How Wonderful It Would Be…

PETALING JAYA: The ‘show” signing for the SGPV contract is expected to be held at the DSA 2012 show to be held from the 16 to 19 of this month. However, two weeks before the show we are still looking for more details of the systems to be integrated on board the ship, with the ceiling price of RM9 billion. Yes, the ship could be much cheaper than RM9 billion but how much we do not know yet. Or it could higher!

Apart from the design, the Gowind multi-mission frigate and the SETIS CMS, no one would confirmed whether the contract for the sub-systems would be finalised and signed at the DSA. I was told Boustead Naval Shipyard and the RMN is working to finalise the specifications. I have written before that the navy wants certain sub-systems but BNS would have none of it. Isnt the customer always right or in this case, the customer is BNS?

It is interesting to note, another programme down under is continuing without much fanfare. The Australian Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance. Read Here

The Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter recently visited La Paz, Bolivia.

I am not saying the Aussie got their barbie and are eating it too..but its interesting to see how some other countries are publicising their defence procurement without raising any of the “endangering national security” crap!

By the way, the DSA main highlight will unfortunately be based in Subang! Yes, one of the three A400M prototypes will be here for the show. I am not sure which of the three prototype coming (perhaps its Grizzly 2 which was in South America for the FIDAE show and some high altitude testing recently). Hopefully I will get a chance to board it for test flight!.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2223 Articles
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  1. BNS should not stand in the way of the RMN in anyway for the systems/subsystems required by the RMN for the multipurpose frigates. They must put themselves in a position of subservient to the navy and give the navy what they need to dfened the nation effectively. Politiking has no way in national defence.
    The price is a totally different matter and it should be transparent. In fact defence should be a transparent matter.If one is to go into the Singaporean soldiers website they are very open on matters of defence as compared to Malaysia.

  2. By right the RMN should dictate what sub-systems are put on the LCs but in reality, as we all know, other factors hold sway. Will the LCS be armed with the short range MICA or the longer range ESSM – that’s the million ringgit question, and will other stuff like the towed array be scaled back to cut costs? If it was up to the MAF rather than ‘national interests’, the RMAF wouldn’t even have Fulcrums and Flankers but would be flying more Hornets now :]. Something else I’ve always wondered about – of the 3 MBT contenders [T-90, T-84 and PT-91] which was the army’s favourite choice?

    Actually, I would argue that the MAF is much more ‘open’ in terms of media accessibility than the SAF. The difference is that the SAF does a much, much better job of presenting itself to the public, in terms of information and PR. They have the budget to hire PR firms, ad agencies and have staff who can read and write in English! At LIMA 2009, SAF flight crews were clearly uneasy at photos being taken of their aircraft, which I can’t understand why as there was nothing ‘sensitive’ to be gained by anyone with a camera! Funny enough, its almost impossible to but anything connected to the MAF here unless you have an MAF ID card but in Singapore, anyone can easily walk in a store and buy uniforms, insignia, etc. From my personal experience despite all the talk about ‘OPSEC’, in person, serving and former SAF people are quite open about discussing ‘work’ issues, and you can really learn interesting stuff that would otherwise be unavailable.

    On the MBT, the Army chief then favoured the T84. No idea what the Armour Directorate actually favoured.

  3. Lee Yoke Meng – Hear Hear!

    Marhalim – Do share pics, data and personal observations on the A400M please…

    I will try, hopefully we will even get a test flight

  4. So they lost the battle and got stuck with the DCN SENIT CMS instead of Thales TACTIOS CMS? Won’t be surprised if we see Asters or Micas then instead of ESSMs.

    Its the SETIS a development or export version of the SENIT. Its either the MiCA or ESSM now.

  5. MICA and ESSM range is almost the same right?

    VL MICA has shorter legs, its range is listed 20km range, the ESSM is 50km.

  6. I think the battle is over, CMS will be SETIS and SAM will be MICA, the preference of BNS. Surprising to see how the ESSM community seems to be seeking support by hooking up with the BNS subsidiairy Contraves and looking for other Malaysian partners for local production of Mk56 and Mk73 CWI. Is this the last desperate attempt of Raytheon to reverse the SAM decision? How strong is the French lobby and will we ever see a ESSM missile on a French ship? I\’m putting my money on SETIS with MICA because this would be a save and especially a choice that would not further frustrate the progress.

    I was told that DCNS is only fighting for the SETIS. As the SETIS is claimed to be an open system, they should not have any problems with integrating the ESSM. MBDA has to do it on its own, based on recent history, it has no supporters in Jalan Padang Tembak. With BNS in their corner, Raytheon is the favourite here,

  7. Good article in RUSI’s latest Defence Systems by Dr John Louth, titled “Bandits and Thieves – Sovereign Wealth Recovery as a Critical Defence Capability”.

    “It is often quite helpful to conceive of defence as a confluence of three elements – government policy, the development of defence capabilities presumably to promote that policy, and forces on operations to deploy those capabilities – thereby meeting a country’s policy ambition. These three elements are rooted in:

    – The political body that debates and decides upon defence policies;

    – The military component that advises on future capability requirements and deploys those provided, often to lethal effect;

    – Industry and commerce providing equipment, services and know-how; and

    – Wider society that enables and ‘permits’ defence activity, as well as providing actual recruits for military forces and the defence industrial base.”

    For more continue reading at:

  8. Marhalim,

    Again I’m going off topic, sorry.

    After a post by FareedLHS on artillery, I was thinking about the number of Model 56s that we received. We have 6 Close Support Regiments, each with 4 batteries [not sure if the 4 batteries are A,B,C and D or A, B, C and an HQ Battery, as guns have been picture with ‘D’ battery markings],of 6 guns each [not sure if batteries are further divided into troops of 2 guns]. Then there is also 1st Artillery Para Regiment, which I would assume has a smaller number of guns than the standard Close Support Regiments. Assuming that all the Close Support Regiments are organised in the same way, plus the fact that a number of Model 56s are also used by the Artillery School, this would mean we have more than 150 guns. Granted of course, some Regiments may different number of guns as some may have been retired over the years. Do you know any ex-artillery people who can help with details as to how the Close Support Regiments are organised?

  9. Surprised to hear that ESSM is BNS’ favourite. as for the integration, VL MICA will be a lot easier since it is a fire and forget missile. ESSM is a homing missile requiring illumination of the target. This makes the entire ESSM suite a lot more expensive than the VL MICA suite, but you do go from point defence to a local area defence weapon. I do think however that the range figures are a bit exaggerated. If both of them do effectively half of what is mentioned above I think the figures are more realistic.

    ESSM was not BNS favourite, it was the choice of the navy. BNS followed DCNS lead when it was apparent that the Navy was not keen on the modified version of the Kedah class. Initially DCNS wanted to go with MBDA missiles but when it was clear to them that navy favoured the Damen design and TACTICOS, it changed tack as long as its Gowind design and SETIS CMS was chosen,

  10. Going back to taking photos.I was at the recent Singapore airshow and it was a case of picture galore. People with all sorts of sophisticated cameras, long range lenses, close taking of pictures from all sorts of angles, even allowing the public to clamber up to the F15 and F16 cockpits to snap pictures, pictures of the targeting pods, navigation and recce pods etc which hang from the various hard-points. It was a media success in fact.There were so many people crowding round the planes taking pictures that it is difficult to snap a picture without someone always being in the photo.

    Singapore is slowly learning the way, we are of course still left behind…

  11. Lee Yoke Meng,

    The SAF presents itself to the public in a much better and more professional manner than the MAF. On the other hand, the MAF is more accessible to the media but MINDEFs PR department is hampered by a shortage of funds, lack of trained staff and a centralised system. We don’t even have the funds to launch a long term ad campaign on T.V or to hire decent ad or PR agencies. Compare not only the frequency of ad campaigns done by the SAF and the MAF but also the quality.

    If I was a school leaver who was contemplating on a career in the army, I would be put off by the army’s web site. It is poorly designed, on a slow server and contains almost no interesting information! On the other hand, the SAF sometimes goes to the extreme in protecting OPSEC. With a Malaysian trade pass around your neck, try asking any RSAF pilot or flight crew on the flightline at the Singapore Show [formerly Asian Aerospace] which squadron they are part off and see what answer you get, never mind that such information is freely available on the public domain. And at LIMA 2009, we were even told by RSAF flight crews on the flight line that we shouldn’t be taking any photos!

  12. Is it just me or does the Gowind purchase looks like its going to really be a let down? I would have prefer it if they just went with more MEKOs due to familiarity to the German ships. The Micas isn’t a game changer its range is similar to the current Aspide-2000, so nothing new here.

    South Africa’s Valour class is just simply an enlarged Malaysian MEKO 100 but capable of carrying surface-to-air missiles and other configurations like ASW. Buy new MEKOs and slap a Sea-Giraffe 3D radar on that boat with VLS Umkhoto 15km missiles and one can have a serious toy out at sea.

    I just don’t agree with the MY in purchasing a variety of ships from UK, Germany and now the France. Better to stick to 1 supplier to make logistics and training more simpler. When are they ever going to learn?

  13. Hornets are nice but what good is it without having the ability to equip them with air-to-air missiles and stand off munitions? US would limit what we can and cannot buy just like how they are doing with Saudi Arabia and Egypt in monkeying down everything no JASSM no BVRs.

    The Flankers are good because the AF can carry KH-31 ramjet missiles, BVR’s like R-27 without restrictions, and the newer KH-59 turbo pops is a game changer. I think its better to just extend the MRCA with 6-8 more Super 30s. Save time and headache so the MY can focus on other more important areas like improving the ground forces.

    Tiny Mouse

  14. Kolonel Dato K??? What is his contributions to the Army? Come on Zahid Hamidi.. Grow up Mr Minister!!!!

  15. The PM and Defence Minister should support what the Navy recommends, so if they want ESSM, please support them.Why buy something the Navy does not recommend?
    Please remember at the end of the day, it is the Navy people that are going to use them when the chips are down.
    They know what systems they need in order to do their job effectively.
    If they want ESSM let them have it.
    No excuse later, if they fail to meet up with our expectation.

    They already ignored RMN when deciding on the Gowind…

  16. Ya Han, i am disgusted seeing the picture of DS Zahid with Datuk K yesterday. Come on, I can still take up with this Briged Seni but when the singer’s husband is made a Kolonel – habis la. Lets get the GE fast and done with and even if UMNO retains Putrajaya, the Minister of Defence definitely have to change.

    Kenalah bagi pangkat kat laki dia supaya orang lain tak leh kacau daun!

  17. Kah kah kah. Army mana ada maruah? Beret, jump wing, semua boleh kasi…kan? Why not pangkat? Anyway, is traditional for VIP to be Colonel if he funds the regiment (e.g. Skinner’s Horse etc.)

    In this case, its the wife that’s paying…

  18. Tiny Mouse,

    The Hornets are already equipped with air to air missiles and stand off munitions and have been since Day 1. Even if some of them have downgraded features, they are still good enough for our needs. And unlike the KH-31 and other Russian ordnance, have actually been used in combat:}

    What was even more disgusting and an insult to the MAF and the public, were photos of ‘celebrities’ joining the TA and wearing make up and high heels with their cammo – another pointless political driven PR exercise!!!! And it would be nice if the Defence Minister would stop wearing his cammo, beret and jump wings!! We should FB the Prime Minister to get his views on VVIPs [him included] strutting around with Paskal and Gerak Khas berets. Prince Charles as the Colonel In Chief of the Para Regiment wears his WW2 Denison smock and red beret, but he is actually jump qualified….

    Over here only the Johor royalty including the younger generation actually bother to attend military training. They also have the Timbalan Setia unit to qualify wearing military uniforms. Most of the older royalties like Raja Perlis was in the Rangers when he was young and was actually commissioned as an officer, he even was involved in combat. Most Sultans and Raja Mudas are Honorary Colonels for the various regiments and other services which allowed them to wear the uniform in formal occasion. As for the politicians…

  19. Yeah, Johor Sultanate have a standing army (is it a private army?) I wonder funding by taxpayers or they come up with their own financial sources? MAF (almost all uniformed body in Malaysia) allow our poltician to dress up in uniforms, but in cammos without any formal military training isn’t that an act of impersonating a military man?

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