More Mortars for the Army, May 2024. Updated

5 RMR at a recent parade. Note the Cendana Auto mortar carriers together with a single FFR vehicle which made up the regiment's mortar platoon. Note the 81mm mortars in firing positions. 3 DIV

SHAH ALAM: Back in June 2023, Malaysian Defence reported that the Army took delivery of fourty-eight 81mm mortars. The mortars which were procured under a tender published in 2019 which were to be supplied together with a transporter.

The number of mortars to be supplied is seventy-two which means the number of transporters will be the same. Although we know that Cendana Auto is supplying the 4X4 mortar carriers, we have yet to know which company is supplying the mortars. The previous story.

Army chief General TS Mohammad Ab Rahman (centre) looking at one of the 81mm mortars delivered at the ceremony on June 8. BTDM

Checks on the Eperolehan also did not reveal the winning bidder. Eleven bidders took part in the tender with prices ranging from RM75 million to RM98 million. Also shown at the delivery ceremony were the Cendana Auto mortar carrier vehicles. Apart from the mortar and its accessories like the Talos fire control system, the vehicle will also carry the 81mm rounds and the crew. As the Army took delivery of 48 mortars, it is likely Cendana Auto will be supplying at least 48 mortar carriers.

Update. I have been told that the mortars delivered are not Expals. They are Tecnesis 3000 81mm mortar also manufactured in Spain. The Talos fire control system for the mortars is however from Expal -which made me assume that the mortars were also from the same company. The company awarded the LOA is Rimbun Emas Defence System Sdn Bhd.

The Cendana Auto mortar carrier. TD picture.

And now it appears that the rest of the mortars – likely twenty-four – are now ready for delivery as an MTO tender to ship them from Port Bilbao in Spain has been published in Eperolehan. The number of mortars to be shipped is not listed in the public specifications of the notice.
The Tecnesis 3000 81mm mortar. Note the Talos fire control system brochure. TD

However, as the Army had taken delivery of fourty-eight mortars, we can assume it will be twenty-four as the procurement calls for seventy-two. Cendana Auto is also likely to supply twenty-four more mortar carriers as they had already supplied the same vehicles earlier.
4 RRD mortar vehicles and a single FFR vehicle at a recent parade. 4 RRD.

As the Army is getting seventy-two 81mm mortars with its own vehicles, it is likely twelve regiments will be equipped with them. This is based on the number of mortar and vehicles issued to several units previously. The 81mm Yugoimport mortars replaced by the new mortars will be issued to Rejimen Sempadan battalions which had been upgraded as Batalion Infantry Standad. These will allow the units to stand up its Kompeni Bantuan or Support Company. They used to have only rifle companies.

— Malaysian Defence

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11 Comments

  1. I don’t think scooting is going to be a problem with an 81mm mortar…

  2. maybe they had laid out option
    A: v-mounted mortar,
    B: mortar trailer,
    C: mortar transpoter

    then those in authority says C is the way to go.

  3. We already had 16 vehicle mount3d mortar albeit the 120mm. If we want to incr3ase it i suggest using the previous route, i.e 120mm

  4. I believed if they wanted to go with a vehicle mounted mortar it should be a 120mm one, longer range etc. But they wanted 81mm mortar as similar ones are already in service, so training will be cheaper and more importantly it is light enough to be carried by three person, the ammo will be carried by the other three crew of the vehicle.

    As for trailers, we only have limited experience with them. Only recently the Army order trailers for the Cendana Auto 4X4s and for the boats. Perhaps in another ten years, the Angkut people will have enough experience so when the new mortars specificications are ordered and they still want to use 81mm mortars, then maybe a trailer could be ordered for the mortar vehicle.

  5. The 120mm mortars are with the mechanised units. The 81mm mortars are for the infantry which may need to carry them on their backs to get to the firing line.

  6. >16 vehicle mount3d(?) mortar

    we have twice the number. If the army wants they could use some of the KIFV hull and convert them for more mortar carrier

  7. I would have preferred if the mortars could be mounted on the flatbed of these carriers so they can rapidly be positioned to fire close to the line and scoot to elsewhere, but with the option to be easily dismounted & carried by the crew.

  8. So this means we have the [1] Yugoslav ‘longs” [which ironically we brought to Bosnia] [2] Expals [3] Denels [4] Tecnesis 3000

    60mm mortars would be the Esperanza, Thomson Brandt [no idea if still operated] and the Hirtenberger.

    The most important dynamic or factor is not the actual mortar but the level of fire control one has. Also, can fire missions by IFV mounted mortars be transmitted by means other than voice?

    Back in the early 2000’s the police placed for sale a number of Yugoslav ‘longs”. These were originally given to the PPH but like the ammo for the V-100/50 20 and 90mm guns; were never issued [the army was adament]. No idea if they were sold but should have been transferred to the army.

  9. … – “A bespoke vehicle for dismounted mortar does not give any advantage for shoot and scoot (unlike a proper vehicle-mounted mortar”

    One can also say the same with a towed arty piece that has to be moved out of position and limbered [the APU is to move the gun in and out of position and not so much to move it a distance away] in contrast with a SPH which can just drive away.

    … – “This is the Rejimen Artileri Diraja pack howitzer towed”

    Is prone to damage when towed at certain speeds over uneven or rough roads. The Model 56 is known for this. It was lightweight because it’s a “pack” gun and needs to be light but the penalty is a lack of durability. Which is why the Brits, Aussies and Kiwis replaced it with the Light Gun/Hamel.

    To prevent damage at times Model 56s were porteed.

    Tom Tom – “I don’t think scooting is going to be a problem with an 81mm mortar”

    Depends on the reaction time of the enemy. If he has a kill chain in which something can be detected and then engaged in minutes then it will be a problem.

    Now one can point out that at times a mortar will have to be carried on foot rather than in a vehicle; alright but then only a limited amount of ammo can be carried unless it’s a low intensity situation and only a few rounds are needed; i.e. during the 2nd Emergency at times units would lug a 60mm mortar but would only carry 5-6 rounds [mostly for illumination]. A 81mm shell is still of some weight and size and only so many can be carried on foot.

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