More Kaboom Stuff

12th RMR Adnan ACV-S variant also fired its weapon at the exercise. 12th RMR.

SHAH ALAM: More kaboom stuff. The Army is continuing with its recapitalisation of its ordnance stock with a slew of request for bids, namely for rifled 120mm mortar rounds/bombs, bangalore torpedoes and plastic explosives. The tenders were published on 3 September and closes on the 26th. This follows similar open competition for Carl Gustav and RPG ammo, 105mm rounds and Metis-M missiles.

Like other bids, the number of things ordered are small. For example for the rifled 120mm rounds/bombsfor the Thales 2R2M (Rifled Recoiled Mounted Mortar) mortars mounted on the Adnans and Gempita, only 1000 units are being sought for purchase this time. That said I have no idea how many of the 2R2M rounds are already in stock.

On the Way. Gempita Mortar carrier firing a 120mm round. 12th RMR

From the eperolehan website.

There is a requirement to equip the 120 mm Mortar 2R2M with 120 mm Rifled Bomb for the purpose of operations and training. The bomb will be use as anti personnel and anti material in the following types of operation such as follows: Offensive Operations. Defensive Operations.

Adnan with 120mm mortar preparing to fire a round. 12th RMR.

From the above I am not sure whether the rounds/bombs being sought include guided munition. Thales is marketing laser guided mortar rounds for the 2R2M with a stated range of 15km. That said other ordnance manufacturers are also offering similar rounds.
120 mm 2R2M system integrated on an AVV (Armoured Vanguard Vehicle) in operational situation during PHOENIX exercise 2008 in Mourmelon.

As for the Bangalore torpedo, 300 units are being sought.

There is a requirement for the Malaysian Army to be equipped with Bangalore Torpedo to allow safe passage of troops through obstacles and reduce battle casualties. The Bangalore Torpedo is one man portable device used by Infantry or Engineer troops which connect the number of needed sections then pushed it through the minefield or barbed wire obstacles before detonating.

A US Marine preparing to place a Bangalore Torpedo to breach a barb wire during training. US Army photo

For the plastic explosives, 7000 units are being sought.

There is a requirement for the Malaysian Army to be equipped with ChargeDemolition (Plastic Explosive) – PE as charges for an explosion. It is used in demolition operations,improvised land mines and other general work including underwater.

Slabs of plastic explosives during a US Army training. US Army photo

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. plastic explosive is a very broad definition, and one may not be suitable for the other task(fast/slow explosion, thermobaric effect, “pushing” effect, etc).

  2. Are these on a yearly replenishment or ordered once in a while?

    I think its once in a while kinda things

  3. Marhalim,

    I’m pretty sure it’s based on an amount we specify that needs to be maintained; for
    operational/ training purposes and for reserve stockpiles. Once”amount” have been expended or time expired; a requirement arises to maintain “x”
    number of rounds.

    Would be interesting to speculate as to how many of the 120mm rounds are HE and how many are smoke/illumination.

  4. There is no spec for smoke or illum rounds. Only for anti material n anti personnel rounds. Normally old stocks would be used for trainning. And the used lots replaced by new stocks.
    But 1000 rounds nothing much. In a real fight wont last two days. In Afghanistan the British used their bombs freely.
    Afghanistan also illustrate the first principle of infantry warfare. Win the firefight n never be pimned down. Massive firepower must be keep the enemys head down n prevent them to close for an attack.
    Initially the British also had problem with their .50cal bullets that jams inside their guns after just two bullets being fired n many .50 cal guns were just left aside. Only Gimpy n SAWs provided massive firepower. We must make sure the ammo we buy n use are of good quality so we dont suffer like the British Toms

  5. Lee – “”But 1000 rounds nothing much”

    Depends on whether it’s a high intensity conflict/engagement or not. In a low intensity counter insurgency conflict (Afghanistan wasn’t low intensity) it might not be sufficient but in other conflicts it might be.

    Lee – “Win the firefight n never be pimned down.

    Easier said than done if enemy fire has pinned one down and one can’t manoeuvre for advantage or to a less exposed position. Also depends if one has been taken by surprise, is in a tactically disadvantageous situation and can’t accurately locate the enemy’s firing positions.

    Lee – “Massive firepower must be keep the enemys head down n prevent them to close for an attack”

    Accurate firepower combined with manoeuvre. Preventing the enemy from getting close will depend not just on firepower but also positioning one’s self in an advantageous position.

    Lee – “We must make sure the ammo we buy n use are of good quality so we dont suffer like the British Toms”

    How the ammo is stored also plays a part. One can have the best quality ammo money can but but if exposed in the field for too long ammo will deteriorate.

  6. Just wondering.

    What is the standard issue 5.56 ammo used in the army? Is it the m193 or m855/ss109?

    AFAIK its SS109

  7. “I think its once in a while kinda things”
    I can’t think of anyone would go into this ATM ammo supply business without charging an arm & both legs for something we buy on and off at such volumes. Even Brahmins supplying MREs to our servicemen would get higher profits, because people need to eat daily.

    Yes there are not many companies involved in supplying munitions to the military. Some ten years ago, it was zero as the military and other security agencies used to get them from SMEO Sdn Bhd. Things had changed since then.

  8. @ marhalim

    ” military and other security agencies used to get them from SMEO Sdn Bhd. ”

    SMEO used to even manufacture howitzer and naval gun shells. Now almost all is imported. BTW is SMEO still making and supplying ammo to the military and other security agencies?

    I think they still manufacture small arms ammunition but even that the amount has gone down. A short while ago that they couldn’t even make monthly salary payments to their workers.

  9. @ marhalim

    ” I think they still manufacture small arms ammunition but even that the amount has gone down ”

    When you make a conscious decision to have a capability in-country, you need to maintain that capability by having it to churn out the things it is supposed to manufacture. Of course it will be more expensive than buying off the shelf from a large manufacturer, but that is the price to pay to have that capability.

    Anyway does SME do reloads of spent brass shells??

    Nope new brass only as for mil specs

  10. As far as I know SME’s “bread and butter” so to speak is small arms ammo.

    With everything else it’s just faster, cheaper and more practical to buy off the shelf from abroad. We simply don’t have economics of scale; not to mention that almost all the raw materials/ingredients has to be imported and paid in foreign currency. We’ve had some level of success in exporting ammo but not in the numbers we desired; unlike say Pakistan and Bulgaria we don’t have wide customer base.

    The whole premise of having the ability to produce locally was so that we can be self reliant and not have to rely on others; as well as minimising the need for the outflow of funds. Like so many things we do; how valid these points were, what tangible benefits do we actually get and is it a price worth paying; really comes into question.

    As for self sufficiency; putting aside that everything required is imported; if we had a sudden and extremely urgent requirement for ammo; how fast can SME deliver? How much of the needed raw ingredients is actually stocked?

  11. “Things had changed since then.”
    That is the conundrum. Our defence needs and replenishment is economically unsustainable for local ammo production (5.56mm ammo might still make sense tho) unless we have more frequent live fire exercises and let loose freely during those times, or simply go to war with another country *sarcasm before some get triggered*. Without such volume, SMEO and others cannot bring their cost of production down and therefore cannot be priced competitive when selling outside. If we don’t have the projected volume, doing locally is just feeding the sharks and more wastage on our measly defence budget.

    Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry if anyone got upset about that mistake. Spelling over-correction error.

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