SHAH ALAM: Now more than ever. A day before Merdeka this year, I posted a story on talk of a SPH tender. And now it appears that I had found out further on the requirements and why the tender has not been published. What I wrote:
It appears that the local defence industry and wannabes are gearing up for an Army tender for the 155mm SPH. The tender was supposed to be open for bidding last June and earlier this month but were never published. I was told that the RFB will be published soon though no one could be certain of the exact date. Coming soon or next change…as they say. Anyhow even though there is no general specifications being bandied about, it is likely involved up to 36 truck-mounted 155mm SPH, which have been the numbers talked about for the last 10 years or so. We would have gotten 29 M109 tracked SPH already but it was cancelled by the government in 2019.
I was told that the numbers of truck mounted SPH being sought is half of the number I posted above. And it appears that the Army has no specific requirement for it to be a 6X6 or an 8X8 though it will be part of the Army’s mechanised units.
I was told that the tender was delayed as some companies pushing their products, have been lobbying the government to buy the SPH directly from them – through direct negotiations. These companies are claiming their products met the Army requirements following trials overseas (apart from the Caesar of course) so there was no need for an open competition.
Another source however told Malaysian Defence that one of the contenders had not been trialled as the planned event, was cancelled due to the pandemic. It must be noted that the delay in the tender process or even direct award may well meant that project will be deferred due to the current economic conditions, even funds for the project has been allocated for RMK12.
Two of the contenders, the Turkish MKE Yavuz 155mm SPH and the Denel T5 155M SPH – are the only ones that had yet to enter service, even with the country’s own military. The black horse in the competition I was told will be the China SH-15 155mm truck mounted SPH, the export version the PLA’s PCL-181 SPH.
From the contenders, only two are being offered by local defence companies and one from an international one. The others, are basically agents as they have yet to sell anything to the Malaysian military. One of them is a subsidiary of a public listed firm. This is a different company to the one involved in the Nuri replacement tender, however.
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— Malaysian Defence