M4 Carbines, Glock G17s for Paskal

Two Paskal operators armed with Glock pistols during a demonstration for the minister's visit. H20 picture

SHAH ALAM: The RMN Special Forces Unit – Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL) is getting M4 Carbines and Glock G17 Gen. 4 semi-automatic pistols, courtesy of the United States. The weapons are part of more than 900 items to be donated including bullet proof vests; spotting scopes and hand-held Thales radios. The donation from the US is part of the Capacity Building Programme which has allowed us to operate radars and other capabilities like the ScanEagle UAS.

Caretaker Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein made the announcement during his visit to KD Panglima Garang, the Paskal training facility at the Lumut RMN base on October 26. He also said the government is also supplying Paskal with new equipment from sub-machine guns; closed circuit breathing apparatus; static and free fall parachutes and thermal binoculars. A sniper tower will also be built at the training facility to train operators in long range shooting techniques.

The graphic published by Hishammuddin Hussein social media.

As usual Hishammuddin did not identify the sub-machineguns to be procured but a graphic published on his social media showed the Berreta PMX. I understand that the pictures used are for illustration only but they could have used the standard Paskal sub-machine gun, the H&K MP5.
Beretta PMX 9X19 sub machine gun complete with suppressor as delivered to the Army in June 2022. TD

The Army had taken delivery a number of these 9mm sub-guns but it is unclear whether the Paskal will also get them.
Paskal operators conducting a demonstration for the visit. Note the personal hand held radios on their back.

It is interesting to note that a tender for sub-machine guns for the Army Special Forces Group – the Grup Gerak Khas – specified a piston driven firearms for them. This means it is SIG MPX submachine gun. It will be interesting to see whether Paskal will also issue the same requirements when the tender for its sub-gun is open for competition.
A Paskal operator armed with a MP5 sub-machine gun during a training exercise in 2017. TLDM

As for the Glock 17s, Paskal already operates a number of Glocks handguns, from the 17s, 18s, 19s and 26s. The donation of the items is likely part of the Paskal’s long standing relationship with the US Navy Seals – which include training slots and bilateral exercises.

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25 Comments

  1. Why on earth is Malaysian most well funded and equipped unit, the PASKAL needs 900 pieces of donated equipment? Unlikely that PASKAL does not have enough Glocks or M4s.

    Also why is the defence minister boasting about this like this is his greatest ever achievement?

    If getting donation from US considered his greatest achievement as a defence minister, what did he actually do the rest of the time?

  2. Kakadu – “Why on earth is Malaysian most well funded and equipped unit”

    One would think that PASKAL has top priority in getting what it needs. Unfortunately as one unit member told me once; it’s a myth.

    Kakadu – “Unlikely that PASKAL does not have enough Glocks or M4s”

    No idea about M-4s and Glocks but the unit doesn’t have enough of various things and has also long asked for various things in vain.

    Kakadu – “Also why is the defence minister boasting about this”

    What do you expect from a politician?

  3. Agreed. These are normal small arms and gear that can be procured from tue market.For aid we should be asking for those items reserved for their key allies like their night vision goggles, cyber security software, etc.

  4. Hasnan – “For aid we should be asking for those items reserved for their key allies like their night vision goggles, cyber security software, etc”

    Quite often we do not get to choose what we receive; doesn’t work like that. At times were are presented with a list of things they’re willing to give and select what we need. As we’re not a “key ally” obviously there’s stuff we won’t get.

  5. Looking at the trend, it is likely PASKAL will follow the other services in retiring/relegating their MP5s and get either the Berrettas or Sig MPX. This again could be tied to the infamously high maintenance cost of the MP5.

    @kakadu
    Our SF, like every others in the world, do often get the short shrift because they have little influence/presence in the overall force makeup and their members don’t typically get promoted all the way to helm the regular force. Of course, per soldier, each SF man are more equipped than a regular grunt but thats because their tiny headcount can afford to wiggle with a tinier budget. Most SF, except US, are still dependent on their regular force for a lot of things & support.

    Ignoring the connotations, getting free gear from US is always a good thing and we should be thankful to Uncle Sam. Still, its not like we can be a passerby and free stuff will drop on our laps. No, it takes a lot of effort to maintain relations with them and in no small part due to Mindef and the various services. Mind you, as mentioned in the writeup, they are getting other stuff that we bought.

  6. Nope that’s why they agreed to the deal. Small arms doesn’t bring any kind of string attached. Its not like we getting Predators or something to that effect.

  7. ewe – “Do these items come with string attached?”

    Of course. That we don’t pass it to the Al Nusra Front or Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine – General Command and we don’t use it to shoot unarmed protesters.

    ewe – “Like alliances or strategic interest?”

    Bolstering the capabilities of littoral states in the region benefits the U.S.

  8. “This again could be tied to the infamously high maintenance cost of the MP5.”

    This the first I’ve heard of it. We can say that some guns require cleaning on a more regular basis or that parts are expensive but “infamously high maintenance cost”? I’ve spoken to various people who have used it over the years; both here and elsewhere and they had lots of things to say about the MP-5 but I never heard complaints about it being “infamously high” to maintain…..

    “Our SF, like every others in the world, do often get the short shrift”

    The point is that in various other countries SF units get priority in funding which was the case here but as it stands; despite the popular assumption that SF units are well funded and are prioritised; alas that isn’t always the case as was made clear to me.

    “because they have little influence/presence in the overall force”

    Depends on which country. In the U.S. SF units after WW2 and Vietnam got downsized because it was felt they weren’t needed anymore and because the “big” or conventional” army saw them as an aberation and didn’t fully understand their capabilities. Up until the 1980’s SF units still had a hard time and even in Desert Storm the
    “big” or conventional” army still didn’t fully grasp what SF units could contribute.

    Over here SF units from Day One have long been part of the overall psyche of the army and there has never been resistance from the top or senior brass who saw SF units as a waste funds and a distraction. Part of it has to do with our counter insurgency lineage and of course the mystic and allure associated with SF units or as is generically use here “commandos” even though “commando units are not SF per see.

    “except US, are still dependent on their regular force for a lot of things & support”

    Even U.S. SF units can still be dependent on “regular force” or non SF units for certain types of support. A large part of why JSOC was formed was to redundancy and increase efficiency by fully maximising the capabiliies/assets the various SF units have.

    “in no small part due to Mindef and the various services”

    Also in no small part due to the efforts of the U.S. government/military who long have made efforts to cultivate ties with us. Not to mention the efforts of the DA’s office at the embassy [which also has civilian staff who are ex military] which is always trying to see what they can do to help.

    Ultimately defence ties became institutionalised due to Mahathir which is ironic. During a 1984 visit he set the ball rolling by signing an agreement with them which enabled bilateral exercises; ship visits, etc. Over the years the agreement was expanded.

  9. “This the first I’ve heard of it.”
    Well the grunt users don’t do the deep maintenance so they won’t know how expensive it is. Prolly only the armourer, and the ones signing the checks will know how costly they can be. The issue is with the roller blowback system which requires HK authorised servicing and they don’t come cheap. Rather than military, it is well known amongst civvie private gun owners that this is a costly weapon (to buy, to maintain, to get spareparts), as an AR15 is overall much cheaper yet that is a more potent weapon.

  10. “Also in no small part due to the efforts of the U.S”
    Indeed it takes both hands to clap, which is why I feel there is no shame to be accepting donations/support from Uncle Sam and it does not reflect poorly onto us either, as some had alluded.

  11. “All HK guns are expensive”
    Which is why I see there is a pattern of moving away from HK even from the ubiquitous MP5. SIG guns are also not cheap but overall it is cheaper to own than a HK due to its more conventional blowback system.

  12. ”The issue is with the roller blowback system which requires HK authorised servicing and they don’t come cheap.”

    HK’s regional sales rep and it’s service centre” so to speak was in Bangkok for decades. After production for the MP-5 moved to Pakistan and we bought MP-5s from Pakistan; we dealt only with POF but we never sent guns back to be reworked.

    ”Well the grunt users don’t do the deep maintenance so they won’t know how expensive it is. Prolly only the armourer, and the ones signing the checks will know how costly they can be.”

    Unit armourers won’t know as they don’t do ” deep maintenance” per see which requires guns to be sent back to the OEM. As it stands whatever work that is required has been performed by the unit themselves; rare is the case where guns actually have to be sent back to the OEM; if such a stage has been reached it’s normally more practical to replace the gun. The ”the grunt users” BTW would know because it’s their guns and if guns were inoperable because of costs issues or issues inherent to the specific gun; i.e. the roller blowback system”; leading to delays in getting their guns back; they would know.

    Like I said; I’ve never heard any complaints about the MP-5 from various users; with regards to maintenance issues; costs or the roller blowback system per see. No doubt it was a major leap over the Sterling it replaced and very different but by and large there were never any issues or unhappiness with it – we were one of the first regional users of the MP-5.

    ”as an AR15 is overall much cheaper yet that is a more potent weapon.”

    I have to idea about the ”potent” part as it’s subjective but I wouldn’t make comparisons given the AR and MP-5 are different categories of fire arms.

  13. Most of the old and new SIG guns are not simple blow back weapons but gas operated. SIG weapons especially the ones made in Switzerland were pretty expensive as well and not many were exported as well due to the costs and Swiss export policy. No military moved on from HK because they are expensive. We moved on from HK as we cannot get them due to export license issue not because of the cost. Only several years back MMEA got a small batch of HK guns.

  14. Marhalim – ”We moved on from HK as we cannot get them due to export license issue not because of the cost”

    Indeed and as far as I’m aware we had no complains about the actual gun; thus I was surprised when Joe claimed it had ”infamously high maintenance cost”. A few hours I asked someone who used to operate it extensively when he was in uniform [he’s non Malaysian and now works in oil/gas – he was surprised about the ‘infamously high maintenance cost”] and said that the roller blow back doesn’t necessarily equate to high costs. He said part of the reason many European SF units moved away from the MP-5 was because of the 9mmx19mm round.

  15. “Like I said; I’ve never heard any complaints about the MP-5 from various users”
    Well you heard from regular grunts that don’t need to pay for deep maintenance with the OEM, I heard it from US private gun collectors circle, that if they could get a sub it wouldn’t be MP5 mainly because of that costly service regime. In the military, the armourer will be in charge to do major servicing so likely they might know when needs to return to OEM.

    Sure you can choose not to return back for OEM servicing, just like your car you can choose not to return back the OEM service center, but you can only go so much in relying on superior HK quality before it breaks down, and I guess that might be the reason why I see local MP5s are looking worse for wear, some with nearly half the body paintwork worn out.

  16. I spoke to the SF people, not grunts one of them is currently leading one of the units, about the conditions of their MP5, they said the guns were perfectly fine despite their looks. Infact they are proud of the guns as it showed that they are working hard

  17. “Well you heard from regular grunts”

    I didn’t ask any “grunt”. Also, “grunts” tend not to be issued with SMGs.

    “Sure you can choose not to return back for OEM servicing, just like your car you can choose not to return back the OEM service center”

    I’m aware of that thank you very much and it’s something I alluded to in a previous post. Even if the users per see or the armourers are not the ones who perform certain work on the guns they would be aware of issues associated with it; namely the ”infamously high maintenance cost” you refer to.

  18. Most US gun collectors lament

    – MP5 is some of the highly sought after guns
    – Original MP5 prices from HK is very expensive, and rarely available for sale
    – Most have to make do with second best alternative, buying Pakistani or Turkish built MP5
    – Nobody complains about MP5 maintenance, or “high cost” of it. The only thing to normally maintain on guns is to clean it. Those guns rarely have anything that needs to be replaced or worn out in normal use (applies to something like AR15 too). Unless you are talking about GPMG or the likes with very high rate of fires (that needs regular barrel replacement).
    – it is an old design, with not much accessories, or modifications that can be done to it (unlike modern SMG like MPX). still very highly sought after because of the low recoil from the blowback action.

  19. kakadu – ”Most have to make do with second best alternative”

    POF and Turk MP-5s are not the ‘second best alternative”. Made to practically the same standards; under license. We have quite a few POF ones and if you asked the users they’d tell you there is little to distinguish them from HK ones.

    Kakadu – ”Original MP5 prices from HK is very expensive, and rarely available for sale”

    The ones that are available are mostly heavily used. HK also – as mentioned previously – has long ceased production.

    kakadu – ”it is an old design”

    It’s from the 1970’s; gained prominence from Princess Gate in 1980 and has been replaced by many who want a more contemporary design which is more accessorised. The calibre has also been an issue with regards to stopping power. We were one of the first users in the region. What made the design so different during the period it appeared was the various variant; the ”short”; the suppressed’, etc.

  20. “POF and Turk MP-5s are not the ‘second best alternative”.”

    For mostly brand-conscious american gun buyers and gun market, it is. Not having HK engravings on the MP5 is a very major turn-down for them.

    “The latest MP5s are equipped with rails”

    Slapping on rails is not mod-worthy or customizing enough. MPX with many parts interchangable with AR15 have 1000s of options to customise.

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