SHAH ALAM: Leonardo ATR MPA and TAI Anka. Senior Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today announced that the government has selected the Leonardo ATR72 MPA and the Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka UAS to meet the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) requirements for both capabilities. Malaysian Defence posts on the MPA and MALE UAS
The selection was hinted in Malaysian Defence post on the 2023 budget. Hishammuddin hinted about the budget in his press release and social media posts. Malaysian Defence was told that the LOI for both the MPA and MALE UAS were already issued to both companies late last month.
Hishammuddin said the Defence Ministry was in the process of finalising the Letter of Award (Surat Serah Setuju Terima) pending final agreements among all the parties.
To boost the capabilities of the Army, he said that will conclude the procurement of the 136 Type A 4X4 (armoured) vehicles and various Type B (unarmoured) vehicles worth RM2.046 billion. Malaysian Defence was told the armoured vehicles are likely be the Mildef Rentaka 4X4 unveiled at DSA 2022.
With 136 armoured 4X4s already signed for, that leaves some 100 plus 6X6 to be contracted, to replace the Condors still in service with the Armoured Corps. I was told no funding has been allocated for the 6X6 requirements this time around, so it is likely this will be deferred to the next RMK.
Hishammuddin also said some RM2.4 billion has been allocated for the maintenance and upgrade of the RMAF F/A-18D Hornet fleet. At least one F/A-18D Hornet is undergoing a depot level maintenance and upgrade at the RMAF Butterworth airbase which is expected to be completed by year end. It is unclear what kind of upgrade was being conducted, however.
Hishammuddin also said some RM140 million has been allocated to provide “head to toe” equipment for the Army following complaints from soldiers on the quality of the gear issued. He did not elaborate but under the head-to-toe scheme, a single supplier will be chosen to provide all the equipment from head gear to boots.
The current Armed Forces practise is to source such all these gear from different suppliers. I was told small units of the military had already done this, but the most prevalent user of the head-to-toe scheme is the police’s General Operations Force. Hishammuddin also said some 50 ambulances will also be bought from the 2023 budget allocation though it is unclear whether this will be part of the vehicles purchased he mentioned earlier.
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