Leonardo ATR MPA and TAI Anka

TAI Anka UAS displayed at DSA 2022. EL?SC

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.

Leonardo ATR 72 MPA. Leonardo

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.
Mildef Rentaka 4X4 HMAV. DM

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.
FNSS Pars 4X4 equipped with a RWS with anti-tank missiles displayed at DSA 2022. EL/SC

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.
FNSS Pars 6X6 displayed at DSA 2022. EL/SC

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.
An F/A-18D Hornet aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force takes off for the first mission of Exercise Pitch Black 18.

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.
Army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain presenting a present to a soldier who had passed out from the the Army training centre at Port Dickson in early 2020. Note the the ill-fitting webbing. BTDM.

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.

— Malaysian Defence

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82 Comments

  1. “RM2.4 billion has been allocated for the maintenance and upgrade of the RMAF F/A-18D Hornet fleet”

    300 million per aircraft? didn’t it seems too expensive?

  2. Those are not the best choices for a force with small development budget along with an even smaller operational budget.

    With just 2 MPA and 3 UAV, plus a small operational budget, they are not going to fly much.

    Those MPA also will have totally different operating SOP, so no crew and technical sharing with CN-235MSA. TUDM have to support a small fleet of 2 totally different everything from ground crew to spare parts.

    ANKA is a large UAV. I don’t think Indonesia will allow the ANKA to fly through its airspace from east to west malaysia. Can it be transported inside the A400M or C-130H? With just 3 airframes, crashing even 1 will make the whole system not operationally ready.

  3. RM2.4 billion (or more than 0.5 billion us dollars) for upgrades of just 8 aircraft?

    12 FA-50 is just 420 million us dollars
    http://www.airforce-technology.com/news/newsphilippines-issues-release-order-for-fa-50-purchase-from-south-korea-4305629/

    I really hope that amount is inclusive of Kuwait hornets + AESA radars.

    Getting 4×4 and 6×6 IFVs are not going to increase our overall maritime security needs, which must be the ultimate priority for the near future.

  4. All branch of the military will get their budget. if they don’t use their budget you can bet they will have none next year. Also the army have pushed for both condor and sibmas replacement for some time

    >Anka flying across Malaysia
    The hell?

  5. Kakadu – “With just 2 MPA and 3 UAV, plus a small operational budget, they are not going to fly much.”

    With proper planning with regards to taskings and proper engineering support they can fly as much we need them to…

    Kakadu – “ANKA is a large UAV”

    It is a MALE platform intended for strategic/theater level ISR; that’s why we’re getting it and that’s why it’s “large”.

    Kakadu – ” With just 3 airframes, crashing even 1 will make the whole system not operationally ready”

    Nonsense….. Losing 1 out of 3 will have a severe impact on our ability to generate and sustain a certain number of sorties at a certain tempo but will not ” make the whole system not operationally ready” as you claim..

    Zarif – “I really hope that amount is inclusive of Kuwait hornets + AESA radars”

    I really hope that we can raise a Corps level combined arms armoured formation within the decade.

    Zarif – “Getting 4×4 and 6×6 IFVs are not going to increase our overall maritime security needs”

    You’re stating the obvious but this is for an army requirement and stuff for our maritime domains are RMAF and RMN requirements. It do however believe that priority should be on the RMAF and RMN but that’s a political issue.

    On the subject of Anka not only is it an ISR platform and the TB2 a tactical armed platform; both for different things [despite some claiming we should buy TB2s instead] but it’s interesting to see how the Turks employ them. During Operation Spring Shield; Ankas [equipped with a more comprehensive sensor load] detected targets and relayed the data to TB2s; both part of the kill chain.

  6. Finally, something already confirmed. Now we all waiting for LCA. Just hope opposition will not make a topic for coming election. Everyone also face issue but our 1st line aldo facing shortage and old equipments for so many years.

  7. RM2.046bil for 136 4×4 Type A and unarmoured Type B(quantity?) is incredibly expensive. What the unit price of the Rentaka? The opposition shall really look into it.

    RM2.4bil or 500mil USD for upgrade for 8 F18Ds Hornets is also very expensive. We need more planes though so i hope the talk with US on the Hornets also include the matter of the Kuwaiti Hornets. If we buy it, we definitely need US approval but does the purchase have to go thru the US? If 420mil USD can get us 12 FA-50s, maybe we shall use the money to add more FA-50s instead.

    I also think 3 ANKA UAS is incredibly small quantity despite the air force waiting so long for it. It is bigger than the TB2 Bayraktar but maybe we shall have gone for the TB2s if it means we can get more.

  8. I am now wondering if the ATRs are going to be equipped with a MAD boom like to Turkish ones. Even the Italian Navy ones do not currently have this.

  9. kakadu – ”TUDM have to support a small fleet of 2 totally different everything from ground crew to spare parts.”

    That is unfortunate and I’m all for increased commonality but only if achieving commonality entails getting more of something which the user desires and which fits operational requirements. As it stands there are several issues with the CN-235 which the RMAF wanted rectified or wasn’t too please with; thus the decision to go for the ATR-72.

  10. Michael – ”Just hope opposition will not make a topic for coming election. ”

    They won’t because they have bigger fish to fry and issues that the voters are actually concerned about.

    Kakadu – ” I don’t think Indonesia will allow the ANKA to fly through its airspace from east to west malaysia. ”

    Not that we’ll fly it from ”from east to west malaysia” but would they allow it if it was a UAS which was not as large as Anka? No… Also it maybe a longer route but stuff flying from the Peninsular to East Malaysia can avoid Indonesian airspace.

  11. The money is for all vehicles including the armoured 4×4. It may well include the Ejder Yalcin and also Gempitas which have not been delivered as well. Who knows they could even squeeze in 18 SPH. As for the Hornet budget I have no idea really. Yes we have to go through the US to buy the Kuwaiti Hornets. Of course the opposition will wade into the issue

  12. Hazone – ” maybe we shall have gone for the TB2s if it means we can get more.”

    So you and others keep claiming but unlike Anka the TB2 does not have the capacity to carry the various payloads needed for ISR. Also as has been repeatedly mentioned; the TB2 is a tactical armed platform and the requirement is for a ISR platform.

    Instead of lamenting about us not buying TB2s; perhaps it would be better to question how we intend to operate Anka ”jointly” with the RMN; what type of C2 mechanism will we have in place; can a RMAF Anka share data with a RMN ships; will it be able to ”talk” to RMAF MPAs; etc…

  13. Army and air force already got their toys, what about the Navy? When will the lms batch ii be announced?

  14. Questions:
    Marhalim, do you know if the ATRs will be in the same squadron as the CNs. Makes more sense, even if they are different aircraft.

    With regards to the LCA, I suspect it’s now the Hurjet. They are delaying the announcement, I believe, until it’s maiden flight very soon. Can’t buy something that hasn’t flown yet!

  15. Nope, the previous announcement says they will be based in Kuantan. As for the FLIT-LCA check out the pictures in my budget post

  16. I don’t think there’s enough spaces for ATR-72 to accomodate MAD. Pakistani ATR-72 MPA also didn’t have MAD

  17. Dundun,

    Leonardo is on record saying MAD can be fitted. If I’m not mistaken the Turks have MAD on their ATR-72s.

    Note it’s not only MAD but the mission equipment, sonobuoys and torps. I’ll be very surprised if we go down this route as it will drive up overall costs.

  18. Yes, the Turks definitely have a MAD boom on their ATRs which were delivered first half 2021. The Italians and Pakistani ones do not. I have read somewhere the Italians are fitted for (but not with) these booms. Apparently they are now getting updated to the latest standard but I have not been able to ascertain if that will include a MAD boom or not.

  19. Tom Tom – “Makes more sense, even if they are different aircraft”

    Doesn’t make sense if they’re intended for deployment in different areas.

    Tom Tom – “Can’t buy something that hasn’t flown yet”

    Hurjet never was a serious contender.
    BTW at least 6-7 countries ordered the A400M before it even flew and so did the RAAF with the F-111.

  20. Marhalim, apparently the news is that Malaysia is only interested in the FA50 variant from KAI…which is not intended for training. Also the FA50s will have the Block 20 upgrades as well as the APG 79 radars. News is that our legacy Hornets will also be upgraded with the same radar. If this is so, is it possible the government will split the LIFT/LCA into two winners?

  21. To be a devil’s advocate even if the ATRs are ASW configured they will have to train regularly with RMN ships but how much time can be realistically allocated for that? Both have to work together doing slightly different things; supplementing each other; none working alone; none a panacea.

    I’d like to see ASW configured UASs [to work alongside surface and air assets] at some point in the future but given that we’re only getting 3 ISR MALES and have zero USVs and UUVs; it’s a bit too much to ask for ASW configured UASs.

  22. “With just 2 MPA and 3 UAV, plus a small operational budget, they are not going to fly much.”

    I think the plan is to get 2 MPA & 3 UAV per RMK for 3 RMK periods. Guess that would allow the ‘local assemblers’ to be busy for the next 15 years.

    “Those MPA also will have totally different operating SOP, so no crew and technical sharing with CN-235MSA. TUDM have to support a small fleet of 2 totally different everything from ground crew to spare parts.”

    The plans seem to be that the CN235 would be retired before 2040 once all the MPA are acquired.

    “ANKA is a large UAV. I don’t think Indonesia will allow the ANKA to fly through its airspace from east to west malaysia.”

    EEZ is not part of any country sovereign territories, its considered international water and airspace under UNCLOS.said countries only have exclusive right to its underwater resources like oil & fish but do not have exclusive control of it sea lanes and airspace. Any military can sail,fly and train there without asking anyone for permission which is the whole point of freedom of navigation exercise.

    “Getting 4×4 and 6×6 IFVs are not going to increase our overall maritime security needs, which must be the ultimate priority for the near future.”

    Rentaka is basically a Turkish designed JLTV copycat. So I wouldn’t called it without any maritime utility.

    The 6×6 is likely going to be an amphibious IFV as stated under DWP.

  23. Unlikely as it stands now. AFAIK the FA-50s will have twin sticks, so they could still be used for FLIT. It will be easier for the operational squadron as they don’t have to train the new pilots again as the current setup. Is this ideal, not really but we uses the PC-7 Mark II as a basic trainer as well as an advanced trainer. Furthermore now all RMAF Hornets can be used for conversion training as the four without the dual stick has been converted with them. Its the same with the Flankers. So it’s not without precedent in RMAF, it was only in the past we have dedicated fast jet trainers

  24. Marhalim – ”we uses the PC-7 Mark II as a basic trainer as well as an advanced trainer”

    Yes. FTC 3 has several.

    Tom Tom – ”News is that our legacy Hornets will also be upgraded with the same radar.

    Has there been anything official on this?

    zaft – ”Rentaka is basically a Turkish designed JLTV copycat. So I wouldn’t called it without any maritime utility.”

    Irrespective of whether it’s a Turkish copycat”; a Jamaican or Mongolian one; the point he was stressing is that priority should be on our maritime domain.

    zaft – ”The plans seem to be that the CN235 would be retired before 2040”

    That’s still donkey years away; for the foreseeable future we’ll still be stuck with 2 different types. I’m all for greater commonality but only if it entails getting more of something which actually suits the purpose. It was obvious that we wanted something apart from the CN-235.

    zaft – ”The 6×6 is likely going to be an amphibious IFV”

    It will probably have the usual bilge pump and trim vane but having the ability to cross a river/lake doesn’t necessarily give it an amphib capability.

  25. “EEZ is not part of any country sovereign territories, its considered international water and airspace under UNCLOS”

    Indonesian EEZ is small when compared to its waters. Most of Indonesian waters are considered internal territorial waters due to its unique status as an Archipelagic state in UNCLOS.

    My question on Anka is due to its size. TB2 can be fitted into the A400M (as delivered to Ukraine). No idea if Anka can be minimally dismantled to fit into the A400M.

    Well all of this is probably irrelevant anyway as the 2023 budget doesn’t mean anything anymore as the parliament is now dissolved without discussing and approving the budget.

  26. Wong – “It is bulletproofed to NIJ BIII, which is similar to STANAG 4569 Level I only”

    I’m all for increased protection but we also have to see what the vehicle is meant to do. In Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Angola [the Casspir is the grand daddy of MRAPs] the main threat was mines and IEDs. For us the main purpose of a MRAP/4×4 is provide troops with some level of protection whilst they’re in transit to where they need to go and when dismounted to be able to relocate whilst under protection against splinters/shrapnel caused by indirect fire. Unless we are faced with an insurgency problem [unlikely] mines and IEDs are not the major concerns. Something we factor in yes but not a major likelihood.

    Wong – “I would prefer a smaller armored 4×4”

    Pros and cons. A smaller platform might have less mobility and less carrying capacity. It would also be able to take less of the weight associated with protection.

  27. The problem with both Rentaka and Tarantula from Mildef are that they are too big for the Armoured Corps requirements which I am told is something in the size of the Ferret

  28. “Irrespective of whether it’s a Turkish copycat”; a Jamaican or Mongolian one; the point he was stressing is that priority should be on our maritime domain”

    You are missing the forest for the trees there. The point I’m trying to make is a JLTV equivalent can have maritime utilities if it’s being configured for it.

    “That’s still donkey years away; for the foreseeable future we’ll still be stuck with 2 different types. I’m all for greater commonality but only if it entails getting more of something which actually suits the purpose. It was obvious that we wanted something apart from the CN-235.”

    Finding blame is easy. Finding solutions is not. Between the need to safe on cost, having enough surveillance asset flying, budget constraints & factory output. Getting the cn235 MSA as stopgap measures is the best solutions we could have had.

    “It will probably have the usual bilge pump and trim vane but having the ability to cross a river/lake doesn’t necessarily give it an amphib capability.”

    If that is the case. Then we shouldn’t be bothered with the MRSS then.

  29. “The problem with both Rentaka and Tarantula from Mildef are that they are too big for the Armoured Corps requirements which I am told is something in the size of the Ferret”

    Ehem

    So my preference is actually closer to what the Armoured Corps want.

    Anyway on the ATR apparent slowness.

    Why spend millions of additional money and inducting another different type type to service, when converting existing CN-235 similarly does the job (same slowness) for fraction of the cost of the new ATR-72. Take into account, the need for faster speed will incur higher operational cost (more fuel burn) too.

    But if you really want speed, these will give you speed

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/FLpKLPDVIAMvLzV.jpg

  30. P-8? hahahahah

    Still incapable of planning within their budget eh?

    Ask them to read their own TUDM CAP55 plan, basic planning needs to consider:

    1. Kemampuan (affordability)
    2. Tepat pada masa (timeliness)
    3. Efektif (effective)
    4. Realistik (realistic)

    What part of P-8 is number 1 and 4??

    If the ATR is slow-ass like the CN-235, why even bother spending millions to buy the ATR? It is a waste of money giving no clear operational advantage over the free of charge CN-235MSA. Just convert the remaining 3 CN235 instead (that will cost much more cheaper than getting the ATR) and call it a day.

  31. zaft – ”You are missing the forest for the trees there”

    You referring to yourself?

    zaft – ”Finding blame is easy. Finding solutions is not.”

    Was is this? A self improvement/motivational lecture? What I said was self explanatory which leaves no room for doubt or obfuscation

    zaft – ”Getting the cn235 MSA as stopgap measures is the best solutions we could have had.”

    Nobody said otherwise… You spoke of ” missing the forest for the trees” – as a stop gap measure yes converting the CNs is a sound move but for its long term requirements the RMAF wasn’t satisfied with it and that’s why the CN was not short listed for the MPA requirement.

    zaft – ”Then we shouldn’t be bothered with the MRSS then”

    The MRSS’s are intended for a variety of roles including ”amphibious movement” which is different to ”amphibious assault” – note the difference. Also if indeed ”amphibious assault” is the role do note that IFVs equipped with a trim vane and bilge pump can only go for short distances [most IFVs actually have trim vanes and bilge pumps for water operations at land as opposed to at sea where waves and current is and can be an issue].

  32. A little progress is still a progress

    Thanks a lot to Menhan, DS Hishamuddin

    and Menkew, Tengku ‘moneyman’ Zafrul

    Once again, it is all about the money and willpower,

    politically.

  33. Marhalim – ”which I am told is something in the size of the Ferret”

    A lighter vehicle is faster, more agile and less visible but the problem is that it has less lift capacity and less protection.

    Wong – ” Take into account, the need for faster speed will incur higher operational cost (more fuel burn) too.”

    But if it enables to platform to get where it needs to sooner in order for it to perform its job then fuel costs in a cost well worth incurring.

  34. It is simply the best aircraft for the requirements really. No, they realised we cannot afford it. It is for this reason that they didn’t bother to get Boeing for tender. Other countries in the region looking for MPA also realised the Poisedon is the best aircraft but they – Indonesia, Philippines and even Singapore – also knew the asking price is too much

  35. “yes converting the CNs is a sound move but for its long term requirements the RMAF wasn’t satisfied with it”

    oh the irony!

    The ATR will exactly be slow-ass like the CN-235 that it is not satisfied with. RMAF does not get the high speed it wants so much for its long term requirements, plus saddled with 2 similar performance but totally different systems to maintain and operate. Wasting precious money and human resource.

  36. fact:

    ATR-72 is very slow and does not meet RMAF tender requirements.

    conclusion:

    Could just convert the rest of CN-235 for MSA/MPA duties for the same performance as the ATR-72 at much lower cost.

  37. Wong – “Still incapable of planning within their budget eh?”

    It’s tempting to assume things but the armed services are ”capable of planning within their budget” and they also have to factor in what the bureaucrats might or might not approve even if it’s within the budget…

    Wong – “If the ATR is slow-ass like the CN-235, why even bother spending millions to buy the ATR?”

    A host of factors come into play, some of which might not be apparent to us. It isn’t just about speed but speed in relation to various other things.

    Are you in a position to state categorically that the RMAF considered the CN-235 but was overruled or that there isn’t certain aspects of the ATR’s mission planning suite which makes it more practical or suitable?

    Zek – “A little progress is still a progress”

    Realty check. Until it’s signed for there is “zero” progress. Perhaps you need a refresh on our procurement history; the list of things we were supposed to buy and said we would but never did? Also continuity is key; not point buying a mere 2 MPAs and 3 UASs if it takes us another 2 Malaysia Plans to get follow on ones.

    Also, why on earth should we thank the politicians? They work for us and it’s their duty of care to ensure the armed services get what they need.

  38. If the RMAF is not entirely happy with the CN235s and preferred an MPA based on the ATR, with a bit of planning and commitment from the government, they could have obtained ATR airframes and applied them to the US funded conversions.

  39. azlan,

    As marhalim said in his latest post, ATR platform did not meet RMAF requirements.

    The ATR is as slow as the CN-235. The ATR also has 1 hour less endurace compared to the CN-235. If RMAF does not like the CN-235 performance, the ATR performance is similar to the CN-235.
    CN-235MSA mission suite is the same as MMEA CL-415, and also same as PAL Aerospace Dash 8 offer. IMO that mission suite is one of the most open platform mission suite available now, can integrate a lot of different sensors (even leonardo hardwares) without problems.

    AM,

    RAMF wanted a fast MPA. ATR is not. ATR will not make RMAF happy. Read marhalim latest post.

  40. AM – ”they could have obtained ATR airframes and applied them to the US funded conversions.”

    This would have entailed a long bureaucratic undertaking. The CNs were there and available.

    Wong – ”ATR platform did not meet RMAF requirements.”

    Which is surprising to me as far back as last year I was told by RMAF people it was their preferred choice; a toss between it and the 295. Note I’m not suggesting Marhalim is mistaken.

    Wong – ”The ATR is as slow as the CN-235. The ATR also has 1 hour less endurance compared to the CN-235.

    All sounds simple and clear cut on paper doesn’t it? I however have no idea and I will not assume or make it sound so clear cut but I can tell you for a fact that the RMAF was not keen on certain issues related to the CN-235. Was it related to spares; the OEM or other things; who knows but there were issues.

    Wong – ”If RMAF does not like the CN-235 performance, the ATR performance is similar to the CN-235.”

    ”Similar” is the key word but ultimately a ATR-72 is not a CN-235 and vice versa; despite whatever similarities.

  41. kakadu – ”fact”

    Yes but is this an indication that a trade off the RMAF was willing to make to get the ATR was a speed which was less than the desired one? If have no idea but if you do please share.

    kakadu – ‘conclusion:”

    – Never mind what’s stated in CAP 55 but is the RMAF at this juncture willing to completely lose its tactical 2 engine lift capability?
    – Are the politicians in favor of cancelling the MPA programme and instead convert the remaining CNs?
    – Never mind that the CN has a similar top speed and other things to the ATR but what could possibly be the reason that the RMAF selected the ATR; what was it that led to the decision?
    – Why was Dash 8 not selected; after all it has a higher top speed.
    – What is the operating costs per hour of a CN-235 compared to a ATR and how many post flight maintenance hours on average are needed for every hour in the air?
    – In the 2008-10 period when there was a MPA requirement; a tender was issued and several types were offered; what was the RMAF’s preferred option then?

    Before you state ”facts” and ”conclusions” perhaps try answer these questions first.

  42. En Marhalim dan En Azlan,

    Ahli politik ada pelbagai jenis dan tahap kebolehan, tak semua ahli politik layak dan sesuai jadi menteri kabinet

    Tak salah berterima kasih atas usaha yang bersungguh untuk realisasi perolehan aset ketenteraan, baik dalam menyokong mahupun melulus sebagai teraju kuasa dalam kementerian masing-masing.

    Bukan sekadar bagi alasan ‘perlu ikat perut’, ataupun ‘hutang 1 trillion’ macam sesetengah ahli politik lain.

  43. my guess the decision to choose ATR is for the ease of maintenance. We got both Skyways Technics and Collins in MY which allows RMF to obtain commercial rate servicing i/o usual ‘specialized’ servicing for anything military. IMO its a good move, we have hundreds of ATR flying in the region – spares would be a less of a headache – in comparison with Dash which do not have a strong presence in this region.

  44. zamree,

    Yes. There are various reasons why the ATR was selected; irrespective of the fact that it’s speed was less than desirable. It’s all about trade offs.
    Speed is essential but so are various other things. It’s also open knowledge that the ATR was the leading contender for quite a while now. Beyond that I won’t speculate and make comparisons on what I don’t know.

    On a personal basis rather than harping about what could have been; I’m more interested in other aspects; namely how we employ the MPAs; the level of jointness and how we deconflict their use with the UASs.

  45. I never get why the speed is treated as deal breaker here. Sure it wasn’t the fastest plane out there but there are even slower planes being pressed into MPA role. Even South Africa and Thailand are using what is practically a WW2 plane(albeit highly modernized); C-47 Dakota, an even slower plane than ATR-72

    Also we wouldn’t use our MPA to catch up with other MPA. That’s what fighter planes are for. We use MPA mainly to patrol our seas and EEZ

  46. Dundun – “I never get why the speed is treated as deal breaker here.”

    Speed is essential because at times an aircraft has to get somewhere as fast possible; i.e. a RMN ship detects a undersea contact but the contact is weak; thus an MPA needs to get there fast and to start laying sonobuoys before the contact is lost or there may be a time sensitive SAR tasking where getting in location sooner rather than later [even a few minutes earlier] can make the key difference.

    Under normal conditions a MPA Will be at cruising speed but having that extra speed in case it’s needed provides more flexibility.

  47. I was told a long time ago that the MPA requirements calls for a jet but of course air force knew that it was too expensive so they settled for a turboprops

  48. “my guess the decision to choose ATR is for the ease of maintenance. We got both Skyways Technics and Collins in MY which allows RMF to obtain commercial rate”

    That and the likelihood the gov already had ATR frame in storage through MASwing & firefly. And the 15 years acquisition period do sound like they going to do conversion locally paid for in local currency.

  49. BT-67 is mainly used as a transport aircraft and for cloud seeding in Royal Thai Air Force and is only used for patrol on ad hoc basis. We use Dornier 228 for MPA

  50. Another big questionable decision by helang to add another problem in defence sector.

    TUDM ask a faster platform than CN235 which is basically TUDM ask a jet platform. ATR72 and CN235 both are not pass TUDM requirement.
    But CN235 has endurance 10% more than ATR72. Adding a new CN235 is better in commonality and maintenance.
    ATR72 is a bit bigger than CN235, the quetion is there a need? The next MPA will be MPA only. Why need more space? Future upgrade? Unlikely, it will not be upgrade to ASW. There is no requirement for MPA ASW anyway in any TUDM or TLDM plan for next decades.

    Good job helang.

  51. Imho, for MPA, speed is not essential but what’s important is endurance and loiter time on station, the reason why P3 Orion turboprops have lasted this long.

    As for ATR72 vs CN235, the former is a bigger plane and that size will have effect on crew comfort during long endurance missions. This could also be another reason to get ATRs and unlike Dash8, this platform is not unknown to us as civvie examples are used in local airlines, so the support infrastructure is already present plus this is by Leonardo. I’m hoping this deal will give them a second look onto their M346 for LIFT trainers, radars, the AW139/149 for various service medium chopper requirements.

  52. Life is a compromise so deal with it. Besides RMAF already shortlisted 3 platform for MPA and neither three are jet powered.

    ATR-72 that was offered are carrying AESA radar from Leonardo as well on top of sonobuoy and light torpedo and according to Leonardo, MAD as well. We can do MRO on ATR-72 in Malaysia instead of sending them to Indonesia.
    >ATR-72 is a bit bigger?
    It’s markedly bigger.The number 35 on CN235 and 72 on ATR-72 are there for a reason
    >CN235 has better endurance than ATR-72
    Funny because based on Philippines test CN235 is slower,has shorter range and loiter time than ATR-72. The plane doesn’t have enough room for the equipment and operator unless RMAF go with the MSA route which they clearly didn’t want

    You’re complaining about ATR-72 not fulfilling RMAF requirement yet you’re pushing for CN235 which are even worse for the sake of “commonality”?

  53. The MPA doesn’t mean anything to the other requirements. As it is people are already asking why many things going to Leonardo?

  54. Romeo – ”which is basically TUDM ask a jet platform.”

    No… The tender specified a need for a prop powered platform. As Marhalim mentioned in the past the RMAF did look at a jet powered platform but this requirement was dropped. BTW we were asked if we wanted surplus Nimrods many years ago.

    ”speed is not essential”

    Maybe not but even if it’s needed 5 percent of the time; it pays off. There will be instances where that extra speed comes in handy; enabling the plane to arrived a few minutes earlier; a few minute which can be crucial.

    Ultimately it’s a combination of speed; mission/sensor fit capabilities; operating costs; number of post flight maintenance hours; etc; which determines things. There’s also no pleasing everybody; if the CN-295 had been selected someone would come up with a dozen reasons why the ATR should have been selected and if CN-235s were selected others would give reasons as to why it shouldn’t have been.

    Dundun – ”Life is a compromise so deal with it.”

    That’s right. End users have to decide what trade off they’re willing to make.

  55. “but even if it’s needed 5 percent of the time; it pays off”
    It depends on what it needs that speed for. If chasing other planes, that ain’t the mission of an MPA. Other planes, with jets, should be used. If subs traveling underwater, a 5% lesser airspeed would not make much difference relative to it, if boats/ships yeah it could be a difference but then easier for an MPA to detect as well. It all goes back to what an MPA is for really.

    “asking why many things going to Leonardo?”
    If the deal can be justified, why not. At least Leonardo is a branded option than going Turkish or whatnot, and if we can save money by coupling multiple deals its a win-win for all plus such a huge deal could incentives the Govt to do a G2G nego with Italy instead of via middlemen. Just saying.

  56. ”It depends on what it needs that speed for. If chasing other planes, that ain’t the mission of an MPA.”

    As has been explained in an earlier post there will be certain scenarios;
    when getting to where one intends to go as fast as possible may make a key difference; 5-7 minutes can count for a lot. That extra speed; when needed can come in very useful.

    ”If subs traveling underwater, a 5% lesser airspeed would not make much difference relative to it”

    It would but not because of the sub’s speed but issues related to water conditions or how solid the contact is; i.e. if a ship which has been tracking a contact but is about to lose it because it’s say 40NM away and the contact is going past the continental shelf or in a thermal layer [which would have great bearing on the contact]; then a MPA arriving sooner rather than later and being able to drop sonobuoys would make the difference in ensuring the contact is not lost.

    ” It all goes back to what an MPA is for really”

    It’s for a host of requirements; whether for SAR; general surveillance, OTHT, etc

  57. “As it is people are already asking why many things going to Leonardo?”

    One thing about asset rationalisation exercises is that it would likely result in the reduction in the numbers of supplies.

    If I remembered correctly. Leonardo has a ASW suite that can fit into a MALE. A common instruments between the MPA & MALE should at least on paper could provide significant cost and operational advantages.

    “It’s for a host of requirements; whether for SAR; general surveillance, OTHT, etc”

    Fast jet is great for hunting submarine but it less than ideal for SAR & general surveillance operations. In an ideal world RMAF would prioritize subs hunting while SAR, enforcement & surveillance is being done by MMEA. But beggers can’t be choosers I supposed.

  58. zaft – ”A common instruments between the MPA & MALE should at least on paper”

    A MPA and a ASW configured UAS to complement each other; each with the same aim but each doing slightly different things as part of ASW. Add to that are the ASW configured embarked helos we can add to the equation.

    zaft – ”Fast jet is great for hunting submarine”

    It’s not written in stone. A jet can get to where it’s needed faster but ASW is time extensive and a fast jet might burn fuel fast whilst actually conducting the search. A fast jet can go higher and this would be useful if the sub was equipped with sail or tube launched MANPADS. Pros and cons.

    zaft – ”In an ideal world RMAF would prioritize subs hunting while SAR, enforcement & surveillance is being done by MMEA.”

    ”In the real world” assets – no matter whom they belong to – have multiple taskings. Even the USN is not able to prioritise it’s MPAs to do a specific task due to the many things which have to be done.

  59. zaft – ”One thing about asset rationalisation exercises is that it would likely result in the reduction in the numbers of supplies.”

    The ”main thing” about greater commonality is that it enables a smaller logistical/support footprint by cutting to a minimum the different types of spares/support equipment needed; this in turn; in line with smaller logistical/support footprint creates costs saving as people have to be trained to do less things; as well as enabling more efficiency.

  60. “The ”main thing” about greater commonality is that it enables a smaller logistical/support footprint by cutting to a minimum the different types of spares/support equipment needed; this in turn; in line with smaller logistical/support footprint creates costs saving as people have to be trained to do less things; as well as enabling more efficiency”

    Having 2 very different types of similar performing aircraft in small quantities for maritime patrol will not have any of the things listed above.

  61. Commonality? Marhalim’s favourite pun “the more the merrier”

    We need to keep the rent seekers happy. Buy things in small numbers. Modify them to make them unique one of a kind items. Then use them for 30-40 years. A very secured business concession for each platform. All of us know who started all these.

  62. Kakadu,

    Thanks for stating the obvious but commonality entails buying more of something only if it meets certain criteria. Not for the sake of commonality by itself.

    As the end user and one which has gone to great lengths to achieve greater commonality the RMAF fully grasps the pitfalls in having two different MPAs and it’s willing to incur the penalties. If it wasn’t it would have selected the CN-235 and we know the CN-235 for whatever reasons wasn’t the favourite.

  63. Hasnan,

    The “unique one of a kind items” we had was the Tutor/Tebuan [we were the only operator for the armed variant]; the Fulcrums and Flankers [both contained stuff unique to us to meet RMAF requirements] and the Hang Tuah [the second one], Saktis Lekius and Laksamanas [all these ships however were existing designs]. Last but not least the PT-91Ms which contain stuff unique to us.

    If we want to go into specifics we are the only Jernas operator but it’s based on Rapier. The Rahmat was based on our requirements but the RTN later also bought the design.

  64. “Having 2 very different types of similar performing aircraft in small quantities for maritime patrol will not have any of the things listed above.”

    The first 3 CN235 MSA is free. Thanks to the US taxpayer. The next 3 is not.

    Buying more CN235 won’t allowed RMAF to search for subs as the AsW equipment was never integrated with the platforms. Integrating ASW suite on the CN235 is not only expensive but would make it a unique one of a kind items, Which we and only we alone operated which put the networking logistics, training, iperating6 & support cost high.

    What CN235 can do is to be either a stopgap measures or the low in the high low mix. While MSA can’t search for subs it can still be use for SAR, ISR & general law enforcement. Commonality is not an end goals but a means to achieve the final goal of cost & operational efficiencies. Sometimes having a high low mix is far more cost & operational effective then just having 1 single platform.

  65. zaft – ”The next 3 is not.”

    In the first place there is no requirement to convert them.

    zaft – ”Buying more CN235 won’t allowed RMAF to search for subs as the AsW equipment was never integrated with the platforms.”

    Because there never was such a requirement …

    zaft – ”Integrating ASW suite on the CN235 is not only expensive but would make it a unique one of a kind items”

    So? We’re talking about a sensor/mission; MAD and the installation of sonobuoys. There is space and no major enginnering work on the airframe is entailed. It’s not a if we’re converting a CN to mount C-UAS equiment or a laser for anti satellite work.

    zaf – ”or the low in the high low mix.”

    In the regard there is no ”high low mix” – not as if we’re planning to get P-8s at some distant point in the future to supplement the CNs.

    zaf – ”While MSA can’t search for subs it can still be use for SAR, ISR & general law enforcement.”

    Which; funny enough since you mentioned it; is exactly what it will be used for.

    zaf – ”Commonality is not an end goals but a means to achieve the final goal of cost & operational efficiencies.”

    Simply put; it’s to achieve logistical/support costs and by doing so to reduce costs and achieve greater efficiency; amongst other things….

    zaf – ”Sometimes having a high low mix is far more cost & operational effective then just having 1 single platform.”

    No kidding! Seriously? You think? Could this be the reason why the RMAF wants LCAs in addition to MRCAS and why the RMN wants LMSs to supplements its frigates…

  66. Given our lack of everything, if there is a serious threat, all this talk of saving costs and commonality will go out the window. Like Ukraine we will be having a lot of hodge podge second hand equipment donated by allies. Cost to Ukraine is estimated at $350b.

    With an imminent threat, the vey reason all those who recognise that threat are uparming all their assets and systems. Meanwhile, we are busy with a upcoming GE and can still wonder whether we are going to get these small number of new and not so capable assets.

  67. “So? We’re talking about a sensor/mission; MAD and the installation of sonobuoys. There is space and no major enginnering work on the airframe is entailed. It’s not a if we’re converting a CN to mount C-UAS equiment or a laser for anti satellite work”

    The usual price for commissioning a one of a kind items is usually 200% the price of an off the shelf one. Which is why PH make any prototype or one of a kind items purchase for their military illegal by law.

    “In the regard there is no ”high low mix” – not as if we’re planning to get P-8s at some distant point in the future to supplement the CNs.”

    The CN 235 being a turboprop has a long live ahead of it plans retirement from RMAF services in the mid 2030s after all the Hercules are still flying after more than half a century. It likely the CN 235 would be transferred to MMEA by that time rather than being put into permanent retirement.

    “Simply put; it’s to achieve logistical/support costs and by doing so to reduce costs and achieve greater efficiency; amongst other things….”

    Which goes back to the reasons why a lot of things is going to Leonardo. When we choose the super lynx or wildcat as the AsW helo, it make sense for the MALE & MPA to rock a Leonardo radar as well and AW helo as the maritime utility & medium lift helo platforms.

    While aw helo may not perform as well as a Blackhawks nor it purchased price is not that cheaper than a Blackhawks. the cost savings from acquiring aw helo would come in the form of logistics, support & training cost.

    Buying in bulks over long periods of times also make localisation more viable, allowing some of the cost to paid for in MYR, on top of contribution to GDP numbers, employments & spillovers effect, further reducing the overall purchasing price while also putting a high political cost for any future politicians from cancelled it halfway through.

  68. zaft – ”usual price for commissioning a one of a kind items is usually 200% ”

    There is no ”usual” price. Depends on a host of factors… Is the OEM willing to share the source/object codes? How much are integration costs? Certification costs? Does extra stuff have to be bought in order to add extra stuff? What level of modifications are needed to the plane’s airframe? The price depends; not written in stone.

    zaft – ”Which goes back to the reasons why a lot of things is going to Leonardo. ”

    There is also the political aspect; in addition to Leonardo having the hit we need.

    zaft – ”It likely the CN 235 would be transferred to MMEA by that time rather than being put into permanent retirement.”

    No it’s not ”likely”. The MMEA has ample experience of being forced to get high mileage aged heavy upkeep stuff. They will fight tooth and nail if at some point in the future an attempt is made for them to be handed the CN-235s. It’s for the same reason why the MMEA will fight tooth and nail if in the future the Laksamanas are transferred to them; as someone else here suggested many moons ago.

    zaft – ”While aw helo may not perform as well as a Blackhawks”

    There is no reason at all why a ”aw helo may not perform as well as a Blackhawks”.

    zaft – ” it make sense for the MALE & MPA to rock a Leonardo radar as well and AW helo as the maritime utility & medium lift helo platforms.”

    You’re talking about what makes sense on paper. In reality there are various reasons why we do things the way we do.

    zaft – ”Buying in bulks over long periods of times also make localisation more viable”

    We shouldn’t smoke; consume illegal substances; engage in unprotected fornication with strangers and eat oily food…. What you’re saying is obvious but in reality ”buying in bulks over long periods of times” is not possible because we have a long unfulfilled shopping list; we change priorities and we don’t get the best value for what we spend due to reasons which have been exhaustively dealt with here.

  69. Malaysia $ 91+ million for 3 Anka
    Indonesia $ 300+ million for 12 Anka

    Let’s not talk about the specification first but the quantity we are affordable. We have to accept we no longer no 2 in Asean.

  70. Michael – ”We have to accept we no longer no 2 in Asean.”

    Were we ever No.2?

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