KUALA LUMPUR: KUALA LUMPUR: As mentioned previously listed below are the Malaysian Armed Forces Tenth Malaysian Plan wish-list. The list was the procurement plans mentioned by the PAT for the Armed Forces Day interview in September.
Since I was not asked to prepare the questions (last minute rush, as usual) and the fact that I was not able to be at Mindef for the formal interview, I had agreed to embargo the list below for my colleagues who went for it. Obviously, a lot of things were missed in the interview, I had not other choice but to run the wish list below.
I do not claimed that the wish list below are the complete list submitted by MAF to the ministry. As usual the PAT only answered the questions that was forwarded to him in advance. So if you missed a question, the good general wont offer any clue. And by tradition no numbers or type were revealed. By the same time next year I am hoping I will be able to ask more questions and hopefully get more answers.
1) AEW (the PAT confirmed the Government had agreed to purchase AEW asset in 2008 but it was deferred due to the economic crisis. Malaysian Defence had reported that the Govt had in principle agreed to purchase the Saab AEW system but without the involvement of Embraer.
2) Nuri Replacement Programme. The Cougar remained a very serious contender and Eurocopter Malaysia is working hard to get the deal signed. Will it be signed during LIMA? At the moment, I am still saying no.
The PAT also said RMAF was still studying the further MRCA requirements so its apparent no PLANNED procurement is expected within the next three years. It does not necessarily mean that we wont buy them if the politicians suddenly decide we need to beef up the lone Sukhoi squadron!
1) 8X8 APC replacement. They wont replace the Sibmas and Condor on one to one basis. Don’t how many at this point in time. So the mechanised regiments will have to make do with KIFV and Adnans. The APC replacement programme was supposed to come in the Ninth Malaysian Plan but got the chop due to you know what. The general did say that the wheeled APC programme was meant for international peace keeping missions and MRAPs was not in their planning.
2) A regiment of Self-Propelled Howitzers. No firm candidate yet, but the Caesar remained the most probable. It will be attached to a mechanised regiment so the numbers could be 12 + 12.
3) Man-portable AT and AD missiles. The AT system was tendered last year and it was rumoured that the Javelin had been selected with some 20 launcher and up to 200 missiles to be purchased. Nothing about training missiles though. No candidates for the AD missiles have been confirmed.
There was nothing about the MPSS. It was not asked I believed but I guess with the Inderapura fire, the MPSS is back on the table. In 2007 at LIMA, Najib said the MPSS project had been given the green light but since then matter had gone quiet. At that point, the Dokdo was the shoe-in candidate with the Mistral coming a close second.
1) Lekiu Batch 2. Yup its still there but I am not sure it will be finalised due to the price quoted by BAE Systems (RM3 billion per ship for local ,manufacture, half the price if built in the UK)
2) NGPV batch 2
3) Hydrographic ships. We need these ships to map our seas. The three items above were holdovers from RMK9. as of number 5, 7 and 8.
4) Littoral Combatant Ship. Indeed the PAT had not used the exact term used by the Americans (Littoral Combat Ship) but I am assuming we no longer have blue water navy aspirations and that FACs are no longer in their plans.
5) Naval Electronic Warfare Support Systems (NEWOSS). The NGPV were commissioned without these vital systems as mentioned by the National Audit Department report previously.
6) Possible purchase of Nakhoda Ragam class. RMN had confirmed that they had looked at the ships and found it suitable for its needs. It now depends on the Govt financial capability.
8) And last but not least, ASW helicopters.
Is that all? Of course not, as I mentioned earlier, the answers were based on the questions posed to the PAT. The actual wish list is probably longer but if the same allocation in the RMK9 was allocated (around US$5 billion) you can safely assume that it will not be enough even for the systems mentioned in the interview!