Firepower Exercise 2016

A PUTD Nuri helicopter carrying an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer at a firing exercise in 2016.

SHAH ALAM: THE Army conducted its annual Firepower Exercise at the Asahan range at the Kem Sirajuddin in Gemas yesterday. The exercise was previously called Firepower Demonstration in the past but this year its designation was changed to better reflect its role as the Army’s main live firing exercise.

As I was unable to make it to Gemas – due to various reasons – I am posting pictures from the exercise and rehearsal courtesy of Kementerian Pertahanan and Tentera Darat Facebook pages. If you want to see more pictures please head to the respective pages. The captions of the pictures used here are mine however.

Deputy Minister Datuk Johari Baharum pictured inside the cabin of a MLRS launcher vehicle. This is the first public picture of the inside of  a MRLS vehicle. Kementerian Pertahanan picture.
Deputy Minister Datuk Johari Baharum pictured inside the cabin of an MLRS launcher vehicle. This is the first public picture of the inside the MRLS vehicle. Kementerian Pertahanan picture.

I doubt I will get more information about the Army plans by going to the exercise as those who are in the know will be busy with the VIPs. This time around, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Johari Baharum was the VIP.

A PUTD Nuri helicopter carrying an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer for the firing exercise.
A PUTD Nuri helicopter carrying an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer for the firing exercise.

However it can be inferred from the above picture that the Army is planning to use its Nuri helicopters as a battlefield taxi much like when it was used during the 70s and 80s. We can also also infer that by 2030, the Army might need a new 10-tonne class helicopters to replace the Nuris. This is of course depends on whether or not the current Army plans survived the trials and tribulations of the next 15 years.

An MLRS firing rockets at the exercise.
An MLRS firing rockets at the exercise.
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It must be noted that a host of Army equipment and vehicles will be up for replacement in 15 years time. Even the soon to be upgraded Condors and Scorpions are unlikely to be around past 2030, like most of us here.

A Pendekar MBT firing its main gun during rehearsals on Tuesday. Army picture
A Pendekar MBT firing its main gun during rehearsals on Tuesday. Army picture
An Adnan 81mm mortar carrier with 12.7mm HMG.
An Adnan 81mm mortar carrier with 12.7mm HMG.
The crew of a G5 155mm howitzer prepping the gun for firing.
The crew of a G5 155mm howitzer prepping the gun for firing.
An Adnan ACV with 25mm Bushmaster turret at the firing exercise. Army picture
An Adnan ACV with 25mm Bushmaster turret at the firing exercise. Army picture

Apart from the Nuri, the PUTD AW109 helicopter also made an appearance firing the M134 Dillion mini-gun.

The AW109 fitted with the mini-gun in the cabin. Note the spent cases hose underneath the cabin.
The AW109 fitted with the mini-gun in the cabin. Note the spent cases hose underneath the cabin.

And as usual, the RMAF also conducted live bombings at the range as part of the exercise with Hornets and Flankers conducting bombing runs.

An Su-30MKM Flanker conducting a fly-past after conducting its bombing run. The aircraft was flying around 500 ft AGL when this picture was taken.
An Su-30MKM Flanker conducting a fly-past after conducting its bombing run. The aircraft was probably flying around 500 ft AGL when this picture was taken.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1187 Articles
Shah Alam

50 Comments

  1. Its quite sudden to see they make live fire exercise rather than just demonstration.

    Either way, hope the army has some best candidates in their mind to replace the Nuris before 2030s.

  2. Note that the pendekar mbt is covered with the saab barracuda camouflage netting system. Although the system has been in the army inventory for quite sometime, IMO this is the first time it is officially and publicly shown in an exercise.

    The vehicles that is needed to be replaced would be the sibmas, scorpion and ferret, not because of old age, but because it would not be relevant to be used on the front line with the future operational doctrines. Sibmas should be replaced with batch 2 gempitas. Scorpion and ferret should be replaced by a single type of lightweight air portable armoured vehicle. Condors, because if its huge numbers, COTS spareparts and basic armoured taxi role, could stay on for much longer.

    Btw no gempitas on show?

    Reply
    There’s one with a 25mm turret that took part. The other vehicles have all been sent to ESSCOM

  3. No Deftech AV8 Gempita in this exercise. Any news about that?

    Reply
    There was a single Gempita

  4. As for the future battlefield transport helicopters for the PUTD, it would be a no brainer to just add more blackhawks as a replacement of the nuri and to add to the 4 blackhawks from brunei.

  5. Just watch “fury” movie bout ww2 tanks in nazi germany… armoured vehicle very important in war…

    Hope our politician watch this kind of story..im ready to protect this country but please provide our troop with the best equipment and in adequate number.

    Tanks, av8, apc, ifv ,mobile artillery,rpg , sam….please increase the number and spread it equally east n west msia.

    War doesnt determine who is right,only who is left.

    50 tanks + 257 av8 for whole malaysia?

    Reply
    A movie even based on real events are more like video games instead of the real thing.

  6. For as long as it can still be operated, the Scorpion does have a relevant role to play; especially for roles like armed recce and flank screening. I don’t see how ”future operational doctrines” might not have a need for a light weight tracked vehicle. Instead of retiring the Sibmas as the AV-8 gradually enters service; some hulls can be converted for roles such as engineering and perhaps even as an AA vehicle; fitted with a missile mount. I was under the impression that the only Ferrets still operated are the pair used for ceremonial duties; in the digital scheme.

    AFM has a pic of the 2nd of 5 PC-7 Mk2s ordered in 2014. It has a new colour scheme based on a red background. There is also an interesting article on the RAF’s 100 Squadron which operates legacy Hawks for a variety of roles including aggressor and JTAC training; which if anything only highlights the flexibility of the Hawk. 100 Squadron’s motto is ”Saran Tebuan Jangen Dojolok”.

    Reply
    AFM probably got the picture from aircraft spotters in Switzerland as I had asked Pilatus for the picture but they asked me to get it from RMAF.

  7. I did not say there is no need of a lightweight tracked vehicle. The problem here there is only about 15 remaining operational scorpions left in the inventory. Also the scorpion has lost its amphibious capability so that is also a handicap. A newer more modern lightweight air portable amphibious armoured vehicle is needed in larger numbers than just 15, at least double that number.

    The armed recce and flank screening in the future armoured calvary would be the task of the gempitas. Recce could also be done by recce versions of vamtac such as this, UAV’s and troops on motorcross bikes.

    http://www.janes.com/images/assets/654/59654/1678807_-_main.jpg

  8. Very nice, I wish videos of the firings were available.

    Sir, for ages I’ve been trying to reconcile the variously reported variant numbers for the AV8 Gempita and I believe I’ve found the answer, could you please check with your Mindef sources if it is so, or failing that see if we can get a correct answer once and for all?

    46 IFV-25 amphib with FNSS 25mm Bushmaster turret
    78 IFV-30 Denel 30mm cannon turrets (not 68, 69, 122 or 123)
    54 IFV-30 Denel 30mm cannon turrets with 4 Ingwe ATGMs

    24 Ground surveillance variant with Rogue 12.7mm RWS
    8 120mm mortar variant with Rogue 12.7mm RWS
    13 Command variants with Rogue 12.7mm RWS*
    9 Armoured recovery vehicles with Rogue 12.7mm RWS
    (total 54 Rogue RWS as reported by SIPRI)

    9 armoured ambulance, unarmed
    9 maintenance vehicle, unarmed*
    4 engineering and NBC vehicle, unarmed*
    3 SIGINT vehicle, unarmed

    257 Adnan total

    *Possibly the 13 command variants are unarmed and the RWS is mounted on the maintenance and engineering vehicles, but I personally find this unlikely.

    Also, now that Indonesia and Thailand are receiving their Leopards and Oplots, any idea if we will purchase more long-range ATGMs for our infantry battalions? We have spent 100s of millions of ringgit on missiles for 8 F-18s, 36 MIGs and Sukhois and 36 Hawks, but ignored the long-range anti-tank capability other than the Ingwes and (how many?) Baktar Shikan. Syria and Yemen have combat-proven the defensive power of man-portable long-range ATGMs.

    Not because we are seeking trouble, merely for insurance… if not Kornet, maybe see if France will sell us their new Missile Moyenne Portee?

    Also I think your spambot catcher is not working well, I have difficulty getting past it.

  9. The old ifv /personnel carriers still have a use especially in Sabah. These can be used as a armoured taxi for troops during border patrols n in anti terrorist work. Its there , cheap n useful.
    Actually, it would be better if we can add say like 10 turrets equipped with the Saab manufactured turrets armed with one or two 120mm mortars thats loaded automatically. Its a real firepower addition. By varying the angle after every shot, it can make all rounds drop at or almost the same time covering the map square with devastating firepower. Just a wish. Not likely to be fulfilled

  10. @ Chua

    I think your breakdown is the most logical that I have seen so far.

    Wish that the army could allocate most of the gempita for the armoured corps. Could mitigate the low numbers for now with a 50-50 mix of gempita (30mm and 30mm+ingwe) and upgraded condor. Probably 28 gempita and 28 condor for each armoured corps regiment

    A second hand buy of used kifv/adnan/m113 could be used to top up the mechanized infantry battalions. Engineering, fitter and other support variants could be made from that and condors.

    http://www.trackjam.com/photos/mtve.jpg

  11. Lee – ” with the Saab manufactured turrets armed with one or two 120mm mortars thats loaded automatically. Its a real firepower addition.”

    Instead of acquiring a new 120mm mortar, we should stick to one; irrespective of whether it semi-automatically loaded or fully automatic : of far more importance is how we distribute our mortars and ensure the units needing indirect fire support get that support in time. Plans to get 120mm mortars were actually first made in the 1990’s but we ditched this plan and went for Expal 81mms instead.
    The good news is that the AV-8s are being fitted with the same mortar as that fitted on 4th Mechanised Brigade’s Adnans.

  12. Unfortunately RMN can’t chip in like RMAF for this exercise. Maybe later NSM and Gowind (or Scorpene) can take part,assuming “land attack” capability is fulfilled.

    Reply
    Gemas range is too far in land for the navy to be involved. They could be used for those live firing exercise out at sea or at Tg Logok where an island nearby the SAM range is a designated bombing target

  13. I don’t think we’ll even put a dent on 90mm ammo stocks if we re-deploy the Sibmas in Sabah. No need for mortar turret or anything else. If any new incidents come up over there, let them be trigger happy until those riflings wear out.

  14. “The good news is that the AV-8s are being fitted with the same mortar as that fitted on 4th Mechanised Brigade’s Adnans.”

    I believe we ordered the 2R2M for the AV-8s and the Adnans have a conventional mortar, correct me if I’m wrong.

    Reply
    Adnan has two versions of the mortar vehicle, the 81mm version as shown in the post (I cannot recall the numbers originally procured, 18 I believe) and six fitted with the 2R2M mortar. These are the six road wheel variant of the Adnan.

  15. cheeckucai – ”I don’t think we’ll even put a dent on 90mm ammo stocks if we re-deploy the Sibmas in Sabah.”

    Yes but what targets would we need to engage with a 90mm and can’t these targets be engage by other means such as shoulder fired weapons or auto cannons? Which do you think is more useful to have : a mortar for indirect fire or a cannon on a slow and lumbering vehicle which is neither here nor there?

    Another problem with deploying the Sibmas in places such as estates is that the Sibmas, like the AV-8 and all contemporary wheeled IFV – is a big and visible target. Not only that but in many areas, deploying the Sibmas [and the AV-8] will be problematic due to narrow roads and low branches. This is where something like the Scorpion comes in handy.

    ……. – ”I did not say there is no need of a lightweight tracked vehicle. The problem here there is only about 15 remaining operational scorpions left in the inventory. ”

    No you didn’t say that and I didn’t imply you did. What you did say is that ” it would not be relevant to be used on the front line with the future operational doctrines”.

    The fact that we have only 15 is not an issue as the Scorpion has a low footprint [compared to other vehicles] and depot level maintenance is performed locally. Using VAMTACs and scramblers is great as long as people don’t shoot back and in areas where there are no roads [depends on the operational circumstances[; the VAMTAC and scramblers would not have the off road mobility of a Scorpion. Like the Condors, the Scorpions [and Stormers] will be operated until they fall apart from old age or can’t be supported anymore.

    …… – ”A newer more modern lightweight air portable amphibious armoured vehicle is needed”

    I really doubt our operational requirements call for an air deployable IFV, even if we had the lift assets to spare. It’s telling that most NATO armies have done away with air deployable IFVs. Sure, Russia and China still have them but then their air deployable IFVs are intended to operate in the enemy’s operational depth, in support of airborne units.

    I really wouldn’t worry about the lack of an amphibious capability in some vehicles and worry more if we have adequate numbers of bridging assets. No I’m not dismissing the need for IFVs to have a functioning bilge pump and trim vane but one really has to ask : what is the likelihood or how often will armoured or cavalry units actually be required to cross a river unaided?

    Chua – ”Syria and Yemen have combat-proven the defensive power of man-portable long-range ATGMs.”

    The value of ATGWs was proven long, long before the conflicts in Syria and Lebanon.

    As for a long or medium range ATGW; in many places our terrain will not allow for long range shots to be undertaken; especially in restrictive terrain or places with lots of trees/vegetation.

    AM – ”I don’t think anyone does everyday patrols in a tracked armoured vehicle.”

    Depends entirely on the circumstances.

  16. @Chua
    “any idea if we will purchase more long-range ATGMs for our infantry battalions?”

    We’re on the same page on this, i think there is a need to diversify the army’s atgm inventory. As of now most if not all of ATM’s AT missiles are saclos of either beam or wire guided, they should include fire & forget missiles to complement the existing arsenals. Unfortunately, the choice for this kind of missiles are quite limited and is either very expensive or ‘non-halal’. But i think ATM is quite aware of their need for a more robust anti-armour capabilty, and have their own plan to remedy that. Alas, money would always be the determining aspect, now that they have poured a lot into the AV8 project the prospect of seeing a new big ticket inventory being put in place is pretty slim.

    Btw, you can check out a short video of the exercise on tentera darat facebook page, but it’s more like a promo video than a full coverage of the exercise.

    Marhalim, they av8 operational in esscom are all the 25mm variant right? Is the 30mm variant slated for esscom as well?

    Reply
    Yes AFAIK the 30mm will also be part of the ESSCOM brigade but not sure when they will be deploy there, probably one or two are already there.

  17. Anas – ”We’re on the same page on this, i think there is a need to diversify the army’s atgm inventory.”

    The 54 Ingwe equipped AV-8s and the 8 Baktar Shikan Adnans should be sufficient for our medium range needs. Ideally, Eryx and Metis [assuming these are still operational due to age] should be replaced by a common non wire guided, top attack missile like Javelin to provide infantry battalions with an organic anti-tank capability. As they say, terrain is the key to everything and in our terrain, in many places such as estates and cultivated land; shots can only be taken at close or medium ranges. Same goes with the average distance MBTs will be able to acquire and engage targets.

    Chua referred to the ”combat-proven the defensive power of man-portable long-range ATGMs” – the best recent example would be Hezbollah’s use of ATGWs in 2006. It’s important however to bear in mind that Hezbollah was operating on home ground against IDF units whose combined arms skills had atrophied due to spending most of their time in occupation duties in the West Bank and Gaza. Also interesting that very few IDF MBTs were actually written off. Most were eventually placed back into service and of the few that were actually destroyed, some were by massive IEDs. Another lesson to take note of is that Hezbollah had lots of reloads for their missiles [a luxury very few armies not on a war footing enjoy]. The use of ATGWs in urban and semi urban environments in Syria is very telling but nothing new. A prime – not so recent – example being the Russian experience in Chechnya, which if anything only highlights the importance of proper infantry support for MBT units in an urban environment.

  18. @Azlan
    Yep, I also have Javelin in mind to complement our existing arsenal (or to a lesser extent the non line-of-sight variant of SPIKE) seeing that most of our ATGMs requires the operator to maintain line-of-sight of the target which would be difficult in forested and urban terrain, and would likely expose the operator. In term of range, the existing ATGMs are not very much different from their counterparts except for a few platforms. Besides, before we speak of range we need to equip our infantry with means to get visual confirmation of enemy tanks, say, 10km away, which we currently don’t have. Again. risking to sound like a broken record, money matters..besides inventories like this are not quite a show-stopper in parades in comparison to shiny, sexy, delta-wing European fighter jets.

    I think the Hezbollah’s ‘triumph’ against the Merkava were blown out of proportion by Hezbollah, never mentioned was the hundreds of missiles they used to destroy the 4 Merkavas. Some reports said the sole MarkIV destroyed were hit by at least 5 kornets before going bust. They have such a huge stockpile of missiles that they don’t only use the ATGMs on Merkavas and Namers but also on Humvees and buildings. The reason for Israel dismal performance in 2006 Lebanon is because they underestimated Hezbollah, i’m sure the folks in Mossad knew beforehand the vast array of equipments in Hezbollah’s hand, including the oh-so-surprising Kornets. But what they underestimated was Hezbollah’s level of battlefield organization and tactics, and their tenacity in urban combat. I imagine the fighters would’ve laughed their a$$ off when they read Israel psyops leaflets describing them as “unorganized, poorly trained and equipped mercenaries”.

  19. @azlan

    If we have more than 15 scorpions, probably I would say yes and keep them. But the small numbers wouldn’t be enough to be deployed in ESSCOM, for the PAC brigade, for the Armoured Brigade and the Mechanized Brigade. Also now with only a 20mm cannon as its main armament, with no optronics linked to BMS, would the scorpion still be relevant on the modern front line? 20mm cannon is too small for fire support, while Mk1 eyeballs only wouldn’t be much help for forward observation tasks. A new tracked lightweight armoured vehicle is needed in bigger numbers (12 for each squadron/company so at least 36 for PAC, Armor and Mechanized brigades). Something airdroppable and amphibious that weighs less than 10 tonnes, armed with at least a 30mm cannon, a lightweight and low cost optronic mast, with at least 3 crew (driver, commander/optronic system operator in the hull and gunner in the turret) plus maybe 1/2 a section of dismount space.

    Also about NATO armies doing away with airborne vehicles/IFV/tanks. Read up. As i said, we can be a benchmark, or we can just be a follower later. For PAC the combination of Polaris Dagor and the ZBD-03 would give PAC the mobility and firepower that would be the envy of western airborne troops.

  20. …… – ”Also about NATO armies doing away with airborne vehicles/IFV/tanks. Read up.”

    Actually, I have ”read up”. Most NATO armies have done away with a need for an air deployable [by parachute as opposed to air deployable in the cargo bay of a transport] IFV because their requirements have changed. I can also point out that most NATO armies, although retaining their airborne units, have downgraded the need for troops or have slightly changed their roles [a good example would be the British army’s 1 Para which is part of the ” Special Forces Support Group”] to be deployed by chute; because times have changed and helicopters present a far more safer and practical method of deploying men; rather than the injury prone method of parachute – airborne units also being very resource intensive.

    As pointed out before, the Russians and Chinese still see a need for an air deployable IFV because their operational needs and doctrine still see need for airborne troops to be deployed – either by helicopter or parachute – deep in the enemy’s operational depth [in the case of the Chinese, Taiwan] or in areas with a poor road network that would preclude the deployment of conventional units [in the case of the Chinese the Tibetan plateau] – we on the other hand have no such need or even the doctrine for it; unless off course one actually thinks that we’re going to air drop units behind enemy lines or close to the line of contact.

    …… – ”If we have more than 15 scorpions, probably I would say yes and keep them. But the small numbers wouldn’t be enough to be deployed in ESSCOM, for the PAC brigade”

    The squadron’s worth of Scorpions is integral to – as you’re aware – 10th Para; thus the fact that the number is insufficient ” for the Armoured Brigade and the Mechanized Brigade” really shouldn’t arise. Using your argument I can also point out that the 28 G-5 aren’t enough to provide support to all the army’s 35 odd infantry battalions but I can’t say this as the G-5 regiment is only intended to provide support to certain units organic to a certain division.

    ….. – ” 20mm cannon is too small for fire support, while Mk1 eyeballs only wouldn’t be much help for forward observation tasks. ”

    Sorry but what targets do you think that the 20mm ”is too small for”?
    If indeed its insufficient then the scorpion shouldn’t be there in the first place. Also, when performing the recce role, the 20mm is intended as a self defence weapon; against troops or light weight/lightly armoured vehicles.

    ….. – ” would give PAC the mobility and firepower that would be the envy of western airborne troops.”

    Never mind about ”envy”; we need something that fits our requirements and our requirements and doctrine differ greatly when compared to Western armies.

  21. @ azlan

    About the scorpions. It was you, not me that puts the scorpion “is ideal” everywhere from

    – Fire support in ESSCOM (while discussing the merits of 120mm mortar and 90mm cockerill)

    – Recce for mechanised and armor ( its important to have tracked recce while i was suggesting the armoured VAMTAC and motorcross bikes)

    – Airborne fire support.

    That is why i said those 15 scorpions is not enough.

    —————————————————————————–

    As for the mechanised/motorised airbone, travelling on foot after jump is so 80’s

    Marhalim removed my links to the articles so please google these keywords:

    US Airborne, UK Paras Give Thumbs-Up On Light Vehicles

    Charge Of The Light Brigade: Army Seeks Air-Droppable Vehicles For Infantry

    New Vehicles Envisioned for Army Airborne include a Light Tank…

    ——–

    We don’t need to copy everything that they do (like the super ugly digital camo, bring back the loreng rimau!) but there are some good ideas (if not execution) like the Littoral Mission Vessels, gatling guns etc. IMO the idea of motorizing/mechanizing the Para is a good idea as our contry is divided into 2 by the sea. it would enable the force to be dropped far (not near as what you understand) from the objective and travel fast on land.

  22. You’re missing the point that for the price of the airborne formation you mentioned (which is unnecessary in our case) we can maintain a conventional force that is much more well equipped and relevant to our needs.

    You and I have had this conversation before. We have no need for power projection beyond our borders, and nowhere within our borders do we need to operate an airborne force where conventional forces are unable to operate.

    You said we can use large airborne forces not just for high intensity operations and in the same breath even said our lack of fighter aircraft to escort the transports is not an issue because we can drop them some distance from enemy airspace, remember?

  23. @Azlan
    “The 54 Ingwe equipped AV-8s and the 8 Baktar Shikan Adnans should be sufficient for our medium range needs. Ideally, Eryx and Metis [assuming these are still operational due to age] should be replaced by a common non wire guided, top attack missile like Javelin to provide infantry battalions with an organic anti-tank capability.”

    Believe me I’m very happy to see the Ingwes (when will we buy at least another 216 reloads? It seems odd that every Ingwe AV8 is basically going round with 4 shots and no reloads in the entire army) but yes a dismountable preferably fire and forget ATGM for the infantry weapons company should be procured. The AV8s are big and tall and can’t get everywhere and we don’t have as many as we like.

    An impromptu ATGM review:

    I think we have at least 12, maybe 18 Baktar Shikan (B-S). The first 211 Adnan buy we ordered 8 BS variants, and in another 50 vehicles in 2 batches we ordered at least 4 BS variants in 1 batch, other batch unknown. 1 other web source stated 18 launchers. SIPRI says 450 B-S which works out to 25 shots each, or about 3 Adnan basic loads. Bit weak I admit, but since that is all we have…

    Our RPGs lets be frank are only useful under 500m ranges and no one will be silly enough to come near us without the very simple addition of RPG cages on everything. Yes they’ll do wonders volley-fired at tank roofs from upper floors of buildings but again its a trick people watch out for now.

    I think only the Paras have Eryx, and of Metis I’m going to guess: SIPRI gives 100 missiles and in 2008 we bought 24 G-wagons for them so assume 24 launchers with 4 shots apiece. Thats enough to give 4 battalions a 6-launcher AT platoon.

    That’s not enough. I’d shell out for more in light of our neighbours’ arming (and assuming Metis will soon be out of date). Ideally we’d buy a 4km F&F ATGM, but we can settle for SACLOS. I’d like 4km range cause I have the open fields up north and even coastal point defence in mind (ATGM hit on a landing craft should be fun) so I was thinking of the new French MMP, or at 2km the top-attack Saab BILL 2. France is our new best pal and Saab are gagging for our business, I don’t see why we can’t drop say US$ 100 mil which should be plenty for say 60 launchers and 10 shots apiece, thats 10 battalions very well-armed. Of course if we can get Kornet-E or Metis-M1 that’d be good too and probably cheaper, but I’m not betting on it.

    Just for insurance.

    Also,
    “I can also point out that most NATO armies, although retaining their airborne units, have downgraded the need for troops or have slightly changed their roles [a good example would be the British army’s 1 Para which is part of the ” Special Forces Support Group”]”

    2 Para, 3 Para and 1 other rotational battalion retain the British Army’s parachute drop capability. Scorpion’s replacement need not necessarily be armoured, but a preferably MOTS or MOTS-modified air-droppable, heli-transportable wheeled support vehicle for the Para Brigade armed with a minigun, 40mm AGL, autocannon or ATGM would be good to have. I might point out the Singapore Guards have their Spyder LSVs.

    @Anas
    Javelin is easily the most expensive on the market, we can expect to pay $200k per launcher and $100k per missile now, which is maybe twice as expensive as Russian SACLOS ATGMs. and Spike is, sigh, ‘non-halal’ and very jealously held anyway. No I’m looking seriously at the French MMP or the Saab BILL 2.

  24. P.s. Marhalim sir, it seems to me also that your spambot catcher only seems to work if the “not a spam bot” box is unchecked.

  25. If we are going to mount the missiles we need not consider the Javelin which is short ranged compared to other vehicle mounted missiles. Although the Javelin is nominally man portable it is too heavy to be carried on foot.

    I’m not concerned about getting the latest and greatest missile. Since Ingwe has already been bought, it is logical to procure it more widely. If we had not already picked it, TOW would also have been fine. It will be in widespread use for years to come and new warheads continue to be developed.

    Speaking of vehicle platforms, I’m against our new Weststar vehicles. Thanks to the leaf spring suspension system, they can only turn corners at low speeds. They have no armour and limited capacity to mount any. And they are probably too lightly built to be durable in tactical use. We all know the reason they were bought.

  26. Chua – ” It seems odd that every Ingwe AV8 is basically going round with 4 shots and no reloads in the entire army) ”

    Not so odd when you consider our budget and the fact that we’re on a peacetime footing. Sure, it would be nice to have at least 2-3 reloads but where’s the cash and does the threat environment justify the cost?

    Chua – ”Our RPGs lets be frank are only useful under 500m ranges and no one will be silly enough to come near us without the very simple addition of RPG cages on everything. ”

    In restricted terrain or in an urban environment; ranges will be shorter. The trick will also be to use several RGPs simultaneously from different angles;as Chechen anti-tank teams did. Even if a target is not completely knocked out, damaging its optics or a mobility kill is good enough. In the Tajik civil war, rebels first fired a single shot first to detonate the ERA; followed by a 2nd shot – granted the circumstances allowed engagements at short range but you get the idea. As demonstrated in numerous conflicts [WW2, Lebanon, Chechnya, Sri Lanka and in the streets of Jordan where Palestinian RPGs were very unkind to Jordanian MBTs]; the well being of armoured vehicles against threats is very, very dependent on the quality of infantry support received.

    Chua – ”2 Para, 3 Para and 1 other rotational battalion retain the British Army’s parachute drop capability.”

    Indeed but the fact remains that armies are not expending their airborne units and in turn are relying more on heliborne units. My reference to 1 Para was to highlight the fact that although it retains its jump capability; it’s role has been tweaked to suit the times.

    Chua – ” Scorpion’s replacement need not necessarily be armoured, but a preferably MOTS or MOTS-modified air-droppable, heli-transportable wheeled support vehicle for the Para Brigade armed with a minigun”

    Indeed. A recce patform can come in many forms – bikes, IFVs or 4x4s. Each has their respective merits. A lightweight IFV will have some level of protection and will have more mobility compared to bikes and 4x4s but in certain places; bikes and 4x4s will be more practical. Having the ability to pallet drop an IFV is nice but not very useful for most armies; precisely why less than a handful of armies still pallet drop IFVs.

    Chua – ”That’s not enough. I’d shell out for more in light of our neighbours’ arming (and assuming Metis will soon be out of date). ”

    Define ”enough”. We simply do not have the resources to give everyone or even 1/3 of our 35 odd infantry battalions an organic ATGW capability. Even at the height of the Cold War, not all British battalions had the 8 Milans that were organic to some battalions.

    As for what our neighbours : we should worry less about what they’re doing and focus on getting what we need; in line with our requirements, threat perceptions and budget.

    AM – ” I’m against our new Weststar vehicles. Thanks to the leaf spring suspension system,”

    I’m against soft skin vehicles having zero ballistic protection :]

    …… – ”About the scorpions. It was you, not me that puts the scorpion “is ideal” everywhere from”

    Indeed. If we want to base the argue that 15 is not enough; then it also applies to a lot of stuff we currently operate. This is what you said : ”but the small numbers wouldn’t be enough to be deployed in ESSCOM, for the PAC brigade, for the Armoured Brigade and the Mechanized Brigade.”

    Here you miss a point because the 15 Scorpions don’t have to be deployed in the whole of ESSCOM or ” for the Armoured Brigade and the Mechanized Brigade” [to quote you] : only in support of its parent unit, in this case 10 Para Brigade. If we operate on the premise that only 2 battalions will be forward deployed, with one in reserve, what do you think 10 Para’s frontage will be? 15 Scorpions are not enough for a 10-15km frontage?

    ….. – ” Para is a good idea as our contry is divided into 2 by the sea. it would enable the force to be dropped far (not near as what you understand) from the objective and travel fast on land.”

    Not sure what you mean about ”what I understand” but the key fact remains that if we had to rapidly deploy assets to East Malaysia; the bulk of the heavy stuff will move by sea [either naval or commercial shipping]. It’s not as if we don’t have ports near East Sabah. Granted, lead combat elements might be airdropped on some rural area to form an airhead but its supporting elements would still be flown to an airfield or airport. As for 10 Para; I’d worry more about improving its logistics and engineering capability before worrying about other stuff.

    With regards to the Scorpion, I’m not implying its the ideal solution but the key fact is we have it, it has lots of life yet and it has a small footprint. If we were going to retire it simply because we don’t have it in numbers or because it’s not ” relevant to be used on the front line with the future operational doctrines”; [we don’t have the luxury of going down this route] then we must as well retire other stuff as well. With the 90mm gun, the Scorpion was neither here nor there : too heavy, slow and cumbersome. Without its 90mm at least the Scorpion can better perform various roles; roles it was originally designed to perform : precisely why the army is giving them a new lease of life. The 20mm is intended to be used against ”soft” targets and mainly in self defence.

    ….. – ”( its important to have tracked recce while i was suggesting the armoured VAMTAC and motorcross bikes)”

    Sorry but in rough terrain your ”armoured VAMTAC and motorcross bikes” don’t have the mobility of a tracked vehicle and they have zero protection. Depends entirely on the operational circumstances ….

  27. Anas,

    Hezbollah had several advantages going for it; namely the fact that it was operating on home ground and was deployed in depth, taking full advantage of the terrain. Due to costs saving measures and occupation duties in Gaza and the West Bank; Israeli units deployed against Hezbollah had not undergone combined arms training for some time. Tank infantry cooperation as a whole was poor.

    Indeed numerous vehicles were knocked out but only a handful total write offs [people often overlook this] : a testimony to the protection levels of the MBTs and their fire suppression systems. Lot of lessons to be learnt from that conflict but just as important is not to learn the wrong lessons or form the wrong conclusions. The next time the IDF goes in again; it will avoid the mistakes it made in 2006 and Hezbollah will no doubt try to do better. We have to see who does better as a learning organisation : the IDF or Hezbollah? Talking about ”learning organisations” we can only hope that the MAF forms the right conclusions when analysing various conflicts; as some lessons can be applied to us and some can’t.

  28. ….. – ”We don’t need to copy everything that they do (like the super ugly digital camo, bring back the loreng rimau!) but there are some good ideas (if not execution) like the Littoral Mission Vessels, gatling guns etc.”

    I couldn’t agree more; which is why I never mentioned the need for gaining the envy of anyone and in the past have constantly said that we should avoid [not pointing fingers at anyone in particular] the tendency of assuming that what works for others [with regards to buying particular equipment or adopting ideas] will also work for us.

    AM – ” Although the Javelin is nominally man portable it is too heavy to be carried on foot.”

    True but ideally anti-tank units will have wheeled assets so they won’t have to carry it and its reloads most of the time. The range of the Javelin I feel is not an issue given the ranges we are likely to encounter in our terrain. My main grievance with Ingwe [which is actually a reverse engineered TOW] is the lack of a top attack capability. Sure someone can counter this argument and say that in many places; vegetation will prevent or cause problems a top attack kill but then it depends on the type of terrain the target is operating on.

  29. @Chua
    “No Im looking seriously at the French MMP or the Saab BILL 2.”

    Why the BILL 2 if I may ask? it’s just a saclos missile with a different fuze. The reason I would like to see an F&F platform complementing our existing array of missiles is so that the army could diversify its anti-armour tactics, not because the Bakhtar and Ingwe were lacklustre or incapable. The army have had ample experience operating saclos type platforms and we already have few such types in our inventory, heck even our new SHORAD platform is saclos. I don’t think introducing another anti-armour saclos platform be it Kornets or BILL 2 (capable no doubt) would significantly improve the effectiveness of our anti-armour doctrine, we need to shake things up a bit. Seeing that the probability of the army acquiring a dedicated attack helicopter or additional MBTs is quite dim for the foreseeable future (i might be wrong), acquiring a F&F ATGM might be able to increase our effectiveness in countering armour. Of course it’s up to the army on how they should do this, or whether it is indeed a priority that should be looked at now. Azlan there would probably chime in and say that we have other, more pressing issues to prioritize like MPA, AEW&C, patrol vessels,…and he’s quite right at that.

  30. Anas,

    Out of 257 AV-8s, 54 are anti-tank variants. That’s a lot and shows that the army is taking its anti-tank capabilities seriously. It’s also telling that we spent the cash on a panoramic sight on the AV-8 variant. I know we ordered a batch of reloads for Eryx, which was first ordered in the 1994/1994 [for Bosnia] but I’m unsure if we ordered any reloads for Metis which was ordered in 2002. Even if stored in the right conditions as specified by the OEM; missiles rarely last more than 10 years before the propellent gives way. As for tBaktar Shikan, we’ll never replace it – when it time expires we’ll bin it.

    Ideally, the next step is to gradually buy a common missile [something smaller and lighter than Ingwe] to equip some of our infantry battalions as a replacement for Eryx and Metis. The actual missile is not important – it can be Javelin [my preferred option despite the costs] or even legacy stuff like Kornet [unfortunately it has no top attack function]. Far more important is the tactics we develop and the ability of the missile teams to operate effectively with the other various arms of the army. BILL was known to be very pricey and attracted very little export sales.

    A lot of people, including troops, who have never been inside a tank will be surprised how little visibility tank crews have from inside. Anti-tank teams need to know the limitation of tanks, know their weak spots and how they operate. Unfortunately, with only 48 PT-91s in service, only a handful of units will have the chance of exercising with the PT-91.

  31. Azlan “I’m against soft skin vehicles having zero ballistic protection.”

    Not all light vehicles need as much armour, direct fire weapons platforms will need more than indirect fire ones such as ATGM or MANPAD carriers. Even though I did say the Weststars can have limited armour at best.

    My point is these vehicles have the least stable suspension you can buy.

    Even if there was capacity to spare for armour they would still have to take a turn dead slow.

  32. @ am

    The Weststar pickup is just a reskinned thai built Toyota hilux. There is no performance/protection benefits to a standard hilux. Why? Its just a political buy. The starstreak as you said has no place to be tacked onto those things. Should just stick to the VAMTAC for starstreak.

    About the airbone mechanized/motorised. You always talk about the price. Show it to me that a company strength of motorized/mechanized airborne troops (plus maybe x3 of the equipment for reserve/training) is soo super expensive?

    All of the equipment fits just 3 a400m, and airdrop training can be just once annually for currency. Flying the a400m to carry 5 VIP or 100 troops cost the same, so no need to have additional costs pit aside for those.

    A company strength (100+ soldiers)

    10x polaris DAGOR (capacity 9 men, but would carry just 8, 1 section malaysian BIS). Price of the DAGOR? Usd 149k (official polaris price).

    4x ZBD03, with 30mm cannon, sagem MOST optronic mast, 3 crew + 4 soldiers). Say it would cost usd 2mil each (similar to an adnan).

    So in all

    30x Polaris DAGOR = usd 4.5million

    12x ZBD03 = usd 24million

    Total of usd 28.5million (rm 120million)

    Which is LESS than the cost of the 20 units of deftech lipanbara (rm 140.98 million)

    Reply
    GAPU will get the Vamtac. Your quotation is before the agent’s mark-up, so I dont think it will be cheaper than the Lipanbara.

  33. @ Azlan “where’s the cash and does the threat environment justify the cost?”
    The threat environment is defined by probability and impact. Arguably, the Thai and Indon tank acquisitions have changed the impact for the worse, though I agree probability of armed conflict remains very low. Our army after all is a national security insurance policy, not a penis-size contest, so we need not buy a brigade of T-80s in reaction but ATGMs are a cost-effective defensive measure we can take.

    @ Azlan “well being of armoured vehicles against threats is very, very dependent on the quality of infantry support received.”
    I’m sure you know the military maxim that we should not make plans based on assumptions of opponents’ weaknesses 😀

    @Azlan “We simply do not have the resources to give everyone or even 1/3 of our 35 odd infantry battalions an organic ATGW capability. Even at the height of the Cold War, not all British battalions had the 8 Milans that were organic to some battalions.”
    Sadly you are quite right. Still, I was thinking for a relatively modest investment we can arm at least 10 more infantry battalions. Together with 4 para battalions armed with Eryx, 4 or 5 mechanised battalions armed with Ingwe and Baktar-Shikan, 3-4 battalions armed with Metis (until that’s gone), we will have a good mix of capabilities and some 1/2 to 2/3 of the army well-equipped to deal with tanks and up-armoured IFVs.

    Does Ingwe come in a firing post version? It would be an acceptable compromise for the sake of commonality and cost. My only grievance with Javelin is the expense 🙂

    @Anas
    BILL 2 is top-attack and has a tandem warhead. Javelin is the most expensive option out there. The downside with BILL 2 was probably its range, but that is less of a problem for us.

    @Azlan “Ideally, the next step is to gradually buy a common missile [something smaller and lighter than Ingwe] to equip some of our infantry battalions as a replacement for Eryx and Metis.”
    I do not know if 10 Para are equipped with RPG-7, it would seem that having both RPG and Eryx is a duplication of capabilities. Our infantry should be armed with a light platoon-level 500m weapon and a battalion-level 2km-4km weapon.

    @Azlan “BILL was known to be very pricey”
    I didn’t know that, I figured it was shelved because of its relatively short range. Sigh.

    Reply
    10 Para units carry the RPG 7, Goose and the Spanish LAW. Have not seen the Eryx for a while now

  34. Chua,

    BILL was known to be expensive which could explain it’s lack of exports. Then again it also could be due to Sweden’s tough export laws. In the past we were also offered Tophaan (a TOW copy) but if the Yanks would have been annoyed if we’d bought from the Iranians. Having both Eryx and RPGs are not a duplication as they’re intended to complement each other; both bring good for different roles, albeit with the same purpose.

    Threats assements are defined by capabilities as unlike intentions; capabilities can’t change overnight. The fact remains however that any chance of conflict with an immediate neighbour is very slim.

    AM,

    for me, any ‘weapons carrier’ irrespective of whether it’s expected to come under direct fire or not, should be protected at least against 7.62 and splinters.

  35. Marhalim, if I’m not mistaken the C-90s have been replaced by the Norwegian M-72s. We bought both the standard version and the bunker busting one.

    Chua,

    Not making assumptions. How well armoured units perform in restrictive retain and in an urban environment is highly dependent on its infantry support. Without proper infantry support armoured units are are at a great disadvantage. Hence my mention of having the right training being more important that the actual gear. Not sure if Ingwe comes on a tripod but I would imagine that a lighter system would be more practical for the support companies of infantry units. The U.S TOWs were sometimes seem tripod mounted are actually mounted on HUMVEES.

  36. Remember?. Our army are equipped with an old but still valid anti tank/anti fortification weapon. The modern version is even lighter being made of yough plastic with a metal barrel insert. Its the Carl Gustav anti tabk recoiless rifle. Its still in ourbinventory. But ammunition has made leaps n bounds for this weapon. It now comes in double warhead, high explosives, air fuel mixture n even buck shot option. So as long as we buy the new ammunition which can be used by the legacy carl gustav we have portable mobile anti tank weapon. We can add additional new launchers at not so expensive cost too. Of course the legacy system came with an open sight thus lumiting the range ir can be shot to. But if we buy a new optical sight for this weapon we can improve its accuracy. Its cheap n cost effective

  37. @AM
    How is it that ATGM carriers are indirect fire platform? Aren’t these platform require the target sighted by the platform?

    @Chua
    The BILL 2 is not ‘top attack’, at least not as how Javelin and MMP work. The trajectory of the missile is straight to the target like your bread & butter atgm, it’s just that the missile explode above the target with vertical shaped charge. Besides tandem warhead is common enough nowadays, even the rpg7 has a tandem warheads munition.

    “I’m sure you know the military maxim that we should not make plans based on assumptions of opponents’ weaknesses”
    Unless the assumption is true, in which case it would be a waste not to exploit. But then again there’s another maxim that said no plan survives enemy contact, in which case why bother planning at all haha.

  38. … “You always talk about the price. Show it to me that a company strength is soo super expensive? ”

    I don’t just talk price. Everyone here has said that even if we have a high intensity airborne capability, it will probably never be used due to conventional options and inherent risk (like injuries and the 3 HMMWVs that fell to earth at Hohenfels last month).

    Airborne forces are expensive because they have their modified tactical training, rigging and jump training (to reduce the accidents mentioned), there’s the replacement cost of damaged equipment, the fact that all their logistics goes by air, and transport aircraft we might otherwise not need to buy.

    It’s a fair bet that every army with large parachute forces would rather use helicopters and sling load their equipment. The only reason they don’t is they want global reach in a matter of hours, unlike us.

    Chua,

    There is a single tube firing post version of Ingwe. Question is how much we’ll spend- we could go cheap, or we could splurge and mount the same MCT turret as on the AV-8.

    It is hard to predict the level of investment we will commit to a capability. On one hand we fully tricked out the AV-8, on the other hand we don’t even get a decent 4WD vehicle.

    Azlan “As for Baktar Shikan, we’ll never replace it – when it time expires we’ll bin it. ”

    This raises the question of whether we will bin the RPG as well rather than renew our commitment to it. As with the Baktar Shikan, it surely isn’t the most effective weapon in its class, and we aren’t out to do Pakistan a favour this time.

  39. Apart from the fact we clearly [unlike certain other countries] have no need for an IFV to be dropped by pallet; my main worry, when I hear or read about an air deployable IFV [whether by pallet or in a cargo bay] or about ‘x’ type of transport being able to carry ‘x’ number of vehicles is whether we’ll actually have the needed air assets at that given time. Having a transport that can take ‘x’ number of vehicles in its cargo bay is great and having the ability to pallet drop an IFV [if it suits ones requirements and is in line with ones doctrine] is also great assuming off course enough transports are operational and are not on other taskings at that particular time when needed.

    The ZBD03 looks uncannily like a BMD-4 clone. Unsurprising given the Chinese have a longstanding tradition of cloning/copying other designs. If the choice were mine; my main focus with regards to 10 Para would be to improve its logistics capability [in order to be more sustaining and less dependent on outside help for longer periods], to improve its organic engineering capabilities and to reconfigure one of its existing 3 battalions to perform other roles; apart from its core function of being air dropped or rapidly deployed at short notice.

    Like how RMAF pilots had to do ‘x’ number of landings on RMN ships to maintain currency; 10 Para – on paper – has to do more than one pallet drop annually of Model 56s and prime movers to maintain currency. As it is; pallet drops of Model 56s and prime movers are hardly performed as it’s a labour intensive exercise and we have correctly deduced that in the event of the unit having to make an operational deployment; it will be more practical to fly the gear into an airfield/airport rather than pallet dropping them and having them land in the wrong place. This has happened before during exercises and during the 2nd Emergency; fuel drums that were dropped from Caribous to forward deployed Nuris often landed in the wrong place and were never recovered. Some apparently were discovered by Orang Asli who naturally were delighted to come across a whole fuel drum.

  40. AFAIK most of the atgm in malaysian army inventory is allocated to the PAC and mechanized brigades as they are those most likely to encounter enemy apc/tanks.

    For the rest of the army, with the BIS (battalion infantri standard) concept, each squad (8man) section is armed with 2 rpg7 or Carl Gustav. This gives a company strength of 24 rpg7 or Carl Gustav, which is imo more than adequate for situations in the deep jungle, on a remote beach or urban areas. The plan is there, just need to ensure all the infantry battalions are up to the BIS standards.

  41. Airborne doesn’t always need to be paradropped. It can always be landed on a safe airfield far away and proceed to the target on wheels/tracks. You couldn’t do that with para units on foot. That is why a motorized/mechanized para unit is always much more versatile than those that is only on foot.

    Why I came out with the idea of company force of 10 DAGOR and 4 Zbd03? Because in my studies it could fit in 3 a400m (by comparing the vehicle size and the aircrafts cargo box size). Another option is to use 2 a400m and 2 c130h-30. We now have those a400m, why just use to ferry Vip and mercy flights only?

    The Zbd03 is small, similar in size to the scorpion, even similar in weight (8tonnes combat weight). Armed with a 30mm cannon in a 1 man turret. It has 3 crew plus space for 4 soldiers, which corresponds just nicely to 1/2 of our squad section size. Russian bmd3/4 is bigger and heavier. Zbd03 also has conventional seating and exit layout similar to western ifv’s, unlike awkward exit through the roof arrangements of Russian bmd3/4. Not to mention it is designed to be paradropped and is amphibious at the same time. A very ideal addition to the PAC and malaysian army as a replacement of the scorpion and stormer.

  42. …… – ”Airborne doesn’t always need to be paradropped. It can always be landed on a safe airfield far away and proceed to the target on wheels/tracks.”

    I never said otherwise. Which is why I’ve never spoken about the need for us to have an IFV that can be airdropped; simply because – unlike some others – we have very little need for it.

    The main concern with ‘light” units such as 10 Para are it’s limited self sustaining abilities; hence my mention of the need to improve its logistics capability. Another area that needs improvement are its organic engineering capabilities.

    ….. – ”That is why a motorized/mechanized para unit is always much more versatile than those that is only on foot.”

    As demonstrated so well in the past. The problem however of having vehicles is that it increases the footprint and makes it harder to deploy. More vehicles equates to the need for more men and more lift assets; as well as fuel. All’s good if there’s a scenario in which the unit lands in Tawau and is deployed to the coast. If however there is a scenario where forward elements of the unit land on a DZ and have to wait for its supporting elements to reach it by road or other means; then things become a bit tricky.

    …… – ” each squad (8man) section is armed with 2 rpg7 or Carl Gustav.”

    As far as I know; BIS sections have RPGs and M-72s. The Carl Gustavs, as has been the case for a long time, are attached to the Support Company.

    ….. – ”why just use to ferry Vip and mercy flights only?”

    We don’t.

    AM – ”This raises the question of whether we will bin the RPG as well rather than renew our commitment to it.”

    Doubt it will happen soon. We ordered reloads from Romania a few years ago which I’ve been told are cheaper than the ones from POF. Plus we have the rounds from Ruag.

    AM – ”it’s a fair bet that every army with large parachute forces would rather use helicopters and sling load their equipment.”

    Yes and the fact that hardly any armies now are expending their jump capable units speaks for itself. Granted, there will be times when having a jump capable units pays off [the recent French experience in Mali and the various operational jumps the TNI-AD has performed over the decades comes to mind] but by and large the preferred delivery option is the far safer, more practical and less resource intensive of helicopters.

    Lee – ”Our army are equipped with an old but still valid anti tank/anti fortification weapon. ”

    Yes and not many know that a few reached the Khmer resistance who used them with good results against Cambodian army T-55s/54s. We have reworked [rather than rebuilt] our Gustavs. The problem is the weight; which is why it’s distributed to Support Companies.

    Lee – ” It now comes in double warhead, high explosives, air fuel mixture n even buck shot option. ”

    Yes but our 84mm ammo only consists of HE, HEAT and illumination.

  43. About the support company in the BIS concept.

    My understanding of the BIS concept is an infantry battalion would consist of:

    4 infantry company; each with 3 platoons consisting of 4 sections.
    Each section (8men) comprises of:
    1 SAW (machine gunner FN Minimi)
    1 AGL (milkor 40mm)
    2 RPG7
    4 infantrymen (M4)
    Is the 60mm mortar a regular item carried by every section?

    About the Support Company. What i’ve seen personally they are equipped with land rover/VAMTAC/weststar with 0.50cal machine guns. Anyone knows more about the BIS support company composition? 1 platoon of 4×4 0.50 cal/carl gustav, 1 platoon of snipers, 1 platoon of 81mm mortars?

  44. …….,

    The 60mm is indeed on regular issue but is mainly used for illumination. Off course, depending on the circumstances, a section wouldn’t necessarily carry all of its authorised weapons. My guess is that the composition of the Support Companies in the BIS battalions remains the same or hasn’t changed much compared to the other battalions; i.e. a Support Company with a Mortar Platoon with 4 tubes [doesn’t sound much I know but it was sufficient at a time when our focus was on internal security], Carl Gustavs and GPMGs. With the exception of the South Korean made 4x4s [still offered by KIA] that had HMGs and were allocated to a single unit; HMGs were never organic to infantry battalions but I suppose that has changed with the introduction of the so called ”weapons carriers” – first the G-Wagon and now the VAMTAC.

    Against anyone that can shoot back; the survival rate of anyone firing a HMG [or GMPG] from an unprotected 4×4 will be slim. The Yanks and Brits learnt the hard way [actually they gained a sharp reminder], in Afghanistan and Iraq, of the vulnerabilities of soft skin vehicles with zero protection. We also learnt this during the 2nd Emergency but seemed to have overlooked it. The main problem with the BIS sections, apart from its array of hungry weapons, is its size, which in turn is dictated by the amount of men that can fit in an Adnan. We’re not the only ones facing this problem.

    Reply
    Indeed during the Emergency the British just up uparmoured what ever trucks they have in Malaya and used them for patrols and convoys. Of course there were also purpose built APCs like the Ferrets but most are Bedford trucks. Many of these trucks are the open types. Many are still used as gate guards at police stations and some displayed at tourist spots

  45. The weapons carriers with HMG that i have seen are with RMR and RRR insignias on their bumpers, so it is safe to say they are assigned to the infantry battalions.

    Probably in urban or areas with thick vegetation (palm and rubber estates) the vulnerability is not so big as in the open desert areas?

    Reply
    No, once the fight is on, the biggest gun will get the most attention.

  46. ..,,,,,,,

    Off course they are assigned to infantry battalions. The question is to how many units and how useful would unprotected “weapons carriers” be in the event of a high intensity conflict?

    An unprotected vehicle -irrespective of whether in restrictive terrain like secondary jungle or open terrain like a desert – is very vulnerable to anyone who shoots back. We don’t have to look far; numerous ambushes took place during the 2nd Energency on army and police convoys with casualties incurred. Imagine a better equipped enemy performing ambushes on a convoy consisting of lorries and jeeps which are totally unprotected.

  47. Marhalim

    Do you know type of the ammunition used by mlrs and the range

    Reply
    It’s the normal ammunition for the system , I think its the 40km rockets

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