MRSS and MPA, Really?

PENANG: It appears that the government had approved plans for the long delayed MRSS program for the navy and the MPA for air force.

With the approval, Defence Ministry can now finalise the technical requirements for both programs before it could proceed to decide whether to hold an open tender or not to select the respective contractors.

Leonardo ATR 72 MP. Leonardo

Once the decision to go ahead are green lighted and contractors chosen, the LOI could be signed after the government allocated the funding for the programs though the timelines remained hazy at the moment.

RMAF Beechcraft B200T from No 16 Squadron at the flypast rehearsal on Feb 25, 2016.

As posted yesterday, the government had allocated RM15.863 billion to the Defence Ministry for 2018. Most of the allocation is for the Operating Expenditure – RM12.566 billion – while the Development Expenditure is RM3.297 billion.

Damen LST 120 configured for other duties.

Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein today (28 Oct. 2017) said in Kluang, Johor

kerajaan meluluskan apa yang dipohon Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM), Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) serta Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM).

“TDM bakal menerima perolehan aset baharu merangkumi enam Light Attack Helicopter (MD 530-G), meriam 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer, meriam 105mm Pack Howitzer dan peralatan khas bagi Gerup Gerak Khas (GGK).

“Perolehan aset dan kelengkapan latihan GGK ini penting bagi meningkatkan kesiapsiagaan dalam menangani ancaman keselamatan semasa terutamanya ancaman militan Daesh,” katanya.

Bagi TLDM ia membabitkan enam Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) dan empat Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) yang masing-masing masih dalam proses pembinaan selain merancang memperoleh kapal kelas kelima Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) di bawah Program Transformasi 15-to-5.

Bagi TUDM, katanya, kerajaan meluluskan perolehan empat unit pesawat Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) yang akan digunakan untuk mengawasi perairan negara termasuk Laut China Selatan dan Selat Melaka di bawah program Malacca Straits Patrol.

It must be noted the funding approval is just that. The technical requirements must be met before the LOI and the full funding are green lighted. Let’s hope there will not be any economic shock within the next five years otherwise both programs could be shelved or even cancelled as what had happened in the past.

Taiwan Army M109A5 SPH. Wikipedia.

And yes, Hishammuddin did say the Army is getting its 155mm SPH and even new pack 105mm howitzers. The latter is news even to me. There was a tender for a multimodal transport operator to ship to Malaysia 105mm pack howitzer spare parts last month but that’s as far as I knew about the issue

* this post has been updated following further information. An earlier version stated funding have been approved. I have been informed that this was over optimistic.

-Malaysian Defence

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