Japan Donated Airfield Surveillance Radar? UPDATED

Zetro ASR – MELOR 087. Zetro.

SHAH ALAM: An earlier version of this post stated that Japan has agreed to donate at least a single airfield surveillance radar (ASR) to Malaysia for use by the RMAF. This is not the case as a a tender for the supply of the ASR was published earlier this year.

From the tender page:

FOR THE SUPPLY, DELIVERY, TESTING AND COMMISSIONING OF AIRFIELD SURVEILLANCE RADAR (ASR) SYSTEM, COMMUNICATION SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (ATM) SYSTEM EQUIPMENT TO THE ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE (RMAF) AND THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA

The tender closed on August 4. It must be noted that the tender was not published on Eperolehan and the bidders need bid it through the system.

As for the earlier post, as mentioned in the comments section, the RMAF project team was in Japan to conduct a physical assessment on one of the ASR systems that was offered for the tender.

An ASR system

is used for terminal radar control, such as control of departing and arriving aircraft and determination of distance between two or more aircraft through the detection of locations of aircraft in the airspace within 110km (60NM) of an airport using a combination of PSR (Primary Surveillance Radar) and SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar)

Zetro ASR – Melor 087. Zetro.

From the Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo:

18 September 2023 – Mr. Anwar Udzir, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo, received a delegation from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), led by Lt. Col. Wan Mohd Firdaus bin Wan Mohd Daud RMAF, Head of Project Team of Airfield Surveillance Radar (ASR) as well as officers from RMAF – Mej. Syamsuri bin Basiron RMAF, Mej. Muhammad Adzim bin Baharom RMAF and Mej. Mohd Azizi bin Mohamed RMAF. Also, present were Captain Wan Baderul Hisan Wan Muda RMN, Defence Attaché as well as Mej. Zulkhibri Saleh RMAF, Assistance Defence Attaché.
During the call, the DCM was briefed by Lt. Col. Wan Mohd Firdaus RMAF on the ongoing project with Japan particularly on the ASR System. The RMAF Officials were in Tokyo to conduct a physical assessment on ASR System.

A Google search showed that the ASR project team leader was formerly the Operations chief of the Gong Kedak airbase. As the ASR tender was not published on Eperolehan, I have no idea how many are being sought.

It is also unknown where the ASR system will be installed when it is delivered. I believed the ASR system at Butterworth, Kuantan and Labuan have been operated for some time now. Even the Gong Kedak one has been in service for 17 years now. A few years back, RMAF announced that it had funding from the Defence Ministry to upgrade the ASR system at the Butterworth as it was showing its age.

Zetro ASR – Melor 087 new generation. Zetro

RMAF ASR system like its air surveillance radars are maintained by Zetro Services Sdn Bhd. From Zetro website:

ZETRO was given the responsibility to provide maintenance on avionics components and Ground Electronics. In the Avionics Contract ZETRO shall be responsible for the servicing and maintenance on all avionics components of all aircraft operated by the RMAF. The Ground Electronics contract which consists of Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Navigational Aids Systems and Air Defence Radar (ADR) Systems are operated by the RMAF. In the Ground Electronics Contract, ZETRO was tasked to carry out the maintenance of ATC and ADR systems from First Line onwards for both. Now the Ground Electronics contract is further divided into ATC contract and ADR contract. ZETRO is also responsible for the calibration of all tools and test equipment operated by RMAF.

Do note the ASR radars for the civil aviation, comes under the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia which is under the jurisdiction of the Transport Ministry. Most of these radars were sourced from Leonardo.

HT EL.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

5 Comments

  1. Sorry for my noob question. What is different between airfield surveillance radar and other military radar such Thales Ground Master 400, Lockheed Martin TPS-77 etc?

  2. The airfield surveillance radar is basically the radar used to guide planes/helicopters to the airfield basically the Air traffic control radar. The other radars you mentioned is used to detect any aircraft in their range and can also be used to guide interceptors -manned planes and missile – to them.

  3. Btw radar like this and the ones used in airports are basically our country first line of detection as unlike other radar (even the long ranged ones like groundmaster or tps-77), this radar is switched on 24/7

  4. Are you sure donation? As far I knw, it was a Physical Evaluation team to evaluate according to the Open Tender process which was carried out few months earlier.

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