Mig-29N and the Middlemen Mafia

[singlepic id=26 w=320 h=240 float=left]KUALA LUMPUR: Contrary to the statements by the Defence Minister recently that RMAF Fuclrums will be retired soon, these jets are expected to remain in service for at least another two years. In fact, the PAT in his Armed Forces Day interview told the press that RMAF is conducting a mid-life review of the fleet. The service lives of these Fulcrums could be extended further, Malaysian Defence is informed, if the Government funded their SLEP which will see them flying at least until 2017.

So why is the Fulcrum being targeted for retirement when it remained serviceable? Its the high cost of maintenance as mentioned in our earlier postings. But there is more too that.

The high cost of maintainance has nothing to do with the Russian archaic logistics system (well it may affect it to some degree) but apparently the real culprit lies squarely on the New Economic Policy, which mandated that government procurement must be done via Bumiputera companies.

So the powers-that-be mandated that several companies, duly registered with the Ministry of Finance, are selected as the panel of spares and parts provider for the Fulcrum fleet. The system is also mandatory for other Armed Forces (government) equipment apart from those arms purchased from the United States. So whenever the air force or its maintainance provider, ATSC, need spares or parts/ stuff to keep these planes flying, they have to order them from the panel of companies, which in turn, buy them from the Russians or God knows whom.

So what does these middlemen in turn do to the Armed Forces? Instead of being grateful, they, of course, does the opposite, making sure the cost of spares and parts to be exorbitantly high, thus ensuring the maintainance of the Fulcrums to be a costly affair. Coupled with other dirty tactics to ensure maximum profits, RMAF Fulcrum fleet has turned into a maintainance black hole.

Thats the reason, Kementah wanted to kill off the Fulcrums. Good riddance they say. Forgetting of course, there are many other equipment in the Armed Forces which spares and parts are dependent on the Mafia. Flankers, Scorpene, A109s, Nuri…welll the list goes on…..

Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2149 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Dear Malaysian Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister,

    In this time where malaysian people’s freedom and independence is being threatened by neighbours who are hell bent on crushing malaysia and won’t listen to any of our explanations, please for once put the interest of malaysia ahead of you and your cronies pockets. Please show to the people that you will buy and maintain equipment for the malaysian army, navy and airforce with the intent of maximising the value of the rakyats money to make sure that our freedom and independence will be securely defended. Please get rid of all this middlemen so that it wont compromise our national security.

  2. The same country who was against the formation of Malaysia and for the past 50 years has viewed Malaysia as an upstart in ASEAN. the same country who in the past has received aid numerous time from Malaysia

  3. In many other countries, either the media, members of parliment or opposition would have asked when the capability gap created by the retirement of the Fulcrums would be filled… unfortunatly not here. Whilst the retirement of the Fulcrums would leave the RMAF seriously short of fighters should the ‘balloon go up’, I think in the long run, the logistical and training benefits pay off. About the ‘middlemen’, no surprises there..

  4. Dear Marhalim,
    According to a report on September 16th, the commander in chief of the armed forces said that there will be the following in the 10th MP for the armed forces=

    1. 1 8×8 APC Regiment for the Army
    2. Attack Helicopter for the Air Force
    3. New SHORAD missile to replace the aging Starbust missile
    4. The 2nd Batch Frigate for the Navy

    Marhalim: I know but its the just wish list of the armed forces. As I mentioned before they could put in including the kitchen sink in their Malaysian Plan but whether or not it will be funded by the government is another issue. I will post a more complete wish list at a later date….

  5. 1. So we get yet another vehicle type to add to our logistical headache. What about the other Regiments?
    2. Why? Completely stupid to assign these to the Air Force. With this dough, you can raise a Nightstalkers style Special Operations chopper outfit. 10 times as useful, tapi tak glamour…
    3. Aaa…sudah ada Igla, Anza, FN-6. Enemy pilots all keliru what is coming at them when they hear the MLWR going. Just buy a SAM simulator rocket for a fraction of the money and achieve the same deterrent effect. In fact you can even issue them to the line infantry.
    Remember, the MLWR detects the exhaust plume from the rocket motor.
    4. Which 2 ships have the maximum mission tasking in the RMN? Mahawangsa & Inderasakti. Why? Because semua boleh buat…. flex before Stanflex. Lesson? We don’t learn anything from our own experience.

    Marhalim: I will post the wish list which is more than the list provided. The MANPADs requirement is necessary as the stocks on hand will be time-expired soon,…No attack helicopters just the Cougar on their mind…….

  6. MiG-29N ->MiG-29 SMT?

    Marhalim: Mig-29N is our designation of the Fulcrum. Ours if I am not wrong is designated by the Russian as Mig-29SE

  7. 2 items that for me is just a short term “want” than a “need”. The APC’s and frigates.

    APC’s – why we need to replace the condor’s? Because it cant windstand RPG’s? Because it is prone to roll over during steep hill decends? Even most MBT’s can be penetrated by RPG’s, AFAIK no APC’s, wheeled or tracked can windstand an RPG attack. As for the rollover thingy, just teach the drivers proper 4×4 technics, no braking druring hill decent, low gears etc etc. As for the “oldness” of the condor, the drivetrain and most spareparts of the condor is similar to the normal commercial mercedes benz trucks. So no bull about no parts, obsolete etc etc. A low cost refurbish and upgrades of the condor IMO is all we need + additional topups of adnan MIFV’s (we still got a lot of muddy/soft terrain like paddy fields, swamps that cannot be transversed by wheeled vehicles, no matter that the western latest trend of everything wheeled these days)
    400+ condors and 600+ KIFV/Adnan is i think an ideal ratio.

    As for the frigates, i think it is a more urgent need for a MPCCS ala Absalon class for the navy. And more littoral boats like the CB90’s, a few more modern FAC’s.

  8. In the end, these “mafia” will get to be unscrupulous and source for a/c parts from unverified sources to maximise profits and endanger the lives of valuable pilots! The system has got be fixed and make sure spares support for at least 15 years comes from original manufacturer with fixed list prices.
    I am sure it can be achieved if you bargain government to governtment. Mindef should set up a sta board like the Swiss Armasuisse or Singapore’s DSO to perform this function. I am sure the country is gifted with enough intelligent people to staff and execute.

  9. The list is long butthe availability of funds and the political will is lacking. The RMN has a long standing requirement for an LPD. Najib said some time ago that either 1 0r 2 would be bought depending on funds [no surprises here]. Instead of contracting a European shipyard, a South Korean shipyard could deliver an LPD for a fraction of the cost and much faster too. Gone are thedays when South Korean shpyards were known for their badly built ships. Attack helis should be at the very bottom of the list…

  10. The Iglas and Anza’s should still have a lot of life left. The army recently bought an Anza field test kit. Many guerilla and terrorist groups have been able to continue using their older generation MANPADS like Strela, etc, is because the OEM batteries were replaced bycommercial ones. Is our Anza the Mk1 or Mk2?

    Marhalim: By the time, the Treasury finally released the money, all of our ordnance would have expired…its supposed to be the Mk2 version but I have not personally seen the manufacturer markings….

  11. To…. its is possible to up armour an APC to withstand RPG hits. The only problem is that it will be almost as heavy as an MBT, like the Israeli Namur and Azcharit. I disagree about upgrading the Condor, it should be retired. The Condors that are in the best condition should perhaps be handed over to the Border Regiment or TA units. Just as importantly, the army should change its mindset with regards to preventive maintenance. For an army that’s not in combat, it sure has a lot of Condors, Sibmas’s and Pinzgauers in scrapyards.

    Marhalim: Lack of training is the main reason why a lot of armed forces vehicles ended up in the scrap yards. Even an MBTs and those up-armoured Israeli tracked vehicles can be disabled by a single RPG shot if one is daring enough to wait for it to drive by and it shoot it at the tracks or engine compartment.

  12. Thats right Maharlim, but their survival chances are much higher due to their heavy armour. Contrary to what is written in the latest Tempur, most of the Merkavas knocked out and badly damaged were older models, not the Merkava 4. And a lot of the write offs were due to IEDs not missiles. The fact remains that most were badly damaged with their crews surviving. Now compare that to the crew loss rates of Russian AFVs in Georgia and Chechnya.

    Marhalim: A damaged tank or APC is considered a kill nonetheless.

  13. Actually the namur and azcharit is MBT’s converted to APC’s. Even the mighty Abrams can be penetrated by RPG’s, i dont think even modern APC’s like the Stryker withstand RPG’s. Most APC’s can only withstand hits of 30cal or 50cal bullets the most. If slat armor is used, it might, just might save the APC from harm…

    I have not seen condors in scrapyards yet as i am a keen scrappie hunter myself, but there are a few sibmases around. As i said, the Condor is one of the 1st APC’s to use COTS systems for the drive-train, and im sure the condor can still be useful and cheaper than to buy a new APC outright if maintained properly.

    Marhalim: Yes its cheaper to refurbish the Condor but what I gathered after the Somalia mission, they wanted to retire the Condor ASAP as it was really unstable in rough terrain. Some soldiers died in Somalia and Bosnia when their Condors tipped over.

  14. There is nothing wrong with the Condor… its cheap to buy and operate [on paper] and its perfect for counter insurgency or low intensity work. Thats why I believe the best option would be to hand some Condors over to the Border Regiment or TA units.The problem is when people start shooting at it with anything larger than 7.62mm. All MBTs can be penetrated by RPGs in certain areas, but it takes multiple hits. A Challenger in Basra was hit by about 30 RPGs but was not penetrated. Due to their heavy armour only Western tanks are able to take such punishment. On the other hand a single RPG would penetrate certain areas of a T-90 or
    PT-91 with ease. Of course due to our operating enviroment I’m not advocating we operate MBT in the same weight class but with bar armour and and a very expensive APS, the PT-91 can be given better protection. Most wheeled APCs today can be penetrated by 12.7mm and even armoured piercing 7.62mm rounds.

    I agree Marhalim, a damaged tank is a kill but with better protection the survival rates of their crews are much higher.

  15. remember challenger status in royal dragoon guards. those news about their so called invincible challenger,merkava4&m1a1 aim/ m1a2 abrams is just b western propaganda. STOP being ARMCHAIR GENERAL. do you think by just reading a blog+western propaganda you can mobilize+command entire army regiment………they know what they do…………………………………….. thanksssss

  16. Sad because the MiGs were of high performance and it is second to none in close combat scenario. Being a former Mig 29 pilot, we would haave a bigger pool of MiG 29 combat ready pilots if we were able to maintain a high percentage of serviceability. However it is sad to see the vision of Tun Dr Mahathir to have our aviation industry evolve not becoming a reality. Agree with your comments

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