Indonesia to buy surplus arms from Europe

PETALING JAYA: IT appears that Indonesia is set to follow on its second-hand F-16 deal with the procurement of surplus weapons from European countries, if the news story below is correct.

We have not made similar moves, not that I heard off, to source second hand arms neither ships, planes or tanks as a way to adapt to our meagre defence budget. There was a chance to buy an LSD from France, but that ship went to Chile.

It must be pointed out that due certain decisions made in the past (as noted by Azlan on the PT-91M) we cannot simply go out and buy some of the stuff being retired at the moment. The problem is that we continue follow up the past mistakes (take the MRCA and LCS/frigate tenders) even as the defence budget is shrinking.

Adding to that, our very conservative planning and procurement policies which does not allow for tactical expediencies (with an eye towards the bigger picture, of course) to be made when the opportunity arises. What happen is the bigger picture always gets muddled whenever we respond to emerging threats as the emphasis will always be on something else, either the industry or other stuff and never the nation and Armed Forces.

I know that there should be no knee jerk reaction from Malaysia on these latest moves but I am sure that Jalan Padang Tembak is already making plans.


Indonesian Defence Minister confirms plans to purchase European surplus equipment

06:33 GMT, November 28, 2011 | According to Indonesian media reports, the Minister of Defence of Indonesia, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, recently confirmed plans to purchase military equipment from various European countries. The minister, in particular, highlighted the government’s intent to buy Leopard 2 main battle tanks from the German Army, as well as Apache attack helicopters.

The reports emphasise that Indonesia is taking advantage of the difficult budget situation faced by European armed forces, seeking to purchase surplus equipment at favourable prices. This may include weapons systems from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The Ministry of Defence has had a good plan to dove in with the national defence policy of enhancing and developing the defence industry of Malaysia.However, things had not moved as planned and the deals has so far not yet developed any defence industry of repute. In light of all the past mistakes, the government should have been more open to new ideas instead of just having sight on new equipments which may costs the sky for us. Buying second hand is no great shame.In fact buying second hand and having no other alternatives except to make it more capable and or to keep it functioning well may even have the correct effect in prodding our defence industry to improve. Look at what happened to the defence industry of South Africa, Israel, and many more where sanctions were placed on them.

    Many of the European defence surplus have been well maintained-in fact even upgraded recently too and have been and will be functioning for many years too and is a good buy. But then we have no money even to go after the second hand equipment now due to the economic situation.

    Dont talk about second hand equipment, I know of some health clinics of ours that dont even have basic equipment like thermometers and hammers , hand lotions for the doctors to wash their hand after handling infectious patients and no cleaning service to clean the doctors rooms etc etc.The doctors must buy their own thermometers to check the patients, buy their own batteries to use the torchlight, provide their own torch and even sweep their own room too. Not to mention cross infections due to having no hand lotions to wash up having handled infectious patients and reuse of disposable equipment instead of disposing them after one use.

    While I understand your concern about health clinics, any extra money from the defence budget cannot be diverted to the health ministry just because they lacked things. It is up to the Health Ministry to get the allocations.

  2. ” 100 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks from the German Army for some $280 million, along with eight Apache helicopters valued at $25 million.”

    That’s a bargain! Malaysia looks absolutely pathetic when you think about the billions upon billions wasted for so much less.

  3. Ym Lee,

    I know a doctor in the RMAF who recently described to me similar problems in her clinics.

  4. Ymlee,
    Yes they always have good plan. Why? Because they invite elite team across the world, spent millions to act as a generous host, and then ditch the report into trash can.

  5. Well, there can even be more good news coming from the Europenas very soon.If we are to read the European news papers, it seems that Britain has instructed all european ambassies to prepare a contingency plan in case the Euro collapses. If this happens, then there will really be a fire sale and the currencies of the European nations can be had for a song. It will even be cheaper then to purchase their surplus equipments

  6. Buying items on sale event surely great. The only problem is how to pick a right one.

  7. Pandangan – ”Buying items on sale event surely great. The only problem is how to pick a right one.”

    And more importantly, to make sure they don’t increase our logistics footprint and give the support/maintenance folks added headaches. There has been so much talk here over the months about buying surplus gear simply because it’s cheap and how other countries have gone down this route, but there has been no consideration or talk about the operational effect this will have on the MAF, and the operating and support costs involved. It would have been nice if the RMN had done what the Chilean Navy did and got Type 23s, but the manning levels and operating costs of the Dukes would have been a problem. Similarly, getting Leopards 2s would be nice, but then we would be in the ridiculous position of having to stock up 120mm and 125mm for our MBTs, and having a separate training and support infrastructure. As it is, we operate 3 types of ATGWs and 4 types of MANPADs! And if it wasn’t for the fact that the FH-70s are stored, we would be operating 2 155mm guns with different calibres!

    I am not arguing buying for the sake of buying. It must be done of course with all the questions you had in mind. Take for example the MRCA tender. Yes the Super Hornet seemed to be the most painless when it comes to operational consideration. But bear in mind its only 50 per cent compatible with our D’s. So there is a lot of learning curve to be done when they finally decide to splurge.
    Instead of arguing for a freeze which in fairness is the best option considering the state of economy, the problem is that the powers that be seemed intent to continue with the procurement albeit with a return to the original timeline of course.
    As a reality check it must be noted as I had mentioned before, buying more Flankers is the safest bet but dont tell that to the Air Force. I was told the Flanker squadron finally got their IOC several months back, huffing and puffing all the way!

  8. Marhalim,

    Apart from sharing certain components/parts with the D, the Super Hornet shares the same ground support equipment and tooling as the D. As we already have a trained cadre of Hornet pilots and WSOs, and a training infrastructure in place, the learning curve in converting to Super Hornet would be much less steep than if we were to go for the Typhoon or Gripen.

    You are correct. But I am worried whether we cannot afford 18 Super Hornets. The Aussies are investing some A10 billion for 24 jets including initial purchase costs, support, weapons and other stuff. That said if we choose the other jets we will also be in the same hole…

  9. Re: Gripen

    Gripen NG Defeats Rafale, Typhoon in Switzerland

    AWIN First Nov 30 , 2011
    Robert Wall

    Switzerland has opted to buy 22 Saab Gripen JAS-39E/Fs in its long-running F-5 Tiger replacement program, says Defense Minister Ueli Maurer.

    Gripen beat out the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon—Boeing withdrew the F/A-18E/F early from the program.

    The arrangement marks a big setback for Dassault, which was hoping to finally secure its first export deal for Rafale. Eurofighter also was eager to convince Switzerland to join the family; Italy, Austria and Germany already fly the aircraft. Switzerland also considered an F-5 extension, but that was deemed too expensive.

    All three main contenders met the requirements put forward by the services. But the Gripen had several advantages, Maurer says, including price, which leaves money left over for other military needs.

    The Gripen had both the lowest acquisition costs and lower 30-year life-cycle costs by far, says Maurer. The procurement program is likely to cost less than 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.3 billion).

    Moreover, Switzerland liked the potential for industrial cooperation on offer from Saab.

    Maurer acknowledges the Swedish fighter may not be the highest-end technical option, but he says it is a good fit for Switzerland and meets the country’s needs.

    Switzerland and Sweden will now refine the program in the coming months. That includes setting up pilot training, including potential training in Sweden. Also still under review is whether final assembly of the aircraft will take place in Switzerland.

    All three bidders provided good offset packages that were essentially equivalent—100% of the value of the deal has to be offset. The industrial participation packages were also attractive across the board, the Swiss say.

    The exact delivery schedule is being negotiated. The first aircraft is likely to arrive in 2015 and all aircraft are to be handed over in a 2-3-year period.

    Maurer says no decision has been made on whether the Gripen would also serve as the eventual replacement for Switzerland’s existing fleet of older F/A-18s.

    The Swiss government also considered a smaller procurement, but a decision was made to field at least two squadrons, requiring 22 aircraft. At one point, the program was sized to equip three squadrons, or 33 aircraft, but was ruled out for financial reasons.

  10. If the Swiss let go of their hornets…is this considered an option to increase hornets in our inventory?

    The Swiss will not let go of their Hornets

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