Frowning All The Time

Army mortar firing at night.

SHAH ALAM: Frowning All The Time. The press release,below, from Saab is one those things which at the same time interesting but also infuriating. Interesting as its about new mortar rounds but infuriating as Saab refused to name the customer.
What does it go to do with Malaysia then? I have no idea really but it is interesting to note that two products sold by Saab to an undisclosed customer turn out to be Malaysia, one is the MAPAM mortar rounds and the NLAW ATGM. Unless Saab come out with a new statement that completely ruled out Malaysia as the customer I guess we will have to wait until 2020 to find out whether its really ours or not though I understand the reason why Saab declined to name the customer.

Troops with Swiss army markings firing Mapam mortar rounds. Saab

By the way to the copy and paste artists out there please don’t say that Malaysian Defence had stated Malaysia had purchased these mortar rounds, I didn’t. You are smarter than me so I guess you can come up with your own stories. And if you used Google Translate to get the Bahasa Malaysia version don’t put simply put any cost estimates in your postings as I did not have them here.

A mortar section of 9 RAMD firing what appears to be 60mm mortars.

Saab Wins Framework Contract for Mortar Rounds

Saab has been chosen in competition for a mortar ammunition contract amongst other vendors for 81mm grenades, including both explosive and training rounds for an undisclosed customer. The framework contract will have a duration of five years and the first order intakes are expected to take place in 2019 followed by deliveries in 2020.

Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland Ltd. (SBDS), which is part of Saab business area Dynamics will manufacture and deliver the mortar rounds. The order includes the high explosive grenade WG, as well as the explosive grenade EUG and potentially the newest product from SBDS which is the THOR – the latest version of pre fragmented mortar grenades.

“We warmly welcome this selection of our mortar ammunition. The requirement was exacting as regards its operational and training demands. Our selection is indicative of our leadership as a designer and manufacture of high quality mortar ammunition,” says Görgen Johansson, Head of Saab Business Area Dynamics.

The industry’s nature is such that due to circumstances concerning the product and customer, further information about the customer will not be announced.

Saab is an industry leader in the design, development and production of mortar rounds, warheads and other energetic products. The company is a specialist in total munitions life cycle management and provides servicing of different ammunition types, mainly for large-calibre products. SBDS operates as a subsidiary of Saab, within business area Dynamics, and is based in Thun, Switzerland where it maintains a state-of-the-art development and production site with advanced test and simulation facilities.

And before anyone ask, the title of this post comes from the lyrics of a Black Sabbath song. An apt song to be inspired from.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. “though I understand the reason why Saab declined to name the customer.”

    why SAAB dont want to name the customer??something happen??

    Nothing happened, many customers do not want their identities to be revealed

  2. Somehow I get the feeling that MAF aren’t the experimental, adventurous types, therefore I would rule out the MAF as the unnamed customer since this order relates to “potentially the newest product from SBDS which is the THOR”. Our neighbour down south onthe other hand…

    Anyways, I believe the MAF might (MIGHT!) go for it, once THOR is tried and tested. Seems like a very efficient ammunition to deal with lightly armed intruding militias.

    Actually it’s the other way around, on various occasions we have been the lab rats

  3. joe “Our neighbour down south on the other hand…”

    You could say Singapore buys some of the most advanced systems that are proven and compatible with what they have.

    The fact that they have a big budget has not resulted in them wasting it on systems that are potentially problematic in terms of reliability or compatibility.

    Where they’ve been more extravagant or experimental is in developing and producing a small number of local systems at high cost. Even so, the overall concepts are proven and local development does not extend to most of the components being integrated.

    joe “Somehow I get the feeling that MAF aren’t the experimental, adventurous types”
    Marhalim “Actually it’s the other way around, on various occasions we have been the lab rats”

    I would agree that the MAF is conservative. But the cabinet are the ones responsible for any adventurous decisions that they force on the MAF without a lot of concern for operational effectiveness.

  4. AM,

    To be more precise; it was Dr. M who in the past decided on what to get and who to get it from; irrespective of objections and concerns from the MAF. The cabinet, Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, PM’s Department and MAF had no choice but to go along with it. If BAE Systems or Dassault can in the future offer us a deal that includes a ToT and offsets to the level we desire; it is not inconceivable that Typhoon or Rafale will be ordered.

    It is extremely unlikely [despite the desire not too spend more than necessary] that this government will in the future order an aged pre owned fighter or a new one that is inferior in capability or tech compared to what is already ordered or operated by our neighbours. What really remains to be seen is whether [in line with a ‘New Malaysia’ whether our procurement policy will change or whether it will remain based on political/nation interest considerations.

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