SHAH ALAM: AS hinted in my LMS piece, I was in Indonesia last week for a business trip. Specifically I was attending the Indo Defence Show and Forum 2016 which ran from Nov. 2 to 5.
The trips I made to trade shows around Asean during the last four years had given me a glimpse of what is happening in the regional defence industries. However, directly comparing between the countries would be wrong – apple to oranges comparison – but I found one constant theme though.
When Malaysia goes to defence/security trade shows its just to promote our own defence/security trade shows, for example, Lima 17. This is probably because we have no actual defence products to showcase to our neighbours. Our neighbours do, for example, there is Chaiseri of Thailand while Indonesia’s PT PAL, PTDI and PT Pindad, need no introduction.
Anyhow back to show, the Indo Defence event this year looked much more bigger than the event’s two years ago. As expected the Indonesia defence industries – state owned or otherwise – were prominently displayed during the show.
However as this website is still about the Malaysia defence scene, lets look at what was connected with us. At the Sritex showcase, out and front center was the Malaysian Army digital CBRNe suit.
Sritex as you might be aware is the garment supplier to Jakel, the company that got the contracts to supply the Armed Forces and other government agencies with the digital camo uniforms.
A Sritex representative when asked about the CBRNe suit stated that the product was currently under testing by the “Malaysians”. She did not eloborate further.
And as for the MOU between Boustead Naval Shipyard and PT PAL, I do not have much to add about the deal. I was not able to speak to Tan Sri Ramly Nor personally but a more senior colleague met up with him shortly after the ceremony.
My colleague reported that Ramly “does not look too keen to talk about MOU when I ask him about it, he just said its an MOU”. With that as my guide, I sought the people at PT PAL booth which were festooned with various ship models including the MRSS version that the MOU was based on.
According to the PT PAL engineers, the ship was 150 metres long with a crew of around 170 and accomodation for 500 troops. The well deck could fit two standard size LCUs and it has a hangar which could accomodate two Cougars/Nuri at the same time.
The heli-deck could accept the two Cougars/Nuri landing at the same time as well. The ship,according to them is much bigger than the two SSVs that were purchased by the Philippines Navy bought (123 metres) and the rest of the Makassar and Banjarmasin class LPDs of the Indonesian and Peruvian navies.
I tried to ask further details about the MRSS project but the PT Pal people claimed ignorance. Asked how many ships were being discussed, they said no numbers were known at the point.
As I had reported previously, the MRSS project – four of which being sought under the RMN’s 15 to 5 plan, has yet to be funded and probably will not be so in the foreeseable future.
That said if the Indonesia happened to provide these ships at friendly prices together with a line of credit, we may well see the project move on from the MOU stage. Unless of course, China beat them to it!
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