Fourth Para Batallion Operational

SHAH ALAM: Fourth Para Batallion Operational. 18th RMR has been declared as a fully operational Parachute Infantry Batallion by Army chief Gen. Zulkiple Kassim in a ceremony held at Sultan Mahmud Airport, Kuala Terengganu today (Feb. 21, 2018). The batallion is now formally known as 18th RMR (Para).

The ceremony among others saw the control of the batallion handed over to the 10th Para Brigade from the 8th Brigade. Soldiers and officers of the 18th RMR also conducted a static jump over the airport as part of the demonstrations conducted for the ceremony

The Army chief handing over the 18th RMR flag to the 10th Para CO.

As I was not at Kuala Terengganu for the ceremony, I cannot answer questions regarding today’s ceremony as well as many of those regarding the brigade in the earlier comments section especially conversations between … and Azlan. That said even if I was there it is unlikely that I will get most of my own questions answered due to various reasons.

The chief jumpmaster checking 18th RMR CO prior to the static jump demonstration at the ceremony.

First and foremost, personally I prefer to get such information in a more relaxed atmosphere instead of a makeshift press conference in the hot sun!

18th RMR soldiers posed with the Hercules prior to their jump.

Anyhow hope fully I will get some answers on the brigade’s direction and future soon.

See below the release from the Army regarding the ceremony.

KUALA TERENGGANU, 21 Feb 18 – Upacara Pengisytiharan Pengoperasian Batalion Ke-18 Rejimen Askar Melayu DiRaja (18 RAMD) sebagai sebuah Batalion Infantri Para telah disempurnakan oleh Panglima Tentera Darat, Jen Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Zulkiple Hj Kassim bertempat di Lapangan Terbang Sultan Mahmud, Kuala Terengganu.

Terdahulu, upacara dimulakan dengan demonstrasi Penyusupan Seksyen Pandu Arah Udara (Penerjunan Bebas), Close Air Support (CAS) oleh 2 buah Pesawat Pejuang Sukhoi SU-30MKM, Terjunan Statik dari Pesawat C130 H (Mass Drop) oleh 7 pegawai dan 73 anggota LLP 18 RAMD (Para), Penarikan Keluar Seksyen Pandu Arah Udara (Teknik SPIE-Rig), Penyusupan kumpulan serangan menggunakan Helikopter EC-725 (Teknik Fast Roping), Penyusupan menggunakan teknik Hover Jump, CAS dari Pesawat Pejuang Sukhoi SU-30MKM serta serangan platun ke atas objektif musuh. Demonstrasi ini melibatkan ketumbukan sejumlah 800 pegawai termasuk anggota LLP dari 10 Bgd Para. Pelbagai aset ketenteraan turut digunakan di dalam demonstrasi keupayaan ini termasuk aset udara TD iaitu Helikopter LOH Agusta.

Seterusnya acara diteruskan dengan Upacara Serah Menyerah Bendera 18 RAMD (Para) oleh Brig Jen Dato’ Nazari Abd Hadi, Panglima 8 Bgd kepada Brig Jen Datuk Tengku Muhammad Fauzi Tengku Ibrahim, Panglima 10 Briged (Para) dengan disaksikan oleh PTD sebagai simbolik bermulanya batalion ini berada di bawah pemerintahan 10 Briged (Para).

Dalam ucapan PTD, beliau mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada Pegawai Memerintah dan semua warga pasukan 18 RAMD (Para) yang telah bersatu dalam memberikan perkhidmatan terbaik serta sokongan yang padu ke atas proses pembangunan Tentera Darat. Beliau berharap agar dengan pengisytiharan status pengoperasian sebagai sebuah Batalion Infantri Para, ia akan menjadi penyuntik semangat kepada semua untuk melaksanakan segala tugas dan peranan sepertimana yang telah ditetapkan dengan baik dan bersungguh-sungguh.

Turut hadir YAB Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Razif Abd. Rahman, Menteri Besar Terengganu; Mej Jen Dato’ Pahlawan Redzuan Hj Baharuddin, KSTD serta Pegawai-pegawai Kanan ATM.

The CO of 18th RMR leads up the parade at the ceremony.

For more pictures of the ceremony head to the Army and BTDM Facebook pages.

— Malaysian Defence

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27 Comments

  1. One of the reasons 3 Commando Brigade was able to sustain itself so well in the Falklands is because it had a Commando Logistic Regiment; comprising a Supply, Ordnance and Medical Squadron. The role played by the Commando Logistic Regiment was pivotal in 3 Commando Brigade being able to do what it was tasked with. The Para Regiment also had something similar but did away with it due to funding issues.

    In the case of 10 Para Brigade I find it hard to believe that planners would expand the unit by adding another battalion without also doing the same with its command, staff and supporting elements. There are only so many battalions a peacetime Brigade HQ can handle and administer; unless of course that HQ was bloated to begin with.

    BTW, on the subject of howitzers that can be underslung by heli – sounds great on paper [just like having howitzers that can fit inside a Charlie or a A4000M] but its totally dependent on having the needed assets that can fly the needed sorties when needed. It takes about 18 Nuri sorties to lift a battery of Model 56s, its crew and ammo [about 350 rounds per gun]. This of course doesn’t included the additional sorties to keep the battery resupplied.

  2. It’s easy to be mesmerised or be impressed by the fact we have a mechanised brigade, a para brigade with 4 battalions and others equipped with AV-8s but the fact remains that the bulk of our 35 odd infantry battalions are motorised ones, equipped mainly for low intensity or defensive type roles. We simply can’t afford to equip the bulk of our units they we they should be equipped.

    For that matter even 10 Para [which has strong backing within the army] is still not fully equipped – more than 20 years after it was raised – to do what it’s intended to do. Yet it was decided to add another battalion [with all the needed costs and resources] to the brigade.

  3. First of all,

    Congratulations to 18th RAMD for the great milestone in its history.

    Now we have 4 parachute capable and trained battalions in 10 PARA.

    @ azlan

    ” It takes about 18 Nuri sorties to lift a battery of Model 56s, its crew and ammo [about 350 rounds per gun]. ”

    Yes 18 is about right. But what kind of force are you fighting that requires helilifting 6 guns to put 2100 rounds of 105mm shells on the target? That is more than enough to flatten a small town. Would CAS with aircrafts be an alternative?

    ” For that matter even 10 Para [which has strong backing within the army] is still not fully equipped ”

    Please describe your meaning of “not fully equipped” so we can debate further.

  4. Helmet “fritz” nowhere to be seen at the jump lah. They jumped using the new pattern “SOF style” helmet.

  5. …. – ”what kind of force are you fighting that requires helilifting 6 guns to put 2100 rounds of 105mm shells on the target?”

    You make it sound as if I was talking about lifting whole regiments of arty to support a corps level formation.

    To answer your question : it depends. Irrespective of whether it’s a low or high intensity conflict, one has to be able to factor in for the worst [just like your mention of how the units trains to march 30km from its DZ to its objective]. Not all future scenarios we might face might be like anything else previously faced, in which ammo resupply wasn’t an issue or ammo useage rates were low.

    The point I was reinforcing is that having arty that can be underslung is great but it depends on the needed helis being available at that particular time and the ability of those helis to fly the needed sorties. It’s great if those helis aren’t busy doing other things but chances are, they will. On top of that we only have so many helis.

    … – ”That is more than enough to flatten a small town. Would CAS with aircrafts be an alternative?”

    If they’re available. 10 Para or any other unit can’t base what it has, in terms of arty or anything else, on whether CAS might or might not be available. It has to ensure that it can get the most or best on what it has.

    …. – ”Please describe your meaning of “not fully equipped” so we can debate further.”

    As always, happy to oblige. I would have thought that my use of “not fully equipped” would be plainly obvious.

    Since it was raised in 1994 what major new equipment has it received? In terms of actual equipment how does the 4 battalions and its supporting arms differ from other units, apart from the Scorpions, Stormers and Supacats? With regards to what the unit wants and my meaning of “not fully equipped”, it’s no great mystery, we only have to look at past interviews and reports : high mobility vehicles, better and more secure comms, etc, etc. Not to mention stuff like optics, NGVs, body armour and personal comms.

    Months after the unit was raised, the then Defence Minister said that the ”the purchase of new equipment for the unit would be carried out in stages in line with allocations provided”. General Tan Sri Borhan spoke of the unit’s ”inadequate firepower, mobility and logistics” [note his choive of words]. Fast forward to 2018 has the unit’s ”firepower, mobility and logistics” really been improved since it was formed in 1994?10 Para is our showcase unit, our strategic reserve, our elite. Yet we still can’t equip it the way it should be equipped to perform the roles that only it and no other units can perform. That is telling …..

  6. “inadequate firepower,mobility & logistics”…what about adding organic utility and gunship helicopter? I know this deviate very far from “para” and into domain of “air calvary”.

    Is RPG-7 issued to paratroopers?

  7. @ Azlan

    ” You make it sound as if I was talking about lifting whole regiments of arty to support a corps level formation. ”

    Nope, that is just 1 battery that you are talking about. Why are you seemed surprised by your own statement? 1 regiment of 105mm howitzers would have up to 18 guns.

    ” With regards to what the unit wants and my meaning of “not fully equipped”, it’s no great mystery, we only have to look at past interviews and reports : high mobility vehicles, better and more secure comms, etc, etc. Not to mention stuff like optics, NGVs, body armour and personal comms. ”

    What stuff that is new after 1994?

    – G-wagons
    – vamtacs
    – Eryx
    – Igla
    – Anza Mk2
    – Harris software-based secure comms
    – New helmets
    – New body armor
    – Colt M4
    – RPG-7s

    Granted it could be improved, but as it is they are one of the best equipped brigades that malaysia has, and i don’t recall any recent articles or interviews with the mention of 10 brigade para as being “not fully equipped”. As it is right now, there has been plenty of improvements since the 1994 launch and the storming of langkawi airport by the then new 10 Para.

  8. … – ”Why are you seemed surprised by your own statement?”

    By your reaction : that’s why.

    It’s not a question of me being ”surprised” [isn’t my ”statement” actually but from a Nuri pilot] by the statement but rather me being surprised by your reaction to the statement; as to why so many rounds would be needed and the reference to CAS doing the job and a town that can be flattened by that amount of ammo. Even in brief, low intensity border clashes involving Thailand and Myanmar and Thailand and Laos hundreds of rounds were expended by both sides.

    …. – ”1 regiment of 105mm howitzers would have up to 18 guns.”

    No it depends. It has been found that 6 guns per battery is too cumbersome and some batteries have 4 guns.

    … – ”What stuff that is new after 1994?”

    Stuff that the unit has been asking for since the 1990’s ……
    Stuff like M-4s, RPG-7s, etc, are no big deal and are issued to the army as a whole.

    …. – ”As it is right now, there has been plenty of improvements since ”

    If you say so.

    In reality there haven’t been much improvements; both in hardware and in command and support elements. BTW the
    G-Wagons and Eryx are gone. The plain fact is that we lack the cash or the priority to even fully equip our main showcase, elite unit – our strategic reserve. Despite your denials the way 10 is equipped doesn’t differ much from other units. Equipment it has been requesting for [I’ve explained what that is] since the 1990’s and early 2000’s is still forthcoming. As to body armour and new helmets; only a small portion of the brigade is issue with them.

    Nimitz,

    Yes and those helmets look great. But at the end of the day do the rest of the infantry battalions who make up the bulk of the army have any chance of getting those helmets or any other fancy stuff that might only be issued to 10 Para? We all know the answer to that. The fact remains that we don’t the needed cash to fully equip even half, [never mind all] the infantry battalions we have [about 35 including the Border Regiment ones].

    The ultimate irony is we went from a rifle with a scope to one which doesn’t yet have one. The M-4 at present is probably the most ”accessorised” gun there is but almost 10 years after it was first ordered where are the scopes and other stuff that make it ”better” than the AUGA1? Some 5 years after Lahad Dato where is the body armour to equip our infantry? Our Minimis have Picatinny rails but where are the scopes? 16 years after being ordered the PT-91 crews are still waiting for their simulator which was to have been ordered from Ruag.

    We haven’t sorted out the the basics yet but are looking at stuff like the ”Future Soldier System”. We should be putting our cash to better use rather than doing a bit here and a bit there. We put so much emphasis on 10 Para but what about the other units that make up the bulk of the army? Even in the 2 Commando GK [which before 10 Para was the most favoured unit] battalions; scopes, body armour and NVGs are not widely issued.

    People will be all gung-ho about another battalion achieving ”para status” [after all who doesn’t like the idea of having elite jump units?] but how will 8 Brigade cope with its operational commitments now that it has one less battalion? Where will the extra ”x” million ringgit that is needed yearly to maintain an extra para battalion [to ensure an extra few hundred men keep their wings and to train new recruits, as well as the use of aircraft] coming from? If we really wanted to do something with more utility, practicality and substance; we would have converted a unit into a marine type unit. One that has an amphibious [albeit limited] capability and trains to be rapidly deployed by sea and one that can garrison the Spratlys.

  9. @ azlan

    The nuri pilot could just answer your question of how many sorties for a battery of pack howitzers to be lifted out. But operationally for a shoot and scoot mission by helicopter probably 3 would be enough. For the defence of a remote post for example in afghanistan, 1-2 howitzers are the number usually used. If they really need a whole battery, that fight should have a ground or airdrop logistic support, with the helicopter used just for the surprise factor. And as i said a regiment can be up to 18 guns, so something less is also possible.

    I have no idea if the g-wagons are gone. If it is, they must be replaced by more vamtacs. The 18 RAMD is seen equipped with vamtacs as the fire support vehicle. Body armor and new helmets are given to all, but the use depends. They are seen with body armor in lahad dato and NBOS missions in KL city and KLIA. As for scopes, the experience with AUG probably results in the conclusion that iron sights are adequate enough and there would be less issue with broken scopes? But there are those in pandura with m4 equipped with scopes. Minimi needing scopes? Even singaporean ultimax is not fitted with scopes. It is a fire support weapon and is intended to spray bullets, so a scope is superfluous.

    More improvements can be done:
    – now the new helmets come with NVG atrachments so i hope to see more NVG available to the soldiers
    – it seems that the armor plate carrier is not compatible with our parachute. Need to get a plate carrier that can be worn with the parachutes.
    – mobility. You know my preferences, no need to repeat it here.

    The total forces in the area is still the same, just the 18 RAMD no longer reports to 8th brigade. 18 RAMD still operates in east coast area. In exercises terengganu is also the operating area of the 4th Mech brigade. So no issue of operational commitments.

    As for an amphibious force, yes it is desireable, but we don’t have the equipment (ships) for now.

    Reply
    The amphibious force which surfaced a few years back was a proposal from the policy department, it was never supported by the uniform side.

  10. …. – ”The nuri pilot could just answer your question of how many sorties for a battery of pack howitzers to be lifted out. ”

    He has. The problem is lifting not only the battery but its crew and ammo. About 60 105mm rounds can be lifted by a Nuri.

    … ”For the defence of a remote post for example in afghanistan, 1-2 howitzers are the number usually used.”

    And for the 2nd Emergency a single gun with around 30 rounds could support a whole battalion but so what? It’s not indicative of what we might face in the future. It depends on the circumstances.
    The need to lift a whole batttery of guns and the ammo it needs [including reserves] is for a worst case scenario, i.e. a high intensity conflict or one in which the battery might not be resupplied so soon. Having said that however, even low intensity conflict like border clashes can involve a huge expenditure of ammo.

    … – ”As for scopes, the experience with AUG probably results in the conclusion that iron sights are adequate enough and there would be less issue with broken scopes?”

    No it’s because the agreement between Stery and SME went balls up and we had to go for anothe rifle because we couldn’t support the AUG anymore and SME needed work. We got the new rifle but didn’t have the cash to fit it out, thus the irony of going from a rifle with a scope to one that doesn’t have one. In this day and age [as you’re aware] only a fool goes into combat relying totally on iron sights.

    … – ”mobility. You know my preferences, no need to repeat it here.”

    Never mind your or my preference. The unit has long wanted high mobility vehicles.

    … – ”As for an amphibious force, yes it is desireable, but we don’t have the equipment (ships) for now.”

    As I said previously, a ”limited” amphibious capability, which we do have in the form of 2 MPSSs and 2 FTVs which admittedly are better suited for delivering troops to a pier rather than a beach but nonetheless we do have some means of transporting men and heavy gear by sea. Plus, if we had to, there’s always the option of using commercial shipping, which when it comes to delivering stuff to a pier, can do the job just as well as a LST.

    At the end of the day, a Marine unit or a rapid deployable unit [call it what you wish] has more utility than another para unit to add to the 3 we already have and can’t afford to fully equip.

    … – ”And as i said a regiment can be up to 18 guns, so something less is also possible”

    In many armies it’s now 4 guns to a battery – easy to command and move. Same reason why many Troops have 3 rather than 4 MBTs.

    … – ”The total forces in the area is still the same, just the 18 RAMD no longer reports to 8th brigade.”

    You miss the point I was making. 18 RMR is now part of 10 Para, which means 8 Brigade has one less battalion. The number of troops remains the same but it’s under the command of a different higher HQ and in a different area.

    … – ”It is a fire support weapon and is intended to spray bullets, so a scope is superfluous”

    How did you reach that conclusion? If that were the case then others won’t fit scopes to GPMGs, LMGs and HMGs but they clearly do. Also, the Minimi is not intended to spray bullets – do that and not only do you run out of ammo but you burn out your barrel.

    The point I was making is that we don’t even have to cash to fully fit out our showcase elite unit yet we’re all gung ho about 10 Para and about stuff like the Future Soldier System. What we’re doing is buying and doing a bit of everything but ultimately not doing enough. We are a window dressing and not focusing on anything.

    … – ” They are seen with body armor in lahad dato and NBOS missions in KL city and KLIA. ”

    Doesn’t mean the whole unit is issued with them. Plus, most of the body armour seen at Lahad Dato was the soft type. This is what happens when we neglect the basics. 5 years after Lahad Dato the bulk of out troops still don’t have body armour. The pics you see of troops with fancy new helmets and other gear is not a reflection of the army as a whole.

  11. @ azlan

    ” Plus, if we had to, there’s always the option of using commercial shipping, which when it comes to delivering stuff to a pier, can do the job just as well as a LST. ”

    You don’t need a special unit to deploy by commercial shipping.

    ” The number of troops remains the same but it’s under the command of a different higher HQ and in a different area. ”

    It is still based in kuala terengganu, and is available in that locality for any operations.

    ” Also, the Minimi is not intended to spray bullets – do that and not only do you run out of ammo but you burn out your barrel. ”

    What is a fire support weapon if it is not used in full auto? Try using the scope in full auto for the minimi. Imo the only fire support weapon with manageable recoil is the ultimax.

    The army is not focusing on anything? They are equipping all the infantry units outside of the border regiments with RPG-7s. Battlefield information systems for all mechanized and armor units. New helmets and body armors for para and mechanized brigades. Vehicles for all infantry battalion fire support companies, with HMG and AGL (g-wagons, vamtacs or GK-M1 weapon carriers). They are rolling out improvements for sure, in stages.

  12. … – ”You don’t need a special unit to deploy by commercial shipping.”

    No you certainly don’t but my reference to commercial shipping was in response to you mentioning that we don’t have the assets for a marine unit …. Maybe we don’t have the assets for an amphibious op but to rapidly deploy men and equipment; we do …

    … – ”What is a fire support weapon if it is not used in full auto?”

    It’s still fired in controlled bursts …..

    If indeed there was no need for a LMG to be fitted with a scope then why on earth are there scopes widely fitted on LMGs, GPMGs, HMGs and even mini-guns??

    … – ”The army is not focusing on anything?

    No it’s plainly not despite the fact that you seem to think it is.

    The fact that we have so many different units equipped differently and in insufficient numbers is proof that we are not focusing and can’t afford to properly equip the bulk of our units. BTW, not sure how you got the impression but not all units outside the Border Regiments have RPGs or are getting them and not all battalion support companies have 4x4s [with zero ballistic protection] weapons carriers. Some units have zero shoulder fired weapons apart from the Carl Gustavs and some units have zero Minimis, still relying on the HKs. Even 10 Para [which you maintain is the best equipped in the army] doesn’t have sufficient scopes, body armour, personal comms, etc, etc.

    What we are doing is buying a bit of this and that but not enough of anything – something we’ve been doing for a long time. If we really focused [as you maintain we’re doing] we would ensure that at least out ”elite” or ”’premiere” units have priority in getting the essentials but that’s clearly not the case. You keep mentioning ” new helmets and body armors” but like I mentioned these equip only a fraction of these units; the ones you see on parades and Merdeka Day. Unfortunately, the units we see on parades and Merdeka Day are not a reflection of the army as a whole …..

    … – ”It is still based in kuala terengganu, and is available in that locality for any operations.”

    Irrespective of where it’s based it is now under the operational and administrative control of 10 Para and 8 Brigade has 1 less unit – period/full stop. Also, we’re not exactly the Wehrmacht which trains to integrate different units,at short notice, to operate seamlessly as one under unfamiliar commanders; i.e. alarmheiten and kampfgruppen. It’s not in our doctrine.

  13. KAPAL Latihan Gagah Samudera is open for public visit (open day) at Bintulu Port, 25th Feb, 0800-1700hrs. Info gained from TLDM Bintulu.

    KD Jebat held an open day at Bintulu maybe 5 years back.

  14. @ Azlan

    ” If indeed there was no need for a LMG to be fitted with a scope then why on earth are there scopes widely fitted on LMGs, GPMGs, HMGs and even mini-guns ”

    Bacause they can. What can be done does not mean not doing it makes the LMG or god forbid miniguns not able to be pointed at the enemy. Heck a minigun with a scope is just the dream of tacticool pew pew guys.

    ” BTW, not sure how you got the impression but not all units outside the Border Regiments have RPGs or are getting them and not all battalion support companies have 4x4s [with zero ballistic protection] weapons carriers. ”

    Never said they have. Just said that they are getting them, as is weapons carriers. Just look at BTDM. Most BIS battalions have weapons carriers, and of course some are still waiting for their GK-M1s to arrive. Seen G-wagons in sarawak and sabah battalions, Vamtacs in Perak, terengganu and kelantan. It is an ongoing process. As for new helmets and body armors, seen them on NBOS deployments, exercises. But as we are hot and humid country, some operations and exercises just does not use them. Look at the latest exersise with the aussies, even they do not use body armor.

    ” Irrespective of where it’s based it is now under the operational and administrative control of 10 Para and 8 Brigade has 1 less unit – period/full stop. ”

    Actually 8th brigade has lost like 3 battalions including 18RAMD, as the 3xx battalions are transferred to Regimen Sempadan.

  15. tni navy to receive four ScanEagle UAVs… what my and other ASEAN country should receive under Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) program…?

    Reply
    No idea

  16. … – ”Heck a minigun with a scope is just the dream of tacticool pew pew guys.”

    You realise how ludicrous this sounds? I mentioned that our Minimis have rails but no sights and you respond saying support weapons need no sights because they are fully automatic. Then I pointed out that although automatic; the Minimi will be fired in control bursts to avoid heating the barrel and to conserve ammo.
    When I point out that scopes are fitted on LMGs, GPMGs, HMGs and even mini guns and that there’s a reason for this ; you respond by saying ”Bacause they can”.

    Aussie troops on exercises here, as well as U.S. troops, have scopes on their Minimis. HMS Edinburgh was here in 2008. She had mini guns with a scope. I suppose it’s ”Because they can” or for aesthetic reasons?

    …. – ”Never said they have”

    Sorry, I seemed to have mistook what you previously said : ” They are equipping all the infantry units outside of the border regiments with RPG-7s.”

    … – ” Look at the latest exersise with the aussies, even they do not use body armor.”

    The profound difference is that they have them in numbers : we don’t …. I have no idea why you’d even mention what you did. The Auusies by the way also wear floppy hats during exercises; to use you line of reasoning, I can say it doesn’t mean they don’t have helmets just because they wear floppy hats ……………

    …. – ” Seen G-wagons in sarawak and sabah battalions, Vamtacs in Perak, terengganu and kelantan. It is an ongoing process.”

    And? What’s the point you’re trying to make? I didn’t say we didn’t have them, merely that they’re a lot of units that don’t have them.

    Again, what troops carry or are equipped with on parades/inspections and on Merdeka Day is not a reflection of the army as a whole …… Just because a particular sub unit is seen with fancy new helmets and scopes doesn’t mean the whole unit has them. But don’t take my word for it; ask around.

  17. “Some units have zero shoulder fired weapons apart from the Carl Gustavs and some units have zero Minimis, still relying on the HKs.”

    In Marhalim’s youtube video from Haringgaroo 2015, I saw what I suspect was a M-16 heavy barrel with a fixed bipod. I have no idea how widely this is in service with us, perhaps someone can chip in.

    The Australians had optics for their Austeyrs and Minimi. Our GPMG team carried their rounds in black trash bags. It is common for our units even where they have body armour, to lack pouches to attach to it.

    What is still widely in service is the M-203 on old M-16s. These remained in service throughout the AUG years because we never bought the fittings to mount the M-203 on the AUG. Today it would be a simple matter to mount it on the M-4 but it has not been done. (I am aware the M-4 is commonly used with the short barrel variant, but our long barrel variant does fit.)

    Also the M-16 is in indefinite service in reservist units which never received the AUG and will not receive the M-4. SME’s production has ended and no new order has been announced.

  18. AM,

    Yes they do. It has become quite common to mount scopes on various support weapons. I’ve seen a Gerak Khas GPMG with a Simrad and there are photos out there of scopes mounted on U.S. army mini guns. Pics taken at CARAT also clearly show U.S. LMGs and GPMGs mounted with scopes – this is for a reason, not
    ”because they can”. The point I was trying to make with …. is that despite being fully automatic, support weapons are still fired in controlled bursts to converse ammo, avoid barrel heating and to maintain accuracy.

    The first recorded use of a scope on the HMG was as far back as the 1960’s. Carlos Hatchcock scored a long range kill with a HMG – in that case of course, the HMG was not used as a support weapon. On M-203s, PASKAL has them on MP-5s. As far as I’m aware this combo is hardly used.

    Unfortunately, what we see on BTDM or on Merdeka Day does not provide an accurate reflection of the army as a whole. I wish it did though. Not only is lack of cash a problem but also a lack of focus. Every now and then, our priorities shift, depending on who’s in charge and other factors.

    Reply
    Its not unusual for US and NATO armies to put scopes, mostly red dot sight on their LMG and MG. These will usually works with their NVG as well together with thermal imagers as well as laser pointers. Since we don’t put scopes on our M4s unlikely that our LMG and MG will have scopes as well

  19. The most recent refresher was in Afghanistan where it was found that DMRs, GPMGs and HMG are sometimes the only small arms with the effective range to reach Taliban on the facing hillside. It is obvious that GPMGs and HMGs can benefit from optics.

    Speaking of ATGMs, the Javelin is sometimes used in such an anti personnel role, although it does stretch the definition of a “man portable” ATGM. There is simply not a lot of choice when heavier firepower than a GPMG or HMG is needed. Other weapons such as the AT4 and the M-203 only have an effective range of about 300m.

    Reply
    10 Para brought along its weapons with scopes including a GPMG at a recent interview at TV3. Yes in Afghanistan the Taliban using various weapons including RPGs took pot shots from long distance against the coalition. With scope equipped GPMG and 50 cal machine guns the coalition fired back at these long distance shooters

  20. Milan was used for for the bunker busting role in the Falklands and TOWs were fired at the building in which Saddam’s sons were in. The idea was always for ”man portable” ATGWs to be mostly carried in vehicles but of course due to operational circumstances users have had to lug them around. Personally, I prefer something on a tripod, rather than mounted or firing from a 4×4. But then again, depending on the terrain and natural cover; a ATGW team operating from a 4×4 would be hard to spot and would have the advantage of being mobile. In the late 1980’s Chadian Milans mounted on Toyotas wrecked quite a few Libyan T-554/55s.

    In our context, no doubt there was a need for an AV-8 AT variant but I was surprised that we went for 54. It’s debatable but we could have gone for a smaller number of AT variants and used the cash to instead equip troops with a ”man portable” ATGW”.

    Also open for debate is the need to equip it with a 30mm gun in addition to Ingwe. No doubt, a 30mm shell offers better range and penetrating ability compared to a 20/25mm one but the AT variant is supposed to engage targets at at least medium range from cover. Anything closer and chances are it’ll be more visible and more vulnerable to return fire. My gripe with the AV-8 is its size and height but then again all current gen wheeled IFVs are of a similar size and height to meet protection, internal volume and mobility levels. Anything smaller would be less protected and have less internal volume but even then, it’ll be a very tight squeeze inside a AV-8 [and for that matter a Adnan] after a whole section and its equipment is inside.

    Interesting article about issues some users have faced with Spike.

    ”Field Experiences With Spike ATGM System – SouthFront”

  21. Marhalim,

    I wouldn’t say red dot sights but US forces equipped their M249s, M240 and the USMC specially issued IAR with Trijicon ACOG which has power of 6 x 48. Quite a powerful magnification for an MG type weapons but they do prove useful in combat. Some of the NATO forces had their guns equipped with ELCAN Specter DR series on their machine guns which has the same power as the ACOG.

  22. Azlan “In our context, no doubt there was a need for an AV-8 AT variant but I was surprised that we went for 54. It’s debatable but we could have gone for a smaller number of AT variants and used the cash to instead equip troops with a ”man portable” ATGW”. ”

    IFVs, tank destroyers and miscellaneous light armour are no substitute for MBTs. That said, if the army rightly feels that any upgrades for the PT-91Ms will have limited utility and it feels it will have a time justifying an MBT buy to the Treasury and the EPU, then the AV-8s are a reasonable and attainable anti tank capability. It’s a matter of the army having the army it can have, not the army that the army wants to have but can’t have. If at some point in the future we manage to get MBTs, the AV-8s will still have useful roles to play.

    The Ingwes also go some way to offset the obsolescence of the Metis and the Adnan mounted Baktar Shikans.

    Azlan “My gripe with the AV-8 is its size and height but then again all current gen wheeled IFVs are of a similar size and height to meet protection, internal volume and mobility levels. Anything smaller would be less protected and have less internal volume but even then, it’ll be a very tight squeeze inside a AV-8 [and for that matter a Adnan] after a whole section and its equipment is inside. ”

    The AV-8 does have less internal space than other 8x8s in the same class due to the position of the engine.

    Reply
    The AV8 with the Ingwe will only be equipped with around six crew members only not a whole section

  23. A bit off-topic.

    How many infantry companies are there in an infantry battalion?

    How many cavalry companies are there in a cavalry companies (condor or gempita)?

    Imo it is better for a cavalry battalion to be a brigade level asset in a form of a company instead of a division level asset as a battalion.

    Is our tank battalion is part of the mechanized brigade or is it under the army HQ command?

    Sorry if these questions seems a bit basic. Tq.

  24. AM – ”The Ingwes also go some way to offset the obsolescence of the Metis and the Adnan mounted Baktar Shikans”

    The do indeed but Ingwe is a medium range weapon, intended to deal with targets from greater distances compared to shorter range systems. In places like along highways and other areas where engagement ranges will be longer, not being constrained by vegetation, etc; Ingwe will be ideal. In places like palm oil estates or urban areas; a shorter range ‘man portable’ system would be more ideal. I was just surprised that we actually decided on 54 vehicles to armed with Ingwe. Then again I guess this a reflection of the importance we now place on having a AT capability. The good news is that its way ahead in performance compared to Bakhtar Shikan. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a top attack function.

    AM – ” the AV-8s will still have useful roles to play.”

    No doubt and ideally the AT variants will never be used as independent ‘tank killers’ and will operate as part of combined arms formation. The problem is, the lack of anything better or something more suitable, often leads to users misusing what they have.

  25. Marhalim “The AV8 with the Ingwe will only be equipped with around six crew members only not a whole section”

    I am aware that the AV8 with Ingwe MCT turret does not carry a whole dismounted section. If the crew is 6, who are the other 3 besides the driver, commander and gunner? Are they dismounted scouts?

    Reply
    One of the roles I am told is to reload the missiles. As for other tasks I am not sure as I was not told about it.

  26. Nihd,

    Traditionally there were 4 companies, lettered in consecutive order of A – D Company, as well as an HQ company. Of course there can be a difference between authorised and actual strength. Just because a unit is supposed to have ‘x’ number of men and ‘x” number of guns doesn’t mean it actually has them.

    11 Armoured Brigade answers to its parent HQ, in this case a division. Units that are under the direct command of Army HQ are units like the 185th Intelligence Battalion, the Aviation Corps and the 21st Gerak Khas Group. 11 Armoured Brigade is a formation on its own. The mechanised unit is 4th Mechanised Brigade.

    Sorry, I don’t understand your 2 other questions.

  27. Marhalim “The AV8 with the Ingwe will only be equipped with around six crew members only not a whole section”

    To update. There will be 3 crew in the troop compartment who will reload the missiles.

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