run all weights and brands of 9 mm ammunition with no adjustments to the gas valve

A Taiwanese commando armed with a SIG MPX sub-machine gun. Wikipedia

Stating that the sub gun must utilize the short-stroke gas system is interesting as it virtually ensure that MP-5 – which is roller delayed blow back system – will not meet the technical specifications. In fact other sub-guns in service with other units in Malaysia from the HK UMP and the Scorpion EVO which utilised the blow back system are also excluded.
APMM STAR team personnel with with Swiss Arms SG-553SB and Heckler & Koch UMP 9mm at LIMA 2011. Wikipedia

Infact, a Google search showed that only modern 9mm sub-gun which uses the short stroke gas piston is the Sig MPX sub-machine gun. I stand to be corrected of course.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2141 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Err…. You forget Russian new SMG PPK-20. Ring a bell? I know they haven\’t announced when to export that weapon. Yet, it does look nice.

  2. I think you are right Marhalim on the Sig MPX. From words of many of Youtube gun reviewers, is a solid choice. If the end user already know what they eventually wanted, why not deliberately specify it like this tender and the ‘Gustav’ tender? It eliminates any unnecessary contenders that might not meet what the end user needs.

    The other million ringgit question is, what optics, lasers, lights and suppressors were offered?

  3. Ever since the SAS were seen live entering Princess Gate the MP5 became the weapon of choice and an iconic symbol. As far back as the early 2000’s units worldwide however were already looking for a replacement.

    A lot of the ones we have are Pakistani, lincensed made from HK. If I’m not mistaken it’s also issued in small numbers to a few select army units apart from Gerak Khas.

  4. How about AR platform 9mm carbine?

    Also these old mp5s aren’t going away. At most they’ll be passed down to regular uniformed units or the PGA

  5. Most of the 9mm AR carbine use the blowback system. The GGK MP5s could be down graded for training but then its different physical characteristics may well make it lot harder to move to the MPX. Easier to train on the M4 really

  6. An open tender as there is no exclusive SIG representative here. Furthermore the guns need to be equipped with accessories Direct negotiations are also frowned upon nowadays though we could do it via FMS.

  7. News reported that some rebel in Southern Philippines planning to invade Sabah – are we prepared?

  8. Kamal – “are we prepared?”

    Well we be better be after all the effort and resources placed into ESSCOM… More importantly is the report credible? The so called 600 men first have to cross the sea and land unopposed to do what they want. The fact that its become public also raises questions. Since 2013 we’d have build up our HUMINT assets in the area, thus we might not be in the dark so to speak. Next year is also election year, not as if an “invasion” of Sabah will lead to votes for Presidential and other candidates.

    Sabah only reasonates with the Tausugs. The average Filipino in other parts of Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon doesn’t give a damn. It’s not like how the Malvinas reasonates with the average Argentine.

  9. When Government practices opaque & closed buys, people complain.
    When Government practices open tender buys, people still complain. Sigh…

    If it appears in the news, its not gonna happen. LOL!
    No burglar announces where he would rob next, right. Unless its a red herring operation, but if not Sabah where would they want to really invade? Kalimantan?

  10. It”s kinda sad looking how GGK is looking for a 9mm subgun when many developed countries have moved on to SBRs rocking .300BLK… Oh well, you can always grind a 9 mil while shouting “I want the ’80s back!!!”

  11. Not only the buying cost for MP5 is expensive. Roller-delayed blowback is a complicated mechanism that requires regular maintenance from the manufacturer. You’d have to be an armchair army with a lot of money to have spares.

  12. ”Not only the buying cost for MP5 is expensive”

    Prices went down when production shifted to Pakistan. Quite a bit of our MP-5s are Pakistani.

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