SHAH ALAM: Have Guns Will Travel. The Army has signed for 29 M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers (SPH) under the US excess defense articles (EDA) program. The Letter of Agreement (LOA) for the 29 M109SPH was signed on Aug. 24. 2016. This must be in pursuant to the LOI signed at DSA 2016.
US Government for the supply of M109A5 Self-Propelled Howitzer
Twenty-nine was the number I had alluded to in my exclusive post on the offer by the US to Malaysia for the SPH.
UNITED States has offered Malaysia up to 30 M109A5 Self Propelled Howitzer (SPH) under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme. The M109s would be upgraded to the latest A5 standard before entering service with the Army, if the offer is taken up.
The EDA list stated that the 29 M109SPH originally costs US$26.7 million (RM104 million) but the vehicles were offered to Malaysia for US$1.38 million (RM5.39 million) only. It is likely that if we upgraded 24 vehicles to the A5+ standard it will cost around RM100 million only (based on how much Chile upgrade theirs).
However if we forego the upgrades and instead just got them reactivated for service, it will likely cost us around RM10 million or so, including the cost of freight to Malaysia.
Last week during the Army Day interview, Gen. Zulkiple Kassim confirmed that
procurement of the M109SPH was on schedule and these were currently being upgraded in the US. Asked whether the Army will raise a new regiment to operate the SPH, Zulkiple says not as an existing unit will be taking over the vehicles. He did not identify the unit however.
I had reported previously around 24 M109SPH would be taken into service by the Army with the rest reserved as spares, though it is still unclear how many will be issued to the regiment taking over the vehicles. I am guessing that the regiment will have 16 SPH with another two with Armour/Artillery training schools in Port Dickson.
Deftech AV4 in digital camo.
As for the other six, there was the plan to have a number of the M109SPHs at ESSCOM as reported previously. For the record, Army has stationed a company from the 19th RMR (Mechanised) equipped with Gempita in ESSCOM since two years ago.
Gempita AVS, the signal variant. It is armed with the Reutech Rogue RWS fitted with a 12.7mm machine gun. The vehicle took part in Eks Satria Perkasa in October, 2016.
A number of AV4s are also in the ESSCOM AOR since that time though it is unclear which unit are operating them. Some have been seen operated by the GGK and even Paskau troopers. I am guessing the SF troopers are glad they’re in a vehicle which is more easily to get in and out off compared to the Condors.
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