Have HK Will Travel

UTK operators posed with their MP-5 submachine gun and a short barrel AR-15 type rifle together with their IAG Jaws 4X4 RIV. PDRM

SHAH ALAM: Have HK will travel. It appears that the MMEA Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) team has finally gotten their Heckler & Koch HK416 A5 assault rifles it had sought since 2014. An unknown number of the AR were delivered recently together with the HK SFP9 semi-automatic pistols, the agency said in a Facebook post.

It is unclear whether the firearms were selected by MMEA under a new tender or it was just a continuance of the old decision. Anyhow, the post said the STAR team was familiarising with the recently delivered firearms and both were found suitable for the MMEA’s job scope in terms reliability and functionality. It even said the blast of the firearms were so dynamic “it will even terrify the enemy”.

A member of the STAR team firing the HK416. MMEA.

As I had previously reported that even the military and the police had trouble in getting the export permits to get HK firearms, I sent an email to the company for clarification.
MMEA new pistol, the HK SFP9. Note the DE marking on the pistol confirming its made in Germany by HK. MMEA

I got a response, among others said that both firearms delivered to MMEA were indeed manufactured by HK in Germany. It said Malaysian government agencies had never had trouble in getting HK firearms as they “will be subject to import permit and export permit by both government authorities.” This of course did not explain the reason wny the MMEA only got their guns after five years.

MMEA tender in 2014 for the HK416.

Some of the firearms of the STAR team at the NSOF launch ceremony in December 2016.

MMEA is now the only Malaysian government agency which had taken delivery of HK firearms since RMN’s special forces unit, PASKAL took delivery of the HK416s and HK417s around 2010 and 2012. And with the delivery of the HK guns to MMEA, I think my post in 2016 is redundant now.
Paskal operator with HK 416 during the rehersal for the 2019 Merdeka parade.

In the post I wrote that since the Special Forces units was unable to get HK firearms – despite even stating it in their tender documents – it was time to find other makes. Indeed even the MMEA had even bought the ADCOR Elite 556 for the STAR team though they were mostly seen carrying the Swiss Arms SIG-553s during parades, exercises and during operations.
Paskal range of HK firearms displayed at the NSOF launch in 2016. The XM8 carbine is the one nearest with the HK417 next to it.

It is conceivable with MMEA getting the HK416s, the other Special Forces units from the police – UTK, VAT69 and Ungerin and the military – GGK and Paskal – which had bought other ARs despite their preference for the HK ARs – will likely try to buy them.
UTK operators with what appears to H7K MP-5 sub guns and an M4-type short barrel AR posed early this month. PDRM

However, this must be done via open competition as mandated by the current government. Whether or not the HK firearms will be competitive in terms of pricing is beyond me.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Being a rifle operating from a gas cylinder n rod blow back rather than direct gas impingment ala SLR , its more reliable n accurate

  2. Lee Yoke Meng “Being a rifle operating from a gas cylinder n rod blow back rather than direct gas impingment ala SLR , its more reliable n accurate”

    All things equal, a direct impingement design will have better accuracy than a piston design because the piston contacts the bolt carrier more forcefully than a jet of gas.

    As to reliability, real world usage has not indicated significant problems. Direct impingement weapons do have to be cleaned and lubricated more often than a piston design, but the process takes all of five minutes and hasn’t posed a problem for millions of soldiers.

    But if we wanted a piston design, the question to ask is why we selected the M4 for the MAF.

    One wonders too why the police bought only a small number of piston weapons (Colt APC) before switching back to direct impingement ones (Colt ACC-M). Or for that matter, why they chose to buy Bushmasters and why these had to be replaced just a few short years later. Or why they got to select anything over the M4, which is supposedly our standard rifle and which we’ve paid handsomely for.

    See malaysiandefence.com/colt-apc-to-replace-bushmaster-m4s/ and malaysiandefence.com/pga-getting-new-guns-dsa-2018-shorts/

    I have no idea why they bought the Bushmasters, but once put into service the Bushies were found to be fragile and prone to breakages while in service which led to the decision to buy new guns.

  3. The rightmost UTK operator in the last picture is holding a Ferfrans SOAR carbine with Aimpoint Micro T1 optic and a magnifier.

    As for the Bushmaster carbines, O believe the problems can be attributed to poor quality control, combined with a less durable polymer reciever (later guns recieved an aluminium upper reciever as a pallative measure), and the gas key being incorrectly adjusted.

    BTW, installing a gas piston in an AR isn’t necessarily a marked improvement; I distinctly recall Larry Vickers discussing the HK416’s development with Ian McCollum, and he noted that HK had to reinforce the part of the bolt carrier contacting with the gas piston rod, due to accelerated wear and tear.

  4. Lee – “the question to ask is why we selected the M4 for the MAF”

    Because the agreement with SME and Steyr went ratshit and because Colt not only allowed us local production/assembly but also the possibility of export. We actually fooled ourselves into thinking we could export any.

  5. Yes its true..piston driven type rifle ar much efficent n accurate…further more for those SOF who uses water medium as their insertion point being piston driven the rifle is always at aready to be fired without worrying the rifle is drowned by water..my take

  6. Gun Autist: good observation.

    It’s comical that that guy has a dummy grenade hanging from his chest by the spoon.

  7. Weapons directly imported from Germany requires massive amounts of scrutiny and deliberations from their Government. This takes a LOTTT of time and end results often may not pass. Which is why many German arms maker go thru 3rd parties to speed up the deal (ie Rheinmetall working with Denel).

  8. Indonesia had no problem getting their Leopards and Marders, it’s safe to say we would not have had a problem buying German exports.

  9. It’s the reason why countries with questionable human rights records go for turkey or pakistan for mp5 clones (in which both countries have access to HK toolings and jigs).

  10. Bushmaster huh? That’s what you get from making both your upper and lower using plastic. Georgia bought thousands of civilian-grade bushmaster rifle in its haphazard move to westernize and got thrashed especially hard by russia with nothing but soviet-era AKMs

  11. @alex

    You honestly think having a different gun would have given georgia a chance against russia?

  12. There are many reasons why Georgia lost to Russia in 2008, but failure of the Bushmaster rifle is not among them. The Bushmaster was in fact not heavily used in the conflict because Georgian troops had only recently transitioned to it and felt more comfortable with their own AKMs.

    Interestingly, the Soviets designated the AK-74 and AK-74M as standard but never managed to field them universally, which is why both sides in 2008 fought with AKMs. Most Russian units in Georgia and the Chechen conflicts fought with AKMs.

    Paradoxically, there was more use of the AK-74 in Afghanistan than in Chechnya and Georgia, which says something about how long the post-Soviet Russian army took to get organised. After considering the AN-94 and AK-100 series and even designating them as “standard,” they reversed course and said there was no necessity as they had thousands of AK-74M in storage. Now that apparently every soldier has an AK-74M, we hear that AK-12 is the new “standard.” We’ll see if it ever comes to pass. In the first place, the rifle itself has few significant improvements over the AK-74M.

  13. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have been surprised if both sides reverted to the AKM (assuming Russian 58th Army had the AK-74M) because they couldn’t get ammunition in operational quantities.

    The Georgians had barely transitioned to the Bushmaster and might not have yet bought enough 5.56mm, and for the Russians, action in Georgia was on short notice. If you’ve seen the conditions under which Russian ammunition is sometimes stored, you would know how long it would take to get a large quantity moving. If 5.45mm had to be shipped from another part of the country, going into action with the AKM would not have been a matter of choice.

  14. It must be a logistical nightmare to maintain and service a myriad of difference sidearms and rifles in the various agencies. ATM has a long history of changing service rifles too often, more than our former master, the British military. ATM had FN SLR, Baretta AR70, HK33, M16, Styer AUG and now M4, in a span of 6 decades where as the British forces had only FN SLR and SA80 rifles during the same period of time. There is nothing wrong with the Australian AUG Styer rifles as the Lithgow company is constantly modifying and improving the Styer rifles for the ADF. Not withstanding the likelihood of the US military will be changing soon it’s service rifle’s caliber to a more potent 6.8mm SPC cartridges. Surely it’s NATO allies will follow suit and definitely ATM wouldn’t want to be left behind. Another rifle changing exercise for ATM in the making.

    At least we were quick to realise our mistakes by quickly replacing the AR70/HK33 to the M16s. The British persisted with the SA80 despite knowing it is a terrible combat weapon. We had to buy the AR70/Hk33 as the US was not keen to sell them to us at that point in time.

  15. Build 1 rifle, commission RmX per rifle

    Build many rifles, commission RmABC,XYZ for supply chain 1, supply chain 2, supply chain 3, etc….

    It must be noted that the ARs bought in early 70/80s were bought directly from the manufacturers as we were then fighting the communists. The SLR was replaced as it was found to be a handful in the jungles and our smaller stature soldiers. They wanted the M16s after seeing them in action with British and Australian SAS but we cannot buy them so they to the Baretta and HK. When they finally got the approval to buy the M16A1 we bought them. The Army wanted the M16A2 as a replacement but the government led by Tun Mahathir wanted the AUG as it was supposed to be the part of a Malaysian defence industry ready to supply the world. Of course this never happened and once the relationship between SMEO and Steyr broke down it was decided the Army need new rifles.

  16. I know that the AR-70 is practically a sten-gun tier weapon meant for third world country but what was exactly wrong with hk33?

    Granted it didn’t have the same upgradability compared to AR platform but other than that it is a solid assault rifle

    But the M16 was better to the Army. I shot both and for a novice gun shooter I found the M16 to be a better shooter. HK33 was also an export rifle as the West German army then continued to use the G3 as their standard rifle. The first AR developed from the ground up for the 556 round by HK was the G36 after the failure to mass adopt the G11. As for whether its not good as it is not upgrade I think that’s a wrong assumption. Most of the guns in 60/70s were not designed to be readily upgraded. Even the upgrade of the M16/AR15 were done in the late 90s/2000. Could have the HK33 be upgraded if it had been in service that long, perhaps but it need to be readily be made by various manufacturers as the M16/AR15 platform for it to happen. Unlikely as HK does not readily give the license.

  17. Marhalim – “Of course this never happened and once the relationship between SMEO and Steyr broke down it was decided the Army need new rifles”

    Yes but the impression given was that the M-4 was selected because it’s a vastly superior rifle and it was also conveniently not mentioned that the M-4 really only provides that extra edge of its fitted with a range a accessories that were designed to go with it.

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