More Short Range SAMs In RMK12, Hopefully

A twin Mistral launcher fitted on a 4X4 vehicle. MBDA

SHAH ALAM: More SAMs in RMK12. The Defence Ministry has approved plans to procure V-SHORAD and SHORAD under the RMK12. The procurement for the Army is part of the Rolling Plan 2 under RMK12 which means that it may be funded in 2022 or be brought forward to the next plans. Just like what happened in the last 30 years.

The approval for the short range SAMs was the answer given in Parliament on Nov. 10 following a question by Hulu Langat MP Hassanudin Mohd Yunus. I believed based on the question, the Amanah MP really do not understand how SAMs – short or longer range – work.

Some of the Army’s Grup Artileri Pertahanan Udara assets from left Starstreak, Jernas and 0erlikon 35mm guns. BTDM

His question:

SOALAN Minta MENTERI KANAN PERTAHANAN menyatakan adakah Kerajaan akan membuat perolehan peluru berpandu darat ke udara jarak sederhana seperti ASTER 30 milik Singapura, dan Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile milik Indonesia, memandangkan ruang udara negara kerap diceroboh anasir asing yang telah merendahkan maruah Malaysia

And the full answer was:

Tuan Yang di-Pertua, Dalam memastikan kedaulatan ruang udara negara sentiasa terpelihara, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM) melalui ketiga-tiga perkhidmatannya iaitu Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM), Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) dan Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) telah dilengkapkan dengan Sistem Peluru Berpandu Pertahanan Udara Jarak Dekat (Very ShortRange Air Defence Missile System – STARSTREAK VSHORAD) serta sistem pertahanan udara jarak dekat seperti Meriam Oerlikon 35mm dan Igla. Bagi memperkukuhkan lagi kedaulatan ruang udara negara daripada anasir-anasir asing yang seringkali mencerobohi ruang udara negara, TDM telahpun membuat perancangan perolehan sistem pertahanan udara iaitu Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) MANPAD dan sistem Short Range Air Defence (SHORAD) yang telah didaftarkan di dalam Rolling Plan Kedua (RP 2) Tahun 2022, Rancangan Malaysia Kedua Belas (RMKe-12). Manakala bagi TLDM dan TUDM telah mempunyai perancangan bagi perolehan Surface to Air Missile (SAM) untuk TLDM dan Sistem Pertahanan Udara Jarak Sederhana (Medium Range Air Defence – MERAD) untuk TUDM.

Demonstration firing of the FN-6 VSHORAD system in 2017. BTDM

Actually part of the answer (from the Defence Minister) was wrong as well as the Igla is also a VSHORAD system as well as does the Chinese FN-6 and Anza MANPADs. It is likely the new procurement for V-SHORAD will likely be the replacements for the FN-6 and Anza MANPADs. The MBDA Jernas system is also up for replacement together with the Oerlikon 35mm guns.
VL Mica shipboard container. MBDA

As for the RMN, the MRSAM is likely the MBDA VL MICA which has been selected for the LCS. Though it is likely any movement with the missiles procurement itself will depend on when the project is approved for resumption (whenever that is) so it isn’t listed for procurement in RMK12.
CAAM ER missile targets. MBDA

For RMAF, the procurement of MR-SAM will be in the next RMK or even probably even after that. RMAF procurement priorities in this RMK is of course, the UAV, MPA and FLIT/LCA. For this reason I think it is silly to even talk about the candidates for the MR-SAM requirement at this point.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

32 Comments

  1. dundun – ”because the army should get a fourth gen Manpads from Russia.”

    We can get an equivalent from a non Russian source.

    Given the year the Anzas entered service; they should be in need of replacing. I hope that along with whatever system we get; we also get an alerting device; as we did with Starstreak. Sure beats having an operator scanning the skies with a tube on his shoulder and his Mk1 eyeballs and ears as his only means of warning. Another problem is the short window of opportunity in many areas due to terrain; both natural and man made.

  2. Basically, the new SHORAD and V-SHORAD are to replace the aged one. Like you said, hope that this will not be brought forward / delayed again. Another thing from the MP’s question, he was asking about our neighbour’s MR-SAM and was given an answer for the SHORAD instead.
    From what I read, the RMAF MR-SAM is still in the planning stage and is to be procured in stages to complete 4 batteries by RMK15. That is a long way to go.

  3. @joe
    I am really interested to know what were those will be “VTOL fixed wings drones and two of the hybrid drones” and “84 mini UAV”

    @Ed Liew
    ” MR-SAM and was given an answer for the SHORAD instead.”

    The minister did answered that we will be buying those in the near future (not this RMK) hence he cannot say right now which one is being being considered right now. It was also a good time to tell that we are replacing our VSHORAD and SHORAD hence why he did that.

  4. Ed – “Basically, the new SHORAD and V-SHORAD are to replace the aged one”

    They to replace stuff which is aged and can’t or isn’t worth relifing. As well as stuff which has’t met expectations, like Jernas.

    Even after Jernas is retired, if possible we could hold on to Blindfire and Dagger as syrceiilance/early warning systems. The EO sight is particularly useful.

    Ed – “the RMAF MR-SAM is still in the planning stage and is to be procured in stages to complete 4 batteries”

    It’s been on the wishlist for quite a while now and the intention is to procure a regiment’s worth comprising several batteries.

  5. Why waste money on short range air defence?

    I am sure an area defence system is more effective than all these shorads and vshorads

  6. Hasnan,

    There is no such things as ”as more effective”. They all complement each other and depends on the threat : is it a fighter flying at 25,000 feet; a helicopter flying at 80 feet or a swarm of micros UAS flying a tree top level?

    In A Russian context; why do you think S-400s are protected by the likes of Buk, Tor and Pansir; which in turn are defended by Igla and Shilka? Why does Singapore have ASTER, Spyder and Igla? Why dpes Isreal have Arrow and David’s Sling?

    Things should be layered and networked; with redundancy. Lessons in Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Syria and other places clearly shows this. Saying V-SHORADS are a waste of money is like saying M-4s are a waster when we can stick to GPMGS and HMGs.

  7. @Luqman
    That is why this Ops Benteng UAV drone procurement is fascinating. Unlike other wishy-washy plans, including this SAM buy, those for Ops Benteng largely gets fulfilled and it seems they are looking to get multi-tiered layer drone surveillance capability. They finally realised the usefulness of such methods at last.

  8. VSHORAD and SHORAD have come into attention in recent times due to the proliferation of drones used in close quarters. There is nothing right or wrong in providing defensive coverage through out the whole eco-system but its how we prioritise them when money is in short supply all the time

  9. V-SHORADs are only effective against certain types of drones and in certain conditions. Many small drones have IR and radar signatures which can’t be detected by the seeker of a IR system. The key is to have a layered and networked system.

    ” it seems they are looking to get multi-tiered layer drone surveillance capability”

    I fail to see how so. Buying a mere 3 MALES and dozens of smaller ones which will operate standalone does not constitute a “multi tier capability”. It provides an entry level nascent capability.

    “They finally realised the usefulness of such methods at last.”

    It’s not that they’ve “finally” realised the utility. They’ve “finally” received the funding. The services have been seeking an organic capability since the early 2000’s.
    Unfortunately the poltical decision then was to start off with local systems and Aludra proved incapable.

  10. @Hasnan
    “Why waste money on short range air defence?”
    SHORADs are more effective at dealing with smaller planes, skimmers & cruise missiles while area defence MR SAM are better at dealing with high fliers, massed air threats & ballistic weapons. Both are needed to cover each other’s threat weaknesses.

    “I fail to see how so.”
    Considering what we have now, 117 additional drones & UAVs is a huge step in the right direction. Credit must go towards finally making that a realisation.

    “It’s not that they’ve “finally” realised the utility”
    They “finally” realised the utility when funding is finally realised. Ops Benteng is where they will finally get the money.

  11. “117 additional drones & UAVs is a huge step in the right direction”

    On the surface yes. In reality we will have a situation where the RMAF has a few MALES, the army its micro/mini systems and the RMN its Scaneagles. All operated independently and not jointly – hardly a multi tier capability.

    “Ops Benteng is where they will finally get the money”

    The MALES are under the 12th Malaysia Plan, not under Benteng. The RMN is getting Scaneagles thanks to the U.S. taxpayer.

    Benteng enabled the army to get micro/mini systems [the ones used last year were leased] mainly to be used for non military tasks. A certain proportion however is not funded under Benteng but separately. Buying them in their 100’s is really nothing to be excited about given that such systems [compared to larger ones] are expected to have a high attrition rate.

    The utility of UASs has been realised since the early 2000’s, especially after Pasir. It’a nothing new.. Funding issues plus the poltical decision to buy local delayed things.

  12. @joe @Azlan

    Whichever one is correct or not, it’s undeniably that Ops Benteng had proven the usefulness of drones to a certain degree that somehow made the politicians realized that it’s an important asset/system to had. When MAF had given the results, then funding would slowly but surely be made available.

    “I fail to see how so”
    We are still in the beginning phase, those 3 MALE UAV and a dozen Scan Eagles will set the foundation to that said multi-tier system. Remember that we plan to get further 3 MALEs for RMAF and more UAVs for RMN not to mention 5 new MPAs we are going to get. I believe all of these new toys will be connected through our JFHQ. Weather the JFHQ (which would make sense to be the place where Azlan’s envision of UAV command be located) would make these assets useful or not, lets see in the future.

    Back to the topic of SHORADS, some notable contenders could be
    – RBS-70 NG
    – KP-SAM Shingung (which was based on Igla-S)
    – Mistrale

    I would like these SHORADs to be able to mounted on vehicles (with RWS and EO cameras) for mechanized brigade level protection and could be carried by a single or two infantry men to provide platoon level protection ideally with just 1 missile.

  13. “SHORADs are more effective at dealing with smaller planes, skimmers & cruise missiles”

    Eveything depends on networking, early warning,redundancy and effective FCS. We’ve seen in Syria and Libya where certain systems when operating in the wrong manner can be themselves vulnerable. We’ve also seeen in Iraq and Serbia how an extensive and layerrd IADS can be gradually taken apart if operating without a friendly air force.

    The major downside is that very few countries can truly afford an extensive layered and networked system, together with a capable airforce.

  14. “not under Benteng”
    I never said it was. I was referring to the news article written “A total of 117 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and drones will be procured to boost surveillance of the nation’s borders under Ops Benteng” which clearly stated the buys will be for OB. Whether the MALEs are involved i have no idea, tho TUDM could use OB as a pretext to push for it since funding for that is available. Either way is a big step forward and it is commendable.

    @Luqman
    Agreed. Some wants us to run, but we have to start walking steadily and the 100+ drones UAVs would give a big stride.

    “SHORADs to be able to mounted on vehicles”
    Ideally we should have various configurations for SHORADS; semi-permanent for fixed installations, IFV borne with self contained system, lighter vehicle borne with manual point & launch (ie GKM1 twin launchers), infantry borne shoulder launchers (useful for ship borne protection as well).

  15. Luqman – “in the beginning phase, those 3 MALE UAV and a dozen Scan Eagles will set the foundation to that said multi-tier system”

    We are in the nascent phase. Sorry but merely buying a few systems [operated by diffrent services] does not mean we are setting the foundations of anything. Long term commitment and cobsistency is needed.

    Luqman – ” believe all of these new toys will be connected through our JFHQ.”

    We still have a long way to go to achieve “jointness” and given that the MPAs and MALES are assets used for day to day stuff, no reason why it should be under the operational tasking of a JFHQ. Another issue with JFHQs are that they should be staffed by the right people, not poltical appointees or those there to turf guard.

    Luqman -“the JFHQ (which would make sense to be the place where Azlan’s envision of UAV command be located”

    The JFHQ is a theatre level grouping for specific areas. The UAS Command would be a operational grouping overseeing all MALE ops. The whole idea of having a joint UAS Command is to ensure that no single service hogs the capability and ensuring it’s available on time without bureacratic service centric obstacles to whiever needs it.

    Interservice rivalry and parochialism is still a major problem.

    Luqman – “ideally with just 1 missile”

    Unless it was a beam rider and unless the circumstances were really ideal, missiles should be fired in twos to maximise PK.

    Luqman – ” the politicians realized that it’s an important asset/system to had”

    They realised it a long time ago which is why since the early 2000’s they patiently waited for a local system and why way before Covid they agreed to the 3 MALES. The problem is it’s a short term fix.

    Also, Ops Benteng is not military per see and involves Covid and illegals, 2 issues understood by most. It also involves inexpensive mini/micro UASs.

    Luqman – “would like these SHORADs to be able to mounted on vehicles (with RWS and EO cameras) for mechanized brigade”

    You and the rest of the world. Having it fitted in a stabilised turret with an alerting device sure beats it being on the shoulders of an operator with his Mk1 eyes and ears his only sensors.

    Luqman “– RBS-70 NG
    – KP-SAM Shingung”

    Both are V-SHORADs. Given we already have Starstreak doubt we want another beam rider.

  16. ”Whether the MALEs are involved i have no idea, tho TUDM could use OB as a pretext to push for it since funding for that is available.”

    The MALES were approved way before Ops Benteng. Doubt if the RMAF can push for anything as its requirements do not call for mini/macro UASs for Ops Benteng which isn’t really military per see.

    ”Some wants us to run, but we have to start walking steadily and the 100+ drones UAVs would give a big stride.”

    Nobody is under the illusion we have to ‘run’ first. 100 odd mini/macro UASs are a good start but what will really give us the needed exposure in running sustained all weather UAS ops; as well as coordinating their use with other assets and services/agencies will be the ScanEagles and MALES. the 100 odd macro/mini UASs will be a army asset and won’t really teach us anything we don’t already know.

    Also; even though the Aludras and previous Scan Eagles were not organic assets; after almost a decade we did acquire some level of UAS experience and that helped us in determining what to look for in a future UAS; plus the various challenges associated with UAS ops. Note also that the army has operated Camcopters for quite a while now, We may be newbies in the UAS business but we have some level of experience.

    ‘Ideally we should have various configurations for SHORADS;”

    You mean V-SHORADS. Which we do with Starburst; in various configurations.

    ”infantry borne shoulder launchers (useful for ship borne protection as well).”

    Anything on a ship should be on a stabilised/integrated mount.

  17. “The MALES were approved way before Ops Benteng.”
    Which is why I don’t see your reason for bringing it up as they are 2 different matter.

    “Nobody is under the illusion we have to ‘run’ first”
    Well somebody is constantly harping on “jointness” & “key enablers”. Well the the first key enabler is actually having the hardware. Dissing all efforts to start walking because it cannot run yet is just that.

    “Anything on a ship should be on a stabilised/integrated mount”
    Can’t recall where but I did see pics of Naval personnel armed with shoulder manpads. As a last line of defence, better than nothing as our ships lack CIWS.

  18. @joe
    “Dissing all efforts to start walking because it cannot run yet is just that”
    Agreed as I had also pointed out about this in another form. On the MALE, yeah some may say 3 MALE is not enough while at the same time they knew RMAF (and MAF as a whole) is cash strapped and it is our first MALE as well as there will be learning curve. Only after this first 3 MALE RMAF truly could see what is enough, insufficient, wrong, and right.

  19. No lah, they already know three is not enough. It doesn’t take a genius to figure three is not enough based on our airspace. They got three as it is the only money they were given to play with.

  20. Speaking of males uav and mpa..their tender are closed for quite sometime now almost a year now without any news.. Maybe at dsa 2022? Or worse still need to retender?

  21. I believe the budget for 3 MALE UAV is based on the cost of US systems.

    If we go for the default choice right now, which is the Turkish TB2, we could get a whole squadron of UAV instead.

  22. Yes better to have 3 albeit not sufficient than none..we need to be realistic here..LCA,MPA project all need big money, id say 3 male uav for starters is quite okay..We can learn and move forward from that 3 male uav..another 3 in this RMK or next RMK would be the right course of action to take,along with Nuri Replacement of course

  23. @gonggok
    “If we go for the default choice right now, which is the Turkish TB2”
    On what basis would you said that? So far I haven’t heard any news TB2 submitted any proposals or tenders. Hope I am wrong though.

  24. Firdaus – ”We can learn and move forward from that 3 male uav.

    Yes we can but it’s not as if we have zero experience in UAS ops and not as if we are getting a ICBM or area defence capability; capabilities we have zero experience of.

    3 MALEs barely cut the surface and is a reflection of how serious we take defence. it’s also part of our a bit of everything but not enough of anything affliction..

    Luqman – ”Only after this first 3 MALE RMAF truly could see what is enough, insufficient, wrong, and right.”

    Nonsense. Even a casual observer could look at our map and come up with the conclusion that given the length of the coastline; size of the EEZ and the possibility that at any given time 1-2 UASs might be inoperable; that 3 is cutting it thin.

    Which goes back to my harping of ”jointness” and ”networking” to fully maxmise what we have and ensure the capability is provided to those who need it without bureaucratic delays ….

  25. gonggok – ” believe the budget for 3 MALE UAV is based on the cost of US systems.”

    No…. It was based on the types of UASs which we were likely to narrow down,from a variety ofsuppliers. We also are concerned about per hour flight costs and the costs of spares.

    gonggok – “is the Turkish TB2, we could get a whole squadron of UAV instead”

    The Turk offering is the Anka. We never seriously looked at the TB2 because we are not seeking an armed platform.

  26. Our UAS experience is only limited to short ranged system, so in terms of MALE operations, we have ZERO experience. Going for 3 sets would give a start, figuring where’s the limits we can take to, what we can or cannot do, building our playbook along the way. Having 3 meant we always have 1 unit in usage.

  27. We have zero MALE experience but we have at least a decade of UAS experience, albeit limited,thus the learning curve won’t be as steep had it been a case of having no UAS experience at all.

    MALES fly higher and longer and enable us to do what was previously not possible but the concept is the same and previous experience with Aludra, ScanEagle and Camcopter would have taught us various things, a lot applicable to MALES, in terms of CONOPs, deconfliction. affects of the local weather, etc.

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