Mid Term Review of DWP 19

Pulau Layang-Layang as seen from a Special Forces operator conducting an exercise in early 2019. BTDM

SHAH ALAM: The Defence Ministry today officially launched the mid-term review of the 2019 Defence White Paper. The ministry has also put up a link for the public to give their views for the mid-term review.

The link for the public comments is here

The landing page for the mid-term review of DWP 2019.

One can send in as many comments as one wants. Whether or not it will be implemented is beyond me, of course.

— Malaysian Defence.

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About Marhalim Abas 2094 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. @hulubalang
    You can use this opportunity to propose your LMS-X many more of your opinion on the public comments. This also applies to the rest of us

  2. Tujuan :

    – Menilai pencapaian semasa Kertas Putih Pertahanan;

    – Mengkaji persekitaran strategik semasa; dan

    – Menambahbaik dasar dan pelaksanaan Kertas Putih Pertahanan.

    My opinion

    – TUDM
    1) overall past 5 years is good. Need a much better plan until 2040, not too general like CAP55
    2) LCA – good. Must continue with batch 2 of FA-50
    3) Ground Radars. Would be good if it can be had much more faster.
    4) MRCA. must be implemented 2031-2040
    5) 12 more helicopters? Forget about this, buy AEW instead. Leave helicopters to PUTD. Buy additional topup used H225 to complement existing EC725 (total of 18 across 2 squadrons would be good)
    6) MERAD? Forget about this too
    7) plan for getting new long range stand-off missiles for MKM/MRCA. Used storm shadows?

    – TLDM
    1) Probably the worst implementation to date. Not totally its own fault.
    2) Just scrap the 15to5 already. New plan for just up to 2040. Don’t pretend that APMM does not exist. Concentrate on main mission, don’t buy ships that can just do constabulary patrols.
    3) complete all 6 Gowinds please
    4) forget about getting 8 LMS batch 2 corvettes. Get more submarines and larger frigates to replace kasturi and lekiu classes by 2040.
    5) leave PVs, OPVs to APMM.
    6) have proper exit plans for all the ships that has gone through OP. To PSSTLDM? APMM?
    7) Have USV,UUV,UAS properly included in future plans.

    – TDM
    1) Overall direction with Army 4NextG is good
    2) Don’t do rojak armored vehicles please. Add more of what we have (MIFV, Adnan, AV8), new or used.
    3) Concentrate on long range fires. Both the ISTAR and effector. Precision fuse for 155mm shells. More 155mm howitzers. Precision long range missiles such as GL-SDB and NSM.
    4) Give proper budget to get 12-24 used Blackhawks that PUTD needs. Cancel TUDM 12 new medium range helicopter project.
    5) Get more of what we have. More RPG-7, more Carl Gustaf, etc.
    6) Enhance GAPU with MERAD and anti-uav capability.

    @ luqman

    It will be proposed of course 👍

  3. .. – ”Add more of what we have (MIFV, Adnan, AV8), new or used.”

    Fine on paper but in reality things have changed; we need something which is better protected and is more networked than the MIFV and Adnan. Nobody’s suggesting we go for a super IFV weighting 60 tonnes but the plain fact is that MIFV and Adnan are yesterday’s IFVs.

    … – ”plan for getting new long range stand-off missiles for MKM/MRCA.”

    Realistically that’s not going to happen and you know it. Also even if we do get the likes of Storm Shadow how do we acquire targets? The Ukrainian’s benefit from being able to pass SIGINT and UAS feeds to American satellites to enable precise acquisition and targeting. How do we go about it; unless of course the target is fixed…

    … – ”Concentrate on long range fires. Both the ISTAR and effector.”

    ”Fires” is just another fancy term which appeared recently out of nowhere. Sounds grand and appealing [like ”force multipliers”; ”multi-domain”; ”potent” and ”credible”] but in our context hard to do as we don’t have much to work with to begin with – starting from scratch to use an Americanism. How many regiments can we equip with radars and can we link those radars to UASs and other things to acquire an effective strike/recce capability; as opposed to a token one? On paper or on a PowerPoint brief great but in reality? As it stands we can’t even afford to replace the short legged and fragile Model 56s which are older than the crews who operate them and our idea of improving the Royal Artillery Corps is to get a mere 18 SPHs which will be parceled out in two different locations.

    … – ”Don’t pretend that APMM does not exist.”

    Who’s ”pretending”? As it stands the RM has to shoulder much of the burden given the MMEA’s inadequacies. Not as if the RMN wants to hog the MMEA’s roles.

    … – ”don’t buy ships that can just do constabulary patrols.”

    Who on earth said there was such a plan? Has not been such a plan for years now … Can you name such a plan; the LMS Batch 1s don’t count as they were supposed to have been armed; the follow on Kedahs as laid out in the 5/15 are as dead as Elvis and they were supposed to have been armed and the LMS Batch 2s will be armed even if modestly.

    So no; the RMN has as much intention of getting ”ships that can just do constabulary patrols” [to quote you] as Ali Khamenei converting to Sunnism.

    We are talking about the Royal Malaysian Navy I would assume?

    … – ”overall past 5 years is good.”

    I wish I was as sanguine as you. We’ve belatedly done thing and in dribs and drabs.

    … – ”leave PVs, OPVs to APMM.”

    The RMN has zero plans for ‘OPVs’ and has not had such plans for years now.

    .. – ”have proper exit plans for all the ships that has gone through OP. To PSSTLDM APMM?”

    The pertinent question of whether those ships are wanted by the MMEA and whether they fit its CONOPS seems to elude you.

    … – ”Enhance GAPU with MERAD and anti-uav capability.”

    That’s the relatively easy part; the not easy part is getting stuff in the needed numbers; distributing them in a decentralised manner; networking them and having a layered capability.

    … – ”Forget about this, buy AEW instead. ”

    Two different things for two different requirements; also the costs associated with 12 rotary platforms are a bare fraction of the costs for 2 AEW platforms.

    … – ”Just scrap the 15to5 already. ”

    Like saying we should strive for world peace; the elimination of nukes or castration for all paedophiles but easier said than done. The 5/15 has gained political approval; ditching it and coming up with a new plan will be a cumbersome and tedious process. Pointless at present. What the RMN is doing is the most pragmatic approach: officially adhering to the 5/15 but making the needed tweaks.

    … – ”Must continue with batch 2 of FA-50”

    ”’Must continue” with them on schedule and they must be operated at a systems level.

    … – ”MERAD? Forget about this too”

    So you say but the RMAF can’t always rely on GAPU [its focus is the army and it’s not as if it has a surplus of hardware] and the RMAF has an existing ground based radar network which can be networked to whatever medium range SAM it may or may not get.

    … – ”It will be proposed of course ”

    Gratified to hear. As I mentioned before; you should be writing to those who actually make the decisions but then again their decisions will also be based on a host of factors that we as outsiders are not privy to or aware of; irrespective of how sound things will look on paper or an Excel sheet.

  4. >AF
    -Expedite acquisition of 2nd batch LCA.
    -make decision on kuwaiti F/A-18. If they don’t want to part with it maybe we can add additional FA-50 to at least shoulder the burden
    -Definitely get another batch of H225M
    -More MPA
    -More MALE UAV squadron to patrol Sulu sea and Malacca strait (and concentrate our MPA/MSA on SCS. Also as beechcraft replacement).
    -Additional long range radar to monitor Sulu Sea and Kalimantan. Sorry but I don’t trust indonesians and the flips
    -Probably divest MRSAM requirement to GAPU

    -effing finish the LCS
    -Expedite the acquisition of LMS2 and MRSS
    -2 more submarine
    -New ASW helicopter
    -Shore ASM battery

    -Need to start thinking about new tracked vehicle to complement and eventually replace MIFV and adnan. For context we got our Condor and Sibmas in the 80s and by mid 2010s they were effectively replaced by Gempita
    -Either get new MBT and based them in Peninsula and transfer Pendekar to S&S keep Pendekar in peninsula and get light tank for S&S
    -Medium helo for army
    -Additional SPH regiment
    -MRSAM for GAPU

    -Malaysia’s own dedicated surveillance satellite
    -Another Layang2 style FOB.

  5. dundun – ”make decision on kuwaiti F/A-18. ”

    We’ve already ”made a decision” but as has been reported they haven’t. Also, gaining U.S. approval is a long process; will take years.

    dundun – ”get light tank for S&S”

    A light tank is never a substitute for a MBT. It can be used for fire support but so can IFVs fitted with direct/indirect weapons. Also a light tank is great if it meets other light tanks but not so great if it meets MBTs.

    dundun – ”Sorry but I don’t trust indon and the flips”

    Since when are we really supposed to ”trust” anyone? As for the ”flips” as you would refer to the Filipinos; they are focused on the South China Sea. The issue of Sabah is being keep alive because it’s politically expedient but apart from the Tausugs who are a minority the average Filipino doesn’t care about Sabah. It doesn’t resonate with them the way the Malvinas does with the average Argie.

    dundun – ”More MALE UAV squadron to patrol Sulu sea and Malacca strait (and concentrate our MPA/MSA on SCS.”

    The idea is to have MPAS/MSASs and UASs complementing each other …

    dundun – ”New ASW helicopter”

    I will come after the LCSs and it has to be something with the needed range, endurance and lift capacity for the time intensive business that is ASW and to carry a sonar, sonobuoys and torps.

    dundun – ”Probably divest MRSAM requirement to GAPU”

    How large is GAPU and does it have the assets/resources to also be responsible for the defence of RMAF bases? How many early warning assets does GAPU have?

  6. dundun – ”Shore ASM battery”

    Yes RMN and not army operated but the trick is to acquire a strike/recce capability. Some go gaga with what the Ukrainians have been able to achieve in the Black Sea but they have a strike/recce capability and external help. We don’t.

    dundun – ”Another Layang2 style FOB.”

    For what purpose? It’s not as if we don’t have enough real estate there and the idea is to maintain the status quo; not fuel tensions; which we would if we stared constructing a new reef. If you’re referring to enlarging the other reefs; lots of effort involved and it would raise tensions with others. What do we gain?

  7. … – ”Give proper budget to get 12-24 used Blackhawks that PUTD needs. Cancel TUDM 12 new medium range helicopter project.”

    – The Army’s Aviation Wing at the most can absorb 8-12 helis but even that’s a stretch. Manpower, infrastructure and funding is an issue; even if constantly overlooked. Yes I know you mentioned ”proper budget” but I like to stay within the realms of reality.
    – If the RMAF’s new helis are going to be cancelled and the cash is to be channeled to the army instead then why on earth get the Army’s Aviation Wing aged UH-60s? Logic dictates we get something which won’t have to be replaced in 10 years or so and something not as aged and with growth potential.
    – The most pertinent questions before assuming anything. How many air and ground crews are there; how many are inducted annually; how many leave the service or are transferred out annually and what is the Army Aviation Wing’s operational budget? Also, air and ground crews make up only one element of a squadron; there are also HQ, administrative and other elements.

    … – ”overall past 5 years is good. Need a much better plan until 2040, not too general like CAP55”

    You can have all the ”better plan” you want but counts for nothing until or unless the needed cash is allocated. As in the government puts its money where its mouth is.

    The CAP 55 is not ”too general” because it was intended for a political/public audience and explains in clear unequivocal language what the RMAF intends or hopes to achieve. Anything motte detailed won’t probably be released for public consumption.

  8. dundun – either get new MBT”

    There is a paper requirement but it’s not a priority. When the time comes – in a few years or more – we will be getting a more contemporary design with superior protection capabilities compared to the 1970’s era T-72/PT-91 which was designed for Soviet requirements; has inherent survivability issues [well known well be the war in the Ukraine] and has zero growth potential. Buying more PT-91s – as some seem to think we should – is a highly regressive move.

    In case anyone sees the need to point out; no the tank is not obsolete and the UAS and loitering munition has not made it so. No tank is invincible but it behooves us to protect the crews the best we can and the efficacy of the tank is also measured by the level of infantry and engineering support it receives

  9. Expedite acquisition of 2nd batch LCA.
    -make decision on kuwaiti F/A-18. If they don’t want to part with it maybe we can add additional FA-50 to at least shoulder the burden-dundun.
    He’s right. We need to be seen to move fast to acquire new or second hand assets! These are critical for our armed forces. And I don’t mean just these extra FA50s and ex Kuwaiti Hornets. It is the same for our ships. The army? Tell them to wait for another 10 years before the next acquisition

  10. Taib – ”He’s right.”

    On paper he is. In reality are we still interested and we need to take note that U.S. State Department and Pentagon approval is a tedious and cumbersome process.

    Another point; I know most are gaga about the Hornets but will we allocate adequate funds for their upkeep? Funds for ordnance and ground support gear [can’t assume that the Kuwaitis will be Father Christmas and throw in everything for free]? Also, will the Hornets really be an interim solution or will they be retired with no replacement? Will the pen pushers us them as an excuse to further delay the MRCA programme? Lots of things at play here; legitimate reason why the RMAF is wary; even though on paper the whole exercise looks sound.

    Taib – ”The army? Tell them to wait for another 10 years before the next acquisition”

    Everything is a gamble or trade off; making them and hoping we’re right. If we face a threat in which the RMAF and RMN are the main services then fine. If not then we’re buggered.

    Taib – ”It is the same for our ships.”

    As has been discussed in the past; we don’t want high mileage ships which are expensive to sustain and which might add to the already large logistical/support footprint. Why do you think we’ve rejected some offers in the past? The focus is on costs savings and achieving greater commonality.

  11. It’s a midterm review of a 10 year long DWP programme. They are not going to proposed anything new but rather a rearrangement of priorities for the next 5 years.

  12. Yes. There will be nothing significantly different. A continuation of our ”get a bit of everything”. Nothing beyond the little that’s already been approved for procurement and funding : no subs, ”oilers”[not that we need them]; ”large” frigates; MALE UASs; MPAs/MSAs; etc.

    Lets see what happens the next Malaysia Plan; if we actually sign for follow batches of various things.

  13. RMAF’s big decisions under DWP are or have been executed. MPA, 1st batch LCA 2nd Heli squadron, MALE drones. Unfortunately, because of delays in SuperHornet and Eurofighter deliveries to Kuwait, the operational dates are also delayed, such that Kuwait F18s will continue to fly into 2025 (maybe 2026) – they are spending spend US$1.2b to keep their Hornets flying. Recent statements suggest RMAF will shift to 2nd batch LCA within the DWP19 period – very good if can confirm 36 new fast jets by 2030. RMN unfortunately lost a sizeable portion of shipbuilding funds to the LCS program overruns (RM3b project funding plus the money to buyout BNS). Seems likely the LMS2 is the only additional big buy between now and 2030 – still good since it means 8 new combat ships confirmed. Army – maybe someone has a better feel. Overall, at least for RMN and RMAF, looks like not much adjustments required except to sign off the buys earlier rather than later – confirm the RMAF helis and RMN’s LMS2 in 2024, and confirm 2nd LCA order in 2027/2028 (once the first FA50s start arriving).

  14. It’s a midterm review of a 10 year long DWP programme. They are not going to proposed anything new but rather a rearrangement of priorities for the next 5 years.-Zaft
    I beg to differ. The midterm review of DWP is the right excuse and should be seriously considered so to dump suspect goals and buttressed existing hopes.
    For example, why should we stop at just 5 LCS hulls when we were assume we would be getting 6?
    Or, are we just stopping at a mere 18 units of FA50 LCAs, or going ahead with an additional 18 units?
    Even better, since the South Koreans are now somewhat disillusioned with the Indonesian commitment towards the KF21 Boramae JV project, and the recent drama of ‘pinched technology attempts’ by Indonesian aero-engineers at KAI, shouldn’t we include greater commitment towards closer technical ties with Korean defence houses and hitching our fortunes with them as we are doing with Turkiye? That KF21 project is a reasonable starting point.
    We can’t get out of our defence malaise if we don’t start getting out of it. We cannot start at ‘0’ but rather just say our prayers and join more capable defence players to make up for the rut that we are in for so long.
    The sooner the better.

  15. It’s continuity that counts : will we get follow batches of F/A-50s; UASs and other things as planned or will priorities shift as they tend to do? Having a plan is one thing; actually implementing it is another. A devil’s advocate will point out however that even if we get all that’s planned; still a case of small numbers; a bit of everything which results in a neither here nor there capability.

    A paragraph is a distinct segment of writing, often includes more than one sentence, and is separated from other paragraphs and text by a space.

  16. P.S. No it isn’t “still good” because not only do we need the hulls
    but we need hulls with a certain level of capability. What we’re getting are modestly armed in line with threat perceptions: policy and funding but if faced with a situation where a certain type of capability is needed then to understate things : we’ll have a bit of a problem.

    We’ve also allowed other areas to atrophy; like MCM capabilities. The good news – at least on the surface – is that we seem to be placing more focus on jointness.

  17. @Zaft
    Its a pointless review on an equally pointless policy created by the then PH Govt to show that their ‘different’ than the past 60 years Govt but under the surface nothings really changed except for going full tender policy which now seems like being Uturned by subsequent Govts including this PH Govt. Basically its just wayang ontop of a wayang.

  18. @Taib
    “That KF21 project is a reasonable starting point.”
    I beg to differ. It will be a huge financial undertaking even if the chances of success will be high and a 5th gen plane is outed. Simply said if the Indonesians see it being too expensive for them and their much larger budgets and more matured aero manufacturing than us, what more us with our puny defence budget from our shrinking economy? Lets not create another LCS in the sky, we much admit we are still in the level of a user thus its more prudent we buy a fully matured product than dabble with trying to make it.

    “What we’re getting are modestly armed in line with threat perceptions: policy and funding”
    Indeed if we are facing budget issue to even arm 96 VLS cells for 6 LCS, whatmore a such deadlier ships like Formidables with 32 cell VLS per boat plus higher end Asters?

  19. @taib
    Unfortunately all the gov from 2018 till today had promised to but never get around to actually publish the defence industrial policy.

    KFX like TFX is a great jet for a country which face high risk of a protracted warfare against a technologically challenged adversary. In those kinda cases something like the F35 is probably not something you want. The VLO & sensor fusion capabilities is a wee bit more than you realistically need and the high sustainment cost and lack of availability due to the VLO & sensor fusion actual put you in a operational disadvantage.

    If you potential adversary is somewhat technologically competence. Then maybe neither KFX nor TFX are the right answers. Because in those kind of situations the guy who detect the other guy first usually end up the winner.

  20. No lah, the Indonesians did not see the project as expensive, it is just that the decision to join the project was mooted by another administration.

  21. By the time Jokowi took over, the deal was already in the works. And it was one of those things that Jokowi had not wanted to cancel though the delays in payments and the renegotiations meant that he had clearly changed his mind.

  22. OZ surface fleet reviews comes out today. Seems like they be axing their version of LMS1 for 7-11 of their versions of LMS2 while also axing 3 of their version of LCS.

  23. those are frigates lah, unlike our LMS 2 which are basically patrol ships really and not even corvettes. The LCS is basically a corvette.

  24. I believe that they didnt fully realise how much it would really cost them, as with all those national projects proponents here, they just see the socalled benefits and national stature but ignored what sacrifices it requires from the nation & the rakyat.
    Its only after the 1st tranche of payments that they realised how much deeply they would have to sunk to see this thru and which is why they were hesitant when subsequent payments were due. Plus now the allegations of industrial espionage from this collaboration, it seems the recriminations & finger pointing on the failing JV has started a point of no return.

    We should do well to learn from it. Oh wait too late, we have LCS & OPV ady….

  25. One of the issues that got them really bothered was that originally the plan was for PTDI to assemble some of the fighters themselves for the air force and also export. But after the contract was signed it was revealed that South Korea must get permission from the US to allow for the transfer of technology for manufacturing the fighters in Indonesia. The US did not want to do so that part of the deal floundered. Since then the Indonesian government is reluctant to continue paying for the project hence the negotiations to reduce the cost of it.

  26. On the Australian Navy – Enhanced Lethality Surface
    Combatant Fleet

    The plan
    1) Optimised to operate in Australia’s immediate region aka operating in our backyard basically.
    2) To have a surface fleet of warships with greater capability in integrated air and missile defence, multi-domain strike and undersea warfare.

    The Ships
    1) 6x Hunter class frigates. These ships is actually bigger than the Hobart class Destroyers
    2) 3x Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers. To upgrade it to the latest AEGIS baseline 9. To build replacements when all Hunter class Frigates are complete.
    3) 6x Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessels (LOSV). This is basically an unmanned arsenal/missile ship. Will sail together with Frigates enabling more missiles, distributed lethality.
    4) 11x New General Purpose Frigates. This will replace the ANZAC class MEKO 200 frigates now in RAN service. The shortlisted ships in the plan :
    >> Meko A-200
    >> Mogami 30FFM
    >> Daegu class FFX Batch II and III
    >> Navantia ALFA3000
    It is a pity that the Arrowhead 140 / Type 31 Frigate is not in the list, probably because of the bad experience with the UK-sourced Hunter class (which is not at all involved with the Arrowhead 140 team).

    Our Gowind, at 3100 tons displacement is considered as a large corvette in the latest scheme of things. The new Philippine navy Corvette is 3200 tons displacement. 40 years ago our kasturi class at 1850 tons displacement was considered as a large corvette/light frigate.

    Things that is not addressed in the plan (in my opinion)
    1) Logistical, sustainment support for all those ships operating far away from home during wartime. Unlike US Navy or even Royal Navy that has permanent bases or support in South East Asia, Royal Australian Navy does not have such systems.
    2) Manpower. Even the current fleet has challenges in getting enough manpower. How does this increased number of ships can be adequately manned?

    The new Australian Navy plan and the context to our (Malaysian) own maritime security measures.
    1) Plans must be regularly tweaked to cater with the latest security challenges. TLDM 15 to 5 is obsolete but there is no publicly known attempt to do a new plan. Plans should be at most for 20 years, not 30 years like 15 to 5. The New Australian Navy plan is just for a decade.
    2) Due to the near future challenges with advanced anti-ship missiles (stealth, hypersonic, ballistic etc.) more missile defence systems needs to be added to the ships, increasing its size, complexity and cost. As a small navy, we cannot afford to follow with this direction. As these RAN ships is primarily planned to operate and fight in South China Sea anyway, what we could do is to instead have ships to support the operations of these ships in our waters. At the same time, we should focus our navy lethality (and deterrence capability) with at least 6 Scorpene Evolution submarines by 2040.
    3) Day to day peacetime maritime security is not a high priority (in their overall scheme of things) for Australia, as they are so far away from anyone. Malaysia is smack in the middle of the busiest maritime route in the world, with waters claimed by many, including China. While they feel like OPVs are not important in their priority, we need to have a lot of Coast Guard operated OPVs to secure our maritime areas in most time of the year. The less aggressive stance of Coast Guards are needed to push back other nations maritime claims without it escalating into a war.
    3) Their plan is basically to have all their naval shipyards with full work for a decade at least (so now up to 2034-35). We can do the same. This is my proposal :

    LUNAS – Lumut
    Gowind – now to 2029 (6 units)
    Arrowhead 140 Batch 1 – 2030 to 2035 (2 units)
    Arrowhead 140 Batch 2 – 2036 to 2040 (2 units)

    BHIC – Sepanggar
    Scorpene 01 refit 2 – 2024 to 2025
    Scorpene 02 refit 2 – 2026 to 2027
    Scorpene 03 assy – 2028 to 2030
    Scorpene 04 assy – 2031 to 2033
    Scorpene 01 refit 3 – 2034 to 2035
    Scorpene 02 refit 3 – 2036 to 2037
    Scorpene 05 assy – 2037 to 2039
    Scorpene 06 assy – 2038 to 2040

    MMHE Pasir Gudang
    STM Fleet tanker – 2026-2030 (1 unit)
    STM Fleet tanker – 2031-2035 (1 unit)

    AMIM shipyards all over malaysia – PETRONAS Project Safina
    LMS-X – 2025-2030 (24 units)

    This does not include ships to be build for APMM.

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