SHAH ALAM: Firepower Exercise. The Army conducted its annual firepower exercise at Kem Sirajuddin, Gemas today (May 22, 2017). The exercise is the main live firing exercise for the Army, where its heavy hitters worked together with the RMAF fighters to demonstrate its capabilities and firepower.
In the past, the exercise was called a demonstration but this was changed last year to better reflect the main goal of the training exercise.
This year’s exercise saw the first public firing of the Gempita AFV30 and Adnan Thales 120mm mortar. Unfortunately, the Armoured Command Variant (ACV) of the Gempita, the one with the RWS, did not take part in the exercise.
Both the AFV30 and the ACV were supposed to conduct a live firing demonstration late last year but it was cancelled for various reasons.
Apart from the AFV30 and the IFV25, none of the other variants of the Gempita took part in the exercise.
Anyhow the Thales 2R2M 120mm mortar are fitted on the ACV-S variant of the Adnan, which eight units were procured back in 2010. The ACV-S variant is, of course, the stretch variant of the Adnan, distinguishable by it’s six road wheels compared to the normal ones with five wheels.
The 2R2m mortar features a semi-auto loading, the loader loads the round and charge on the trunion which in turn place the projectile into the mortar breech. The mortar swivels downwards during travel and the top cover is opened for firing.
The Army Air Wing also demonstrated the AW109 fitted with the minigun, with two examples firing the guns just above the viewing gallery. Last year, only one AW109 took part in the exercise. Two Nuris from the PUTD also took part in exercise hoisting an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzers in the exercise, compared to one last year.
Like in previous years, the Pendekars, Astros MRLS and G5 155mm howitzers took part in the exercise, with a company from the 19th RMR (Mechanised) demonstrating the firing of infantry weapons from M4s to RPG-7s after they exited from their Adnans from the 25mm Bushmaster, 81 mortar and 40mm AGL variants. These vehicles also added to the din firing their weapons as part of the exercise.
As for the anti-tank contingent, the Metis M – fitted on G-wagens and Bakhtar Shiktan on Adnans also took part in the exercise.
The Metis-M scored direct hits on their targets from four missiles while the Bakhtar Shiktan missed theirs, a reversal of fortunes from 2014, the last time I went to see the firepower exercise.
For the indirect firing portion of the exercise, three F/A-18D Hornets and two BAe Systems Hawk 108s were involved together with the Army’s heavy hitters firing in their more traditional fire support role. Because of this the guns, the G5 155mm, 81mm mortars and 105 hotwizers, were firing away from the gallery.
The Hornets, two of them were fitted with four Mk82 500-pound bombs each, while the Hawks were fitted with two launchers for FZ rockets each.
The fighter boys apparently had a much enjoyable time at the exercise with one of the Hawks flying just over the tree-tops as they exited the range for the finale. Both Hawks performed aileron rolls as they past the view gallery.
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