Helicopters and Missiles

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Mohamad Zin told parliament yesterday that the Nuri replacement would be decided after the international open tender closed in December.

Huh? Did they already floated the tender? Did Kementah realised that some people in London, Rome and Toulouse knew about the tender first before the  majority of the Malaysian public, who is actually forking the bill? I dont think so, otherwise Kementah would have made a public announcement about the tender before it was revealed to the overseas companies.

Malaysian Defence have been checking the Kementah website and every sources he knew to break the news about the tender since it was announced in July but we had to hear about it from parliament.  To make matters worse, those covering the story, of course, completely missed the point.

Anyway, it will be a great Lima this year with all three major contenders, the Augusta Westland AW101, Eurocopter’s EC725 Cougar and the MRH90 would surely make an appearance.  A major advertisement campaign is already on the way by both Eurocopter and AgustaWestland.

Boeing ads is not out there, a clear indication that the tender is not for the mighty Chinook.

Meanwhile, it has been reported in that Army is set to introduce the FN-6 Manpads for its Air Warfare Artillery Group, which some say is an indication that Kementah might proceed with the purchase of the KS-1A SAM system from China.

Malaysian Defence sees no logic in the decision to procure a system which had been rejected by the manufacturer’s own armed forces. Even if its cheap, it doesn’t mean its good enough.

I pity the Army. They seemed to be stuck with weapon systems that nobody else wants. Malaysian Defence is not talking about the superiority of  Western-made systems. If   a weapon system cannot be sold to anyone else due to quality and reliability issues, why should Malaysia purchase it even just to make good on cordial relations. Diplomacy and defence goes together, I know but our recent decisions especially for the Army makes no sense at all.

If the air force and navy can be allocated with systems from Europe and US even with limitation imposed them ( like the Hornets delivered without the source codes so we cannot tinker with the weapons system) , why the same formula cannot be applied to the army?

Or is it some people think since the army will never be used for aggression, soldiers can be issued with second rate or third rate weapons (unlike sailors and fly-boys)  for the sake of maintaining cordial relations?

–Malaysian Defence

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