More Cuts, This Time The Army…

KUALA LUMPUR: The economic crisis has again found another victim. Although it was the reason given, every one in the industry had for months knew that the wheeled armoured vehicle programme had floundered when it was announced that the Ninth Malaysian Plan budget was under review. The announcement today only confirmed the long-held belief albeit with a much better excuse.

Anyhow, on the issue of body armour, although the army chief says that an allocation has been made for the equipment, the fact that soldiers patrolling our borders not so equipped made his argument elementary. Of course those on UN duties are equipped with body armour…

Purchase Of New Armoured Vehicles Postponed Due To Economic Crisis

PORT DICKSON, Nov 7 (Bernama) — The global economic crisis has forced the replacement of the Malaysian army’s Condor and Sibmas armoured vehicles with new ones to be postponed to the Tenth Malaysia Plan.

Army chief General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin said the vehicles, used since the 1980’s, were no longer economical for refurbishment as they were too old.

“I have already issued a directive….however, we can still bring these armoured vehicles to the level of operational readiness up to a certain year,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the army college complex at the Segenting Camp, here, today.

Under that directive, only some of the 184 six-wheel-drive Sibmas armoured vehicles and 460 four-wheel-drive Condor vehicles will be refurbished while the rest will be turned into spare parts.

The army plans to replace these vehicles with new 8×8 armoured vehicles.

The purchase of the Sibmas armoured vehicles under the PERISTA programme had been controversial then because their usage as support artillery vehicles was found to be not that practical.

Malaysia is the only country using the Belgium-made Sibmas.

The Condor, meanwhile, is found to be increasingly unsuitable in today’s modern war as the armour is thin and will not be able to withstand the RPG rockets as what happened during the armed conflict in Bakaara, Somalia in October 1993. In that incident at the Bakaara marketplace, a number of Malaysia’s Condor vehicles were destroyed and one of the drivers killed.

On an article which has appeared in a defence journal which says that the Malaysian army has not equipped its infantry soldiers with bullet-proof jackets, which is a standard requirement, Muhammad Ismail said:

“The allegation is unfounded as the logistics division had made an allocation for the purchase of suitable body protective wear for our soldiers.

“For security reasons, we cannot disclose what kind of bullet-proof jackets we are purchasing but definitely of no lesser quality than the 3A type (able to stop ammunition of 9mm calibre and shots from small arms).

He said for now, not all units were supplied with the protective jackets but only given to the combat troops and those serving under the United Nations peacekeeping forces like in Lebanon.

— BERNAMA

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1729 Articles
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14 Comments

  1. what the heck is going on!again to cut the budget in our military!this is worse than what happen during 1998 economic crisis.our gov just increase budget on project that can give $$$ to that damn cronies.we should give more attention to our defense sector when our economic turn worse.since,our armed force are not really operate at the optimum level.we must increase our security level because this is the weakest time for country.look,other country don touch at all their military budget.some of the country increase their military budget.i think our people in the cabinet have gone crazy.our generals should bring any military project planning through the parliament like what happen in armed forces of Taiwan.so the political party won’t have any chance to take advantage in the project.

    Marhalim: Taiwan is not a good example. Its major procurement budget was stuck for almost ten years due to politics. One good example is the Aussies. The only complaint the opposition had was that the defence budget was not enough for the capabilities outlined in its White Paper. The opposition which was voted into power late last year had increase the defence budget and a new white paper is coming out next year outlining future needs and capabilities meaning more dollars for the budget. Whether or not they can find the money to pay for it during this economic crisis is another story….

  2. This what you got for deferring the project when the money was available. When the money was available to replace the Sibmas and Condor, they instead bought the PT91M!

  3. and the stuff price we purchase also annoying.take a look.
    the price for 1 Leopard 2 is cheaper than PT91M and almost with the price of our ACV.
    i think our generals only know how to purchase and spend the money.but didn’t know how to budget the money.since that,the budget position with take by our political party and cronies.so this thing have make our armed forces become worse and week.

    http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product308.html?PHPSESSID=49961
    http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product179.html?PHPSESSID=49961
    http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1645.html?PHPSESSID=49961

    Marhalim: The cheaper price of the Leo 2 is because it is second hand German stock and due to the larger numbers. One cannot simply blame our generals as they do not have the full authority on procurement especially things like MBTs, ships and planes. It lies with their political masters….

  4. In my opinion, the government takes such a long time to choose, evaluate and purchase military equipment by the time procurement were made (if ever) either the country is in economic crisis or worse, newer and better choice of equipment is available. For example, the choice of M4 is ironic when we could get our hands on the Steyr AUG3, but again, there were issues with Manlicher and our policy makers. Fine, some soldiers prefer M16 to Steyr but why M4 when there are the quality HK416, G36, Sig552.
    Back to the deferment of our miltary budget, it is expected. I think we have no direction and we were often laughed at by others and we were often referred as rag tag Army due the choices of weapons made by MINDEF (dictated by political masters)

    My advice to those responsible for development and armaments selection MAF, learn from our southern neighbour. I am proud of MAF but for the good of MAF and this country, we should learn from them. Defence should be made priority and we should brand our Armed Forces. When there’s awareness in the need to defend this country, money is no barrier.There would be more understanding in the nature of war fighting capabilities of MAF and there would be less objections and less misconception.

    But MAF should start from now and in the next 5 years, people will see the MAF from a better perspective and our future general would be in a better position to make any judgement pertaining defence equipment and our future leader won’t stand in their way because only soldiers knows what’s best for them, not the politician.

  5. athrun zala..

    The sad fact about the Leopards are that not only are they cheaper, they also offer much improve armour protection. The PT-91 has the same baseline protection as the standard T-72M1. As for the ERAWA, it is unknown if the army conducted any tests to see if the ERAWA is more effective than KONTAKT 5. Though protected by ERAWA, the PT-91 still remains highly vulnerable at the rear, side and turret top. The rear sides of the PT-91 are only protected by the stowage racks, and like the rear, would be easily penetrated by 25mm sabot or RPGs. The main problem with Soviet designed MBTs, is where the ammo is located… As proven in Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya and most recently Georgia. The good news though is that the PT-91 has an excellent first shot hit probability thanks to the Savan FCS. Whether or not the army receives the the right 125mm ammo is another question…

    Marhalim, I’ve read somewhere that the PT-91s were made from existing hulls, already available at Bumar’s factory. Have you heard this?

    Marhalim: I ve heard rumours about this years ago when they first announced the purchase of the PT-91s. The rumour was that Bumar would used hulls meant for the Polish Army, which had to stop buying the tanks as the government had decided to use second hand Leo 2s given as gifts from the Germans. I did asked Najib on this issue during the PC after the contract was signed. He said they were aware of the issue and they have people (I assume from the army) that will ensure that the tanks will be newly-built. The rumours I suppose persisted to this day and I cannot deny them completely unless we are purview to the factory’s books. And I sincerely hope that the PT-91 project team was a complete team.

    I am not too sure whether the FCS will guarantee 100 per cent hit in the heat of battle. The most important thing is of course, training. Since with the budget cuts we cannot afford to purchase the gunnery simulators (was included in the procurement programme but was cut in the budget, due to financial constraints) at this point, I wonder whether our gunners will be able to fully utilise the FCS without expanding expensive rounds through live firings. During the demonstration at the Gemas camp early this year, the sole PT-91 which fired its main gun, needed a second round to hit its targets about 3km away. The tank was stationary for at least five minutes before its “On The Way!

  6. Heres the major reason why we signed for the A400M. With this new deal, I doubt they will cancelled the deal even though the planes would probably be in service the latest 2015…

    CTRM Secures Additional Contract For Airbus A380 Aircraft

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 (Bernama) — Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM) through its subsidiary, CTRM Aero Composites Sdn Bhd, has sealed an agreement with Germany’s EADS Deutschland GmbH, Augsburg site.

    The new contract is to manufacture and supply the Inboard Inner Fixed Leading Edge (IIFLE) D-Nose CFC Lower Panel composites aero structures for the Airbus A380 aircraft, CTRM said in a statement.

    The company said the first delivery of the IIFLE D-Nose CFC Lower Panel for the Airbus A380 is expected by middle of 2009.

    CTRM chief executive officer Datuk Rosdi Mahmud said EADS Deutschland GmbH was a new addition to the company’s list of reputable partners in the aero structures industry.

    “This is the first contract and the first working programme awarded by them to us. We feel honoured to be recognised as a partner for such an established company,” he said.

    CTRM said the new contract is expected to boost the projected revenue for the company from 2009 onwards.

    The contract is for the life of the aircraft and the projected value of the contract up until 2015 is estimated at RM100 million, it added.

  7. I’m also concerned about the contract awarded to PRENTIS [Bosnia] for 125 ammo. Like many other companies, PRENTIS produces standard HE and illumination rounds but does it have the technology to produce a 125mm sabot? From what little I know about the subject, only China, Russia, Israel and some ex-Warsaw Pact countries make 125mm sabot.

    Marhalim,

    I know i’ve mentioned it before but I feel that the statements made by a certain opposition member regarding the Nuri replacement reveals total ignorance. He seems to think that the Nuri should be operated for another 20 years, when the Nuri fleet reaches almost 60 years in service! Instead of relalising that the replacement of the Nuri will be an important national asset and will provide a very important peacetime service to the rakyat, he made statements just for political milage. He seems unaware that the version of the Hip offered, has no auto-pilot, a shorter MTBF for the engines, plus the current lack of support infrastucture to support it. Then again, the government also made a poor and late attempt to explain why the Cougar was selected.

    Marhalim: Yes, ignorance seemed to run a full circle. Your explaination not only covered the Hips but also the PT-91, Sukhoi and Mig-29s. Initial costs maybe cheaper but higher long term operating costs will negate the short-term gains and they will never fully satisfied our Westernised standards and procedures. The Sukhois only met the MRCA with the addition of the French made avionics.

  8. Now I know Marhalim just a DAP fanatic. Wasting my time to put comment in his blog.

    Marhalim: I am not a fanatic on anything apart from my family and country, certainly not any political parties or leaders. As I had mentioned before both sides of our political divide are oblivious to our defence needs apart from narrow self interests.

  9. Getting airbus contract worh only 100mil for 6 years in exchange of wasting billions on 4 cargo planes. Is it worth it?

    Marhalim: There are other contracts from airbus too. On whether or not this is a good return of investment, it depends on who you talk to, for the government it is since this is supposed to be a high-technology sector, it is therefore a “National Interest”. Does it bring any benefit to the armed forces? At the moment, zero but I need to check back on this when the planes finally get here. To be honest, since technically we have not start paying EADS just yet for the planes, if the A400M programme should be cancelled due to the current economic crisis, at least we will get the last laugh.

  10. why not we just cut down our minister salary and their damn bonus,i am sure they got a lot of bonus we didn’t because it’s not exposed to the public.minister just seat at the bloody chair and just GOYANG KAKI,but army fight in the war and doing everything in the field,our minister just turun padang once in the blue moon to gain popularity.every political party in our country should have the defense adviser.

  11. Whether or not Marhalim is a DAP or an UMNO fanatic is totally irrelevant.

    As far as national defence is concerned, lets hope things improve.

    We should all thank Marhalim for the time and effort he has put in creating and mantaining this blog.

  12. All decisions made in Kementah since Independence have been under the same government. Good and bad (IMO we are getting worse FWIW), there’s no way to pass the buck. The closest is perhaps the tenure of Anwar as DPM and MoF. I find the suggestion that Marhalim is a DAPista to be quite hilarious, even if he’s deficient in the ball carrying/bodek department. No doubt there’s a ‘group think’ defence board where folks swear to crush the insolent legions of godless barbarians poised to invade Malaysia, hence the need for a MBTs, MRLs and other ‘feel big’ toys.

    The whole PT-91M main gun/ammo/FCS was/is an enormous fiasco. It’s hardly surprising given the circumstances in which the deal was closed. The FCS is only as accurate as the gun/ammo and only if has been zeroed. The delay in sending the second round down range shows a lack of familiarity on the part of the crew since you can shoot ‘Kentucky windage’ by spotting fall of shot. This is how it was done in the old days. Instead they tried to rezero the FCS to try and get POA/POI, they could have just held off/over and reengaged. US tankers do it with a museum piece FCS on the M1A1 in comparison…….. If they shoot as many rounds as the SIBMAS per year, they’re screwed……

  13. Bosnian ammo…..*sigh*

    Simon

    Marhalim: My sentiments too, you spent millions to buy tanks but buy the cheapest munition….

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