FA-50, Tejas and JF-17 For FLIT-LCA

Korean Aerospace Industries FA-50PH. KAI

SHAH ALAM: Its looking likely that the Korean Aerospace (KAI) FA-50; Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Tejas LCA and the Sino-Pakistan JF-17 will be one of the aircraft selected as RMAF next generation FLIT-LCA. This is the likely outcome after RMAF chief Gen Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan in an interview with Perajurit that a physical evaluation on the selected aircraft will be conducted this June 22 and the contract is scheduled to be issued on August 22. He was quoted as saying that six aircraft will be delivered in stages in 2025. (In the interview no aircraft make was mentioned)

Tejas LCA MK 1. Wikipedia Commons

The interview is likely done ahead of the RMAF 64th anniversary on June 1. Anyhow, why did I said that the FA-50; Tejas and JF-17 will be among the ones selected? Well, in the written answers to my questions ahead of the anniversary, RMAF stated that six aircraft were put forward for the FLIT-LCA tender namely, the FA-50; Tejas and JF-17 and three others; the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hurjet; Yakovlev Yak-130 and the Mikoyan Mig-35D. As both the Russian planes are under sanctions while the Hurjet prototype will only fly next year, its obvious that only the three aircraft mentioned earlier will be the ones to be selected.

AVIC/PAC JF-17. Internet

It must be noted in the written answers, RMAF did not specify the final candidates of the FLIT-LCA tender nor confirmed whether Hurjet was dropped from the final list as it remained a prototype. RMAF also stated that it planned to buy 18 FLIT-LCA in the current RMK though it is not consistent with the statement made by the RMAF chief to Perajurit. Perhaps the next 12 will be contracted for next year or the year after. If this is indeed the way of the procurement going forward, it will kill off any talk of local assembly.

A mock-up of the TAI Hurjet. Daily Sabah

My guess it will be the FA-50 as I had mentioned before. Both the Tejas and JF-17 are strong candidates but the South Korean plane is the most logical one, it has the biggest user base and are in service much longer than the other pretenders. I stand to be corrected of course. I had previously said that there were only four aircraft that entered the FLIT-LCA tender.

PAL Aerospace/De Havilland Dash 8 400 P-4 MPA. PAL Aerospace.

Anyhow, in the Perajurit interview, Mohd Asghar Khan also said that the full report of the MPA tender will be forwarded to the Defence Ministry’s procurement committee on June 22 for a decision. In the written answers to Malaysian Defence. RMAF stated that validity period of the MPA tender has been extended to September 9, this year. The tender validity was supposed to end on June 3 (tomorrow). This will be the second time the tender’s validity is extended, the first one was done late last year, which allow it to be continued until June 3.

–Malaysian Defence

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102 Comments

  1. Most likely the Indon MPA will be selected. Heard from my connection in Mindef that the tender will be based on the lowest cost and relying on MK1 eyeball and very basic sensors to save cost. Political reasons. Perhaps the Government decide “Fit for but not with” standards again. I hope the Government will not rely on pressures from some politician (just recently assigned to Indonesia) and go for what is suitable and decided by the air force.

  2. It is said that there are 6 bids submitted.

    from most sources, those are

    1) Kemalak Systems Sdn Bhd – KAI FA-50
    2) Turkish Aerospace Industries – TAI Hürjet
    3) CATIC China – Hongdu L-15
    4) Leonardo Malaysia Sdn Bhd – Leonardo M-346
    5) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. – HAL Tejas Mk1A
    6) Aerospace Technologies Systems Corp Sdn Bhd (ATSC) – MiG-35

    Rumor is that the JF-17 team was told not to put in the bid by china to make way for L-15. But if TUDM told you that the JF-17 did bid, then JF-17 it is.

  3. Personally i would prefer if they capped the plan acquisition of 36 LCA to just 12 or at most 24.

    Afterwards just go acquire newly built MRCA next RMK. If the Korean paper to be trusted the cost per unit of LCA is $45 mil. Basically one can get 10 f35A for the price of 18 LCA.

  4. That long huh, is it possible the winner will be announced by June 22 or atleast before Aug 22? The wait is killing me…although I too agree the FA-50 is the likely winner

  5. The real fight will be Tejas and Fa-50 as final TUDM wishlist. I also believe we cannot shortlisted 1 only. The final call will be package n price.
    Tejas sounds not mature but it will be the only available “western” system choose besides FA50. It surprise me M-346 do not take part.

  6. Perajurit magazine is hard to get a copy now these days. i used to be an avid collector. where can i get it now?

  7. The last time I saw it, it was at the Popular bookstore in Aeon, Shah Alam. I think they are available for purchase on Shoppee or Lazada.

  8. @Marhalim, I was told CN-235 did participate in the Tender or may be the dark horse in MPA race with pressure from some politicians for cheapest options on table. It was also pushed forward by our new ambassador to Indonesia. What is the basic requirements proposed by Gov for our MPA? Sonar buoy capable? or armed with torps?

  9. @5zaft
    To put things into context, for the price of that LCA could get you a SU30 with all the bells & whistles. That is the costing gap between Russian & Western biased planes.

  10. Countries who fly T-50s, fly F-16s too, excepting the Philipines, which rumoured to prefer F-16 over Saab if not because of budget issue. T-50’s cockpit design is tailored for F-16 pilot, having a right hand side stick. If T-50 is choosen, F-16V of Rafeal should be the logical choice for TUDM future fighter jet procument. Personally, Saab Gripen is the best choice for TUDM, either C/D or E/F model. They have very strong ECM suites, which is vital for future AA combat, attacting even orders USAF, and strong AESA radar, march 4 meteor BVRAAM, very easy and economy to fly, maintain, and upgrade(software), having outstanding records in many red flag exercises, being offered attacting package by Saab for 2 AEW system etc.. Tejas, which is quite well looking, it’s systems are made up of componets from too many countries, will pose huge logistic nightmare to fly, unreliable to maintain, a plane not even trusted by India air force…

  11. The Tejas mk1A is yet to fly and will take another two years to be tested. How can that be shortlisted?

  12. kamal – ”What is the basic requirements proposed by Gov for our MPA? ”

    Obvious and something discussed widely before – radar, FLIR, ESM , etc – all the very basics and not an unneeded luxury in this day and age.

    Michael – ”Tejas sounds not mature”

    These have to be replaced and integrated with something else – EL/M-2055 AESA, TARGO HMDS and Litening pod.

    The Koreans have offred us a neww EW suite for the F/A-50 but i have no idea what radar apart from the Elta one has been integrated. The MAF also wants a targetting/recce pod.

  13. @Kamal

    Asset rationalization attempt between us with Aussie & Indo had been going on for a quiet awhile now as it makes national interest sense to do so not just due a pressure by just some politicians.

    If it’s the cheapest then atr72 mpa should be the cheapest option as the gov should owned some almost brand new atr72-600 airframe in storage. The second cheapest should be cn235 as it need sizeable R&D sum to turn it into a ASW platform but otherwise we do already owned (albeit an old) airframe.

    If not mistaken the budget for MPA is so low that one can’t even get a brand new ‘kosong’ airframe what more an airframe with MPA capabilities.

    @joe

    Unfortunately You do get what you paid for. The Russian has a serious lacked of precision munitions that cost them plenty of airframe in Ukraine while suffering uncoordination between their jet & ground base air defense. You could get a jet but you couldn’t get air supremacy out of it.

    Anyway 1/4 (or $15 mil) of the cost of fa50 is mostly for the R&D for BVR integration. Aesa radar only cost $1 million. So we essentially doing a ‘regional service’ paying a lot so our ‘western allign’ neighbors too could increase their capabilities for cheap. Not sure if the cost include Amraam. If not another $5-10 mil per jet for the usual 5 amraam per jet ratio.

    As for the radar, i assume it would be from Raytheon. As they are offering an aesa radar that not only fit into fa50 but legacy hornet as well. it can be licensed manufacturer locally too. I Won’t be surprised if they offered locally assemble NASAM like they did with the Aussie in the near future.

  14. Turkish navy has already operating ASW capable CN-235MPA for years. So it is a design already paid for by others.

    TUDM MKM has from the beginning the most advanced digital frequency-hopping jamming-resistant communication, and advanced IFF suite for a Flanker. IAF cannot effectively use their MKI against PAF due to easily jammed obsolete radios, and RuAF flankers over Ukraine seems to suffer the same. MKM also has advanced SAP-518 digital self-protection jammers, when even RuAF still used old tech L-175V “Khibiny” ECM pods. MKM has Thales Damocles targeting pods and can lase for laser guided bombs, while RuAF flankers and fullbacks flying over Ukraine with no targeting pods at all, and lobbing dumb bombs.

    KAI is offering new ingenious radar for TUDM.
    http://alert5.com/2022/05/05/lig-nex1-proposes-new-radar-for-fa-50-being-offered-to-malaysia-during-airpower-conference/

  15. Muzzz – ”I’m still hoping for Gripen..’

    It’s not even a serious contender. I’m hoping the RMAF get what meets it requirements and gets it in numbers. I’m also hoping the platform will be operated on a systems centric and not a platform centric level.

    5zaft – ”Asset rationalization attempt between us with Aussie & Indo had been going on for a quiet awhile”

    No it hasn’t. Any commonality we may have was by chance not design. It is not a priority to have commonalty with anyone for the simple reason that we are not tied to anyone defence wise – commonality with other countries; apart from adopting NATO small arms calibres and certain other things was never a priority.

    5zaft – ”national interest sense to do so not just due a pressure by just some politicians”

    Again – the politicians couldn’t give a shite about commonality; it is the armed services that do for reasons well known.

    5zaft – ”I Won’t be surprised if they offered locally assemble NASAM like they did with the Aussie in the near future.”

    Whether they do or not it makes no sense given we have zero economics of scale; are still dependent 100 percent on foreign sources and always change our priorities. Local assembly will give bragging rights; look good on PowerPoint briefs and other things but will lead to zero long term tangible benefits. It will also screw the taxpayer.

  16. Tejas is likely the frontrunner in MOF because of India’s willingness to do barter trade. FA-50 is probably RMAF’s preferred choice because its Western. Anything that has Russian equipment probably ranks lowest because of sanctions. Besides, the request is for a LIFT \ LIGHT combat aircraft – SU33 or MIG35 isn’t LIFT nor LIGHT. China’s L-15 is probably out given Malaysia is closer militarily to the West and China isn’t friendly with its 9 dash line. So Tejas vs FA-50. Would Malaysia look for a mix of TA and FA variants or all of one version if the Golden Eagle is selected?

  17. @5Zaft
    “atr72 mpa should be the cheapest option”
    What I gathered from discussions, ATR72 is one of the most option. However if Leonardo could package the deal with M346 for TUDM LCA/FLIT and AW139 for TDM medium chopper buys and Selex RAT-31DL/M for the radar tender, all which are coming about the same time, it could be compelling to the Govt for such a huge bid as it will have massive cost savings, plus Leonardo/Italy are known to take part barters so we could trade palm oil now that the world are more concern with food oil shortages than the ethical & environmental issues that had stigmatised palm oil when times were good. The Govt and TUDM knows MPAs are not cheap and knows how much they’d cost so defo will come out with sufficient budget to buy otherwise TUDM will defer such KOSONG purchases.

    “doing a ‘regional service’ paying for ‘western allign’ neighbors”
    That is prolly the most stupidest thing we could do with our limited budget. Why should we pay for FA-50 integration for our region, I mean ROKAF, PAF, Colombian AF are/will operate FA-50 so let’s get any of those specs will do. Neither should weapons cost be part of it as it could use the current stocks for legacy Hornet and Hawks.

    “they offered locally assemble”
    There will be some form of local involvement regardless of which bidder as it involves the insidious ICP program from Govt, the winner would prolly be the one offering the most compelling local partnerships.

    @kel
    “look for a mix of TA and FA variants”
    It is assumed that whichever won should have trainer & fighter variants for each respective LIFT/LCA roles rather than a single plane doing both.

  18. @m “Turkish navy has already operating ASW capable CN-235MPA for years.”

    And yet the turks still go out and bought the atr72 as well.

    Buying cn235 serve ID interest more then ours. They get an ASW capable MPA, improvement to their aerospace industry, export potential etc etc.

    M “So it is a design already paid for by others.”

    Might as well get the m346fa then and save $15 mil per jet. Those FA50 BVR upgrade cost 3/4 a proper MRCA servicing our neighbors & uncle Sam strategic objective more than just our own.

    Unless these countries are preparing us some special kind of compensation or we are pretty dumb going out of our way and spend the already limited defense budget we have mostly to pay to solve other people problems.

    Joe “However if Leonardo could package the deal with M346 for TUDM LCA/FLIT and AW139 for TDM medium chopper buys and Selex RAT-31DL/M for the radar tender, all which are coming about the same time, it could be compelling to the Govt for such a huge bid as it will have massive cost savings”

    IMHO cap55 is more ambitious then TDM & TLDM plans. It involved buying a single equipment for decades. I don’t see how it won’t turn into another rojak purchase without a KAI/TAI equivalent. And both Leonardo & lockmart are capable of being the ‘patner’ of choice. If not mistaken our MIG back then comes in knock down unit and being assemble in Kuantan instead of CBU flying in from Russia.

    @joe “we could trade palm oil now that the world are more concern with food oil shortages than the ethical & environmental issues that had stigmatised palm oil when times were good.”

    I think we both know that the palm oil issue like slave laborer are just coercion tools as Palm oil is our Archilles heels as Our zaibatsu, chaebol & ipanjin are all involved in it. It has less to do about ethics & environment and more to do with geopolitics & geoeconomy.

    @azlan “Whether they do or not it makes no sense given we have zero economics of scale; are still dependent 100 percent on foreign sources and always change our priorities. Local assembly will give bragging rights; look good on PowerPoint briefs and other things but will lead to zero long term tangible benefits. It will also screw the taxpayer”.

    Military equipment is never about economic of scale. It’s not an iphone or other consumer grade products. There’s only 200 customer worldwide for it, half are too poor to afford anything, some other are undesirables people to sold anything too.

    Again let stop comparing our strategy then that of Indonesia,India,Russia and claim our policy as a failure because we never intended to do what they are doing anyway. Our national interest is more similar to that of Aussie & sinkie. most of sinkie, aussie even Turks & Korean military equipment are mostly just rebranded license build of other people equipment. All the latter 4 strategy is not dissimilar to ours.

    A lot of Malaysian seem to assume the gov works similarly to us mere mortals. Wake up every morning, Work hard at works to earn MYR then go to money changer and get foreign currency to pay for import.

    But the reality is, any expenses paid for on MYR is essentially ‘free’ to gov as they owned the money printing machine. They can get it go brrrr for as long as people believe there’s a value in their paper money. So As long as GDP increase, we keep finding more oil & mineral in the grounds,as long as the babies are born in sizable numbers, as long as there’s immigration, as long as the citizens improve their efficiency, as long as taxes collection keep increasing Those printer can stay brrrr away. We essentially run a budget deficit for 2 whole decades now.

    But foreign import required us to trade with said country first and only then the gov can get foreign currency reserve to paid for import. Diminished those foreign currency reserve then we would go the way of Sri Lanka & Pakistan. Basically a country like us mere mortals need to work hard to earn foreign currency to pay for import. But not spending those foreign currency reserve would strengthen our own currency. So MOF & central bank doesn’t really like spending it. Preferred it to be lock in a vault instead.

    Palm oil counter trade is essentially paying for foreign stuff in MYR.pretty useful tools to paid for import from country we have trade deficit with PRC,Taiwan,SK,ID,Russia, middle east etc etc as We don’t have enough of their currency to buy big ticket item from them in the first place.

    However We don’t have a problem paying import in SGD, euro,yen & USD as we have a trade surplus with them. Thus, Palm oil counter trade for LCA is NEVER about affordability but a political tools to favor a certain particular vendors.

    Off course paying for in MYR is even better. Mostly it’s about turning on the money printing machine and makes it go brrr which is why we currently can afford to spend 1.5% of GDP on defence compared to 1% during the let import everything phase decades ago.

  19. To my knowledge other than the Golden Eagle, are there dedicated LIFT versions for the the Tejas and JF17? Isn’t the Tejas and JF17 purpose built multirole fighters? The Golden Eagle trainer and fighter variants are quite different (size, capabilities, equipment, price, and development paths).

  20. zaft – Military equipment is never about economic”

    Utter nonsense. If one is serious about cost effectiveness and other things then economics of scale is everything. If however one is like us and when local production is politically driven and intended to benefit the local industry and give bragging rights then economics of scale is not important. The result is what we have now; a MAF we can’t afford to adequately equip and one whose capabilities don’t reflect what we’ve spent on it.

    Here you are confidently claiming that economics of scale isn’t important but the facts speak for themselves; take an objective look at various things we’ve done, ask around and you’ll realise what you’re claiming is incorrect.

    5zaft -” Again let stop comparing our strategy then that of Indonesia,India,Russia and claim our policy as a failure because we never intended to do what they are doing anyway”

    Firstly who made the comparison? If I’m not mistaken you’ve had the habit of making a number of comparisons in the past; without factoring in various factors. Secondly what we intended to do was similar; build up the local industry, generate revenue and lessen dependence on the outside so what are you on about saying what we are doing is different?

    5zaft – ” Our national interest is more similar to that of Aussie & sinkie. most of sinkie, aussie even Turks & Korean military equipment”

    5zaft -“All the latter 4 strategy is not dissimilar to ours.”

    Is this comedy hour? Spare me the lectures about your view of economics, political and other things as you personally see them and stick to the script.

    Those countries have sound realistic long term policies with a clear appraisal of what they want to achieve and the have economics of scale [which you claim isn’t important] and allocate the needed resources. Over here we don’t; substance and actual tangible benefits for the end user and taxpayer aren’t a priority. National interests, most of which end up screwing the taxpayer, is the priority.

  21. Since this is essentially just a one horse race and we are paying through the nose, i really hope that we get best bang for the bucks and get Raytheon apg79 aesa radar instead of some risky untested Korean radar. It’s the same radar in the legacy & super hornet afterall.

    Though If apg79 do indeed being chosen. Would there’s really be any need to get the Kuwaiti hornet anymore?

  22. I find alot of value in reading 5zaft and Azlan’s different views. While they have very different views, their discussions here help broaden our minds and very intellectually stimulating.

  23. Is APG-79 even going to fit on FA-50?

    Raytheon offered its APG-84 AESA radar for FA-50 whilst Northrop Grumman offered their APG-83 (same radar as F-16V) but Lockheed practically cockblock the move, saying that they will only approve such upgrade if the RoKAF KF-16 gets upgraded to F-16V variant.

    My take is that even in the event of RoKAF upgrading their own F-16 to F-16V, I don’t think they’re going to pay for integration costs for FA-50 as these planes as they’re already have KF-21, F-15K and F-16V as front line aircraft and FA-50 will remain as secondary plane for light fighter duties like point defence and CAS.

    Getting kuwaiti F/A-18 is a sensible options regardless of whether we get AESA treatment for FA-50 or not. The hornets is our go to maritime strike fighter as it can carry 2 sets of harpoon on top of other air to air missiles for the inevitable air combat as there’s no way they’re going to do maritime strike mission uncontested. It could carry more munitions, fly faster, fly further and bonus point for commonality and ground support familiarity.

    A better solution is to simply get the FA-50 like what other countries get and worry about the upgrades later. The AF are short on airframes even before the Migs were retired.

  24. It is likely if the FA-50 is procured it will be fitted with the LG licensed built Elta radar. The radar is already available with modes for BVR missiles and likely can be integrated with Amraam or other types. The Israeli missile Derby is already integrated on the same radar though I am not sure whether anyone has done so though RTAF has published graphics of such capabilities. Their upgraded F-5Ts with a similar ELTA radars are already supposed to be able to fire the Derby. I don’t think with our timelines and budget we will be able to integrate a new radar on the FA-50 if we get them

  25. dundun -Getting kuwaiti F/A-18 is a sensible options regardless of whether we get AESA treatment for FA-50 or not”

    It’s only a “sensible” option if there’s a replacement when we retire them; if we get adequate numbers of ordnance and support equipment and if adequate resources are allocated to sustain them [they are 30 odd years old and will be older if or when they get here and aircraft that age will cost quite a bit to sustain].

  26. @marhalim

    hard to say.

    US strategic interest is to monopolies other countries air dominance platforms and they aren’t shy about twisting not just the buyer arms but the other sellers as well to maintain their suzerainty over them and thus their hegemony.

    Buying Elta radar not only going to be politically suicidal decision over here but there’s the risk that US would never agree to intergrated amraam to such radar.

    As for other options. The meteor option seem dead, if not the m346 wouldn’t have bailed out. derby is unlikely for political reason. mica?

    @Dundun

    Can’t remember where I read it, but APG79 is the one they offered, (i assume it would be smaller size version then the legacy hornet as FA50 only have a single engine thus lower electricity output) along with options for local assembly, some ECM capabilities while the intergration would be done either by themselves or with a partner by 2025.

    If not mistaken future capabilities for maritime strike is part of the LCA requirements.In theory Raytheon radar should be able to shoot Raytheon JSM on top of amraam. The requirements also include drop tank & Arial refuelling. So capabilities wise it shouldn’t be too far behind the legacy hornet. The Kuwaiti hornet is also quite basic, some say with radar worse then that in our own hawk. Could we really afford to buy the LCA, upgrade the Kuwaiti hornet while buying at least 5 amraam per jet all on top of MPA, MALE, long range radars all at the same time?

    The reason I bought MRCA up is because Some chatter that i hear is that US is vetoing our acquisition of the hornet. Logically speaking, why would they let our hornet continue to fly beyond it 2027 expired date into 2035 where competitors like the tempest & mitsu FX would be on offered.

  27. As long as its called an LG radar it will be ok. Of course no Israeli missiles. No lah, the US will not blocked the Kuwaiti Hornet deal because of the other countries offers for their jets.

  28. On the Kuwait hornets, Kuwait uses the single seat C variants as fighters. Their 2 seat D variants are configured as trainers. I presume RMAF is interested in Kuwait’s D variants – probably reinforcing the existing squadron to 12 planes (+4). If RMAF had the money to refurbulish the planes, I think the transfer would have been done earlier. Kuwait don’t need them, US don’t need them. Every other operator is replacing them.

  29. 5zaft – ”IMHO cap55 is more ambitious then TDM & TLDM plans. It involved buying a single equipment for decades.”

    ”Ambitious” because both require a sustained level of funding; a commitment the government can’t and won’t make given that defence is not a priority and the average voter doesn’t care. The intended force structure is certainly not ”ambitious” but is seen in private by many serving officers as a joke; an indication of how serious we take our defence needs.

    As it stands both the 15/5 and CAP 55 were PR driven exercises driven by the political climate of that period; both were a minimum compromise and looked great on PowerPoint slides but never had a chance of actually being implemented.

    5zaft – really be any need to get the kywaiti hornet anymore”

    The LCA and the Hornet are different aircraft intended for different operational requirements; getting one does not do away with the need for the other [even if the LCA had hypersonic missiles and a radar with a 10,000km range and able to detect 5,000 contacts simultaneously]; they should not be conflated.

    dundun – ” and worry about the upgrades later.”

    No. For it to perform the tasks allocated for it it has to be fitted with a number of systems/components and those have to be integrated/certified. We can’t ”worry about it later” as it could lead to issues in the future and without them the LCA won’t be able to meet the RMAF’s requirements.

    Marhalim – ”It is likely if the FA-50 is procured it will be fitted with the LG licensed built Elta radar.”

    Yes; the most practical route. Anything else will take time and costs more. If we had bought Super Hornets in the 2002/2003 period we were offered Litening; made under license by Zeiss to get around the ”Made in Israel” angle.

  30. “both were a minimum compromise and looked great on PowerPoint slides but never had a chance of actually being implemented”

    so why can’t the many so called defence experts in malaysia come out with a more practicle and implementable alternative to the 15/5 and CAP55? I would love to read an alternative take if posted here.

  31. If Hanwha Systems AESA is used, its likely an Elta signal processor is in the radar. Maybe should consider a Grifo-E radar.

  32. mokka – “so why can’t the many so called defence experts ”

    One does not have to be a “so called defence expert”; merely to have some level of understanding as to the MAF’s requirements in relation to its operational commitments and the country’s threat calculus.

    mokka – I would love to read an alternative take if posted here”

    In the past there have been alternative plans posted by people here. Ultimately anything beyond the already approved 15/5 and CAP 55 will not be approved because it requires the government to spend more than the absolute minimum stretched over a ridiculously long period. Both the RMAF and the RMN will strive to stick as far as possible to the CAP55 and 15/5 but both plans will undergo changes and in the case of the 15/5 died a natural death years ago.

    As it stands even the 15/5 when presented was not approved by the bureaucrats and took high level intervention to be passed.

  33. azlan – “Ultimately anything beyond the already approved 15/5 and CAP 55 will not be approved”
    What about better alternative takes to 15/5 and CAP55 that is within the current level of defence spending? Proper clear planning up till 2035 instead of 2055 for example.

    azlan – “in the case of the 15/5 died a natural death years ago”
    As the 15/5 is not workable, it is a good time for defence commenters here to work out an alternative workable naval future plan. Maybe you can start the ball rolling with your ideas?

  34. If we really hit the forecasted 2025 gdp of $500+billion and by 2030 a gdp of $1+ trillion, the CAP55 is achievable. We can further save a lot of money if we buy american products as you are not allowed to markup their prices 100-200 percent.

  35. mokka – ”Proper clear planning up till 2035 instead of 2055 for example.”

    As has been explained; the long periods are due to the unwillingness of the government to commit to anything on a shorter time frame. Both plans are stretched to the maximum because anything in the shorter term wouldn’t have been approved [in theory a longer period puts less strain on the government]; both are dependent on the government putting it’s cash where it’s mouth is; both armed services having little to no control.

    mokka – ”As the 15/5 is not workable”

    It’s too modest in terms of the intended force structure [based on the present threat calculus which is based on the geo political/strategic environment as we perceive it] and stretched over too long a period [due a tight fisted government which is reluctant to spend more than the absolute minimum on defence] but the focus on achieving greater commonality and in doing so; reducing the logistical/support footprint; is sound.

    As it stands; the 15/5 will evolve and already has; the RMN maintaining for political reasons that its committed to the 15/5. CAP 55 is based on the same thing : greater commonality and in doing so; reducing the logistical/support footprint whilst making it ”affordable” or bearable for the politicians but is stretched over too long a period and is quite modest; based on the premise that threats we face will be non protracted and non high intensity; as well as the lack of funding. Getting us to take defence more seriously and to allocate more funding would require a significant change in the threat calculus and would also require us to acknowledge we have a defence policy and outlook which is fundamentally flawed and political driven; in need of a deep and holistic revamp.

    mokka – ”mokka – ”Maybe you can start the ball rolling with your ideas?”

    Others have done so. My main grip is that both plans [for legitimate reasons, not out of choice] are stretched over too long a period [the Scorpenes will be 30 odd years old when the planned follow on SSNs are supposed to be ordered – what commonality will we achieve given that by then the Scorpene will no longer be produced and that technology would have moved on] and that our mainline combatants are too modestly armed and have little to no above and below deck space for future growth. I also question if the modular payload concept [embraced by others and in turn rejected by others] is the way to go for the RMN; despite the on paper advantages of flexibility and costs savings. As it stands; both the 15/5 and CAP 55 will slowly evolve [the 15/5] already is but it all depends on adequate investments on the part of the government which is by large apathetic towards defence and has a voter base with a similar view.

  36. hasnan – ”the CAP55 is achievable.”

    [1] It’s not just the money; it’s stretch over too long a period.
    [2] As time drags; priorities and requirements change. Internal politics also changes.
    [3] It’s also not only about the hardware but also the software and the enablers; if we get MRCAs in the 2030 period but don’t get a AEW how will we maximise to the full the capabilities MRCAs offer?
    [4] As it stands we don’ even know if the RMAF will get the LCA it needs and in the numbers it needs.

    hasnan – ”We can further save a lot of money if we buy american products”

    Under FMS there is no place for middlemen. The contract is signed on a government to government basis and a U.S. armed service takes delivery on behalf of the end user and ensures all contractual obligations are met.

  37. ‘If Hanwha Systems AESA is used, its likely an Elta signal processor is in the radar. Maybe should consider a Grifo-E radar.’

    @Shah
    Quite agree with your take.
    I was reading a Korean news snippet. On LG AESA developments. It too mentioned in passing that they can probably offer their AESA radar for TUDM’s FA50 buys if that’s required. I thought there’s probably some Israeli input somewhere if that is so. Just a thought though.

  38. @Hasnan
    “We can further save a lot of money if we buy american products”
    Bear in mind, buy Uncle Sam is always by hard cash and with our shitty exchange rates no thanks to our weak economy, we are going to pay thru the noses for US stuff. As compared to other sources many whom we can push for certain offsets & barters. But the real point is not the source nation we buy from, but who we nego the deal and if its G2G the same no markups also applies like how’d we bought Scorpenes from French Govt rather than a 3rd party. OTOH, direct nego meant there is no transparency and no fairness & impartiality on the selection so the end user has no say and there could still be element of self interest in the dealing (politically, not corruption or such. Not to say it cannot happen but that would meant a country corrupting another nation’s leaders/decisionmakers, so yeah a lot implications there but I digress).

    What I would like to see is a blind tender, whereby enduser have to put up specifications or performance envelopes and quantities needed by when but not stating the brand or make or nationality where it comes. The Govt will be responsible to have an open tender based on the blind specs and decides the winner with agreement from the enduser. This way the Govt will shoulder any issues with the deal inc hankypanky if any, and the enduser should no longer complain they are getting unsuited equipment.

  39. With GtoG, the decision to buy is ours really, the direct negotiations is just over the price, delivery schedule and other ancillary stuff, it’s never about what things we want to buy. It’s just the end process really. One can have an open tender for such procurement and the GtoG part only comes in once the selection process have been made. As with the hanky panky part, of course it could still happen as this comes about prior to the GtoG part. If I read correctly about the Scorpene deal, the allegations about the corruption comes about during the selection process and not the GtoG.

  40. On another topic. The Shangri-La Dialogue starts today. Often overlooked and not known to many but it’s an important platform for dialogue/consultations for regional issues. Let’s see if anything interesting is said this year.

  41. @Hasnan
    The USA is the epitome of “cakap tak serupa bikin”, you think their corporates are not susceptible to corruption but they are merely good at hiding it or the Govt turns a blind eye when it suits them. US simply enforces national & global laws at their own whims & fancies when it suits their goals. You think there was no hanky panky going on when they spannar Aussie/France sub deal by dangling Aukus only? Heck no the Aussies done that if the “incentives” from USA compensates for the penalties to France.

    All countries have anti-corruption, anti-bribery rules, but its just a matter of political expediency when they chose to enforce on a case by case basis.

  42. azlan – “The Scorpenes will be 30 odd years old when the planned follow on SSNs(sic) are supposed to be ordered”
    So why not buy Scorpenes now instead of eight LMS batch 2? With the LCS Gowind back on track, and every single ship that the LMS supposed to replace will still be operational up to 2035, isn’t going for subs a better bet?

    hasnan – ”the CAP55 is achievable”
    I don’t see how. There are some dubious plans, such as MERAD (Medium Range Air Defence System) by RMK13. Why is a single purpose system such as MERAD is much more a priority than things such as AWACS that can do ISR, C3 and enable better situational awareness for the airforce as a whole? A battery of MERAD cost can buy 2-3 ERIEYE AWACS.

  43. 5zaft – “What’s the point of AEW when there’s not even enough jet around?”

    It’s 2022. To get the most of what any platform has to offer; it has to be operated at a systems and not platform level. Getting a AEW enables you to fully exploit your jet’s capabilities.

    Mokka – “why not buy Scorpenes now instead of eight LMS batch 2? With the LCS Gowind back on track

    – The requirement for the LMSs are for a ship to perform slightly different roles compared to the LCS and in slightly different operational circumstances. They are also intended to replace the aged FACs, Laksamanas and PCs – having the LCSs doesn’t obviate this requirement.
    – Navies tend to focus on immediate requirements and as it stands the requirement is for a class of LMSs; not SSKs. Also, thanks to the controversy related to the Scorpenes the issue of subs is a political minefield; still fresh on the minds of voters. You really expect a government which is due for a GE within the year of so to order SSKs in this political and economic climate? The government can make the case that LCAs are needed to replace the aging Hawks and because we need a LIFT; such a case can’t be made for SSKs. The average voter couldn’t care less about what SSKs can do; especially when we already have a pair.
    – It’s tempting and seductive to assume so but there is no “better”. Everything is good for different things and in slightly different operational circumstances. SSKs are great but they are not a panacea or a one size fits all solution. They will be circumstances where they can’t deploy or operate effectively and they still have to be operated in conjunction with other assets.

  44. Azlan,

    So what kind of air force leaders do we have that prioritize MERAD (Medium Range Air Defence System) over AWACs in relation to its operational commitments and the country’s threat calculus?

    The original 15/5 plan of additional subs when the current ones are more than 30 years old is too stretched out in your opinion, but the idea of getting some subs before 2030 got a long list of multiple reasons not to by you. So in your opinion when will be the right time that RMN can get additional subs?

  45. Mokka-“So what kind of air force leaders do we have that prioritize MERAD”

    Firstly the immediate requirement for a medium range SAM is a “army” requirement; not a “RMAF” one; which is a very very long way from happening. Secondly the decision on what to prioritise for funding is a political decusion. Thirdly whether or not a AEW should be funded before a medium range SAM is subjective. If one wants to say something is more essential than the other someone else can say that MPAs or UASs are more essential than a AEW in our context.

    Mokka – “but the idea of getting some subs before 2030 got a long list of multiple reasons not to by you”

    It’s a “long list” of various valid/legitimate reasons why politically a sub buy isn’t possible. Not my reasons per see, irrespective of whether you agree or not – you asked I answered. I also pointed out why at this moment in time the priority for the RMN is the LMS; what the LMS is intended for and why getting the LCS does not do away with the need for the LMS [sometbing you raised] as both are different requirements intended for different things. I also pointed out that there is no “better”.

    Mokka – “opinion when will be the right time that RMN can get additional subs?”

    Quite obviously the answer is now or in the immediate future but for a variety of reasons which I have explained it will not happen for many years yet. The RMN’s priority – whether one agrees or not – for the coming years are the LCS, LMS, ASW configured helos and other things. A sub buy is a political minefield for the government at present and the requirement has been approved in principle as per the 15/5 but not approved for funding; nor has a timeline been identified.

  46. Azlan – “Firstly the immediate requirement for a medium range SAM is a “army” requirement; not a “RMAF” one; which is a very very long way from happening”
    All the latest news about the need for MERAD is from RMAF, with even the timeframe for when it wants it – RMK12, which is right now, not as you say very very long way away. No news of this from the army. What is your reason to say that MERAD is not a RMAF official requirement, while it is clearly stated in CAP55 and being publicly mentioned by RMAF Panglima Tentera Udara?

    Azlan – “Quite obviously the answer is now or in the immediate future”
    So if it is now or in the immediate future, from your knowledge and experience how can that obvious answer be translated into the real world? How can it be done? How would you do it so that RMN can get its additional submarines now or in the immediate future?

  47. Azlan “It’s 2022. To get the most of what any platform has to offer; it has to be operated at a systems and not platform level. Getting a AEW enables you to fully exploit your jet’s capabilities.”

    Except for the fact that our jet is old. The hawk already reaching replacement age while the hornet would reach it in next 5 years.

    Am not sure how long the mkm can stay flying with all the things going around. The last russian jet we had don’t fly more than 20 years. if it’s true for the mkm as well then it would stop flying by 2030s.

  48. Mokka – “not as you say very very long way away”

    As it stands the first to get a medium range SAM will be the army not the RMAF. As for the current Malaysia Plan note that there’s a difference between something having been registered for purchase and something registered, approved and allocated funding.

    Mokka – “How can it be done? How would you do”

    The answer is simple even if it’s not what you want to hear : focus is on the LCS, LMS, ASW configured helos and other things. The requirement for SSKs is not a priority and has not even been approved. It’s not a question of what I would do if I have it my way or “how it could be done” but the facts as they stand; if the RMN had sufficient surface assets and if SSKs were not such a political minefield then yes conditions would be more ideal politically and from an operational perspective for their purchase but they are not..

    5zaft -“Except for the fact that our jet is old”

    Even older platforms are networked to AEWs and other assets… Age is not a factor.

  49. @mokka
    “air force leaders do we have that prioritize MERAD over AWACs”
    It is interesting to me that you have a diametrically opposing viewpoint from another forumer who was adamant we should ditch air superiority and go OP on land based antiair defences, SAMs, Manpads, and asymmetric warfare taking inspiration from Ukraine. Not to say either is wrong but just interesting there are both opposing views.

  50. None is wrong per see but there has not been a single instance of a GBAD able to effectively deny the use of airspace to an opponent when not in used in conjunction with air power; not in Kosovo, not with Iraq’s KARI; not in the various Arab/Israeli; not in WW2 and not in the Ukraine where both sides are unable to achieve air superiority because of various factors. A GBAD; no matter how extensive, layered, capable or networked can never be a substitute for airpower.

    Asymmetrical warfare is great as long as it leads to the intended results; dependent on the nature of the conflict and the problem is that the enemy also has a vote in that he also can practice asymmetric warfare and understands it’s strengths and limitations too.

  51. Azlan – “As it stands the first to get a medium range SAM will be the army not the RMAF. As for the current Malaysia Plan note that there’s a difference between something having been registered for purchase and something registered, approved and allocated funding.”

    As of now, there is no news of the army plans for MERAD. While there is multiple press release of RMAF want for MERAD. Are you saying that quietly malaysian army already registered, approved and allocated funding foe MERAD? While RMAF even with publicly stated intent in CAP55 and multiple press releases of intent to have MERAD in RMK12 has not?

    Joe – “we should ditch air superiority and go OP”
    I am for RMAF not having MERAD, but I am curious Azlan is mentioning that RMAF does not want them when all the proof points to yes and instead it is the army that wants MERAD which is mouse quiet on the topic of MERAD. I am for malaysia to prepare for asymmetrical response and would like to see RMN with more submarines instead of LMS, and RMAF with multiple squadrons of TB2 UAVs and AWACs instead of MERADs. RMAF having AWACs and improved situational awareness is much more better than RMAF having MERADs.

  52. mokka – ”Are you saying that quietly malaysian army already registered, approved and allocated”

    That is exactly what I’m saying… Funding for the army’s [not the RMAF] medium range system has been approved under the 12th Malaysia Plan; the RMAF will get its systems much later. Do your research and you can also look at a post Marhalim did last year if you doubt the accuracy of what I’m saying.

  53. They got less than 20 of the Amraam, if I remember correctly, anyhow its less than 30, I don’t think they want them to stick in a box

  54. Azlan, if you are talking about this –

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/more-short-range-sams-in-rmk12-hopefully/

    No mention of any MERAD for the army. Just V-SHORAD and SHORAD.

    But even if those are approved for the army, I hope that MoD will push RMAF to drop the MERAD requirement and go for AWACs instead.

    Hopefully the army will prioritize V-SHORAD and SHORAD, forget about the 6×6 IFV and stock up on top attack ATGMs. Koreans have some good but cheap and cheerful V-SHORAD and ATGM in the shape of Chiron and Raybolt.

  55. Out of curiosity..Are AA gun towed or SP or AA turret still relevant nowadays? Especially for base defence? Didnt RMAF need them for base defense or are Manpads/Starstreak are enough for now? What exactly RMAF require/need for their GBAD’s requirement? AD Radars? Munitions or MERAD?

  56. MERAD vs AEW vs AEWC becomes a discussion on the strategy. Some of everything and not enough of anything, or min-max assets. Either blanket the sky with the thickest anti air fire (guns and missiles) and electronic counter measures or, get AEWC and pair them with a dozen new heavy jets.
    Or get a few SAM launchers (not enough just nice to have) a few AEW planes to see and look (not enough just nice to show we have), a few light combat aircraft (not nearly enough but we say we have BVR jets), to enable RMAF to say we have the capability, but really we don’t because there isn’t enough of it to make a difference.

  57. Not just AMRAAM…Sidewinders too. I believe TUDM requested one battery of 12 launchers. Good to acquire skills.

    The purpose of the NASAMS Multi-Missile Launcher is to transport, support and launch the Raytheon Family of Missiles; AIM-120 AMRAAM, AMRAAN ER and AIM 9X Sidewinder Block II missiles with different characteristics, all mounted on the same launch rail inside the protective canisters. One launcher (LCHR) permits rapid launching of up to six missiles against single or multiple airborne targets.

  58. SP AA gun is more relevant nowadays especially a gun and missile combo as the need to protect against drones apart from aircraft, munitions and even ground targets. The RMAF requirement is a MRAD system just the like the Army, though its more for air base defence. The Army is for more strategic deployment though I don’t think there is enough money to do it properly

  59. mokka – ”I am curious Azlan is mentioning that RMAF does not want them when all the proof points to yes”

    I did not say the RMAF does not want a medium range SAM. What I did clearly say is that it’s a political decision on what to buy first [in reference to your ”what kind of air force leaders do we have that prioritize MERAD”]and that as it stands GAPU will get a medium SAM first as has long been the plan [since the early 2000’s]. BTW whether it’s the RMAF or RMN [which also had a requirement for a medium range SAM] it’s GAPU that’s in charge of evaluation and that GAPU which already has the alerting devices. Also, the RMAF’s priority at present are LCAs, MPAS, and a Nuri replacement; as far as it’s concerned SAMS are less of a priority – this is different for the army for whom SAMs are a priority; alongside mobile arty, ATGWs, 6×6 IFVS and other things.

    mokka – ”No mention of any MERAD for the army. Just V-SHORAD and SHORAD.”

    The likes of Spyder, NASAMs, MICA and others falls into the ”SHORADs” category or also ”short to medium range”.

    mokka – ”RMN with more submarines instead of LMS, and RMAF with multiple squadrons of TB2 UAVs and AWACs instead of MERADs. RMAF having AWACs and improved situational awareness is much more better than RMAF having MERADs.”

    Different things for different operational circumstances – should not be conflated even if it’s tempting and convenient. Having something does not do away with the need for something else; there is no ”better” only different and which is more suitable for specific requirements/conditions in line with threat perceptions as perceived. We need various things; saying a GBAD is not as needed as a AEW is like saying one does not need a assault rifle if one already has a GPMG – unless of course one has an oracle which can read the future. A

    -GBAD. There has been no conflict where a GBAD on its own managed to deny the use of airspace to an opponent’s airpower. As shown in various conflicts a GBAD without airpower to supplement it can be gradually degraded by SEAD/DEAD.
    -UASs; do not assume that a conflict we face might have the needed permissive airspace for the successful employment of UAS like in Afghanistan, Nargano Karabakh; Libya, Iraq, Syriaa, Yemen, Nigeria, campaign in the Donbas, Ethiopia/Tigray and various other places [all places in which airpower was not fully deployed and where those on the receiving end of UAS strikes did not have the right systems to counter them]. UASs are slow and defenceless and are vulnerable if faced with an opponent which has an effective counter UAS capability – look at UAS losses in the Ukraine. I’m all for UASs and I believe the army should get a few hundred micro commercial ones for ISR right down to company level; that a joint ”UAS Command” should operate all MALEs and I’ve long pointed out [years ago] that non state actors have a better UAS capability than the army but I will not put UASs on a pedestal and I will acknowledge their weaknesses and the fact that by themselves they are not a panacea and have limitations [people go gaga about their performance in conflicts but overlook their limitations] and have to be [like almost everything else] employed in conjunction with other assets; plus be used with the right C3, right ROE and in a permissive environment.
    – SSKS. I think we should get more sooner rather than later [alas we can’t and won’t for reasons already explained] but they aren’t a panacea; have to operate alongside MPAs and other things [for OTHT and detecting targets] and potential opponents also have them and fully understand their capabilities. It would also be sheer folly to assume that just because they are underwater that SSKs will always be able to operate effectively.

    kel – ”there isn’t enough of it to make a difference.”

    Depends on the nature of the conflict : a long drawn/protracted one or a short one?
    kel – ”MERAD vs AEW vs AEWC becomes a discussion on the strategy.”

    All are intended to supplement each other. A balanced mix comprising a layered and networked AD system with redundancy; ample early alerting; sufficient gap fillers and a sound C3 backed by airpower; which in turn is networked to a AEW; also networked to the GBAD.

    Firdaus – ”.Are AA gun towed or SP or AA turret still relevant nowadays?”

    Depends. Is it used for point defence in a fixed location or does it have to provide maneuver elements with AD coverage and has to move on rough terrain?

  60. mokka – ” stock up on top attack ATGMs.”

    Which we really need but whose capabilities will be somewhat lessened if [unlike the Russians in the Ukraine] an opponent has new gen ERA [to deal with tandem warheads], a APS and whose armoured vehicles are supported by infantry [who are well trained on combined arms tactics]; are screened by an advance element and have a UAS on overwatch. We need to place things in the proper context and look at things in totality; note that improved Russian tactics have made their armoured formations less vulnerable to Ukrainian ambushes/attacks.

    Ultimately we need both IFVs and top attack munitions [having one does not do away with the need for the other] and do note that in our operating environment there will be a lot of places where a ATGW can’t be used in the top attack mode because of vegetation; direct mode will have to be used.

  61. @ azlan

    Is it a sheer folly that some point of view here wants RMN to have more submarines for its main combattant, rather than spend load of money on mediocre surface ships? There is a recent study on South China Sea that predicts there will be a low chance of surface ship vs surface ship fighting in SCS in the future.

    If it is so why Australian Navy in its planned response to the future threats are going to double its submarine fleet to 12, while remaining its destroyer and frigate surface fleet to its current size?

    RAN future fleet

    3 Hobart air warfare destroyer replacing 6 Adelaide class frigates

    9 Hunter class ASW frigate replacing 8 ANZAC class frigates

    @ azlan

    “there will be a lot of places where a ATGW can’t be used in the top attack mode because of vegetation; direct mode will have to be used”
    You do realise that ALL top attack ATGMs (Javelin, Raybolt, MMP etc) has direct attack mode function? Buying top attack ATGM will give both options, unlike ATGM without top attack function.

  62. Stanley – “Is it a sheer folly that some point of view here wants RMN to have more submarines for its main combattant”

    Wanting things on a personal basis is one thing, looking at reality is a completely different thing. The reality is that at this moment in time the RMN has a far more pressing need for LMSs to replace various ships which are long overdue for replacement and that approval, funding or even the timeline for the purchase of subs is a political decision which hasn’t even been made. That’s the hard reality so I’ll leave the “sheer folly” part to you. Also subs are not intended to be the “main combattant” as you claim.

    Stanley – “there will be a low chance of surface ship vs surface ship fighting in SCS in the future”

    From WW1 the lesson learnt is that subs have major limitations and there will be instances where they can deploy effectively. If an opponent has his own subs in the area; has strong ASW surface and air assets; has underwater sensors and has mines then obviously a sub will not be able to effectively operate. Just because it’s “stealthy” does not make it invincible… From I know you’re all gaga about subs [I love them too] but look at things in totality rather than just the plus points.

    Stanley – “response to the future threats are going to double its submarine fleet to 12”

    Understand the point I was driving at before hitting the keypad.. I was not suggesting that subs have no utility or that we should not get them. What i was pointing out [very clearly and in simple terms which is easy to understand] is that subs aren’t a one size fit all solution and thAt their effective use also depends on them being employed with other assets [since you mentioned the RAN, note that it has MPAs, surface ships and ISR assets to work with its subs..]

    Stanley – “You do realise that ALL top attack ATGMs (Javelin, Raybolt”

    Well thank you very much for taking the effort to point this out but I do “realise””- you will notice I mentioned APSs and the direct attack mode. Like with the subs I was not suggesting we don’t get top attack stuff; merely pointing out that we won’t always be able to use the top
    attack mode and thAt there are ways that an opponent can use to mitigate the effects of a top attack round. I also pointed that that we should not assume thAt an opponent we face will be like the Russians who deployed armoured columns with no covering screens, bad combined arms tactics, no UASs on overwatch, etc and had vehicles highly vulnerable to top attack stuff because of a lack of a APS and new generation ERA.

    Things also don’t operate in a vacuum we can have the best performing top attack round money can buy but it has to be employed in the right manner in conjunction with other assets.

  63. Azlan – “The reality is that at this moment in time the RMN has a far more pressing need for LMSs to replace various ships which are long overdue for replacement”

    I think someone here has reminded you that every each one of the ships that is planned to be replaced by the LMS is now being put through thorough “SMART REFIT” that will see RMN themselves to use those ships up till 2035 at least.

    Basically your “pressing need” is nonexistent right now, as is an urgent need for additional LMSes.

  64. Mokka “I am for malaysia to prepare for asymmetrical response and would like to see RMN with more submarines instead of LMS, and RMAF with multiple squadrons of TB2 UAVs and AWACs instead of MERADs”

    Unfortunately, Defence strategy are cold hard calculated strategy dependent on politics, geography, economy & foreign relationship rather then ideals.

    No point glorifying finlanization as we are not limited by factors that’s leads to Finland choosing finlanization. Nor finlanization is something that achieve our national interest.

    70% of our economy is export, 70% of export is to Western nations. We are going to screw that trade relationship when we go around choosing isolationist defence plan as why would they continue ‘bribing’ us with trade surpluses if we not helping them to achieve their strategic objectives?

  65. 5zaft,

    how does your mind conclude:

    asymmetrical defence response = isolationist defence plan ???

    are you hallucinating ???

    vader,

    thanks for reminding that. so why not getting 2 more submarines instead of more LMS? Of course submarines does not operate on their own. Those additional submarines will operate alongside six Gowinds, CN-235 MSA and FPDA assets such as Aussie and British P-8 Poseidon’s, Aussie Hunter class ASW frigates, British Type 31 frigates and such.

  66. Oh yeah, all the Laksamanas, FACs and even vosper PCs are being put through SMART REFIT instead of being retired.

    So that means the very reason those LMS was bought is no longer there for at least 15 more years.

  67. Firdaus – ”Are AA gun towed or SP or AA turret still relevant nowadays? ”

    Look at what Rheinmettall is doing with the Skyranger 30. It has a 30mm gun and a
    S-band AESA Multi-Mission Radar with 360° coverage – impressive. The Americans have gone for the Stryker Short-Range Air Defence vehicle; has a 30mm auto cannon; Stinger, Hellfire and a radar. There is no alternative to having a weapon/sensor package mounted on a single vehicle configured for specific threats if one desires a certain level of operational effectiveness and flexibility. As a caveat in case some ”enlightened souls” [I won’t call them trolls – yet] claim this is a ”theory” of mine and is not ”relevant”; it’s a hard fact and relevant unless one has totally lost the plot and is oblivious.

    The threat posed by small and hard to detect manned and unmanned threats is a major worry for many armies and happenings in the Ukraine is a sharp reminder. Prior to the Ukraine; in Syria, Libya and the Donbas we saw how AD systems not configured for low altitude threats can struggle. Not to leave out the attack on the ARAMCO’s facility [under Patriot coverage] by a swarm of micro UASs which are not only had to detect, track and engage but can overwhelm defences.

    Shame we didn’t get a AV-8 AD variant but water under the bridge. Hopefully GAPU will replace it’s GDFs with a turret mounted system fitted with an alerting device.

  68. Vader – ”I think someone here has reminded you that every each one of the ships that is planned to be replaced”

    I think” you need to be ”reminded” that those upgrades are the minimum to keep them in service until they can be replaced [the ”minimum” in that nothing beyond what is needed to keep them operational is being done] and they will only be armed with guns and nothing else [they will only be good for low threat peacetime roles and in the case of the FACs will continue to have major seakeeping issues during the monsoon period]. You also need ‘to be aware that the given date of 2035 is the given maximum date; not the actual period; it’s planned to retire them; earlier than 2035.

    Vader – ”Basically your “pressing need” is nonexistent right now, as is an urgent need for additional LMSes.”

    ”’Basically” you’re stating something untrue; in case you did not notice a priority for the RMN [as opposed to what you think should be a priority] is to have without delay LMSs Bach 2s – this a widely known undisputed fact. It’s not ”my pressing need” as you so confidently but very inaccurately put it but the RMN’s.

  69. Cheekuchai “Oh yeah, all the Laksamanas, FACs and even vosper PCs are being put through SMART REFIT instead of being retired

    So that means the very reason those LMS was bought is no longer there for at least 15 more years”

    That’s likely mostly RMN holding the fort until MMEA can get itself up to speed.

    Mokka “asymmetrical defence response = isolationist defence plan ???”

    Findland are force into finlanization due to geopolitics. The moment those become a nonfactors they adopt a collective defence policy. No one really adopt it as a first choice.

  70. 5zaft – “That’s likely mostly RMN holding the fort until MMEA can get itself up to speed”

    No, it’s because the RMN has no choice but to keep them in service until they finally can be retired. The FACs and Laksamanas comprise a significant percentage of the RMN’s fleet. Even if the MMEA was flushed with assets the RMN would still have a need for LMSs.

    -The so called ”SMART REFIT” is a desperate means to keep them operational until the can be finally retired and the work done [whether a new hull; new electrics; new gearbox or a director] is the bare minimum needed.
    -Even after the so called ”SMART REFIT” the ships will only be armed with guns and will have a limited sensor capability. In short they will continue to be suitable for only peacetime low threat roles – which is the prime reason the RMN wants fitted out LMS BAtch 2s even though this is something others have a hard time understanding.
    – The intention is to retire them before 2035 and don’t assume the ”SMART REFIT” will produce decades old ships which ”are as good as new”.
    -The notion that LMS Batch 2s aren’t needed because the FACs and Laksamanas are being upgraded is gagaland delusion.

    The ability of Finland to do what it did was made possible by strategic and political dynamics prevalent then. Ultimately after participating in the ”War of Continuation” alongside Germany; Finland had to sue for peace. It agreed to harsh terms which included a significant portion of its land and agreeing several other Soviet demands.

    It’s become a cliche to talk about ”asymmetric” warfare but we need to avoid making generalised simplistic assumptions and assume that just because it may have worked for others that it will automatically work for us or that operational conditions will be ideal. It’s also not as if others can’t practice asymmetric tactics or understand them.

  71. Finland are force into finlanization, not out of their own choices. The peace they achieve during those periods is also a result of concession, internal & foreign policy rationalisation with the Soviet. The Finnish lost twice to the Soviet despite them utilizing asymmetric tactics during the winter war. The fins losing the winter war is something that a lot of people just close one eyes for it seems.

    After the war of continuity The Soviet had already achieved much of the strategic objectives & concession out of Finland that they wanted. During the cold war period the fins stay within the Soviet sphere of influence and even fly the MIG all the way till 1998.

    Finlanization thus doesn’t result in Finland winning any war against the Soviet nor it excluded Finland from being part of Soviet sphere of influence.

    As Finnish exPM said in CNN interviews, finlanization is not glorious nor something to be proud off as the terms itself was a smears campaign against them coins by west Germany and it’s also a period of humiliation as they lost their sovereign & freewill for the better part of a century.

  72. 5zaft – ”Finland are force into finlanization, not out of their own choices.”

    Yes, yes, yes; I was merely pointing out that despite fending off the Soviets in the first round; after the War Of Continuation Finland had to agree to peace terms because it found itself in a perilous position; it paid a heavy price. Asymmetric tactics only went so far.

    5zaft – ”not out of their own choices.”

    Did anyone say it was? I did say that ‘was made possible by strategic and political dynamics prevalent then”.

    5zaft – ”During the cold war period the fins stay within the Soviet sphere of influence and even fly the MIG all the way till 1998.”

    No they certainly did not ”stay within the Soviet sphere of influence”.. It adopted a near non aligned type status. Show me a state with was ‘within the Soviet sphere of influence” and was democratic – there were none. Finland is/was fully democratic unlike the likes of Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, etc, all non Warsaw Pact states which were ”within the Soviet sphere of influence”. Also note that by virtue of being democratic Finland was/is ”Western in that it fully subscribed to Western values like human rights; a free press, separation of state and religion; independent ownership; etc.

    5zaft – ”even fly the MIG all the way till 1998.”

    Thanks for the heads up. BTW Finland also operated the T-72 and BMP-1 and the Valmet was largely based on the AK-47. All this BTW was not because Finland was ”within the Soviet sphere of influence” [as you claim] but because of geo political factors.

  73. asymmetrical defence response ≠ isolationist defence plan

    We currently have long standing official defence pacts with some of the most reliable countries in the world, with the FPDA. Seeing how UK steadfastly stand behind us throughout malayan emergency and indonesian confrontation; also now with ukraine, I don’t see in our case that we are having an isolationist defence plan.

    Because of our very limited funds, we cannot create a conventional force to face what is arguably the main military concern in our region, the chinese military.

    We must spend on things that will give the best operational outcome in a full on war. And also buy things that will give the best operational outcome in day to day operations. Not something that is overkill for day to day operations, but useless in a full on war.

    Situational awareness. What can enhance our overall situational awareness? AWACs, Ground Based Radars, Maritime Patrol Aircrafts, MALE UAVs, Satellite subscriptions of High Resolution Imagery, SIGINT, ELINT/ESM. Even for MERAD, it will be useless and blind if the ground bsaed radars are taken out.

    Lets take LMS corvette as an example. Is it the best solution to kill other ships or even boats? Can it defend from other ships or aircraft? What is the lesson of Repulse and Prince of Wales sinking 80 years ago? How does low cost UAVs sinking ships in Ukraine define the future of surface ships? How about most of the successful anti ship missile kills? Mostly from an aircraft, or a surface battery, not many from another ships.

    How can you duplicate the capability to kill large surface ships such as the Moskova? Can LMS corvette do that?

    How do you duplicate the capability to kill multiple fast attack ships such as the Raptor boats? Can the LMS corvette do that?

  74. These arguments are uncannily familiar; almost word by word.

    Mokka – “We currently have long standing official defence pacts”

    None is a “pact” per say. The FPDA is no non binding cooperative/consultative agreement. We have no “pacts” ” per see. As for your claim in a previous post thAt our subs can operate with assets from other countries; the question you should really ask is if our subs actually train to operate with foreign assets thAt go far beyond the basic few ones we’ve done.

    Mokka – arguably the main military concern in our region, the chinese military”

    Newsflash. The MAFs force structure is not aimed at China – full stop/period. It’s part of a longstanding move to progressively upgrade one capabilities in order to have some level of deterrence against threats we deem likely which does not include going head to head against the likes of China. The threats we are most likely to face [despite fanboys and alarmists being gaga over China] is the possibility of sharp but short conflicts or skirmishes with immediate neighbours longstanding unresolved overlapping disputes. This is a fact widely known to anyone with evena slight interest in the MAF.

    Even if we raised the defence budget by a tenfold we’d still be unable to handle China. Also China is a major security concern/challenge and that is different to a “threat”.

    Mokka – Is it the best solution to kill other ships or even boats

    There is a common misconception which won’t go away about what the LMSs are intended for despite this issue having been out to death and the RMN having long ago openly made clear just what the LMSs are intended for. Newsflash but there are legitimate reasons why the RMN needs and wants LMSs; irrespective of whether you agree or not.

    Mokka- How does low cost UAVs sinking ships in Ukraine define the future of surface ships”

    It’s a reminder that whether on a ship or a GBAD; a layered defence is essential to deal with all manner of threats; whether a micro UAS, a MALE or a high altitude plAtform. It’s also a reminder of the need for early warning and for ships to have an air umbrella.

    Mokka – Can the LMS corvette do that?

    Instead of asking generalised simplistic assumptions perhaps major the effort to try [It’s not that hard] to understand what the LMS is intended for. Although it has been done to death I’ll do the courtesy of explaining again : the LMS is intended to perform specific roles in certain operationAl conditions; by itself or in conjunction with other assets. Like everything else it’s not intended to be placed in a position where it has to punch above its weight category… If misused even a Ticonderoga or a Kirov would be vulnerable.

    Mokka -How about most of the successful anti ship missile kills’

    Do you have an Oracle that can tell the future; to assure you that the next war will be like the previous one or be as you expect?

    Mokka – . What can enhance our overall situational awareness

    A rhetorical and obvious question requires at times a brief answer : a combination of sea, land and air assets all networked, operated jointly and with the right C3 set up.

  75. Marhalim – “To buy what?”

    You want to kill other warships?
    – more anti ship missiles for fighter aircrafts
    – 2-3 squadrons of low cost CUAV like TB2 for sinking corvettes, FACs, LCT and others. Use them, crash them, no issues. Great ISR asset in day to day operations.
    – 1-2 more Scorpenes.
    All of the above could be bought for less than the cost of eight LMS Batch 2.

  76. mokka – ”Even for MERAD, it will be useless and blind if the ground bsaed radars are taken out.”

    I can go further and ask [like I did with…/gonggok]; what happens if an opponent; even before things go kinetic; uses cyber and EW to disrupt our
    national power/internet/cell phone grid; our GPSs, radars, INSs, CMSs, radios. etc?

    As for your claim with the MERAD; if one wants to take that line and use your logic then what happens if ..

    – We have AEW but not enough fighters to escort it, what happens if an opponent uses cyber means to paralyse its computers or EW to spoof its radars?
    – What happens if we get top attack munitions but an opponent fits his AFVs with a APS, new gen ERA to deal with tandem rounds and deploys his columns with a UAS on overwatch; with screens up in front and with infantry well versed in combined arms tactics?
    -What happens if we get UASs but an opponent has an effective counter UAS capability to deal with our UASs with kinetic and non kinetic means? What then? Or are we going to fool ourselves and assume the enemy will stick to a certain script and that things will pan out as we hope?
    – You keep harping about the LMSs yet can’t seem to grasp what they’re intended for? Will a LCS perform any better if misused? Is it written in stone that a ”corvette” is the wrong choice and that a ”frigate” will always be ”better”?
    – Like others you seem to be fixated with the Ukraine; forgetting or ignoring that a lot of what’s happening isn’t new per see. What happens if we are faced with operational circumstances unlike the Ukraine?

    As a caveat because a lot of silly things are said and assumed by people who hear things they don’t want to hear or things that challenge their narratives: no I’m not suggesting we don’t buy AEWs, top attack munitions or UASs; merely we have to look at things in totality rather than just the narrow lens of personal perspectives/assumptions.

  77. Azlan – “merely we have to look at things in totality rather than just the narrow lens of personal perspectives/assumptions”

    Are you doing the same? When you look at things in totality, look at our constraints, some of what we planned to do does not align.

    If you compare RMAF request for MERAD, and the option of getting AWACs instead, getting AWACs/AEW is a way better deal.

    Every single “what if” that you listed above are not going to be better by RMAF buying MERADs instead of AWACs/AEW. What can MERAD batteries do when the enemy uses cyber and EW to disrupt our national power/internet/cell phone grid; our GPSs, radars, INSs, CMSs, radios. etc? What can a MERAD battery do if an opponent uses cyber means to paralyse its computers or EW to spoof its radars?

    What can a RMAF MERAD battery do in peacetime situations? Can it be used to monitor naval vessels? Can it be used to scan the skies over the south china sea? Can it be used to monitor movements on the ground with GMTI function?

    Azlan – “You keep harping about the LMSs yet can’t seem to grasp what they’re intended for?”

    They are clearly intended to be a backup capability if the LCS is canceled. If they are intended for low intensity operations, then MMEA OPVs are a better choice. If you want to sink FAC/LCT/Corvettes then LCA/Hornet/MKM with anti ship missiles should be the main choice. Anything from non-state actors, overwatch of Bayraktar TB2 is a much more cheaper but lethal option.

  78. Mokka “We currently have long standing official defence pacts with some of the most reliable countries in the world,”

    I won’t called them completely reliable. UK like US is an extra regional power whose level of involvement depends on their domestic politics situation. The US had abandoned south Vietnam & Taiwanese to their fate as they seek relationship with PRC, Obama administration did nothing to help Philippines to stop PLAN invasion of their reefs. While they do help mujahidin, Ukrainian & Kurts with ISR, financing & weaponry shipment they do not provided troop on the grounds per say.

    The most reliable partner had always would be the countries next to you. As any attacks on us would screw them up as well. So they have more at stake in a fight then what an extra regional power would.

    The defence relationship with extra regional power is also NOT free as No one help another out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s comes with it a commitment from us to help them solve their strategic objectives.

    Mokka “Because of our very limited funds, we cannot create a conventional force to face what is arguably the main military concern in our region, the chinese military”

    We could. But not one that can handle long periods of high intensity conflicts without US/UK sponsoring & guaranteeing of supply chain, weapons shipment, ammunition, financial etc etc.

    But if by shears luck the moon aligned and they offering more than just the basic ISR, supplies chain and commited jet on the sky or troops on the grounds then you would want to know how to work together in such situation.

    Your idea of non conventional force is risky as Asymmetric can only realistically be use for a single instant of sharp but short term conflicts against china and that’s about it. Anything else like prolonged periods of conflicts or change it tactics & objectives and we are screwed, like the fins did during the winter wars.

    asymmetric tactics only work for a while as people aren’t dumb. The russian had stop doing stupid stuff that leads to them falling victim to nlaw & javelin while gaining ability to identify & shoot down bayraktar. IED stop being effective when JLTV & MRAP arrive, winter war tactics stop working when Soviet change their general. There’s currently nothing asymmetric about current situation in Donbass. It’s a streotypical land fight with heavy artillery.

    It’s also fail to take advantage of neighbors and work together with them as china do indeed has problem with almost everyone of their neighbors nor do it solve neither UK,EU,US,JP strategic objectives. You know the one thing that would make them committed to our defence. While bringing with them economic goodies.

    Azlan “The threats we are most likely to face [despite fanboys and alarmists being gaga over China] is the possibility of sharp but short conflicts or skirmishes with immediate neighbours longstanding unresolved overlapping disputes. This is a fact widely known to anyone with evena slight interest in the MAF”

    Not really. Much of inter asean conflict had been put on ice, neither MY or VN respond when ID start burning down their fishing fleet nor VN respond to us scanning for oil in the joined defined area. They only would bring it up in private meeting out of the public view. Going around fighting neighbors is something no one wants to do in the current geopolitical climate. Nor we can even afford to fight our neighbors as most of them has hundreds of millions in population.

  79. 5zaft,

    Do we have the money to build a conventional navy, conventional air force, conventional army?

    No.

    Our army has just 48 tanks and 28 155mm howitzers when a conventional army needs hundreds of them.

    Our navy does not have air defence destroyers like south korea and japan, which is a benchmark of conventional navy in the pacific.

    Our airforce does not even have the money for stealth fighters in the near future. Can that be called a conventional air force?

    We don’t have the money to build a conventional force. There is no way for malaysia to build up a conventional military. Buying expensive but mediocre stuff will not make us a conventional force.

  80. mokka – getting AWACs/AEW is a way better deal.

    There is ”no better” even if there’s a voice in your head that says there is. A GBAD and a AEW are for different things…

    mokka – ”What can MERAD batteries do when the enemy uses cyber and EW”

    What can a AEW and sub do if that happens? Can your armed UAS help in this regard? Can your sub operate effectively in the face of enemy subs; surface and air ASE assets, underwater sensors and mines? Pray tell; how will your AEW operate if its comms are jammed?

    The reason I brought up the issues I did was in reference to your generalised assumptive ‘MERAD, it will be useless and blind if the ground bsaed radars are taken out.”

    As a caveat because a lot of silly things are said and assumed by people who hear things they don’t want to hear or things that challenge their narratives: no I’m not suggesting we don’t buy AEWs, top attack munitions or UASs; merely we have to look at things in totality rather than just the narrow lens of personal perspectives/assumptions.

    mokka – ”They are clearly intended to be a backup capability if the LCS is canceled.

    In your mind no doubt but in reality; way before the LCSs went ratshit; in the 2015/2016 period; the RMN had decided that it wanted a high/low end mix of LCSs and LMSs – just like how the RMAF wants a high/low end mix of LCAs and MRCAs.

    mokka – ”If they are intended for low intensity operations, then MMEA OPVs are a better choice.”

    It’s as silly as saying a screwdriver is better than a hammer. You are conflating things to suit your narrative [like certain others did] – there is no ”better”. The LMSs are a RMN asset intended for both peacetime and wartime roles; MMEA OPVs are a non military asset intended for peacetime constabulary roles – profound difference. Unlike the MMEA OPVs the RMN LMSs are armed beyond a gun…

    mokka – ”Are you doing the same? ”

    I’m not making generalised statements; insisting the armed services have got it wrong and I’ve got it right; not harping on things based on my narrow perspective and not saying thing’s are ”better”. I understand that what to buy is a political decision and that the armed services have legitimate reasons to focus on what they think should be bought first. Also; although I’m not a political scientist I realise that politically buying subs now is a minefield that no government wants to touch; let alone one facing a GE soon.

    mokka – ”What can a RMAF MERAD battery do in peacetime situations?”

    I see. Now you’ve decided that we should only buy things with a peacetime utility – by your logic we should not buy IFVs, arty, MLRS and a whole list of things…

    mokka – ” If you want to sink FAC/LCT/Corvettes then LCA/Hornet/MKM with anti ship missiles should be the main choice. ”

    There is no ”main choice” at times but what’s available and what fits the operational circumstances. Depends; not as clear cut as you’d like; we’re talking about realities here not a movie or what looks great on a PowerPoint slide.

    mokka – ”If they are intended for low intensity operations, then MMEA OPVs are a better choice.”

    They aren’t intended for ”low intensity operations” as has been explained numerous times and even if they were who is to say that those low intensity ops can be performed by a MMEA OPV.

  81. Mokka “Our army has just 48 tanks”

    ADF had about as much tank, wheel IFV & m113

    Mokka “Our navy does not have air defence destroyers”

    So does RSN for that matter

    Mokka “Our airforce does not even have the money for stealth fighters in the near future”

    The budget for the 2nd batch of 18 LCA could easily get you 12 f35.

    It’s not much but enough for country who do not wish to run an isolationist defence posture.

  82. Defence budget is finite, no matter if you say that they are for different things.

    If RMAF buy MERAD, there will be no budget for RMAF to get AEW.

    From which I can see where Ms Mokka is coming from.

    Also if the Army is buying MERAD, you don’t need RMAF to buy the same thing too.

  83. “From which I can see where Ms Mokka is coming from.”

    I can also where he is coming from but the point I’m trying to make is that there is no “better”, merely armed services with political approval deciding what to prioritise on. If warns want to insist that a AEW is “better” than a medium range SAM, someone else can make a convincing argument that something else [based on personal opinion/preference] is “better” than a AEW.

    “Also if the Army is buying MERAD, you don’t need RMAF to buy the same thing too”

    GAPU exists as a holding entity to allocate AD assets when are where they are needed but mainly for the army. The RMAF desires a AD system for point defence of critical/vital installations. Different things.

  84. Whether an army is ”conventional” or not depends on the army and it’s threat calculus. Just because a army doesn’t have mass doesn’t mean it isn’t a ”conventional” army. It may not have the ability to handle major threats but it’s still a ”conventional” army in every sense and might still have a doctrine which places emphasis on ”conventional” ops; despite not having mass.

    5zaft – ”ADF had about as much tank, wheel IFV & m113”

    It has or will soon have a balanced mix; it has long focused on ”conventional combined arms ops” and foresees the possibility that it might be involved in a high intensity protracted conflict alongside Tier One partners. So the Australian army is indeed a ”conventional” army in every sense of the word despite not having the mass which certain other armies have.

    5zaft – ”does RSN for that matter”

    The RSN is a fully networked centric service which operates as part of a network centric integrated environment with its sister services.

    As for us; our force structure is driven not only by our traditional reluctance to spend on defence but also out threat perceptions which [rightly or wrongly] does not foresee the possibility of us being involved in a protracted high intensity state on state conflict [in case someone is silly enough to imply this is my opinion; it isn’t, it’s policy]. Based on our threat perception and other issues we strive to have a minimal capability [minimal based on our threat perceptions and inherent limitations] to deal with specific threats; which BTW does not include going against China but ones of much lower intensity and scale.

    5zaft – ”an isolationist defence posture.”

    ”Isolationist defence posture”. How do you come up with these terms and statements?

  85. 5zaft – “ADF had about as much tank, wheel IFV & m113”

    Their potential enemy is thousands of kilometres from them, with zero land borders. On the other hand China is claiming a submerged piece of land just a few kilometres from Bintulu.

    5zaft – “So does RSN for that matter”

    RSN Formidable has Aster 30 anti air missiles that can hit long range targets, like UK Type 45 and French/italy FREMM. RSN also has more submarines than us.

    5zaft – “The budget for the 2nd batch of 18 LCA could easily get you 12 f35”

    Wow. how did you manage to put 18 LCA = 12 F-35 cost? You don’t just support F-35 bawah pokok ceri you know.

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