New Training Device for The Army

Get Ready!

SHAH ALAM: The Army is getting a new training device which is the RPG-7 sub calibre training system. This was revealed by the Defence Ministry by issuing a tender for a multi-modal transport operator (MTO) to ship back these devices.

Note that the sub calibre device replicates the firing of a standard PG-7 high explosive anti-tank round. In most of these devices, the rocket motor has been replaced with a firing assembly for a standard AK 47 tracer cartridge.

A Czech made RPG 7 sub calibre device. Internet.

As usual I have no idea how many or where are these devices are being imported as I am not in the MTO business. I am guessing that they bought these training devices from Pakistan as the country has two manufacturers which markets the RPG 7 sub calibre system.

RPG 7 with a sub calibre device, most likely from Eastern Europe. Internet

One of the Pakistani manufacturers is the state-owned Pakistan Machine Tool Factory (PMTF) the likely source of the Army’s RPG 7 launchers. Unfortunately, the company’s website did not offer further details on its RPG 7 sub calibre system.

Soldiers from 19th RMR (Mechanised) preparing to fire their RPG-7s during the 2017 Firepower Exercise

The other manufacturer is the Daudsons Armoury based in Peshawar. Daudsons do not manufacture RPG 7s though they do manufacture the RPG 7 sub calibre device. From the company’s website.

7th Rejimen Renjer DiRaja soldiers with their RPG-7 launcher as they walk in formation to the parade ground in February, 2017.

The RPG-7 Sub calibre device gives a near perfect simulation of the actual ammunition. It is a cost effective method for target practice and training of troops in loading/un-loading and firing of the system. It uses standard 9mm ammunition. The floating adjustable barrel ensures proper aiming at various ranges of the weapon

The 7th Rangers soldiers at ready for the inspection in Feb. 2017. Note the RPG launchers on the ground with their packs and the machine guns.

I have no idea what ammunition is used for the sub calibre device manufactured by PMTF but the Daudsons device is different from the ones manufactured by Bulgarian and Czech which uses the 7.62mm X 39 cartridges, the same type used on the AK47 rifles. A video on Youtube of a Czech made RPG 7 sub calibre device, below.
https://youtu.be/8APVl__pYnc
For this reason I am inclined to believe we are getting the RPG 7 sub calibre system from Pakistan. Hopefully we can get confirmation during DSA 2018 this April. Any how I hope the Army buy plenty of these devices so soldiers equipped with the RPG could ripple fire them as well during their training cycle.

PG 7 sub calibre device of Eastern European origin. Internet.

Yes, it will be akward for them to remove the devices from the RPG barrel to fire the second or third ones unlike firing real rockets but it will be much, much cheaper. Hopefully the Army will also purchase sub calibre devices for its recently acquired LAW system.

A soldier getting ready to fire an RPG during 2017 Firepower Demonstration.

Anyhow apart from tender to transport the RPG 7 sub calibre system, the Ministry also issued another MTO tender to transport S-band radars back to Malaysia for installation and commissioning. The radars are for the island bases located in the South China Sea. The procurement tender for these radars was issued and cancelled on Oct. 3, 2017. I guess the procurement went ahead via direct negotiations after the tender was issued and cancelled on the same day.

HT to DM

— Malaysian Defence

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64 Comments

  1. thank god we got the training system for RPG 7 system. i was puzzled when see they adopted RPG 7 tactic but i did not know any training system until now(was there any training system like this for it before?). kudos for those.

    Mr Marhalim, the S-band radars MTO did you get to read before cancel?any interesting thing in it?

    Reply
    I don’t have access to any of the MTO tenders, one need to have the proper MOF registration to be able to view the actual documents.
    No they did not have any training devices for the RPG 7 before.
    The S band radars for the island bases are mostly for navigation purposes I believe

  2. zack – ” i was puzzled when see they adopted RPG 7 tactic”

    What is so puzzling? We had a need for a section level shoulder fired weapon and Pakistan owed us cash and had a trade imbalance with us. Along the way we found that RPGs rounds from elsewhere are cheaper than the ones offered by POF so we ordered them from Romania.

  3. Marhalim,

    I’ve always wondered who supplied the present radars we have on our reefs/islands. My guess is they’re probably just short range commercial ones but good enough to detect an intruding ship. In due time the chain of radars [Raytheon Canada] we have along the Sraits of Melaka will have to be replaced but that won’t be from MINDEF’s budget.

    Reply
    I also have no idea which supplied the old radars and also new ones as well. It may well be Kelvin Hughes which could explain why they publish and cancel the tender for the new ones. As for the radars covering the Malacca Straits, those are relatively new, less than 10 years I believed. I think they were originally purchased through the Transport Ministry though now it is now under the purview of the MMEA which also manage all the radars in the east coast as well as Sabah and Sarawak now.

  4. Outdated as an anti-armour weapon, its only use is really as an anti-emplacement or anti-personnel weapon.

    Even side-aspect armour packages for Leo 2SG and 2RI should be able to defeat RPG-7s. Only a top attack or directly into the engine compartment from the rear would really disable the tank, and even then it is usually repairable within a matter of hours.

  5. Chua,

    Not really, it can still be used with a large measure of success against IFVs. In the event that there is a need for it to be used against heavy armour; there are various rounds available on the open market, including tandem ones. Also, even if the standard round is unable to penetrate a MBT frontally or on the flank; aimed at the turret it will take out stuff like optics or cause some level of damage. If we want to judge the RPG based on its inability to defeat the armour of current gen MBTs we can say the same of many ATGWs as well.

    Marhalim,

    They were ordered in 1994 by the Maritime Institute. The ops room is at Lumut next to the RMN base but they are not integrated with the radars MMEA has in other places.

    …,

    At Merdeka Day some troops were spotted with a large black round. Whether these was a wooden dummy rounds or the RUAG one is anyone’s guess.

    Reply
    I believe they are now integrated with the MMEA ones as the agency is running the ops room now. They are not integrated with the military, the last time I checked as they could not figured out who would pay for it

  6. Marhalim,

    On the Camcopters signed for with Petronas at LIMA 2015. Is MAF
    Intelligence the only operator or is Camcopter also operated in ESSCOM as part of a private initiative project with CTRM; like Aludra and Scaneagle?

    A few years ago the army’s intel battalion had some Aludras.
    I wonder if those are still operated.

    Reply
    The Camcopters are operated by MI at Esscom similar to the Aludra and Scaneagles. Maintenance are done by the local agent

  7. The RPG 7 is a very simple but effective system against tanks n armoured vehicled. But admittedly for tanks they need to be hit multiple times.
    Thats why for armoured vehicles in Afghanistan they need to put either the bar armour or the net protection system that will detonate the round before it reaches its optimum distance to cut into the armour

  8. @Azlan “Also, even if the standard round is unable to penetrate a MBT frontally or on the flank; aimed at the turret it will take out stuff like optics or cause some level of damage.”

    The former banking on pretty lucky hit – considering the size of an RPG warhead, optics, and optimum range – and the latter a pretty insignificant level.

    PG-7VR might (might!) just barely penetrate the side or turret of Leo 2A4s, but the 2SGs and 2RIs have added armour on top of that, so that isn’t a solution either.

    @Azlan “If we want to judge the RPG based on its inability to defeat the armour of current gen MBTs we can say the same of many ATGWs as well.”

    We should, because there is a lack of anti-tank weapons that the RPG-lover crowd refuses to acknowledge, and even if many other ATGMs can’t guarantee a destroyed tank either, at least they do a better job than RPG-7s, they might fare better against side armour…. and other armies usually have better ATGMs in the support/weapons company to deal with enemy tanks.

    Not asking for miracles from the section weapons here, but pointing out that there is no viable option all the way until battalion level, and that only for those units with Metis-M, Baktar Shikan or Ingwe.

  9. @ Chua,

    ” We should, because there is a lack of anti-tank weapons that the RPG-lover crowd refuses to acknowledge, and even if many other ATGMs can’t guarantee a destroyed tank either, at least they do a better job than RPG-7s, they might fare better against side armour ”

    So the RPG-7 is not up to your standards. So what is your suggestion for that issue? Any better ATGM systems that can be a section level weapon which is lightweight and have multiple reloads? Even singaporean single shot MATADOR LAW which is their section level weapon, is not designed to penetrate MBTs.

    ” and other armies usually have better ATGMs in the support/weapons company to deal with enemy tanks”

    Our mechanized and motorized battalions have Metis-M, Baktar Shikan and Ingwe in their support companies. Are those not good enough?

  10. Chua,
    Any MBT is only as good as its support elements, without which it is just a mere moving crematorium!

  11. Azlan
    please read until the end of sentences.
    “i was puzzled when see they adopted RPG 7 tactic but i did not know any training system until now(was there any training system like this for it before?).”
    i was puzzled because there was no training system before this but they used the tactic. as we all know the important of training system to familiarize the team and exploit all the pro and cons and how expensive and danger to train with live round.sorry if what i said is misleading and cause misunderstanding.

    Reply
    AFAIK this is the first time we bought a training device for a support weapon

  12. Chua – ”The former banking on pretty lucky hit ”

    Even of one was using a larger weapon like Panzerfaust, RPG-29 or Apilas, chances are that there would still be a need for multiple shots to maximise damage. The same to some extent also applies to ATGWs.

    Chua – ”The former banking on pretty lucky hit – considering the size of an RPG warhead, optics, and optimum range – and the latter a pretty insignificant level.”

    We have gone through this before. Depends on the operational circumstances. In open terrain someone with a shoulder fired weapon would be more exposed and would find it harder to get a flank shot. In restricted or urban terrain, there would be more cover and ranges would be shorter, plus it would be much easier to get a flank or roof shot. Whether in Chechnya, Iraq or Syria; the bulk of MBTs lost or seriously damaged in restricted or urban terrain were caused by shoulder fired weapons fired at close range.

    Chua – ”We should, because there is a lack of anti-tank weapons that the RPG-lover crowd refuses to acknowledge,”

    Shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs are intended to complement each other. Unlike ATGWs whose main role is killing MBTs, shoulder fired weapons are meant for a variety of roles; that’s why they’re are useful. At the end of the day we didn’t get the RPGs [and LAWs] primarily to defeat MBTs.

    No doubt, we should get a new generation infantry issued ATGW to eventually replace Metis [I won’t include Bakhtar Shikan and Ingwe here as both are too heavy to be operated by infantry] but this will still complement the shoulder fired weapons we have.

  13. Lee – ”But admittedly for tanks they need to be hit multiple times.”

    Hitting a target multiple times usually maximises the chances to cause damage or immobilise a target but not achieve a penetration; unless of course one is lucky to get a 2nd or 3rd shot in the same area – hard to do at the bast of times but possible at close range against a slow moving or static target unprotected by infantry. At times achieving a mobility kill or blinding a MBT by destroying its optics is good enough. In the Tajik Civil War rebels operating at close range usually fired a shot to detonate the ERA, followed by a 2nd shot to achieve penetration.

    Of course the best tactics against all shoulder fired weapons is suppressive fire and getting within their minimum range.

  14. @Azlan “No doubt, we should get a new generation infantry issued ATGW to eventually replace Metis [I won’t include Bakhtar Shikan and Ingwe here as both are too heavy to be operated by infantry] but this will still complement the shoulder fired weapons we have.”

    Yes, I know we are in agreement here.

    BTW where did we get this doctrine of having this many RPGs in a platoon? I can’t think of any fighting force other than AQ that carries this many launchers.

    @Tom Tom “Any MBT is only as good as its support elements, without which it is just a mere moving crematorium!”

    Western-trained armies are very good at supporting their tanks with infantry screens and artillery. Tanks (or indeed, almost any military equipment or tactic) shouldn’t be judged by their performance in the hands of Arab and Turk armies.

    @… “Our mechanized and motorized battalions have Metis-M, Baktar Shikan and Ingwe in their support companies. Are those not good enough?”

    In a word? No.

    Each regular foot infantry battalion should have at least an anti-tank platoon of 6-8 ATGMs, preferably fire+forget weapons like Javelin or MMP, but I would settle for last-generation wire-guided like Milan.

    Ingwe will equip the mechanised units with a good under-armour ATGM capability, but what about the foot infantry? We have a grand total of less than 50 Metis-M and Baktar-Shikan launchers. I think even ISIS had more ATGMs than we do.

    The RPGs are good as section-level anti-personnel/emplacement weapons, I might even concede their use against APCs. But large numbers of RPGs are no replacement for true ATGMs.

  15. @ Chua

    ” BTW where did we get this doctrine of having this many RPGs in a platoon? I can’t think of any fighting force other than AQ that carries this many launchers. ”

    What is good about our army is, there is a good structure of entities and personnel that does a lot of studies and test of doctrine that is specifically tailored to malaysian defence needs. BTW even singaporean section carries 2 MATADOR LAW. So they are also carrying as many launchers as malaysian sections do. But in our case, the RPG-7 is reloadable, and each section carries reloads, unlike the disposable MATADOR.

    ” Each regular foot infantry battalion should have at least an anti-tank platoon of 6-8 ATGMs, preferably fire+forget weapons like Javelin or MMP, but I would settle for last-generation wire-guided like Milan. ”

    Why? Right now 3 brigades are equipped with ATGM in their support companies. Those are 10th PARA, 4th MECH, and 7th Infantry. That is 11 battalions alltogether. Other foot infantry battalions will still have RPG-7s and most would not be facing MBTs in their operations.

  16. Chua – ”But large numbers of RPGs are no replacement for true ATGMs.”

    Indeed but they were never intended to be so.

    … – ”Why? Right now 3 brigades are equipped with ATGM in their support companies.”

    Why? Because to defeat an up-armoured MBT something better than Metis is required. Not only something with better penetrating ability but a non wired guided one and with a top attack function. 4th Mechanised has a vehicle mounted ATGW, Chua was referring to a man portable one. 10 Para has lost its ATGW capability.

  17. Chua,

    Any section will only be authorised to only carry so many RPGs/LAWs but if the circumstances demanded; it would get extra launchers.

    Chua – ” I think even ISIS had more ATGMs than we do.”

    IS and other non state groups even have UASs [never mind if they’re short range commercial ones] which no unit or entity apart from Military Intelligence operates organically. And yes, Hezbollah, IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups have more ATGWs than we do. Interestingly, there are photos of Javelin and Panzerfaust in the hands of Kurds. One would think that the U.S. would be more concerned about the possibility of Javelin ending up in the wrong hands.

    I don’t normally post links unless I really have to but lots of interesting ATGW and shoulder fired weapon pics in the hands of the Kurds here, including Javelin, Milan, Panzerfaust, AT-4 and Carl Gustav.

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3958672.html

  18. P.S. Bakhtar Shikan is a copy of Red Arrow which is comparable in performance to TOW 1. Great for dealing with MBTs with older gen ERA but not effective against better protected targets.
    Not sure if we bought the tandem head version which POF has displayed at DSA on a number of occasions.

    Considering the fact that Eryx is gone, that something better than Metis is needed to deal with better protected threats and that Bakhtar Shikan and Ingwe [also originally based on TOW] are vehicle mounted systems; there is a need for a new ATGW to equip more than just a handful of battalions. Whether it’s a priority and whether there are other areas that should be funded first is the question.

  19. @… “But in our case, the RPG-7 is reloadable, and each section carries reloads, unlike the disposable MATADOR.”

    Exactly. A single-shot disposable rocket. 2 rounds of fire per section. As opposed to 2 launchers with (if we follow Soviet doctrine) 7 warheads each, for a total of 14 rounds of fire.

    “Right now 3 brigades are equipped with ATGM in their support companies. Those are 10th PARA, 4th MECH, and 7th Infantry. That is 11 battalions alltogether.”

    We believe Eryx to be time-expired, so no, that is 2 brigades, and in any case Eryx doesn’t have the range we’re talking about either.

    “and most would not be facing MBTs in their operations.”

    Come now. You know as well as I do that we are talking about preparing for eventualities. I understand it is not necessarily a strong priority ahead of equipment better suited to tackle immediate securiy issues, but then again, neither is MRCA, and for a relatively modest investment of about USD 1m apiece we will improve, strictly defensively, our safeguard against the huge recent influx of armour into the region. Is that not still part of national security planning consideration?

    @Azlan “One would think that the U.S. would be more concerned about the possibility of Javelin ending up in the wrong hands”

    I hear that is 1 of the reasons (besides propaganda) why we see a lot of ATGM videos on Youtube, CIA has required a documentation video from every group for every missile fired.

    @Azlan “Whether it’s a priority and whether there are other areas that should be funded first is the question.”

    I would say it is more of a priority now given the recent shifts in the regional balance of power… maybe even the barest minimum response mandated.

    Come to think of it this training device purchase might be part of that response. Albeit a feeble one.

  20. @ Chua

    ” Come now. You know as well as I do that we are talking about preparing for eventualities. I understand it is not necessarily a strong priority ahead of equipment better suited to tackle immediate securiy issues, but then again, neither is MRCA, and for a relatively modest investment of about USD 1m apiece we will improve, strictly defensively, our safeguard against the huge recent influx of armour into the region. Is that not still part of national security planning consideration? ”

    Rather than buying expensive ATGM that would be an overkill for 80% of the time, the army decided to give all infantry sections RPG’s that is useful for 80% of the time. There is not a lot of armies that gives organic ATGM capability to all its infantry battalions. That is the choice of the army. IMO the RPG-7 employment for all our infantry is a good cost effective solution for increasing firepower, decreasing the need for fire support and enabling all infantry sections to confront IFVs and light tanks successfully.

    As for the huge recent influx of armor… i don’t see it as huge, its the IFVs that is in numbers, and RPGs are a credible response to those IFVs, not to mention 30mm cannons and igwes of the gwmpitas.

    New ATGMs would be good, but IMO would be for the replacement of expired current ATGMs. More baktar shikans would be okay. If something fire and forget, javelins or HJ-12 would be a good choice.

  21. I find it funny that someone who wants to arm 10th Para so heavily is satisfied with the “modest” number of ATGMs in the hands of our other units and the “modest” capablities of those ATGMs.

    Units that are expected to come to the Para’s rescue within a limited time, because the Paras are not equipped to handle them on their own.

  22. …. – ”Rather than buying expensive ATGM that would be an overkill for 80% of the time, the army decided to give all infantry sections RPG’s that is useful for 80% of the time”

    No. Both serve different functions and should not be conflated.

    We have a requirement for infantry operated ATGWs and issued a RFI back in the mid-2000’s. There’s just no cash and other priorities.

    … – ”More baktar shikans would be okay.”

    Why get something that is essentially a 1st or 2nd gen ATGW? One that’s comparable in performance to TOW 1. Given that we’ll be getting 54 AV-8s with Ingwe priority should be in getting a new infantry operated ATGW to replace Metis and Eryx. A non SACLOS one and with a top attack function.

    If we’re going for an older gen SACLOS ATGW; we’re better off getting something ligter and smaller the infantry can use like Konkurs or Kornet.

    AM,

    Of the 35 odd infantry battalions we have, probably less than 2-3 actually have ATGWs.

  23. @ AM

    Wow, adding organic ground mobility systems equals to “wants to arm 10th Para so heavily”??

    Is Anti-tank Guided Missiles, the ATGMs, the only firepower solution for everything that a force would encounter? Are MBTs the only enemies our infantries are ever going to face against? If the enemy is mostly MBTs, you fight them with Armor, and mechanized units. Our 7th Infantry Brigade (motorised) which operates in Johor, has Metis-M in its fire support companies as the chance of an encounter with MBTs is there. Other brigades, the proliferation of RPG-7s is more useful than ATGMs in most scenarios, and a fire support company with HMG, Gatling guns, AGL and 81mm mortars are what is needed most of the times.

    Scenarios like Marawi where the enemy is mostly insurgents, would there be any deficit if we just have RPG-7s, AT-4s and Carl Gustavs instead of ATGMs??

    Anyway why do you think the current Metis-M and Bakhtar Shikan capability is “modest”? In the current middle east conflict, Metis-M has destroyed Leo2s and Baktar Shikan penetrated Abrams, on top of the normal T-72s and T91s.

  24. …. – ”Anyway why do you think the current Metis-M and Bakhtar Shikan capability is “modest”? In the current middle east conflict, Metis-M has destroyed Leo2s and Baktar Shikan penetrated Abrams, on top of the normal T-72s and T91s.”

    – No MBT is invulnerable. Most of the losses in Yemen, Iraq and Syria could have been avoided if there was better infantry support.

    – Most of the T-72s and T-90’s destroyed had either no Kontakt 5 or Shotra. For all the T-72s and T-90′ destroyed, there were also many whose armour, ERA and Shtora defeated attempts to destroy them.

    – The bulk of Abrams losses were caused by hits to the rear and the fact remains that export models ones lack DU armour. As for the Leopards, the ones lost were 2A4s and other older models; we can only speculate as to how olderATGWs would have performed against newer Leopard variants.

    – BTW there were dozens of Merkavas and Abrams that survived hits from Metis and other ATGWs. It’s just that we tend to hear more about the ones destroyed.

    …. – ” would there be any deficit if we just have RPG-7s, AT-4s and Carl Gustavs instead of ATGMs??”

    No because that was primarily an urban engagement. By the same token in scenarios encountered in south Lebaanon and other places; the bulk of MBT losses were not caused by ” RPG-7s, AT-4s and Carl Gustavs” but by ATGWs.
    Depends wholly on the circumstances doesn’t it? At the end of the day shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs are intended to complement each other.

  25. …. – ”As for the huge recent influx of armor… i don’t see it as huge, its the IFVs that is in numbers”

    It depends on what’s ”huge” and in comparison to what. If we take into account that both Singapore and Indonesia didn’t previously operate MBTs [we won’t take into account Singapore’s Centurions]; that both now have a combined fleet of almost 200 odd Leopards would by any definition be classified as an ”influx”. Not too mention the RTA’s relatively large MBT fleet.

    … – ”and RPGs are a credible response to those IFVs”

    Depending. Can shoulder operated gunners get in range and past supporting infantry to get a shot? Are we talking about ops in urban and restricted terrain where engagement ranges will be shorter or in places like along highways?

    At the end of the day neither ATGWs or shoulder fired weapons operate in a vacuum or are ”credible” on their own. Both are intended to be used alongside other assets and both have their respective merits; their usefulness as such should be seen in that context.

  26. @ Azlan

    ” We have a requirement for infantry operated ATGWs and issued a RFI back in the mid-2000’s. There’s just no cash and other priorities. ”

    It could just be the requirement has changed due to the shift to supplying every section with RPG-7s and getting INGWEs for mechanized units

    ” Why get something that is essentially a 1st or 2nd gen ATGW? One that’s comparable in performance to TOW 1. Given that we’ll be getting 54 AV-8s with Ingwe priority should be in getting a new infantry operated ATGW to replace Metis and Eryx. A non SACLOS one and with a top attack function.

    If we’re going for an older gen SACLOS ATGW; we’re better off getting something ligter and smaller the infantry can use like Konkurs or Kornet. ”

    And which part of my statement of javelins or HJ-12 would be a good choice don’t you understand?? More Baktar Shikans to equip more units would be good to as it is something current with the army. A new one to replace the Metis-M could be javelins or HJ-12. Do realize Konkurs is around similar weight to Baktar Shikan, and Kornet (1970s) was replaced by Metis-M (1990s). All of them weighs around 20-25kgs.

    ” Of the 35 odd infantry battalions we have, probably less than 2-3 actually have ATGWs ”

    Of the 35 infantry battalions
    3 with Metis-M ( 5RAMD, 10RAMD, 1RRD) (18 G-wagons)
    2 with Bakhtar Shikan (12RAMD, 14RAMD) (8 + ? launchers. Anyone has the variants breakdown of the additional 48 adnans? I have pics of the 2nd batch ZC plate Adnan with Baktar Shikans)
    2 to be with INGWE (19RAMD, 7RRD) plus KAD regiments (54 turrets with 4 launchers each)

    The Gempita’s would be the main tank killer in our army, other than the PT91Ms.

  27. @ Azlan

    ” Depends wholly on the circumstances doesn’t it? At the end of the day shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs are intended to complement each other ”

    Of course but in Malaysia’s case, we won’t be facing hordes of MBTs like in the Middle East. All of our neighbours has less than 200 modern tanks each. Even then, like singapore and indonesia, they are older upgraded Leo2 versions. The main threat for Malaysia is something like Lahad Datu or Marawi to happen again, and we can see the shift in priorities, like getting gatling guns, more RPG-7s, better soldier equipments, light attack helicopters, more speed boats, better ISR capabilities, better equipment for special forces etc etc.

  28. @… “Rather than buying expensive ATGM that would be an overkill for 80% of the time, the army decided to give all infantry sections RPG’s that is useful for 80% of the time. There is not a lot of armies that gives organic ATGM capability to all its infantry battalions.”

    It is the 20% that is going to kill you, and no, RPGs are not even that useful. It takes the Arab insurgents dozens of RPGs even to score a single hit on a moving target. The British and French in particular consider a fast light vehicle to be a decent way of avoiding RPG attack, though of course everyone prefers MRAPs and APCs.

    @… “enabling all infantry sections to confront IFVs and light tanks successfully.”

    Not any more. Armies all over, including in this region, are tooling up with MRAPs and up-armoured IFVs. Even ISIS knew how to make their VBIEDs and technicals RPG-proof, which is why Germany and US had to urgently supply the Kurds with MILAN and Javelin – true ATGMs.

    @… “As for the huge recent influx of armor… i don’t see it as huge, its the IFVs that is in numbers, and RPGs are a credible response to those IFVs, not to mention 30mm cannons and igwes of the gwmpitas.”

    Really? Our 2 neighbours just bought more tanks EACH than all our Pendekars, and you don’t consider that a major shift? And the Indons even invested heavily in the amphibious enablers to land those Leos anywhere they choose. RPGs are not a credible response to anything here, I didn’t really say it earlier but the simplest of makeshift stand-off armour is sufficient to stop RPG-7s, even since Vietnam the USMC effectively armoured their TRUCKS against Cong RPGs.

    Can’t rely fully on AV-8s you know. How much proportion of the army do they make up? You’re happy leaving the rest of the army helpless? And as you yourself pointed out, the other sides have IFVs too, AND more numbers of more effective ATGMs.

    @… “Wow, adding organic ground mobility systems equals to “wants to arm 10th Para so heavily”??”

    Uh, yeah. Because you are trying to spend money on a tiny handful of troops to do overkill on a single specific mission, while fighting against an investment which will enable the whole army to form a minimum credible response against a threat which can appear in various different mission types. Not sure where is the logic in that.

    @… “Is Anti-tank Guided Missiles, the ATGMs, the only firepower solution for everything that a force would encounter? Are MBTs the only enemies our infantries are ever going to face against?”

    An infantry battalion is supposed to have a little of all capability to be augmented by specialised support. A minimum 6 ATGMs per light infantry battalion is pretty standard across most credible armies actually, meaning to say NATO and ex-USSR… and again, the Kurds and FSA probably employ more ATGMs each than we do.

    @… “Our 7th Infantry Brigade (motorised) which operates in Johor, has Metis-M in its fire support companies as the chance of an encounter with MBTs is there.”

    Yeah. 24 Metis-M against over a 100 Leo 2SG and how many hundred Bionix. Very sufficient for our needs.

    @… “Anyway why do you think the current Metis-M and Bakhtar Shikan capability is “modest”? In the current middle east conflict, Metis-M has destroyed Leo2s and Baktar Shikan penetrated Abrams, on top of the normal T-72s and T91s.”

    Most of the kills have been by Konkurs and Kornet, and the whole world knows the tanks killed were mostly being handled incompetently, which we cannot expect. Metis-M is known to be lacking compared to the above 2, which is why the -M1 was developed. Baktar-Shikan is basically TOW 1 which is unlikely to assure a good kill of the advanced Leos – Oplot, probable.

    @Azlan “As for the Leopards, the ones lost were 2A4s and other older models; we can only speculate as to how olderATGWs would have performed against newer Leopard variants.”

    The Leo 2A5 steel/rubber side skirts are proven proof against standard RPG-7 warheads. So even a track kill would be unlikely on 2A5, never mind the 2RI and 2SG.

    @Azlan “BTW there were dozens of Merkavas and Abrams that survived hits from Metis and other ATGWs. It’s just that we tend to hear more about the ones destroyed.”

    Another point the “tank is dead” crowd refuse to acknowledge. And as someone here pointed out, the number of Merkavas actually mission-killed in Lebanon is only about 10 or so, and some of those (and Abrams in Iraq) were due to giant IEDs.

    @… “Do realize Konkurs is around similar weight to Baktar Shikan, and Kornet (1970s) was replaced by Metis-M (1990s).”

    Metis-M is designed to be more portable than the emplacement/vehicle-mounted Kornet, so it has about half the weight and range of Kornet. Also smaller diameter and lighter warhead, so it definitely has lesser penetration.

    @… “Anyone has the variants breakdown of the additional 48 adnans? I have pics of the 2nd batch ZC plate Adnan with Baktar Shikans)”

    How many individual Adnan-BSs did you manage to identify? I can’t find back my source, but the second batch of Adnans include at least 4 to 6 Baktar-Shikan. A minimum of 10 is likely to make up the full 18-vehicle company, perhaps 24.

  29. …. – ”It could just be the requirement has changed due to the shift”

    No ……… It hasn’t changed. There is still – on paper – a requirement. The issue of ATGWs and shoulder fire weapons should not be conflated. The fact that we have more shoulder fired weapons no does not do away or decrease the need for new ATGWs.

    …. – ”And which part of my statement of javelins or HJ-12 would be a good choice don’t you understand??

    Save the sarcasm for some other moment in time. On the contrary it appears to be you that’s failing to grasp several valid points.

    …. – ”More Baktar Shikans to equip more units would be good to as it is something current with the army.”

    Why get more Bakhtar Shikans when it’s comparable to TOW 1? In fact the army didn’t want any in the first place. We were offered it due to a trade imbalance with the Pakistanis. Has it even occurred to you that the army doesn’t want more Bakthar Shikans?

    …. – ”Of the 35 infantry battalions”

    I’ll finish the sentence. Of the 35 infantry battalions; the bulk of them lack an organic ATGW capability.

    … – ‘Of course but in Malaysia’s case, we won’t be facing hordes of MBTs like in the Middle East.”

    Did I say something to that effect? If I did, where and when?

    Anyhow, the last time anyone faced ”hordes” of MBTs in the Middle East was in 1973. ”Hordes” of MBTs have been noticeably absent in all the conflicts fought in the region since then. But even if we aren’t likely to face ”hordes” of MBTs we still have a legitimate requirement to replace Eryx and Metis with a new generation, better performing, non SACLOS system with a top attack function – and in this context [because you keep making reference to Ingwe and Bakhtar Shikan] I’m referring to something designed for infantry use. Shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs complement each other. Neither of them operate in a vacuum and that we did not get RPGs for the primary purpose of tank killing.

    You mentioned Metis and its success rates. Nothing wrong with Metis but it’s been used against older, less well protected and export variant MBTs. Most T-72/90s lost lacked ERA or Shtora. Even then, there are many more MBTs that have survived encounters with Metis and other missiles compared to ones that were knocked out.

    …. – ”The Gempita’s would be the main tank killer in our army,”

    Well in the first place enemy tanks would have to be in areas where anti-tank AV-8 variants are. The AV-8 operates as part of combined arms units, to provide organic units with anti-tank protection – it is not intended to act as an independent tank killer [yes, yes, I know you didn’t imply a such. Merely making a point]. Depending on the terrain, in most cases a AV-8 would be more visible compared to a couple of chaps crouching with an ATGW launcher.

    …. – ”All of our neighbours has less than 200 modern tanks each. ”

    Yes and in a short period of time, Indonesia and Singapore got about 200 odd Leopards. That by any definition qualifies as an ”influx” which is what Chua clearly meant.

    …. – ” the proliferation of RPG-7s is more useful than ATGMs in most scenarios,”

    Maybe but in scenarios where enemy MBTs are present an engagement ranges will not permit close range shots; obviously this is not the case. In 2006 almost no Merkava was knocked out by shoulder fired weapons but by ATGWs because of the terrain. Similarly, very few Russian MBTs were knocked out in Grozny by ATGWs for obvious reasons.

  30. … “Do realize Konkurs is around similar weight to Baktar Shikan, and Kornet (1970s) was replaced by Metis-M (1990s).”

    I don’t know where you got your info but the Kornet is not a 1970s system and is not being replaced by the Metis. It is a 1990s system that due to budget reasons is only now being fielded as the standard ATGM for Russian infantry units. Maybe you meant Konkurs.

    … “Of course but in Malaysia’s case, we won’t be facing hordes of MBTs like in the Middle East.”

    As others have pointed out, there will be plenty of situations when you must rely on ATGMs to take on armour other than MBTs.

    For the simple reason that you cannot get close enough to take effective shots at them with shoulder fired weapons, even if your rockets theoretically can defeat (some aspects of) their armour.

  31. @ …

    “Even then, like singapore and indonesia, they are older upgraded Leo2 versions.”

    ^^ Can you elaborate?

    As we are talking about armor afaik both 2SGs and 2RIs are equipped with add-on AMAP and iinm the 2RIs with the AMAP-B.

  32. AM,

    There was an article in ADJ in 1988 titled ”The Malaysian Army : Getting It Right Takes Time”. In the article the Chief of Army spoke of plans to get LAWs. Although we got our C-90s in the late 1990’s a few people have told me we had a small batch of Armbrusts before that. Unfortunately no pics have appeared yet. As for Eryx, we bought them primarily for used in Bosnia – if it wasn’t for Bosnia we would have had to wait a bit longer for an ATGW. The deal with the Pakistanis came at the right time. We were looking at giving Adnan an AT capability and they offered us various stuff to offset what they owed us for palm oil and other commodities. Enter Bakhtar Shikan. Tempur mentioned the number of Adnans we have with Bakhtar Shikan. If I recall correctly it was 8.

    On the use of ATGWs and shoulder fired weapons in operational settings, it’s interesting to see what others did. The Chechens operated in small teams of 7-8 men. They had 2-3 RPGs, a sharpshooter with a Dragunov and a LMG to protect the RPG operators. Hezbollah AT teams relied on lot on spotters via cell phones/radios and had teams comprising 7-8 men armed with a ATGW launcher, LMG, etc. Hezbollah accuracy with their ATGWs was notoriously bad but they had lots of reloads; courtesy of Syria. At the end of the day, whilst quite a few Merkavas were knocked out; most were eventually returned to service and most of their crews survived. The few that were total write offs were mainly hit by IEDs.

    D.W.

    Things will also get more complicated when APSs enter the picture. As it stands, no MBT, despite how well protected, will have top armour thick enough to defeat a missile. Thus the value of a missile with a top attack function but if one has a APS that performs as advertised.

  33. No tank no armoured vehucles can withstand a battery salvo fired by howitzers. Cannons have always been the queen of the battle field. We should make sure we get more artillery. Both 105 n 155mm guns.

  34. Lee – ”No tank no armoured vehucles can withstand a battery salvo fired by howitzers. ”

    Yes but only if HE shells happen to land smack on top of a MBT or a IFV. It will also complicate matters if the MBTs or IFVs are moving when fired upon.

    By and large, unless they’re firing guided rounds, artillery is not the most ideal of means to target MBTs or a IFVs.

  35. “No tank no armoured vehucles can withstand a battery salvo fired by howitzers. We should make sure we get more artillery. Both 105 n 155mm guns.”

    Really? Artillery is not the most efficient way to deal with enemy armour. Before we go further, what sort of payload you have in mind, sir- laser guided, GPS guided, self sensing anti armour, ICM or plain HE?

    Before we even talk about guided anti armour rounds, we have to overhaul our fire observation and direction processes which some have said “haven’t changed much since WW2.”

  36. AM – ”“haven’t changed much since WW2.”

    To be fair I think that’s going a bit too far :]

    I think a more accurate thing to say is that the Royal Artillery Corps as a whole [despite the G-5s and ASTROS] has not received the same level of attention as other arms of the army and that when it comes to actually putting rounds on target and organisation; hasn’t changed much since the 2nd Emergency.

  37. Off topic-

    Marhalim, has there been any announcement yet of events for this year’s army anniversary?

    Reply
    AFAIK no, the only thing I know until tonight is that the parade is to be held at Port Dickson.

  38. I’ve come across a pic of a Eryx ‘trainer” taken by. If Marhalim wants to post it here, I can e-mail it to him. Tempur a few years ago has a pic of a Metis ‘trainer’.

    Reply
    No need

  39. @ chua

    ” It is the 20% that is going to kill you, and no, RPGs are not even that useful. ”

    Its the 80% of the time an ATGM is not a suitable fire support weapon and you don’t have RPGs that will kill you. When you need to take down a wall to move forward, when you need to destroy a HMG nest, when you need to destroy a house that is shielding the enemy, blowing up a bamboo bridge across a big ditch, blowing a boulder off a cliff ridge to block a road etc etc.

    ” Not any more. Armies all over, including in this region, are tooling up with MRAPs and up-armoured IFVs. Even ISIS knew how to make their VBIEDs and technicals RPG-proof, which is why Germany and US had to urgently supply the Kurds with MILAN and Javelin – true ATGMs. ”

    Technicals RPG-proof? Wow. I have no knowledge of asian MRAP and IFV that is RPG-proof. At best, better chance of people inside surviving an RPG attack, but the vehicle would be toast.

    ” Really? Our 2 neighbours just bought more tanks EACH than all our Pendekars, and you don’t consider that a major shift? ”

    The army has responded with 53 ingwe equipped Gempita, and all sections with RPG.

    ” RPGs are not a credible response to anything here, I didn’t really say it earlier but the simplest of makeshift stand-off armour is sufficient to stop RPG-7s, even since Vietnam the USMC effectively armoured their TRUCKS against Cong RPGs”

    Vietnam and philippines have mostly RPG2s, not RPG7s.

    ” Can’t rely fully on AV-8s you know. How much proportion of the army do they make up? You’re happy leaving the rest of the army helpless? And as you yourself pointed out, the other sides have IFVs too, AND more numbers of more effective ATGMs. ”

    The rest of the army are not facing MBTs and all are going to get RPG7s. Our main adversary would still be those that is on foot. More numbers of ATGMs? Other than singapore i think we will have quite a lot of ingwes, baktar shikans, metis-m on top of RPG-7s and AT-4s.

    ” Uh, yeah. Because you are trying to spend money on a tiny handful of troops to do overkill on a single specific mission, while fighting against an investment which will enable the whole army to form a minimum credible response against a threat which can appear in various different mission types. Not sure where is the logic in that. ”

    To equip 10 PARA with dagors and ZBD-03s would cost less than usd90 mil. To equip all infantry battalions with ATGM would be in the range of usd200 mil. Isn’t equipping all our sections with RPG7s is a minimum creadible response?

    ” An infantry battalion is supposed to have a little of all capability to be augmented by specialised support. ”

    Conciously instead of a few ATGM at battalion level, the army is equipping at the lowest section level, shoulder fired anti tank weapons, which while is not a missile still at a number not seen in any other western armies. With 2 RPG per section, a battalion would have around 100 RPGs to bear at the enemy. 100 RPG vs 8 ATGM, which one would you choose?

    ” Yeah. 24 Metis-M against over a 100 Leo 2SG and how many hundred Bionix. Very sufficient for our needs ”

    It is actually that plus like 300 RPG-7, plus all of 4th Mech Brigade 25mm, 30mm cannons and ATGMs and 11 armor PT-91M.

    ” How many individual Adnan-BSs did you manage to identify? ”

    From the old batch “ZB” plate 8, new batch “ZC” plate 2, so probably there is more in the new batch.

    I cannot answer the rest from azlan and AM. I am having issues to pass the spam filter.

    But let me say this. The budget for the army is just so much. Of course i would like the army to have a 2nd MBT regiment, the 3rd ASTROSS regiment, MR SAMS like NASAMS or HQ-16, 2nd batch of Gempita, more ATGMs etc etc but in reality the budget does not stretch to buy all those things. I see the army’s widespread adoption of the RPG-7 as a good choice for what they are. A very high firepower to cost ratio. The army already got its high end gempita, pushing for ATGMs for all battalions would not get the budgets. So RPG-7s for all is a good solution.
    The navy has done it also with LMS, waiting to see if the airforce (unfortunately its high end buy was A400Ms) willing to go the same path as the army or navy.

    Reply
    The air force did not order the A400Ms, the government did. As for the air force reluctance on second hand aircraft, this was formed by their experience with the Skyhawaks. The government promised the stars and the moon with the Skyhawks to the air force but as expected the promises were never kept.

  40. …. – ”The navy has done it also with LMS,”

    I wish I shared your optimism but it really remains to be seen what happens with the LMS after it actually enters service. If indeed it’s fitted out as intended than great but it remains to be seen. Of course there’s nothing to say that when all 4 enter service there won’t be the needed cash to fit them out but then again given how stretched our finances are. For the RMN; it’s vital to take note that it fully intends to fit them out as intended but the priority is to first have newer hulls [even if not fully fitted out] in the water to enable older ships to be retired.

    ….. – ”When you need to take down a wall to move forward, when you need to destroy a HMG nest, when you need to destroy a house that is shielding the enemy”

    Yes no doubt but depending on the operational circumstances [including range] a ATGW might also be more suitable for all you described.

    …. – ”Isn’t equipping all our sections with RPG7s is a minimum creadible response?”

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I believe that nobody here is disputing the utility of shoulder fired weapons; which don’t however operate in a vacuum and will be used to complement ATGWs; given that both have their respective merits and both are good for different things. As there there is no such thing as shoulder fired weapons having more utility than ATGWs or vice versa for the reason that it depends on various factors; in some conflicts we saw shoulder launched weapons more widely used and more ideal and in some conflicts we saw ATGWs more widely used and more ideal.

    …. – ”or HQ-16,”

    There is some for of collaboration between a local company to sell GAPU a Chinese SAM but anything non Western will still have to be integrated with our present network and with IFF related stuff.

    … – ”willing to go the same path as the army or navy.”

    No because the circumstances facing the RMAF are different and vice versa. As it stands, the 5/15 looks great on paper but lots of reservations [including by those in uniform] still remain as it’s dependent on factors beyond the RMN’s control.

    Non state actors in the Philippines ”had” RPG-2. I’ve personally seen one at a roadblock in Cotabato but these are mostly time expired. The army is believed to have bought some and reports that Abu Sayaf were manufacturing some proved false.

    Reply
    The local thing with HQ 16 is long dead and buried. That said it could probably be revived in the near future, though I am not saying it will

  41. …. – ”pushing for ATGMs for all battalions would not get the budgets.”

    As indicated in all the previous discussions on the subject, the hope [an actual requirement still exists – albeit no funding] for a man portable one [hopefully a non wire guided, top attack one] for use by infantry units; to complement larger and longer range ones mounted on vehicles, like Ingwe and Bakhtar Shikan.

  42. P.S. The intention is not to equip ”all battalions” but a handful. When the RFI was issued years ago [for 18 systems] the intention was for this system to supplement Metis but if it happens now, it”ll probably replace Metis. The last I checked, the requirement is still there, along with a list of other things that are still awaiting approval and funding.

  43. @ azlan

    Equipping a part of the army was what i said, and was put down by you. And now you are saying the requirement was just for 18 systems all along? Of course we all would like to see all battalions with ATGM, but as it is right now, there are higher priorities to be tended by the army.

    Btw what other man portable top attack missile is more “man portable”, which basically means lighter than baktar shikan or metis-m?

  44. … “Conciously instead of a few ATGM at battalion level, the army is equipping at the lowest section level, shoulder fired anti tank weapons, which while is not a missile still at a number not seen in any other western armies. With 2 RPG per section, a battalion would have around 100 RPGs to bear at the enemy.”

    There are many reasons Western armies don’t have eight shoulder fired anti tank rounds per eight men.

    It is simply not necessary as the section is not expected to engage such an amount of light amour or fortifications/ structures, all within the RPG’s 200 meter effective range. If indeed the section has to fire off eight RPG rounds, it is already overrun.

    The division of labour is such that the battalion can call on firepower organic to itself: weapons in the support company and the MR ATGM platoon. Ideally there should also be company level SR ATGM, but I would settle for all battalions having organic MR ATGM.

    Everything carried by the infantry section has a weight penalty that will be paid for in fatigue and blood. Between the Milkor, the SAW and its barrels and ammo, the section mortars and the body armour (that they are supposed to have anyway) our infantry are overburdened as it is.

    … “100 RPG vs 8 ATGM, which one would you choose?”

    It’s been said to death. The two are complementary and have different responsibilities. Why not spend the cash on 20 RPG AND 8 MR ATGM and 16 SR ATGM?

    Woe betide the battalion that has no means to engage even medium armour (or light armour fitted with RPG cages) or any armour at all beyond 200m.

    “”When you need to take down a wall to move forward, when you need to destroy a HMG nest, when you need to destroy a house that is shielding the enemy, blowing up a bamboo bridge across a big ditch, blowing a boulder off a cliff ridge to block a road etc etc.”

    You are mistaken if you think an RPG round will even dent a boulder, let alone move it or blow a meaningful chunk off it. Again, that’s what battalion and company level organic assets are for. If the infantry section needs light breaching munitions, there are proper examples that are far lighter weight. If they need anything heavier, call for it. They shouldn’t be carrying the tools to do every possible job.

  45. @ AM

    ” It’s been said to death. The two are complementary and have different responsibilities. Why not spend the cash on 20 RPG AND 8 MR ATGM and 16 SR ATGM? ”

    Of course both are complementary, but overlapping capabilities. Do you know how much is the cost of 1 RPG-7 launcher? Brand new is only about usd2k. Around the price of 1 M4. 1 MR ATGM price could buy probably 200-250 RPG-7 launchers. The cost of equipping a battalion with 100 RPG-7 (2 per section, 12 section per company, 4 companies per battalion) cannot even buy 1 MR ATGM system. So the cost of equipping the whole army’s 35 infantry battalions with RPG-7s is actually around the same with the cost of 18 units of MR ATGM, which would be for 3 battalions only.

  46. …. – ”So the cost of equipping the whole army’s 35 infantry battalions with RPG-7s is actually around the same with the cost of 18 units of MR ATGM, which would be for 3 battalions only.

    From the very start shoulder fired weapons were supposed to be issued much more widely than ATGWs and ATGWs are only intended for a few units. You yourself said : ”Of course both are complementary, but overlapping capabilities.” So why even make such a direct comparison when both systems are intended for slightly different things?

  47. @ Azlan

    ” From the very start shoulder fired weapons were supposed to be issued much more widely than ATGWs and ATGWs are only intended for a few units ”

    I thought you are in agreement with Chua that all infantry battalions should have ATGMs?

    ” So why even make such a direct comparison when both systems are intended for slightly different things? ”

    Because in real life, everything is a compromise. You have X budget. with X you could buy ATGM for 3 battalion, or RPG-7 for the whole army. The army leadership choose the 2nd option, which IMO is a good call.

  48. …. – ”The army leadership choose the 2nd option, which IMO is a good call.”

    No ……. A I mentioned before there is and never was a ”2nd option”. The requirement for a shoulder fired weapon is unrelated to that for ATGWs. Even if the army had funds for ATGWs it would still have seen the need for a widely issued shoulder fired weapon. Don’t conflate the 2 different requirements.

    … – ”Because in real life, everything is a compromise.”

    Then make comparisons between things that are for the same intended role. I can argue that yes, shoulder fired weapons are cheaper than ATGWs but then they can’t do things that ATGWs can so why would I even compare both in terms of what’s more cost effective with regards to prices?

  49. ”80% of the time an ATGM is not a suitable fire support weapon”

    I’ll add a caveat : if the remaining 20 percent of the time calls for a ATGW, then the shoulder fired weapons you have that are useful for 80% of the time, will be useless. As such, both are needed; both complement each other.

    ”all sections with RPG.”

    Again, not all sections have RPG-7s.

    ”still at a number not seen in any other western armies.”

    There’s a perfectly legitimate reason for that – reloads. If troops are operating close to IFVs or resupply vehicles which carry reloads then fine but if troops are operating in areas where IFVs can’t deploy; then obviously carrying many shoulder fired weapons and the needed reloads will be an issue.

    David Boey explained things spot : ”But if hostile forces can shrug off the initial reply from the Malaysian infantry, then the issue of ammunition resupply comes to the fore because the MGL, Minimi and RPGs consume prodigious quantities of munitions. There is a limited amount of ammunition the section can carry into battle. The distance any infantry battalion can travel on foot before hitting exhaustion levels is inversely proportional to the weight carried per soldier. Anyone who has seen troops on a forced march will realise that fatigued units are more of a liability when mental alertness and the adroitness of individual troops is compromised by sheer physical exhaustion.The Malaysian Army’s teeth arms will find it needs to rely on a combat service support arm that can keep frontline battalions adequately stocked once the firefight gets underway.”

    In our case there are 8 men in a BIS section, including 2 RPG gunners, which means that there’s only 4 men [including a radioman] carrying nothing no other weapons apart from M4s, given that there is a LMG and Mikor. The chap with Milkor also carries an M4 and that the Minimi gunner will carry only his Minimi and the radioman his M-4 and radio; that means that in addition to the 2 RPG gunners; there will on paper be 3 others who can carry reloads, including the section commander. Of course on top of that they also have other types of ammo to carry and their belt order.

  50. @…
    Your question is like asking whether I’d have 100 Glock 9mms vs 18 AK-47s.

    Bottom line is that RPGs don’t work as well as you think they do. Yes, its combat-proven that firing 50 RPG-7s at an Abrams, Merkava, or Challenger will barely stop the beast, while ATGMs are much more effective – by at least an order of magnitude. Don’t parrot again the theoretical plans of perfect up-the-rear shots etc – 1stly if you are depending on that in battle you are really banking on hope, 2ndly countless real combat operations have already proven how difficult it is to actually score such a hit.

    Most any APC or IFV with applique armour (e.g. Bionix) will stop RPG-7s and improvised protection is easily added. Just Google Image Search “ISIS VBIED” and “ISIS armoured vehicles” and you can see many RPG-proof armoured technicals, which required emergency airdrops to the Kurds of German Milans and US Javelins. The USMC even have field manual SOPs to turn their medium trucks RPG-proof:-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_truck

    Yes I would adjust the defence budget for this, because a proper ATGM capability across all battalions is a strategic counter to our neighbours’ tank capability, and very cheap considering the cost they have spent on their armoured corps. Trade a Navy LMV for 50 Javelins? Absolutely.

  51. the reasons are still the same.

    Budgets are limited.

    We can discuss why buy MPA instead of MRCA, so it is still relevant to discuss why not RPG-7 instead of ATGM.

    for me it is just not productive to discuss what ATGM to buy when the budget is just not there, as is to discuss if rafale or typhoon is better for MRCA.

  52. …. – ”so it is still relevant to discuss why not RPG-7 instead of ATGM.”

    You seem to be the only one saying that. Everyone else seems to be saying that there is utility in having shoulder fired weapons but that there is also a need for a new generation ATGW to replace Metis and Eryx and that both shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs complement each other.

    …. – ”for me it is just not productive to discuss what ATGM to buy when the budget is just not there,”

    At least we’re discussing something for which there is an actual requirement; the same can’t be said of other things that have been discussed……

  53. ”24 Metis-M against over a 100 Leo 2SG and how many hundred Bionix. Very sufficient for our needs”

    On paper yes but whether this will indeed be the case or whether it’s really ”sufficient for our needs” is something I hope we’ll never find out for real. Those Leopards and Bionixs will be expecting ATGW teams. They’ll have an advance recce screen to their front and flanks; will try to only expose the fronts of their vehicles to danger and will rely on arty and helicopters, as well as infantry to deal with those ATGW teams. The opposing ATGWs teams of course, will rely on mobility and concealmen and will have the home ground advantage. Other factors to consider are, of those 24 systems, how many will actually be in a position to fire? How many will imobilise or destroy their targets? Also note that the bulk of hits achieved by Metis in various conflicts were against MBTs that were less well protected against Singaporean Leopards.

    Historically, when MBTs operate with adequate support, the effects of ATGWs are negated. We only have to look at 1973. Israeli MBTs operating on their own had heavy losses from Sagger teams but when they later crossed the canal with adequate support; they lost much fewer MBTs to Saggers. A U.S. team that later visited the battlefield found that the majority of MBTs lost was due to MBT fire. Similarly, when the Russians got around to improving things, they lost much fewer vehicles to Chehcen RPGs and it wasn’t because the Chehens ran low on reloads.

    … “100 RPG vs 8 ATGM, which which one would you choose?”

    It’s like saying : 100 assault rifles vs 20 GPMGs, which one would you choose?” How can one possibly answer this given the variables involved.

    … – ”Btw what other man portable top attack missile is more “man portable”, which basically means lighter than baktar shikan or metis-m?”

    Bakhtar Shikan [as explained several times] was never intended to be ”man portable”, like TOW, Ingwe, etc. From the onset was intended to mostly mounted on vehicles or on tripods from fixed positions.

    Obviously, despite, its weight and size, Bakthar Shikan [for that matter a 200kg RCL can also be lugged around] can still be ”man portable” but very obviously it would be harder to lug it around compared to something like Javelin or Spike, which unlike Bakthar Shikan, TOW, Ingwe, etc, were intended to be mainly used by dismounted infantry …..

  54. @ azlan

    ” At least we’re discussing something for which there is an actual requirement ”

    There has been actual requirements for attack helicopters like TIGERS, more MBTs, more ASTROSS etc etc. But requirements can change. There was previously no requirement for gatling guns for example.

    ” Bakhtar Shikan [as explained several times] was never intended to be ”man portable”, like TOW, Ingwe, etc ”

    China uses its HJ-8 as a man portable ATGM. HJ-8 and baktar shikan weighs only 2.7kg more than javelin. Even igwe has man portable versions. But if ATGMs are only used in fire support companies with G-wagons, Vamtacs and GK-M1s, why the emphasis on “man portable”?

  55. … – ”firing 50 RPG-7s at an Abrams, Merkava, or Challenger will barely stop”

    Which is why there are ”heavier” warheads for the RPG-7 and stuff like RPG-29. For the Russians, the RPG-7 is not seen as a ”tank killer” anymore but more as a ”jack of all trades” weapons; the same reason we bought it.

    Chua – ”2ndly countless real combat operations have already proven how difficult it is to actually score such a hit.”

    No. In certain conflicts, due to terrain and other factors, shoulder fired weapons were responsible for majority of MBTs that were destroyed or imobilised. In certain conditions, shots at close range will be permitted, as will shots to the flanks, rear and top – it’s not solely due to hope or chance. By the same token, in other conflicts, the use of ATGWs will have more utility compared to shoulder fired weapons. In urban areas ATGWs will be less effective due to shorter engagement ranges but in unrestricted terrain would be ideal.

    The problem however is that MBTs and IFVs are getting better protected and destroying or badly damaging them with ATGWs and shoulder fired weapons will get harder. Complicating matters is the increased widespread use of APSs. Also note that just like how the vast majority of MBTs and IFVs damaged or knocked out by ATGWs were older variants [lacking ERA and other stuff]; the same applies to those damaged or knocked out by shoulder fired weapons. In a previous post …. pointed out the various MBTs knocked out but in the case of T-72/90s they lacked Shotra and ERA and in the case of M-1s were export models lacking DU armour. In many cases hits were scored on the flanks and rear, areas where a MBT is traditionally weak. In most cases, attacks could have been prevented had there been better infantry/MBT cooperation. We also of course hear less about the MBTs that were hit but survived.

    At the end of the day we need both shoulder fired weapons and ATGWs – the mistake is to assume we need one more than the other or that in general one can do a better job than the other.
    Due to costs we obviously can afford less ATGWs compared to shoulder fired weapons but even if funding was adequate we don’t need ATGWs to be distributed as wide spread as shoulder fired weapons. The key indication that we see our RPGs performing more of a tank killing role is when we acquire tandem or heavier rounds.

  56. @ azlan

    ” Due to costs we obviously can afford less ATGWs compared to shoulder fired weapons but even if funding was adequate we don’t need ATGWs to be distributed as wide spread as shoulder fired weapons ”

    This is what my stand is from the beginning. Yes ATGMs are meant to counter MBTs. We do have ATGMs and now adding 53 gempitas with 4 ready to launch INGWEs. Any armour attack from the enemy will be countered by our own armour too, not just foot soldiers. What requirement and budget the army has for 18 new ATGMs has obviously morphed into more RPG-7s, which has a more bigger and broader firepower effect than the need for just 18 more ATGMs.

  57. …. – ” What requirement and budget the army has for 18 new ATGMs has obviously morphed into more RPG-7s, which has a more bigger and broader firepower effect than the need for just 18 more ATGMs.”

    Again, the requirements are different. Even if the army had funding for ATGWs it would still see the need for widespread issue of shoulder fired weapons. Don’t conflate both requirements.

    ”which has a more bigger and broader firepower effect than the need for just 18 more ATGMs.”

    You previously said an ATGW is useful for 80 percent of possible scenarios.

    Again – if the remaining 20 percent of the time calls for a ATGW, then the shoulder fired weapons you have that are useful for 80% of the time, will be useless. As such, both are needed; both complement each other. There is no such thing as something being more needed for ‘x’ percent of the time due to the fact that the utility of anything will depend entirely on the operational circumstances. We have gone through this before.

  58. …. – ”But requirements can change.”

    I’m not suggesting requirements don’t change [why even mention this?] – it was in reference to you saying : ”– ”for me it is just not productive to discuss what ATGM to buy when the budget is just not there”.

    And in the case of the ATGWs, the requirement is still there. If we’re not to discuss stuff for which the budget is not there [to quote you] then half of what we’ve been discussing here over the years wouldn’t discussed.

    ….. – ”HJ-8 and baktar shikan weighs only 2.7kg more than javelin.”

    You still don’t get it? It’s not only the weight but the size. Bakhtar Shikan, TOW and Ingwe were not intended to be ”man portable”. Bakhtar Shikan, like TOW is just too cumbersome for the launcher, tripod and optics to be lugged around by dismounted infantry. This is in contrast with stuff like Metis, Javelin and Spike [although not ”light”] which are more compact and less cumbersome to enable them to be operated by dismounted infantry. Comparing the design of Javelin and Bakhtar Shikan would also make it plainly obvious which can be placed in firing position faster and which system after firing can relocate faster. Also, apart from the system spare rounds also have to be transported.

  59. .. – ”But if ATGMs are only used in fire support companies”

    Because there will be instances where troops will operate away from their transports and in instances where a ATGW will have to be carried as opposed to mounted – be it due to terrain or whatever other reasons. Same reason why we had Eryx as a ‘man portable’ system rather than mounted on a vehicle. BTW Metis is mounted on a VAMTAC but can be fired from a tripod if there is a need.

    Milan is not light but it was all the Brits had in the Falklands and the men carried it all the way to the outskirts of Stanley. This would not have been practically possible with Swingfire, even if there had been a ”man portable” version because it’s a larger missile. Similarly, U.S. troops in Afghanistan forced to operate on foot at times lug a Javelin. Do you realistically see them doing this with TOW [which, when adding the tripod, is about the same size and weight as Bakhtar Shikan]?

    …. – ” Even igwe has man portable versions.”

    Like I said, even a 200 kilo RCL can be ”man portable” if desired. On Ingwe the last I checked, Denel’s site mentions it being able to be fired from vehicles and aircraft but there is no mention of it being used by dismounted troops.

  60. Is the malaysian armys previous 18 ATGM requirement really needs it man portable? Our infantry fire support companies are carrying everything on 4x4s.

  61. …. – ”Our infantry fire support companies are carrying everything on 4x4s.”

    Metis is mounted on VAMTACs but it can [like Milan and various other medium range systems] be fired from a tripod if needed. Just because a ATGW is mounted on a 4×4 doesn’t mean it can’t be fired from the ground or that the requirement is for it to be fired only from the vehicle. The whole reason for mounting a ATGW on 4×4 is so ATGW teams can move/relocate rapidly to avoid return fire and can get to where they’re needed faster than if the have to man carry the launcher and missiles.

    At times however, it will be more suitable to use the system from a tripod. When using natural or man made cover for concealment a 2 men crew and their ATGW will be much harder to spot. There will also be times when ATGW teams will operate in areas where their 4x4s can’t deploy [for whatever reason] or times when it’s more conducive for them to operate on foot.

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