More Intrigues For MACC

Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II and Royal Malaysian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKM, F/A-18D Hornet and Hawk MK108 aircraft in a five ship formation over RMAF Butterworth Air Base, Malaysia during Exercise Elangaroo 22.

SHAH ALAM: Two days ago, Malaysian Defence reported that the MACC was investigating the FLIT/LCA
tender process over alleged impropriety and that a caretaker government has no right to negotiate contracts. And it appears that the negotiations, were not limited to the FLIT/LCA tender but also for both the MPA and MALE-UAS programmes, it was learnt.

On October 9, Senior Minister for Defence, DS Hishammuddin Hussein, tweeted that the Government had agreed to offers for the MPA and MALE-UAS programmes.

TAI Anka UAV on finals. TAI

The Parliament was dissolved 24 hours later, prompting many observers to suggest that the Minister’s tweet was politically motivated. The following day (October 11), Malaysian Defence reported that the Ministry of Defence had initiated negotiations with Leonardo to buy the world’s slowest
MPA.
Leonardo ATR 72 MPA. Leonardo

Contacts within the MPA Technical Committee have confirmed that a Letter of Agreement (LOA) was negotiated between October 11 and October 25 while parliament was dissolved. It will be most interesting to see who signed the LOA.
C295 MPA launching torpedo. Airbus

As Malaysian Defence reported at the time, the selected MPA has a maximum speed that does not meet the minimum requirements and is slower than the RMAF’s current MPA’s. Malaysian Defence has learnt that during the period of the MPA negotiations were taking place, Leonardo’s own government, Italy, put its fleet of ATR MPA’s on the market for $10M per aircraft. This is highly unusual. Does it has something to do with the speed of the ATR?
Beechcraft 200T King Air M41-03 pictured taking off from Subang on Dec. 19. This was the same aircraft which crash on Dec. 21. The crash placed the MPA requirement back into the funding cycle.

Irrespective of the outcome of the MACC’s investigations, we need to hold our next government to a much higher standard. The expectation is that the next government will scrutinize the decisions of the shenanigans of the old government especially on defence matters. Upon swearing in, our new parliament should immediately cancel all LOA’s; LOIs and contracts, cease any and all ongoing negotiations, and initiate a formal review of the FLIT/LCA, MPA and MALE-UAS programmes.
AVIC Wing Loong II mockup with the ordnance cleared for it displayed at LIMA 2019.

There was a time when I hoped that the transparency that had been prompted by the LCS scandal would ensure that the decision makers at the defence and finance ministries were focused on the most
optimum use of taxpayer money. Watching the old guard stumble from one scandal to another
does little for one’s confidence.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1720 Articles
Shah Alam

25 Comments

  1. Pemilihan MPA ATR 72 pun selesai mengikut spesifikasi TUDM disebabkan pesawat ini tak perlu laju..sistem mission management pun mmg sgt canggih..sparepart pun senang carik..sebab airline kita banyak pakai ATR..TUDM akan hantar pilot2 ke itali bulan februari tahun depan 2023..ATR 72 MPA mmg dah sgt ikut spesifikasi TUDM

    Berkenaan dengan Anka pula..pun sama ikut spesifikasi TUDM..TUDM sgt berpuas hati..

    Kedua-dua perkara ini telah pun dah beri LOA kepada OEM sebelum parlimen dissolved..

    Semua perkara ni saya diberitahu oleh abang ipar saya yang bekerja dengan TUDM dan dia salah seorang yang akan ke itali..

  2. Berkenaan ttg pemilihan FLIT-LCA..pihak TUDM sebagai end user telah memilih FA-50 block 20 korea utk LCA kita..spesifikasi dan enjin sama macam FA-18 Hornet kita..missile2 yang ada dlm inventory TUDM pun boleh dipasangkan pada Fa-50 ini..TUDM technical dan pilot sangat berpuas hati dengan Fa-50..

    Disebabkan oleh satu petender/bidder ni x puas hati..so beliau report ke SPRM..biasalah siapa x nak tender berbiliion kan..mesti ada yang x puas hati kenapa x dia dapat..tapi final report kata dlm report teknikal..TUDM pilih Fa-50 korea..full stop..

    Sekarang hanya tunggu keputusan Kementerian Kewangan..

  3. I’m sure that RMAF would be much happier with predators b then Anka. Predators come out of the boxes with ASW capabilities while as mentioned by the last dep menhan, those capabilities would only be available for the anka next RMK

    But the Turks lower price point & commitment to build it here would solve the future potential political interference for a ‘reset’ allowing it to acquired more UAV in future RMK giving them the numbers & asset rationalisation they need while also contributing the the nation economy, employment & industry.

    RMAF are going for a win-win rather my way or the highway zero sum games.

  4. Marhalim – “The Parliament was dissolved 24 hours later, prompting many observers to suggest that the Minister’s tweet was politically motivated”

    I don’t understand what Hishamuddin could have gained politically. Rare would have been a voter who would have voted based on the government’s handling of defence issues. As it is throughout the campaigning period defence was hardly even mentioned by any one side for the reason that it doesn’t resonate with the average voter.

    Marhalim – ” Upon swearing in, our new parliament should immediately cancel all LOA’s; LOIs and contracts, cease any and all ongoing negotiations, and initiate a formal review of the FLIT/LCA, MPA and MALE-UAS programmes”

    Yes but the problem is that defence won’t be a priority. Together with the usual bureaucratic process which moves at a snails place; the government will have other priorities.

    If any BN people occupy senior positions aperhaps part of a unity government perhaps things might move faster than it would if it was a cabinet of totally new faces. As a journalist [he knows you personally from the Malay Mail days] told me; it’s not totally inconceivable that Hishammudin might return if BN teams up with PH.

    Will a PH government try to fix the big mess which is our defence policy and will Anwar see the value in buying more American stuff? Or will it be politically expedient to stay the course with regards to national national interests and spoon feeding the industry at the expense of the armed services and taxpayer – after all the defence has long been part of the system of patronage.

  5. Marhalim, kalau kapal terbang MPA nak pergi ronda-ronda, saya ingat kelajuan maximum tak penting, IMHO. The CN 295 has about the same speed too. If they are to be based in Kuantan, they are right by the South China Sea already.

  6. I don’t think we are going to see several more rounds of ‘investigations of impropriety’ for the MALE UAV, MPA and FLIT/LCA buys. It has consumed too much effort on the part of the government and the expectations of the public is high. Better not dent it to appease some dumb accountant type from PH or PN!

  7. If Italy is selling theirs for just $10million per aircraft, and if it really meets the requirements of RMAF, why not just get those instead? Why need to buy new? This is MB339 2.0 waiting to happen.

    ANKA? seriously why anyone even interested in this except if it is due to political interest? Everybody and their grandmother is going to Bayraktar and malaysia are the only few that is interested on the ANKA.

    Also please take a look at the 155mm SPH direct nego directive.

  8. Speed is not the main issue with maritime. Infact holding pattern speed is also a requirement they require an aircraft able to do holding pattern at 140knots to do surveillance. Another is commonality with existing vendors.

    The ATR-72 is already in use by MASWings Firefly Malindo infact some of tech crew on those airlines are even ex RMAF. Another thing needed to note the q400 is quicker, agile and tougher but that aircrafts fuel burn rivals the King Air support side from Bombardier and now likely Dehaviland for ASEAN is rather lackluster. MAS own internal study for the fokker 50 replacement finds the operation cost of the q400 to be nearly identical the b737-400 the Atr72 was chosen in the end in 2005.

    If cost is not an issue the q400 can be considered. The newer King air with maritime configuration installed is notorious for CG imbalance that provides a minor nuisance to the pilots.

  9. Zaft – “Predators come out of the boxes with ASW capabilities while as mentioned by the last dep menhan, those capabilities would only be available for the anka next RMK;

    He referred to EW payloads not ASW capabilities. BTW we were offered the Sea Guardian which is a Reaper variant. We never exceeded an interest or were offered Predator. I

    Kakadu – “Everybody and their grandmother is going to Bayraktar and malaysia are the only few that is interested on the ANKA”

    The “everybody and their grandmother”
    have/had a requirement for a tacticsl/operational level strike UAS; we have a requirement for a UAS to perform ISR – two different things for different requirements. Look it up.

    The TBs does not have the lift capacity to carry the payloads needed for ISR and if you look at Turkish operations in Syria: both complement not do away with the need for each other – Anka detecting the targets and passing the info to the TB2 for the targets to be striked.

  10. @kakadu

    ASW operations is a multi platform operations utilizing surface, subsurface & air (both helo & plane) either to sunk an enemies submarine or create an invisible wall so the submarine can’t perform it intended objective. TB2 is too small to install a ASW equipment.

    If the objective is observation & target acquisition then TB2 unlike the Anka do not have radar, relying on visual for target acquisition. Ship aren’t tank. It’s a floating mobile fort with capable AD system. It’s unlikely you are going to sink it with a small Lazer guides missiles carried by slow, non stealth UAV.

    TB2 is more or less an unmanned version of a super tucano. It can do what a super tucano could do and wouldn’t be able to do what a super tucano couldn’t.

    Personally if we ever get a tb2 it would likely to perform border surveillance operations

  11. Jatun,

    Which King air? 350? 250? with what hardware? Heavy rotating radars? lightweight AESA non-rotating radars?

    Azlan, Zaft,

    Bayraktar as a family of system. Bayraktar TB2, Bayraktar Akinci, Bayraktar Kızılelma. When you are used to the interface, to the technicality, to the operating systems of them. Learning from real world experiences of various scenarios of multiple users. Starting with the TB2, having more than a dozen would not affect operations if RMAF do crash a handful. Heavy rains, thunderstorms will have negative effects on UAV operations, and can lead to crashes. Malaysian weather can turn nasty in just a few hours, when those UAV must be airborne for more than 24 hours.

  12. Zaft – “TB2 is too small to install a ASW equipment”

    It doesn’t have the lift capacity for various payloads needed for ISR which is why it was not offered to us and we never considered it. The requirement is for a ISR platform not a strike platform but this doesn’t stop various people from still harping on the “we should get TB2s” theme.

    Also we need Anka to perform the ISR role; not ASW. ASW which you brought up was never part of the equation.

    Zaft – “. It’s unlikely you are going to sink it with a small Lazer guides missiles carried by slow, non stealth UAV.”

    Rather than generalising consider the circumstances. Is the target alerted?Is it armed with something which can deal with a threat emitting a low IR and RCS signature? Is there jamming at play?

    Zaft – “Personally if we ever get a tb2 it would likely to perform border surveillance operations”

    Not necessarily.. The TB2 is a strike platform so why on earth would we buy it if the requirement was for a tactical ISR platform ” to perform border surveillance operations” [to quote you].

  13. Kakadu – “Bayraktar as a family of system”

    Let’s keep it simple. You like others have a hard on/penchant for the TB2. Great but ultimately [as I’ve pointed out many times to you and others] the requirement is for a ISR platform not a tactical strike platform : period/full stop. It is what it is. The TB2 does not have the lift capacity to carry all the payloads needed for ISR or the endurance. Again, look at how the Turks employ both types; in a complementary manner …

    Kakadu – “Starting with the TB2, having more than a dozen would not affect operations if RMAF do crash a handful. Heavy rains, thunderstorms will have negative effects on UAV operations, and can lead to crashes. Malaysian weather can turn nasty in just a few hours, when those UAV must be airborne for more than 24 hours”

    Yes but so? Even a 7,000 tonne frigate is vulnerable to a mine and will struggle in certain Sea Stares. Even a F-22 might struggle in certain adverse conditions. So? What is the logic behind your reasoning? Are you suggesting a UAS Will not be able to operate say 50-60 percent of the time due to adverse weather?

    Everything has a role to play and various assets supplement each other. If indeed there are occasions where a UAS can’t fly; then it can’t be avoided. Doesn’t mean it’s a major prohibiting factor…..

  14. “The TB2 is a strike platform so why on earth would we buy it if the requirement was for a tactical ISR platform ” to perform border surveillance operations”

    Why not?

    CG from Japan (seaguardian) to Europe(heron) are using military grade MALE for borders surveillance. And RMAF do have another UAV program in the definition stage. I won’t be surprised if tb2 or 3 is bought to complement the Anka.

    “Also we need Anka to perform the ISR role; not ASW. ASW which you brought up was never part of the equation.”

    Thought it was part of the equation & seaguardian was the leading contender until mat Sabu trip to Istanbul. No?

  15. The Sea Guardian was supposed to be a contender, but the Anka was always the favourite as Deftech had done their job marketing it sjnce 2014. If not for GE14, it would have been bought directly without any tender. Mat Sabu was in fact instrumental in making sure the Sea Guardian not offered for the UAS tender due to his overtures to…
    Didn’t you read my earlier posts?

  16. “should immediately cancel all LOA’s; LOIs and contracts”
    This no doubt they will do, problem is they will have nothing as replacement (see M109). Then we are left with… nothing.

    Well at least we’re not at war with anyone right? So no need to buy eh?

  17. Zaft – “Why not?””

    I’ll tell you. Nobody buy TB2s specifically “to perform border surveillance operations”. It’s a strike platform. If the requirement is for a platform “to perform border surveillance operations” there will be other choices and intended specifically for ISR.

    Zaft – “I won’t be surprised if tb2 or 3 is bought to complement the Anka”

    Think… The TB2 will complement Anka if there is a requirement for an unmanned strike role. If not; it won’t be bought. Simple. It’s not a purpose designed ISR platform.

    Zaft -“No?”

    It’s not hard to stick to the narrative. We want an ISR platform; not one to be used for ASW or the strike role. The former Deputy Defence Minister spoke of EW payloads being added at a later date; not a ASW capability.

  18. “I’ll tell you. Nobody buy TB2s specifically “to perform border surveillance operations”. It’s a strike platform. If the requirement is for a platform “to perform border surveillance operations”

    Do we really need to put the full technical jurgon every single time? Ok then I try my best. It is to perform borders surveillance as well as other things including strike & isr but not limited to it by itself or with other asset.

    “It’s not hard to stick to the narrative. We want an ISR platform; not one to be used for ASW or the strike role. The former Deputy Defence Minister spoke of EW payloads being added at a later date; not a ASW capability”

    So you are at the opinion that no ASW capabilities would be added EVER? If that so I would have to disagree.

    MY is unlikely to go for a defend ourselves by ourselves approach. It has a network of informal allies & partnership and as such the ability to interoperability & interchangeability with other military is important.

    Thus the Anka need to be as capable as sea guardian & Hermes.

  19. Zaft – “Ok then I try my best”

    Continue trying instead of making some of the claims you do…

    Zaft – “. It is to perform borders surveillance as well as other things including strike & isr but not limited to it by itself or with other asset”

    You’re backtracking because that’s not what you said earlier. Nobody buys a TB2 for border surveillance.. Just like nobody buys a Leo 2A4 for internal security.

    Also the Deputy Defence Minister spoke of EW payloads not a ASW capability which at present we have no requirement for …

    Zaft – “So you are at the opinion that no ASW capabilities would be added EVER?”

    Silly. READ what I said instead of obfuscating and spinning things. I clearly said in unequivocal
    easy to understand language that the current requirement is for a ISR platform NOT one with a ASW capability. This is different to you now saying that ” “So you are at the opinion that no ASW capabilities would be added EVER?”. At least stick to the script if meaningful discussion is your aim.

    If you bother to look; many months ago I had already discussed the great potential offered by unmanned ASW platforms as a supplement to manned ones..

    Zaft – “MY is unlikely to go for a defend ourselves by ourselves approach”

    So? How is this germane to the topic? Who you preaching to? Why don’t you start preaching about Weimer Republic efforts to combat inflation whilst you’re at it or the raid on Makin?

    Zaft – “Thus the Anka need to be as capable as sea guardian & Hermes”

    Two things.

    – The cheaper Anka can never be as
    “capable as sea guardian & Hermes” [at least not on a platform basis]; both of which are more expensive and contain certain features not inherent it Anka. If you bother to ask TAI people; as I have; they make no claims that Anka provides 100 percent of the performance as much higher end systems
    – You are looking at things from a platform level because the overall efficacy of a UAS is measured in how it’s deployed; with what enablers; under what level of C3; etc, etc.

  20. “READ what I said instead of obfuscating and spinning things. I clearly said in unequivocal easy to understand language that the current requirement is for a ISR platform NOT one with a ASW capability. ”

    Chill out bro.

    We are not writing a formal purchasing contract which put us in a legally binding obligations nor the stake are so high that Winning argument here would change anything as of we are speaking in parliament nor everyone here is a military officers care enough for extreme finer details.

    Most of people here talk base on their capacity as citizens,voters & taxpayers. Overall we couldn’t care less about technicality, what MAF staff want,what the requirements for asset acquisition are.

    We wanted to know why such and such are needed, if it work, if it the best bang for our bucks and so on and so forth.

  21. zaft – ”that Winning argument here would change anything”

    It’s not about ”winning the argument”. It’s about getting the facts right and staying on the same script. Perhaps make an effort to understand something or check facts with are easily available instead of insisting on things which are untrue.

    zaft – ”Overall we couldn’t care less about technicality, what MAF staff want,what the requirements for asset acquisition are.”

    If we ”ouldn’t care less about technicality, what MAF staff want,what the requirements for asset acquisition are” [to quote you] then we must as well talk about the RMN getting carriers; the army getting laser blasters; the RMAF raising Fighter Wings aand the MAF being able to defeat the PLAN off Bintulu.

  22. With Uncle Sam’s blue eyed boy getting the PM seat, why SHOULDN’T we be expecting gifts of free Predators, more radars and more ISR assets at the very least?

  23. Kakadu
    The 350 with all the bells and whistle. Pitch Trimming requirement even for turns can be very excessive.
    The atr72 q400 and even cn235 with heavy fitting cg is a lot more lenient.

    On another note im having captcha issue posting comments a while back so its very delayed comment here.

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