National Security Budget 2024

RMAF Airbus EC725 AP flying at the opening ceremony of LIMA 17. Malaysian Defence

SHAH ALAM: Malaysia will spend RM38.7 for the national security sector in 2024, an increase of some RM2.5 billion from this year budget. This is in contrast for the overall 2024 budget of RM393.8 billion which is lower than this year’s estimate of RM397.1 billion.

And the Defence Ministry 2024 budget of RM19.7 billion is much higher than Home Ministry’s one pegged at RM19.06 billion. Both allocations however surpassed last year’s one with Defence getting an increase of RM2 billion while Home got an extra RM1.1 billion.

The national security sector budget for 2024 constitute 2 per cent of the Malaysian GDP with the Defence allocation at one per cent. This continue to be lower than the amount that the Armed Forces had asked for a few years back, which was 1.5 per cent. 2023 figure was about 0.98 per cent.

In his budget speech Prime Minister DS Anwar Ibrahim announced the assets to be procured for the national security sector.

Twelve new helicopters for RMAF, Major assets for the Army including 60 armoured infantry vehicles, 50 High Mobility Light Tactical Vehicle, 733 support vehicles; Refit for the two RMN submarines and the procurement of three LMS, procurement of seven twin-engine aircraft and five light helicopters for the police and new assets to boost the maritime security of the nation – 45 boats for the Army and nine new generation patrol boats and interceptors for the MMEA. An allocation of RM400 million to repair living quarters of the Armed Forces while another Rm40 million to repair the sewage system in military camps

The breakdown for the Defence’s budget is as follows, Operational Expenditure (OE) is RM12.6 billion compared to RM11.4 in 2023, an increase of RM1.2 billion. The 2024 Development Expenditure (DE) is RM7 billion compared to RM6.3 billion in 2023, an increase of some RM700 million only.

It must be noted that most of the OE budget, almost 80 per cent or RM8 billion is for emolument – salaries and allowances. The rest are for supply and services RM3.9 billion; assets RM224 million; grants and fixed payments RM251 million, and other expenses RM776,700.

The DE allocation is – services and supply RM1.3 billion and assets RM5.7 billion. The DE for the Army is RM1.1 billion for assets and RM190 million for the construction. The RMN is getting RM1.9 billion for assets and RM122 million for construction. RMAF is getting RM2 billion for assets and RM23 million for construction. The rest of the DE allocation is for joint services, quarters, research and development and other services.

The requested DE allocation for RMK12 for Defence is RM55 billion and the allocation so far is RM14.7 billion. It is likely that the figure will not reach RM30 billion when RMK13 starts within two year’s time.

The Home Ministry’s breakdown: OE is RM13.9 billion in 2024 compared to RM13.8 billion in 2023. DE for 2024 is RM5 billion compared to the 2023 figure of RM4.7 billion. As with Defence most of the OE budget for Home is for emoluments.

The bulk of the DE of course is earmarked for the police, with RM2.7 billion allocated in 2024 compared to RM2 billion last year. The police’s Air Wing is getting RM32 million this year compared to RM9 million last year. The higher allocation is likely to account for the new airplanes and helicopters mentioned by PMX.

MMEA is getting RM621 million in 2024 compared to RM240 million last year.’

It must be noted that the requested Home DE for RMK12 is RM26 billion and so far, actual allocation is only RM10.5 billion.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2184 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. 9 new generation patrol vessel/craft/boat for MMEA…hope it will be repeat order of Bagan Datuk-class.

  2. The new helicopters for the RMAF is interesting. I was under the impression it was to be funded during the next Malaysia Plan.

    A 2nd heli squadron is needed but I can’t see why the RMAF would need more than that. The Army Aviation Corps has a need but unless it gets more manpower and resources it won’t be in a position anytime soon to handle a squadron of utility helis. It has its hands full with what it has at present.

  3. Sub refit??

    It is just about 5 years since the last refit.

    Isn’t the scorpenes has a refit interval of 10 years?

    KD Tunku Abdul Rahman completed its 1st refit in 2018.

    KD Tun Razak completed its 1st refit in 2020.

    In Any case, we should look at getting new technology and capability inserts such as Li-ion batteries if a refit is needed.

    Also on the budget, i would like to see the allocation for each service, capex and opex.

    For example this is 2023 APMM allocation
    2023 OE – RM0.6231 billion
    2023 DE – RM0.719 billion

  4. The budget for the Hovercraft fast interceptors was really surprising. Must be for ESSCOM.

  5. ITs seven years, KD TAR went for its refit in November 2015. So, its back for refit this November. Technically, it should have another two years for its refit as the ship came out in early 2018 but I am guessing that she had been ridden hard since then.

  6. The additional 12 Heli for RMAF we assume EC 725 again ? 7 twin engine aircraft ? Medium Transport ??

  7. Azlan “The new helicopters for the RMAF is interesting. I was under the impression it was to be funded during the next Malaysia Plan”

    It’s a budget for next year (2024) & the next next year the next RMK would already started. It’s likely just a small budget to start the preliminary design studies & the actual bird would only be acquired & arrived near the end of next RMK.

  8. >jebat class

    except the fact that it’s a 30 y.o design and the builder was screwed hard by TLDM back then?

  9. …. – “Isn’t the scorpenes has a refit interval of 10 years”

    Depends not on the time interval per see but also on actual mileage. Similarly an aircraft would require depot level structural checks after ‘X’ hours has been flown or after a certain period; whichever comes first …

  10. @ marhalim

    “The requested DE allocation for RMK12 for Defence is RM55 billion”
    I think it is irresponsible for the defence leaders to request something that is clearly cannot be afforded by the government. They must know from history that defence allocation for each 5 year Rancangan Malaysia plan that can be afforded by the government is only around USD 5 Billion. That with the current bad exchange would be no more than RM 25 billion. Requesting more than 2x of usual afforded budget shows a planning that is detached from reality, and really puts into question how seriously they take their job to ensure the security of the country is not compromised.

    When I think about defence DE, I usually use this numbers for my plans/suggestions:
    RMK 5 year defence allocation – USD 5 billion
    TLDM – USD 2 billion
    TUDM – USD 1.7 billion
    TDM – USD 1.3 billion

    APMM – USD 0.5-0.6 billion

    Anything that goes over that budget is to me something that cannot be afforded by Malaysian government.

    “MMEA is getting RM621 million in 2024 compared to RM240 million last year”
    From my files, the APMM DE was RM719 million in 2023… How come it is only RM240 million? Is that the actual spending?

  11. Out if curiosity why the new aircraft, helos, crafts for m.m.e.a is being mixed for the mindef listing. By right those few items should b under kdn purview.
    Hopefully d 70 afv is d gempita, 12 helos is d caracal, LTV ? Cendana auto or abjan c/w r.w s of at least a 12.7mm gun

  12. Azlan on quantity of helos : TUDM need 27 platform. Existing in service,12 platform. Lack of 15, n with d announcement on 12 TUDM still needs further 3
    7 twin engine aircraft likely for PGU PDRM

  13. Cannot as it is not a military aircraft, if its Leonardo its must be the AW149. But it will depend on the requirements, really.

  14. How is planning being irresponsible? It is up to the government to put up the money. Do note that all Kementerian do the same thing, eg, Health Ministry asked for RM34 billion in DE funds for RMK12, they have so far been allocated RM14 billion. Education asked for RM42 billion and got around RM12 billion. Tourism asked for RM651 million and got RM200 million so far.

  15. Kamal, If you count the current TUDM lease of 4 AW139 and 4 more on the way..the number should be sufficient for their needs in think.

  16. “How is planning being irresponsible?”

    It is akin as if your father only have the means to buy Proton X50, but you always ask your father to buy a Volvo XC40 instead, which he clearly does not have the budget for.

    I would understand if the planning is 20% over normal budgetary allocations (RM 30 Billion), but at RM 55 Billion this is like 110% over!

    So is it a responsible plan if it is impossible to be executed?

    In TUDM CAP55 plan, in the introduction, it was stated that basic planning (asas perancangan) needs to consider:
    1. Kemampuan (affordability)
    2. Tepat pada masa (timeliness)
    3. Efektif (effective)
    4. Realistik (realistic)

    When you plan to ask for stuff that will cost a total of RM55 Billion when you know the government usually only gives less than RM25 billion to you, you already failed 2 of the 4 points which is
    1. Kemampuan (affordability)
    4. Realistik (realistic)

    In project management, you always plan something that must be within the timeline and budget allocated. You will be fired if you present a plan or request that needs 110% more money that you are budgeted.

  17. Many of the things there are those ones which have been held back since at least three RMKs, ones which the government had greenlighted but not funded. The 12 helicopters being bought for RMAF included in 2024, was supposed to be bought in 2014/15 period to supplement the 12 that was bought in 2010. BTW, since the MRSS has not been funded since 1997 and clearly there is no funds for them in the next RMK, should RMN take it out from its list of things it wants?

    It’s the same with RMAF and Army, if they want for MR-SAM missiles and they see that the capabilities they need to have, should they take it from the list, so they could be responsible to the government?

    Or the PAT and the other services leadership resigned from their positions as the government did not want to follow their plans?

  18. Yes i totally understand that predicament.

    But we need to see that what planned in 2007 is probably not the thing that we need in 2027…

    When TUDM planned for 1 to 1 replacement of the nuri in the early 2000s, i am sure there was no plan for PUTD to also operate its own medium lift helicopters (and now have a complete infrastructure built to house them). There is surely no plan for TLDM to operate their own medium lift helicopters in the shape of AW139 HOM.

  19. PUTD plans to operate medium helicopters was obvious even back then. Why do you think they decide to operate the Nuri then? There was never the plan to replace the Nuri one-to-one otherwise, it will be 48 helicopters, at least.

  20. … – “only gives less than RM25 billion to you, you already failed 2 of the 4 points which is
    1. Kemampuan (affordability)
    4. Realistik (realistic)”

    There is the pertinent part where the MAF – like most militaries – ask for more then they realise they’ll get in the knowledge that asking for the bare minimum might result in even the bare minimum not being funded. It’s nothing to do with “realistic” …

    At times the services are also expected to make known all they want with the policy makers then deciding.

    …. – “When TUDM planned for 1 to 1 replacement of the nuri in the early 2000s, i am sure there was no plan for PUTD to also operate its own medium lift ”

    Yes there was such a plan by that period and it was already widely known.

  21. … – “It is akin as if your father only have the means to buy Proton X50, but you always ask your father to buy a Volvo XC40 instead, which he clearly does not have the budget for”

    What about the part where the MAF presents various options and thinks “out of the box” but has to deal with a political leadership which is indifferent; hardly commits to anything on time and constantly shifts priorities? Don’t make it sound like the
    MAF is detached from reality; has no understating of the situation and which is inflexible; whilst asking for the moon and sky.

    Lest it be forgotten it’s the government’s care of duty to ensure the MAF gets what it needs to do its job and if the government can’t commit then it has to make it known. Judging by certain comments one would think that the government is doing the MAF a favour by funding it.

  22. Original TUDM plan was for 36 medium lift helicopters to replace the Nuris with the premise of concentrating on CSAR.

    PUTD was only passed the nuris in like 2015 after TUDM finally agreed for.

    So in early 2000s PUTD operating nuri was not in the plans. PUTD also was prioritising getting attack helicopters and does not want to take up utility roles at the time (which i really disagreed with at that time).

  23. Actually the fact that the government seem to be able to afford it without bankrupting the country implies the country can afford it? Or is this more of it is not affordable because there is less tongkat to give out?

  24. Zul : if my memory servese right there’s only 4 aw139 leased until 2026.
    And the other 4 is d UH60 for PUTD, not TUDM.

  25. Marhalim : Yup MMEA is under national security sector but budget wise either OE or DE is under the purview of KDN.
    That RM19.70b is purely for Mindef only

  26. Yes the Army wanted AH but also at the same time, they wanted medium lift capability as the AH was supposed to accompany them into battle. The AH was never supposed to go out looking for tanks and enemy formation, all the time. They knew if they only asked for AH, they will not be funded as the aircraft cannot do civilian tasks.

  27. Did I say it was supposed to come from Defence, all I said was that during the speech PMX mix together the items including the PDRM and MMEA.

  28. … – ”passed the nuris in like 2015 after TUDM finally agreed”

    No, the RMAF would have liked to do it earlier but the army wasn’t ready. Feasibility plans on a transfer were done way way before 2015 but – again – the army wasn’t ready and as it turned out it took much longer than expected to get its Nuris up and running.

    … – ”So in early 2000s PUTD operating nuri was not in the plans.”

    It was; only that you’re unaware. It only however began to gain traction later. By the late 1990’s the RMAF was already planning to eventually divest itself of the troop carrying role and was a reason why it was happy so to speak when the Army Aviation Corps was up and running in 1995.

    … – ”PUTD also was prioritising getting attack helicopters and does not want to take up utility roles at the time (which i really disagreed with at that time).”

    If you look back at that period it was the politicians who were ”prioritising” or were fixated on gunships; leading to Tiger being sent here. Hint; the same politician who later was so gaga about Typhoon and later Rafale. The army’s priority at that period was a medium lift platform and it was not keen at all in getting Nuris.

    … – ”(which i really disagreed with at that time”

    You and apparently others as well …

  29. So is the point being the Army should prioritise buying Attack Helicopters? The armed forces had around 30+ medium helis – Nuris – when the rotaries was reorganised between RMAF and Army. Today the entire force only has 12 EC725. The armed forces collectively is short by at least 25 medium helicopters, and has been short for at least 15 years. I don’t think attack helicopters is a priority, or more important than attack helicopters.

  30. @hulubalang
    If you ever had done budgeting (or knew someone who does it for his dept/organisation) you’d know that its always a matter or shooting high and see where it lands. I would usually put in a comfortable budget knowing that if i get cut 50% i can still barely make it work (it always gets cut 30-40% or else deferred to next year).

    Like it or not budgeting is like haggling in a wet market and both sides try to be in a win-win position, tho for national projects its often more a case of politicians meddling with the sum approved, making a difficult job become impossible (ie using tight LCS budget to further fund BNS yard upgrades).

    The Armed Forces asking 50% is so they can do their job well. Getting 50% less (less than 1% GDP!!!) just meant doing what they are doing now barely adequately.

  31. …. – “). There is surely no plan for TLDM to operate their own medium lift helicopters in the shape of AW139 HOM”

    Indeed but in the future? A few years ago it would have been inconceivable that the RMN would need anything larger than its Fennecs and Lynxs. As it turns out however the limited lift capacity of both types and the need at times to carry PASKAL teams and other things lead to a requirement for a slightly larger platform. Lest it be overlooked with the RMAF only having a pair of Cougars in East Malaysia the RMN when needed has to lift its own stuff to the Spratlys; only Layang- Layang has an airstrip and not every tasking will call for a C-130. On another matter has a A400M flown to Layang-Layang yet?

  32. Was surprised with RM2 billion extra allocation but at least TUDM helicopter fleet will be augmented from the current 12 EC725 and 4 AW149. Hopefully one day it will go back to the same heli fleet strength level of 48 heli.
    Looking at the trend, i am predicting an expansionary defense budget next 2 years. The money for the expansionary budget will come from the fuel subsidy rationalisation. 2024 the fuel subsidy is expected to be around 40 billion, which if iam predicting that will be fully taken out by 2026. Out of the expected savings of subsidy, defenxe may get additional 10 bilkion in DE till 2026 [both mindef and internal dedense) but post 2026 with the government target to reduce fiscal deficit by 3% of gdp (even with potential GST coming back) DE for defense sector may see a substantial cut

  33. … – “is with the premise of concentrating on CSAR.”

    CSAR/SAR and SF insertion. That was the sexy plan but the RMAF was never under illusions that the army would be able to fully cater for its own aviation needs anytime soon. The RMAF pushed the CSAR/SAR and SF insertion angle as a way of getting funding just like how years ago it pointed out to the decision makers that a AEW platform also has quite a bit of non military peacetime utility; national security wise.

    The mainstream media didn’t report but a local magazine did and it was known in the industry that there were plans to get CSAR/SAR configured NH-90s but the Nuri crash near Genting occurred.

  34. Kamal – “. Hopefully one day it will go back to the same heli fleet strength level of 48 heli”

    No it won’t and neither does the RMAF intend to.

    No that it has a large rotary fleet back then because we had an insurgency problem and neither the army or RMN has any rotary assts. Today the situation has changed; mercy flights and other peacetime taskings are also handled by the army, RMN, MMEA and BOMBA and we do not lift troops around like we did during the Emergency. Also as has been pointed out the RMAF wants to focus on SAR, CSAR and SF support.

    On paper the army should have a larger rotary fleet than the RMAF but limited resources is a major factor.

  35. “has a A400M flown to Layang-Layang yet?”
    I’d be surprised if it hadn’t done so (or at least tested once) considering the high mileage our birds have done. Unless they are being used as regular AirAsia between East & West MY….

  36. Nope, emergency landing due to failure of port starboard landing gear. It skidded on the runway at Subang at 115pm. No one was injured.

  37. Kel – “So is the point being the Army should prioritise buying Attack Helicopters”

    The “point” is where was this mentioned?

    Kel – “Today the entire force only has 12 EC725”

    Yes but as has been explained; the end of the Emergency saw much less sorties which needed to be generated and unlike the past when it was the RMAF and only the RMAF; mercy flights and SAR are jointly performed by rotary assets belonging to the army. RMN, Police, BOMBA and MMEA. Thus, together with the fact that it has officially divested itself of the troop carrying role [resupply sorties to army troops in islands off Sabah and the Melaka Straits as well as to posts along the Kalimantan border are still RMAF performed]; the RMAF has less need for rotary assets compared to the past.

    Kel – “I don’t think attack helicopters is a priority, or more important than attack helicopters”

    Who said it was a “priority”? “I think” you need to keep up to date with happenings and follow the discussion ….

    Attack helicopters for the army were looked at about a decade or so ago for a brief period and prior to we came close to getting Rooivalk for the RMAF in 1996/1997. That was then; as of 2023 attack helicopters aren’t a priority [ the requirement hasn’t even been officially registered] anymore than a horse drawn howitzer or a 100 kiloton warhead.

  38. About the 12 Helicopters for TUDM.

    Previously TUDM plan for those additional helicopters was for
    – 12 medium lift helicopters in RMK13 2026-2030
    – 12 medium lift helicopters in RMK14 2031-2035

    Now the approval is for 12 medium lift helicopters in RMK12 2021-2025, and explicitly included in 2024 Budget.

    So what has changed? Is the budget for the helicopters still the same? What item that is supposed for RMK12 that is deferred so that the helicopter requirement was approved much earlier than planned?

    With this, the approved buy for TUDM in RMK12 2021-2025 are
    USD0.95 for 18 FA-50MY
    USD0.171 for 2 ATR-72 MPA
    USD0.091 for 3 ANKA MPA
    USD0.04 for 1 GM400 Alpha – Ground Radar
    USD??? for 12 medium lift helicopter

    How much is the budget for this 12 helicopter buy? TUDM spent USD657 million to buy 12 EC725 before. Would the budget be the same? would it be less?

    To compare, the Philippines recently paid USD624 million to buy 32 Blackhawks.

    Lowest cost to fulfill the requirement? Get ex civil EC225LP and upgrade with military-spec radios, to get them to nearly the same cockpit spec with the existing EC725.
    Say each EC225LP+mods will cost USD11 mil. 12 units would cost USD 132 million. There are 5 units of idle EC225LP with Boustead (MHS), and buying this from Boustead will also help them to gain some hard cash for their idle assets.

    Does any other airforce use civil-spec EC225LP? Yes, even the French air force. Google 2752, one of Armée de l’Air EC225LP.

  39. Again, what is the issue? The government agrees to spend, everyone thinks the amount is still not enough – if the 1% GDP target is used. The country is not bankrupt. Maybe less subsidies and tongkat to give out but giving less subsidies is the right thing to do in the long run. We don’t even know what the 12 helicopters are. We do know for logistics and operational purposes, it would be better to stick with the Caracal family, or stay within the Eurocopter family. So, again, what is the issue? Is this a case of not enough tongkat to give out?

  40. I am quite surprised that the dozen medium lifters will be earmarked to TUDM and not to PUTD which needs them more. If TUDM was looking to get out of hauling the Army this is the last thing they need.

    I know someone will say ‘PUTD is not ready..’ blah blah blah, but that is putting the cart before the horse. If PUTD is not given the tools they needed to expand they will never be ready to take on the role they were stood up for. If manpower and facilities are the limitations they could easily plan to transfer half the A109 crews and all the MD530 crew (since these were unwanted so better just mothball them) in batches to new Blackhawks, using the incoming leased ones for conversion training.

    “Get ex civil EC225LP and upgrade with military-spec radios”
    Brand new made in Poland S70 cost only USD $15mil each plus mil spec radios maybe $100k without the worry or headache of EC725/EC225’s issue. And it would be a logical step going from the incoming leased Blackhawks if those medium lifters were put under PUTD instead.

  41. Do note that the third batch of medium helicopters will come after the first dozen had already been in service for 20 years at least. They has also been flying hard.

  42. Yes.By right army will have more manpower than AF so they just need to add required manpower to man the army aviation unit..Sure our armed force structure are not the same with other countries and tend to be complicated at times but yeah army need to have their own hauling/logistic/transporter heli squadron..They have nuri squadron before and i dont see any problem for them to operate other medium lift heli just need trainig thats all.RMAF should focus on sar/csar with their additional minor roles to support putd hauling roles,just only when required..So yeah for tudm just stick with airbus helos,upgrade those caracals to fullspec csar and bought the like of h215m to complement that h225m if the budget prevent them to add additional h225m

  43. Also, if Army is not putting more helicopters at the top of the list, why should it affect RMAF’s decision to setup a second squadron? Government willing to buy more equipment and in this case, its what the RMAF wants (a follow up order to the EC725). If Army doesnt want to prioritise helicopters why is it Air Force’s problem?

  44. “I am quite surprised that the dozen medium lifters will be earmarked to TUDM and not to PUTD which needs them more”

    Would you be “surprised” that it could be because the RMAF – unlike the army – is in a better position to absorb a squadron’s worth of assets in the short term? Also, what if the army decided it wanted to focus on other assets first; before a Nuri replacement?

    “. If TUDM was looking to get out of hauling the Army this is the last thing they need”

    Why? The RMAF might see the primary use of thee new assets as performing SAR/SF insertion and a myriad of other peacetime roofs such as mercy flights and HADR. Also as has been pointed out; whilst officially the RMAF has divested itself of the troop carrying role; whose helicopters haul army troops when there is a need? Whose helicopters supply army troops along the Kalimantan border and on islands off Sabah and in the Melaka Straits?

    “I know someone will say ‘PUTD is not ready..’ blah blah blah, but that is putting the cart before the horse”

    That “someone” is me chum and no the army does not have the needed manpower and other resources at hand. As it is;if you’re unaware it took longer than anticipated getting the Niro’s up and running and after that had issues sustainment wise.

    Also, since you mentioned it look up the term “putting the cart before the horse”. Getting new assets without taking into account that manpower; funding and ground support infrastructure will have to be improved is “putting the horse before the cart”.

    How can one operate and sustain assets if there is there is limited resources [or “blah, blah” as you put it] to begin with?

    “they could easily plan to transfer half the A109 crews and all the MD530 crew (since these were unwanted so better just mothball them) in batches to new Blackhawks”

    You might think this is “easily” done and it does sound “easy” on paper but is this actually realistic or “easy” ? Just because it didn’t originally specify a need for the Little Birds doesn’t mean it’s willing to let go of them now [don’t assume and conflate] and what makes you and as for transferring personnel [limited to begin with]; who replaces them?

    “If PUTD is not given the tools they needed to expand they will never be ready to take on the role they were stood up for”

    Quite obviously ….; same with the MMEA and others.

    Ask yourself or try find out by wherever means if manpower levels have increased in recent years; is there a shortage of trained engineering/tech people; apart from some new facilities in Kuantan and Kluang to cater for the Little Birds and Nuris how much new and infrastructure has been added? Also, how many people left the service or were transferred elsewhere due to redundancy and other issues after the Nuris were prematurely retired?

    These “blah and blah” are highly pertinent questions which have a major bearing on future expansion.

  45. Nope, two of the Mi-17s were bought for the police though the first two were bought specifically for Bomba. Yes, RMAF pilots were seconded to the Bomba to help them out. The agent (the Perkasa guy) tried to sell them to RMAF to meet the Nuri replacement programme but of course, it did not happen.

  46. on the medium lift helicopter capability and requirements.

    Medium lift (my personal opinion) is considered as a heli that can lift at least 12 person.

    So it should be AW139, blackhawk and heavier.

    in the 1990s there was around 36 Nuris remaining with 4 TUDM squadrons
    – 3 Skn Butterworth
    – 5 Skn Labuan
    – 7 Skn Kuching
    – 10 Skn Kuantan
    So I consider that is the number that we (malaysia as a whole) need

    Currently (+ in planning)
    – 5x AW139 (1 crashed)
    – 4x MIL Mi-17/171
    – 2x AW139
    – 1x AW189 (1 crashed)
    – 3x AW139
    – 3x AW139 HOM (+2 more to be bought)
    – 12x EC725
    – Infrastructure (buildings+hangars+aprons+helipads) completed to house 12x medium lift helicopters.

    So even without the additional approval for 12 helicopter for TUDM, there is a total of around 44 medium lift helicopters available or in planning. Now with 12 more helicopters for TUDM is approved, there will be a total of 56 medium lift helicopters available across several services.

    So do we need a 3rd batch of 12 helicopters for TUDM?

    Should TUDM invest AEW instead in RMK13?

    We missed out on a pair of cheap AEW aircraft recently. Poland recently bought 2x SAAB 340 Erieye AEW aircraft for just USD58 million. It is said to be ex UAE passed back to SAAB as they got their new Globaleye.

    @ marhalim

    “They has also been flying hard”
    Military “flying hard” cannot be compared to daily oil & gas flying. Average flight hours of Nuri after 50 years is only around 6k hours. oil & gas seakings of the same vintage generally have 30k hours on them.

    @ joe

    Logical step for TUDM is more EC225/EC725. Logical step for PUTD is of course Blackhawks. Portugal recently bought 6 used blackhawks for USD 47 million. Why used? Because we are not going to use 1970s vintage blackhawks 50 years into the future from now are we? We should get any brand new advanced vertical lift systems available in 2040, and not flying blackhawks by then.

  47. Alex,

    At one point there was a plan by SME Aviation with government backing to get Mil-17s for the RMAF but this is totally not unconnected with the Mil-17s for BOMBA.

    … – “ Military “flying hard” cannot be compared to daily oil & gas flying“

    Yes but nobody made a comparison did they and military helis – unlike civil ones – do tactical flying which adds to the “wear and tear”.

    That’s hard to answer because it’s highly subjective. My opinion is that helis should be bought first; whether for the army if RMAF. On the other hand without a AEW platform we will never be able to operate our fighter assets to their full potential; irrespective of what radar they have or the maximum range of their AAMs..

    If left to the RMAF I suspect it would want AEWs first but that’s a policy decision on the part of the government.

    … – is considered as a heli that can lift at least 12 person”

    Lift 12 people; including 12 men fully loaded with gear; as well as able to undersling a load for a certain distance.

  48. … – “We should get any brand new advanced vertical lift systems available in 2040, and not flying blackhawks”

    Yes but the keyword is “should”.

    – The Nuris should have been upgraded as planed in the late 1990s.
    – The FACs should have been upgraded as planned in the 1990’s.
    – A certain politician should have listened and not insisted on buying Jenas, Laksamanas, Fulcrums and Flankers.
    – The politicians should not have the rot go so deep; the RMM having to conduct rehulls of certain ships well past their retirement dates.
    – By 2023 the MAF – as previously planned – should already have laid the foundations of being a joint network centric organisation.

    I could go on. On “vertical lift systems“ whether we actually are in a position to make the transition really remains to be seen; affordability; what will actually be available then and politics; never mind whdt will or won’t be available – on paper – then.
    About 18 odd years ago or maybe more; I remember someone saying that by the 2020’s traditional rotary assets would be a thing of the past and all “should” have transitioned to Osprey or something similar.

  49. ” Also, what if the army decided it wanted to focus on other assets first”
    Other assets which are not related to their day to day hauling needs that happens to be more critical and would be crippling if it weren’t for TUDM taking up their slack? What happens if TUDM chiefs decided to prioritise their own resources somewhere else?

    “performing SAR/SF insertion and a myriad of other peacetime”
    Which TUDM should/will prioritise their resources & budget for their own tasks and not for other duties which are secondary which was something they wanted to get out off.

    “whose helicopters haul army troops when there is a need?”
    Shouldnt that be the task of PUTD and thus their own choppers? Oh wait they cant because they dont get enuff choppers, manpower & infra because they arent ready blah blah blah. Why arent they ready? Because they dont have enuff choppers, manpower & infra blah blah blah. So which cart is before the horse.

    “doesn’t mean it’s willing to let go of them now”
    Even when its unneeded nor unwanted for other jobs that it could put in more resources for which are deemed more critical? I dont think so. If I give you a car which can do more things you needed to do, will you still often use that kapcai which you hated? They will sure know how to prioritise their resources & manpower if you give them the tools to do their jobs.

    “if manpower levels have increased in recent years”
    When there is no demand, how can they justify to increase it? If the beancounters sees what is available thus sufficient for the A109s & MDs plus a few leased Blackhawks, what can sway them to allow an increase in manpower? New equipment of course! To do their role which they were stood up for! If that horse dont go in front of the cart it will never move!

    “These “blah and blah” are highly pertinent questions”
    These blah blah blah has been an albatross limiting PUTDs ever since their key role was scupper with early retirement of their Nuris. High time for PUTD to break out of their impasse.

    What I see happening now is things going back to old status quo, with TUDM taking back the role of hauling the Army while PUTD is in limbo having limitation doing neither here nor there.

  50. Nope, the only surplus NH-90s are MRH-90s of Oz. A bespoke version of the NH-90s which even Oz cannot figure out. Why should we try it then?

  51. @ h

    I would’t touch those NH-90s even with a barge pole.
    All talk about PUTD lack of infrastructure.

    Just a reminder that currently PUTD has the latest helicopter hangar complex of any of the services out there. A large complex in Kuantan consisting of buildings, hangars, helipads, etc. to cater the operation and sustainment of at least 12 medium lift helicopters (Project name – Projek Pembinaan Hangar Pesawat Nuri (PUTD) Kem Batu 10)

  52. Hulubalang: yup n currently it is occupied by the 6 md530g. I always wonder why they decided to put a base there instead of upgrading it’s kluang facilities. I believe there’s also a runway suitable for STOL platform.

  53. Kluang has a grass runway – 1250m x 37m

    The new PUTD base in Kem Batu 10 has a very long taxiway connected to the Kuantan AFB runway. Usually helicopters can just takeoff from the 12 helipads near the hangar, no need to go to the runway.

  54. .. – “All talk about PUTD lack of infrastructure”

    Yes the Army Aviation Corps has limited manpower and needs to expand its infrastructure; not just hangars and things like that but also the ability to train people. What it has now is stretched sustaining what it has.

    Like I said; how many people have left or were transferred elsewhere after the premature retirement of the Nuri? Over the past few years how much manpower had been added? At any one time with the assets it has how many pilots can it train and in how many intakes per annum? How many aircrews, support staff; logistics, admin and other people do you think they are in a squadron [don’t give me apples to oranges comparisons with other units worldwide]? Any idea as to the admin and other challenges associated with raising a squadron; the time and resources required? It’s not as if the army is flushed with conscripts and has a large manpower pool to begin with.

    Things don’t happen in a vacuum.

    Ponder on these pertinent factors before assuming things are they way you’d like them to be.

  55. Yes things don’t happen in a vacuum.

    A large infrastructure for medium lift costing millions does not just appear from thin air.

    I managed to talk with a few of the 882 personnel just a few weeks before the blackhawk lease was approved.

    Most of persons/pilots/cabin crew that was recruited for the nuri project was still around, but their currency are all expired (most of them last flew in 2020). At the time they are based in Butterworth, and still unsure the new base in Kuantan will go to them, or to the 883 MD530G regiment. The rumors of blackhawk is there, but nothing in black and white yet. Even at that time they do really hope that they can get blackhawks for the nuri replacement.

    Now they have made the new hangars in Kuantan as their official home. They have started training on the blackhawks in turkey. I wonder why so far away when Brunei has one of the most advanced blackhawk simulators in south east asia? I would also hope that there could be a secondment of a few Brunei blackhawk crew to 882 Rgt, to strengthen the military relationship between the 2 blackhawk users.

  56. “Why should we try it then?”
    Indeed, even the European users are just waiting to replace their own ones. This chopper is bad doodoo and ironically it was the lovechild of 2 well established EU chopper companies.

    “All talk about PUTD lack of infrastructure”
    Indeed it was for the reason that PUTD was stood up to support TDM and hauling themselves. Lacking in resources is just an excuse not to do their jobs. So why not give them the resources, the medium lift choppers, to do just that?

    “Over the past few years how much manpower had been added?”
    Cuz beancounters will ask them back; ‘if you have sufficient manpower for that dozen of A109 and a handful of MDs why need to ask for more? You dont have any other assets wat’ See the conundrum here?
    Rudimentary Supply & Demand problem. Create the demand and supply will follow. No demand, so no supply. Look it up.

    “the army is flushed with conscripts and has a large manpower”
    By default TDM has the largest pool of manpower amongst the armed forces tho…

  57. Probably because the Black Hawk simulator in Brunei are meant for the new S-70/UH-60M version while Turkey is operating the older version of the Hawks, which is the same as ours. I was told previously the RMAF Black Hawk crew also train in Turkey. Brunei AF dont have enough people to second them to us. Short joint training is possible.

  58. … – “A large infrastructure for medium lift costing millions does not just appear from thin air”

    Well thanks awfully and hallelujah because that’s exactly what I’ve been driving at. Something I agree with and something which has relevance to the discussion on subs.

    “Indeed it was for the reason that PUTD was stood up to support TDM and hauling themselves”

    Not really. It also has to do with the RMAF pushing for it. FYI plans were first made in the 1970’s and several army people trended with SEA helicopters but a lack of funding scrapped the plan and they were transferred to the RMAF.

    “Lacking in resources is just an excuse not to do their jobs”

    Well, I don’t know whom you’ve met but the few I’ve had the chance to speak to were very enthusiastic about their job and contrary to your claim were not the type prone to excuses.

    If one doesn’t have enough trained men to operate and sustain assets; how does this become an “excuse”? If there are insufficient numbers to ensure a teddy pool to draw from; how does this become an “excuse”? Any actual indication that the army has been making excuses?

    “By default TDM has the largest pool of manpower amongst the armed forces tho”

    Yes but of the ‘X’ number who enter the army; how many are assigned to the Aviation Corps and of that how many are actually assigned to squadrons? You also have to ask how many leave annually; either due to retirement or other reasons or are transferred out of the Aviation Corps.

    “Look it up.”

    Thanks awfully for the advice. I may not be well acquainted with the idea as you obviously are bit I’m well aware of it but ta again.

    I also have to question whether the claim you made in reference to the bean counters and the supply and demand part because I was under the impression – as related to me – that manpower issues were due to another reason. The classic issue many peacetime all volunteer armies face in retaining the number of trained and experience people they need.

    “So why not give them the resources, the medium lift choppers, to do just that”

    Direct that question to the decision makers and ask them the same about the MMEA and a host of other things.

  59. “but their currency are all expired”
    Sad to see them twiddling their fingers because some thinks they are not yet ready to do their jobs so they dont need those equipment yet. I really hope the decision makers wake up and realise to give them those choppers instead of TUDM. Really sad.

  60. Huh? The 12 helicopters meant for RMAF has been sought for the last 20 years. Most of TD money for the last ten years were for the Gempita.

  61. ” Something I agree with and something which has relevance to the discussion on subs ”

    Our sub infra…

    As you also agreed, what we currently have could support up to 4 subs.

    My plan was to slowly add submarines to the fleet, 1 in 2026-2030, 1 in 2031-2035, and 2 more in 2036-2040.

    Even if we slowly add more infrastructure for submarines starting 2026, it would be more than enough time to add infrastructure for 2 more subs.

    Li-Ion submarines would not need extra infrastructure to support them compared to current scorpenes, unlike AIP or nuclear subs.

    pictures below of TNI-AU submarine sheds, something we could also do.


    “The recent sighting of a foreign submarine off Pulau Perak in the Strait of Malacca shows the gap in intelligence and enforcement capabilities that should not be taken lightly by the Government”

    Gap in intelligence? How come this professor at the National Defence University didn’t know that the sub recently in the Strait of Malacca is INS Sindhukesari? You can track it with AIS and official indian navy sources…

    Other stuff from that, asking 4% of GDP for defence is somewhat impossible. Even 2% is a big ask. Allocations are stable for the past 2 decades at least. What we can do is prioritize carefully, eliminate waste, execute projects properly and we could create a respectable armed force.

    PS. how to read the article – scroll all the way down, then scroll back up. the article will be clear to read.

  63. How exactly are our subs berthed when the are in Sepanggar? Just out in the open like the ships?

  64. “He forecasted wrongly that the MPA, LCA and MALE UAS will be cancelled…”

    Yes he is wrong there, as all of those has their contracts officially signed.

    But I somewhat agree with him when he say that whatever the external threats our neighbours policy planners are taking into account, it should be applicable to us too as we all live in the same neighbourhood.

  65. Joe – “So why not give them the resources, the medium lift choppers, to do just that?”

    while giving PUTD the helo would increase the operational effeciencies to TDM by cutting down the barrier of red trap when asking something from TUDM. They aren’t exactly cut out of the usage of those helo & they still have some helo of their owns just in case RMAF is being a pain in the butt.

    The red tape barrier could be improved without much cost to the gov by improving jointness etc etc thus the policies planners in their infinite wisdoms decided that the little inconvinience is not worth the cost of giving those helo to PUTD (as they need to comes up with money to pays for rapid buildup in manpower & ground infra as well) compared too the more cost effective measures of giving the helo to RMAF.

    They are still investing in PUTD but not in an uneconomical rapid rate but rather by doing it slowly & most importantly cheaply. It also doesn’t help PUTD if the helo they got in mind is not exactly the helo policies planner wanted (for national interest reasons as after all they needed every cost to be justified by maximizing it’s political, sosial & economical Benefits). It’s also doesn’t help PUTD what helo RMAF had in mind is the same things the policy planners wanted & thus the policies makers favors their proposals more.

  66. “were not the type prone to excuses.”
    No but your giving them that. High time they get the equipment so they can do their jobs.

    “If one doesn’t have enough trained men to operate and sustain assets”
    If one doesnt have the equipment to train on, you will never get enough trained personnel. You dont ask a student to build a school so they can learn, you build the school so the students can learn.

    “how many are assigned to the Aviation Corps and squadrons?”
    That is TDMs prerogative and decision. But with a larger pool of manpower, to find talent is a bit easier than straining from a smaller pool. Those who got talent to fly will fly and those with aptitude for mechanics, whom would usually have to work on armoured vehicles & arties, could be trained as ground support & aviation mechanics. Even existing technicians could be retrained to learn on aviation handling & maintenance. Nothing is impossible.

    “retaining the number of trained and experience people they need”
    Its the same in any technical industries at the civvie sector. Ask me if I have enuff technicians to repair trucks. But you dont find things stop working or massive breakdowns directly due to lack of talent, manpower, capabilities. Lack of proper tools/equipment is usually the main limiting factor. No enuff tools? Cannot do proper job. No enuff tools? Cannot train enuff people.

    “ask them the same about the MMEA and a host”
    The concern in this discussion is about TDM & PUTD not MMEA and others.
    Of course others have the same issue too but they arent related to PUTD’s lack of ability to haul the Army.

  67. Joe in my last story on new pilots, the Army only got three new pilots. Even RMAF could only get 15 pilots and they have about the 18,000 personnel. As the Army are more interested in getting more people in its other branches instead of PUTD. The Army is must be noted has around 118,000 personnel.

  68. Hulubalang : kluang with grass runway. 1.25km long n yes helos can take off from their respective pads. The key word is why kluang putd base were not upgraded to allow all the units within putd to b housed under 1 roof. Any idea ?

  69. Again, RMAF wants the helicopters, the government is willing to pay it, seems able to afford it, why is this a RMAF problem? Why make it sound like its the fault of the government that the RMAF is getting new helicopters instead of the Army, when the RMAF do want those new helicopters. If we look at things in totality, RMAF gets MPA, MALE drones, LCA, and Helicopters. Equipment that fits their CAP55 plan. Even RMN is getting equipment that fits into their 15to5 plan – and they insist the priority is more surface combatants so they can retire the smaller and very old ships. No one knows what 4nexG actually sets out. Maybe 4nexG says aviation is bottom of the list? So instead of people just blaming the government for everything, as I have said before, prioritisation actually starts with the MAF, not the government. If Army prefers more armour instead of more aviation, why is the Army not getting helicopters a RMAF problem?

  70. @Zaft
    “The red tape barrier could be improved by improving jointness”
    We could also go the way of the Brits with RAF handling all the chopper duties and clearly assigned to haul the Army, support them with tactical & attack choppers, etc. That is, if part of TUDM is willing to be subconded to that role. Such was the case in the past but I gather that PUTD existence was because they no longer wanted to do that role anymore.

    “by doing it slowly & most importantly cheaply”
    That is the problem, and it doesnt help that TDM chiefs also do not put priority to PUTD, perhaps because there is TUDM to take the hauling job but what happens if TUDM have other more important priorities (to them)? As I said, Govt needs to give PUTD the tools to do their job.

    “the helo they got in mind is not exactly the helo policies planner wanted”
    Also because the beancounters didnt give them enuff budget to buy the choppers they wanted. The leased Blackhawks is case in point.

    “Army are more interested in getting more people in its other branches instead of PUTD”
    That is a problem there when TDM themselves dont put priority to build up PUTD manpower. Still with 3 pax, given an industrial standard attrition rate of 1/3 leaves 2 pilots in active service per year and that means in 5 years time PUTD would still have 10 active duty pilots (from a grad of 15). We arent going to receive all 12 choppers in one go so staggered by batches there will be enuff chopper jobs for the upcoming PUTD pilots years to come. Nothing is impossible.

    “Why make it sound like its the fault of the government”
    Because partly it is their fault? Who needs to haul the Army? TUDM or TDM themselves? If its TDM/PUTDs job why give it to someone else? Someone that no longer wanted to do it anymore?
    Did I blame TUDM? Nope.
    TUDM wanted those choppers because they know that job has now rebounded into their laps so like it or not, they have to swallow it with a happy face. It was a (current) Govt decision to change that policy and the Govt is all to happy to give it to them.

  71. @ kamal

    The idea of the PUTD medium lift helicopters in Kuantan is for them to support 18RAMD (kuala terengganu) to undertake airborne operations.

  72. There is no guarantee that the Army will be getting 3 new pilots every year for five years. As long as the civil aviation market is strong, they and RMAF and other services will lose more than their fair share of pilots. Most of them are only contractually bound for 10 years of service.

    And by virtue of its not the most important Army unit, the chances of promotion are low which is also the reason why pilots leave for the private sector.

  73. Personally in order to maintain a deterrent force and at the same time mindful of cost implication, why cant we adopt a strategy where airforce/navy equupment mainly from Europe/korea/turky while ground forces arms mainly turjey/china/europe or even south africa? Well china now a producer of medium to high quality arms at lower cost compared to the western manufacturers , have met NATo arms specifications plus the likelyhood of we ever going to have a ground confrantation with PLA is extremely remote. Items such as 6×6 IFV, 155mm Wheel SPH and even tanks, where its generally priced 40% lower

  74. IMO we cannot both say that we are buddies with china, but cannot/don’t want to buy any weapons from them.

    I would understand if it is sensitive tech or has softwares linked back to chinese servers.

    But i don’t see big problems with say SPH howitzers or ammo for 125mm and 155mm guns and howitzers.

    Or we could buy a few new techs like loitering munitions to study and acquaint ourselves with the technology. So that we can have a better requirement in the future with the knowledge.

    I would like to say the LMS is okay, but unfortunately it isn’t due to alibaba through BNS with absurd price paid to BNS. Other nations (thailand, nigeria for example) got Corvette-sized OPVs from china (from the same Wuhan shipyard even) for much cheaper price than the LMS 68.

  75. I concur with you Hulubalang. I am actually talking from point of view sourcing items like 155mm wheel SPH and IFV 6×6 as they are reasonable priced compared to even our current supplier of the month Turkiye. For ifv 6×6 if i am not mistaken Thailand got them for less than USD2 mil a piece. Even one day if we ever want to add or replace our tanks, the VT4 with its USD5 mil plus price deemed affordable but off course its up to the politician and army top brass

  76. “There is no guarantee that the Army will be getting 3 new pilots”
    Which is where standard attrition plan comes in. Out of a potential 15 you’d still have a minimum 10 remaining in service.
    Sure the pull of private sector is huge. But you’d always plan to keep more remaining than those leaving. All industries does that when faced with competition. TDM chiefs must make PUTD a priority and give their members a fair chance too.

    @Kamal A
    “why cant we adopt a strategy”
    I think we’re already doing such if you seen the countries where we buy our defence stuff, except actively from China. We dont because we dont want to be beholden to them for support & spares.

    “alibaba through BNS with absurd price paid to BNS”
    Thats cause the LMS1 contract was predicated with a local construction fee (or a TOT penalty) by BNS which was stupidly not taken up (and moved to another yard) and instead was all done in China with a small discount. LMS2 would cost the same but more fully fitted it all done externally, however we know it will be nationalised too so thus the cost will go up further.

  77. People do realise if the country starts buying China or Russia, it can impact access to Western (i.e., US) equipment. Also China equipment doesnt work always work well with Western based equipment. I thought the LMS Batch 1 experience speaks for itself.

  78. LMS Batch 1?

    It was build exactly as per specified / original LMS requirements. You ask for a patrol vessel with 1x 30mm gun. That is what you got.

    Only addition is the Rohde & Schwarz SDR radio and SATCOM after they have arrived in Malaysia. Those items are not an afterthought, but something that cannot be fitted when they are still in build in China.

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