SHAH ALAM: As I reported a few days ago, the Ministry of Finance has approved the Ministry of
Defence to initiate negotiations to buy the world’s slowest MPA. Technical incompetency or
shenanigans; I’ll let you decide. Further to my last article on the Malaysian MPA programme, I
decided to take a closer look at the speed of the ATR-72 MPA. What I discovered is most
According to Leonardo’s own published specifications, the maximum speed of the ATR-72 MPA is
465 km/hr. Sources who had seen the published MPA RFP, indicated that this does not meet the End
User’s minimum requirements.
In fact, the Air Force’s current MPA’s (King Air 200T) that thenew MPA’s are supposed to replace have a top speed of 535 km/hr. To add insult to injury, the top speed of our Singapore neighbours MPA’s that are 40 years old is 565 km/hr. These assets are supposed to provide fast response to intelligence and territorial incidents. What an embarrassing operational scenario.
The ATR-72 MPA is the slowest MPA in the world. It is slower than the P-1, P-8, P-3, C130, P-4,
Y-8, Y-9, II-38 Dolphin, C-27J, C295, Fokker 50, King Air 350, King Air 200, Saab 340, Dornier 228
or the F27 MPA.
In my last article I wrote about the importance of Malaysia’s new MPA’s being faster than the
Chinese Y-8’s that our MPA’s will be playing cat and mouse with. It turns out that not only is the
ATR-72 slower than our current fleet of MPA’s and slower than the 40-year-old Singaporean
MPA’s, but it is also slower than the Bangladeshi MPA’s. Perhaps we should simply keep our
existing MPA’s and upgrade them.
Hopefully, the attempt at transparency that has been prompted by the LCS scandal will ensure
that the decision makers at the MoF are focused on the most optimum use of taxpayer money
while ensuring maximum safety of our MPA crews.
— Malaysian Defence