SHAH ALAM: Locally developed weapons. The Science & Technology Research Institute For Defence (STRIDE) is collaborating with the armed forces and the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) to develop a 12.7mm sniper rifle and a 120mm mortar. Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu told Parliament today said both weapons were still under the prototype stage and under development.
He said the prototype of the weapons would be handed over to the armed forces and selected security agencies for testing and evaluation. “Once the testing and evaluation is completed and it is found to be suitable for the end users it will be offered to a chosen defence company for manufacturing and marketing,” he said when responding to oral questions at the Dewan Rakyat. He did not revealed at what stage is the development of the sniper rifle and 120mm mortar.
Mohamad said the ministry will find ways to ensure that the local defence industry remain relevant and to reduce the dependancy on foreign arms manufacturers.
For the 12.7mm or .50 caliber rifles, the Army and the police are currently using the Barret .50 caliber rifles and one has to wonder if there is a need for a locally developed one. That said Indonesian state owned arms manufacturer Pindad has already produced a 12.7mm sniper rifle so that’s probably the inspiration. Anyhow, as you are aware that the army has a small number of 120mm mortars, integrated with the Adnan and Gempita APCs. These are the Thales 120mm Rifled recoiled Mounted Mortar (2R2M) system. Infact the Army has more 81mm mortars in service compared to the mounted 120mm system.
The fact that they choose a 120mm system to be develop is a probably that they think the Army should be equipped with a longer range system for its units. Typically a 120mm mortar has a range of 200 meters to 7,200 meters compared to the 81mm, with a range of 70 meters to 6,500 meters.
However, most modern 120mm mortars are now towed as they are too heavy to be lug around especially with the shell typically weighing around 14kg compared 4.15kg for the smaller 81mm mortars.
If indeed the locally developed 120mm mortar is put into service it is likely to be towed, leaving the 81mm and 60mm mortars with specialised units like the GGK and the 10th Para Brigade. It is unclear whether the Army actually wants these.
— Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment