On The Way, NLAW

A soldier preparing to fire the NLAW. Note the red dot sight. SAAB

SHAH ALAM: On the way, NLAW. In June, last year, I reported that Malaysia may well have purchased the Saab NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) based on a tender for a multi modal transport operator to ship the weapons back here.
Although, a winning bidder for the tender was selected it appears that the contract had lapsed without the weapons being shipped here.

This is because the government is again looking for a multi modal transport operator to ship the NLAW from Sweden to Malaysia. The tender was published on Sept. 27 and closes on Oct. 7

The tender notice published on the Defence Ministry website.

I am pretty sure that this is not a second shipment for the NLAW as I was told in October last year that export permit had not been cleared by that time (for the shipment tendered in June). Furthermore I again checked about the NLAW during LIMA 19 and was told that the weapons had not been delivered yet. Of course, the Army and Saab have yet to confirm nor deny the purchase.

Saab NLAW. Saab

Anyhow as part of the Army’s recapitalisation programme, it is also expected an order for the Saab Carl Gustav M4 will be made. I am not purview of the exact date though it must be noted that the Army’s stock of the Goose are long in the tooth already.

Saab Carl Gustav Mk 4. Saab

Anyhow, I was invited and attended a briefing for the media organised by the Defence Ministry on Oct. 2. Defence Minister Mohammad Sabu attended the briefing and answered the questions from those who attended. As the briefing and Q&A were off the record I took the opportunity to ask the minister about the MD530G and the M109 SPH deal. As it was off the record let me just point out my earlier post on both.

MD530G and M109.

As others had reported it also, let me just say that earlier report remained factual.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Why do you bother to do a briefing to the media if it is off the record? The rakyat deserves to know too!

    Anyway on the Carl Gustav M4. Has our existing Carl Gustav launchers expended their barrel life? If not probably good to pass them to units that mans static posts such as in ESSCOM and Regimen Sempadan. New lighter Carl Gustav M4 would be a great addition to our infantry forces.

    I have no idea why it was off the record but he did not say anything that I have not reported or will in the near future

  2. We no need high tech helicopter nor jet nor vessel. What we just need small arm or anti armor or UAV is more than enough to protect our country. We will not win when we face big country, we should show our White flag only.

  3. Given that the Gustav can fire a variety of rounds (including smoke and illum – something we also use the 60mms for) I guess it’s unsurprising why we’d want to buy new ones for Support Companies. Unlike disposable shoulder fired weapons; still which requires a 2 operators tend to have better sights and are more accurate.

    Our existing Gustavs have been refurbished and still have live left but are heavy and cumbersome.

  4. … – “l life? If not probably good to pass them to units that mans static posts such as in ESSCOM and Regimen Sempadan”

    Intruders,terrorists,bandits or militants are unlikely to attack static border locutions as this won’t accomplish anything for them and these positions tend to be well defended will clear arcs of fire. Whilst operating the Gustavs from static positions to lay smoke and illum would not be an issue; for other types of targets the operators will still have to move around to get into position; for this operating from a static position would actually be a drawback. But yes on paper the older Gustavs can be handed to certain units.

    The RMN also operates Gustavo on Layang Layang and apart from the Support Companies of infantry battalions, Gerak Khas has them.

  5. Call it the Soviet in me but personally, I will have prefer for us to opt for more (even local manufacture by SMEO) RPG7s or it derivatives. We already have them in mass in the Regular Units but not in the Reserve.

    RPG7 launchers is also unexpectedly easy to manufacture (they were manufactured by townsfolk in Pakistan & Afghanistan in crude workshop) as there are already 70-year old design but still effective.

    Or is it the Army preferences for the venerables Carl Gustaf Recoiless over the RPG7s?

  6. The carl gustav M2 is said to have a designed life of just 500 shots. But there was a study done that has fired more than 2,300 rounds before there is noticable wear on the rifling.

    The M2 weighs about 14kg, the new M4 is just about 6.6kg. The new M4 has a barrel life of 1000 rounds.

    BTW how many M2 do we actually have in our inventory?

    I have no idea

  7. Michael,

    Brilliant idea. While we’re at it why don’t we just have lightly armed militias who attend training several weeks a year only? They of course will be issued with rip stop white flags on a basis of one per section.

  8. @ azlan

    Probably we can ask tun and mat sabu to do a short video on how to fly the white flags?

  9. Hazwan – “RPG7 launchers is also unexpectedly easy to manufacture”

    It is also not a very accurate unless used at close range (dangerous and not easy to do in non restricted terrain) and it’s standard warhead is not very effective against uparmoured targets; which is why the Russians also maintain a variety of other shoulder fired weapons.
    Although many countries manufacture RPG rounds Russian ones tend to be the most reliable.

    – “Or is it the Army preferences for the venerables Carl Gustaf Recoiless over the RPG7s?”

    Such a question should not
    arise …

    Shoulder fired weapons in the category of Carl Gustav have their advantages in that they can fire a variety of rounds and they tend to be more accurate by virtue of having better sights. The downside is they are heavier and require a crew of 2. At 84mm a Gustav HEAT round will also tend to have better penetrating performance than the standard 40mm RPG round.

    Thus the fact that we’ve continued to operate our Gustavs for decades and are planning to buy the latest version; whilst also continuing to stock disposable weapons: as well as RPGs (which is a section level weapon)
    makes it obvious that there is no preference but the intent to continue operating both types. Both complement each other.

    .., – “ BTW how many M2 do we actually have in our inventory?“

    Enough to have a handful (3-4) in the Support Companies of most of our battalions. We bought them in batches.

  10. Just wait for the Budget to be announced soon. Am just tired of the ‘I told you so’ and ‘it’s all because of them!’ excuse of our Bang Mat. The 2% LTAT dividend is one sorry mess. I’d just agree that we need less personal weapons and need more helicopters and SPs. If anyone says otherwise, well, we might as well disband our Armed Services and have the Police do all the work like Eire.

  11. @…
    “Why do you bother”

    Asian culture. Never upfront and open, always disseminating information through back channels.


    Do you give up on life because you are not the richest man in the world?

  12. The stopping power of the CG round is much better than the RPG round. Also there is also a family of rounds that we can choose from HE to shape charge n illum, smoke n even thermobaric

  13. With the new lighter CG M4 version, there is little difference in performance when compared to the RPG7. Other than the obviously more expensive price, the M4 should be more accurate as the shell has a higher velocity compared to the rocket propelled RPG7, which can be badly affected by wind. Actually the RPG7 HEAT round has more exposive and penetrating power than the carl gustaf HEAT round (RPG7 2.6kg, 500mm RHA, carl gustaf 1.7kg, 400mm RHA)

  14. @Taib
    Well, that is why you do not screw up in the first place, so that you are never in a position to be handed a bag of poop you can do nothing about.

    How, you may ask?

    Take a good look at the KLSE and what dividends are being posted by huge companies serving 30 million Malaysians every day, and then take a look at LTAT’s dividends, and ask yourself what do they do that is so profitable. Where does the money ultimately come from?

    You can buy a few tanks and skim 15% profit off for the shareholders (and directors), or you can buy a few more tanks and pass on 5% to the shareholders like everyone else in a normal listed company does. Your choice.

    Just when you make that choice, know that you will live with the consequences. And if the consequences are a big bag of poop… well dig in with both hands and smile.

  15. @ marhalim

    Could you write something about the Ex Tiger Strike 2019 so that there is a news about this?


    I was not given access to the exercise.

  16. Marhalim,

    Did you ask about the update regarding the Kuwaiti Hornets?

    We’re sitting ducks right now with SEA.


  17. …. – “M4 should be more accurate as the shell has a higher velocity compared to“

    It also has better sights compared to the RPG-7; yes it’s much more accurate. As mentioned it also has a variety of rounds which to be fair so does the RPG (including thermobaric) although in its case standard HE rounds seem to be main rounds used whether by state or non state actors.

    It’s telling that the Russians still maintain RPG-7s despite the introduction of various types of shoulder fired weapons over the past few decades; from the compact RPG-29 to the larger “Vampir”. Apart from HE most users including us use their Gustavs to also lay smoke and illum.

  18. AM – “Don’t forget Dr Kua”

    To his credit – on the political front – he does say certain things that should be said; things not said by his former party.

    On defence; he’s typical of many politicians and defence watchers; unwillingness or inability to do some basic research before making outrageous and ludicrous statements, making outright comparisons on the net and assuming it applies to us without taking into account the varying factors and an anti pathetic pacifist view on defence.

    Of course it doesn’t help when we have a PM – who is responsible for a lot of the mess the MAF is in – who says certain things and a Defence Minister who hardly says anything of substance. The only politician who has something of substance to say (unlike many of his party comrades) is the Deputy Defence Minster.


    “Eire” … That’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. A name we use to see on stamps bit no longer do; like Zanzibar and Upper Volta.

    The Irish Republic has an army. Long history of UN involvement.

  19. Melayu Ketinggalan,

    When we haven’t even made an official request for ex Kuwaiti Hornets (there is no intent in the first place) and when there are zero ongoing talks between both parties; what possible “updates” could there be?

  20. Azlan “To his credit – on the political front – he does say certain things that should be said; things not said by his former party. ”

    In his 2010 book “Questioning Arms Spending in Malaysia,” Dr Kua devoted a few lines to how the lack of standardisation and procurement scandals have affected the armed forces.

    But then he wrote (and hass aid on other occasions) that not only have we bought the wrong things or paid too much, but that we have bought too much of many things. According to him, we live in a benign neighbourhood and need only the most basic of weapons to remain in possession of our interests, and should spend the cash on other sectors.

    The trouble is that as much as the defence budget is misspent, it is one of the smallest categories of government spending. There is waste in all areas of government spending. If those are where his priorities lay, he ought to cast an eye on misspending there and not say that one of the least well-funded organisations should be further cut back.

    I also wonder if his view that we face no external threats to our interests really comes down to ignorance.

    “The only politician who has something of substance to say (unlike many of his party comrades) is the Deputy Defence Minster.”

    I would not mind if the Deputy DM was in fact the head of his ministry, but this is unacceptable to most others.

    “It’s telling that the Russians still maintain RPG-7s despite the introduction of various types of shoulder fired weapons over the past few decades; from the compact RPG-29 to the larger “Vampir”.

    I’m not sure how telling it is. For one, the Russians have many pressing priorities to spend on, the result being upgrading older weapons instead of fielding replacements. Even in relatively rich times, uneven fielding and slow re-equipping are the norm in Russia (as it is with the AK-74M I commented on elsewhere). That makes it hard to say from observation if there is serious intention to replace the RPG-7.

  21. Chua – our previous DM begs to differ.


    Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has slammed the Pakatan Harapan-led government over the Armed Forces Fund Board’s (LTAT) 2% dividend for the 2018 financial year.

    “In 2016, when we announced a dividend of 12% for the financial year 2016, Rafizi Ramli lashed out to the point that he wanted a financial analysis and to drag LTAT to court. What will he do now? Just remain silent?”

    Audit firm Ernst & Young found, among others, that LTAT’s earnings had been affected by the overpayment of dividends, even when its five-year asset returns from financial years 2014 to 2018 were lower than the declared dividend rates.

    “Focus on the welfare of the Armed Forces personnel, the true heroes who are willing to die for this country,” he said.

    End quote.

    How about ensuring their welfare by giving them the proper tools, so that perhaps they don’t have to die for this country?

  22. AM – “I also wonder if his view that we face no external threats to our interests really comes down to ignorance”

    Indeed and also skewed interpretation/understanding of the military affairs in general as well as geopolitics. To be fair this isn’t confined to politicians and NGOs but also others who come to quick conclusions from searching the net (in the belief this provides as accurate picture) and who make direct comparisons without taking into account what looks great on paper can differ in reality.

    As I mentioned previously; the MAF is a reflection and a product of society as a whole and it says a lot that society in general – because of circumstances unique to us – couldn’t care less.

    Our policy has always been based on the premise that there will be a period of tensions before hostilities occur and that during that period; diplomacy – whether open or via back door channels (which has solved various issues in the past) – with assistance from certain outside powers; as well as ASEAN or the UN will always prevent actual hostilities.

    It’s not common knowledge but back door diplomacy has always played a vital role; e.g. not uncommon for TNI ships to show a presence in Ambalat followed by a call to Wisma Putra by them saying not to worry as it’s mainly for internal reasons. Same goes with China in that there’s a lot of unreported back door diplomacy that goes unreported.

    As such; our participation in multi lateral exercises (Kakadu, RIMPAC, AMAN and others) and the bilateral exercises we have with several countries (including HADR ones with China as well as CARAT, SEACAT, Cope Taufan, Malzea. Malapura, Air Thamal and others); as well as various exchanges we have (including the ASEAN Defence Minister’s Meeting, Shangrila Dialogue and others) are intended at regional stability and to build and maintain existing relationships. They serve both a political and military value.

    This arrangement to date has kept the peace but whether it will continue to do so in the future really remains to be seen. Similarly whether the longstanding neglect of the MAF and public indifference will one day be a cause of great regret also remains to be seen.

  23. Ensuring their welfare by giving them proper quarters too. Saw an incomplete multi storey quarters abandoned in Miri army camp.

  24. we are focusing in the small arms where we should be focusing on the big stuff…(helis,MRCA, sph)..oh abg mat, wake up!

    Small items are easier to be bought, those things don’t have much political implications. Rome is not built in one day

  25. Off topic – I just learned that MTD ranks include names such as Putera and Under Officer- in meaning very similar to what the SS called their officer candidates and what the Germans still call their NCOs.

  26. mustafa – “we are focusing in the small arms where we should be focusing on the big stuff…(helis,MRCA, sph)..oh abg mat, wake up”

    Nobody has to “wake up” but you have to face reality. There’s little cash in the coffers and under the present climate when the government constantly keeps reminding us how bad the economy is because of the previous government; how can it justify major, big ticket purchases? The government’s voter base – who voted for “change” – will complain and accuse it of being like BN in wasting money …..

    Also, stuff like MBT LAW were contracted under the previous government and its safe to say that plans for Carl Gustavs were also made when the previous government was in power. As for our esteemed Defence Minister; even if he were to “wake up” the decision is not his but Dr.M’s and the last thing on Dr.M’s mind is defence. He’s too busy fixing the economy and politically strengthening his position.

  27. @ marhalim

    What i meant is, would they land in malaysia as a part of the exercise? The deployment of such a large force on malaysian soil is unprecedented. If south china sea is concerned, i can only see the force landing in philippines, vietnam or malaysia.

    If MY participation is limited to observer status it will mean that no exercise will take place here. The recent US-ASEAN naval exercise is a good example. It was held in the Gulf of Thailand, just off Kelantan. We only took part as an observer, we did not sent any RMN ships to take part. Even the observers were RMN officers already attached to the Asean maritime fusion centre in Singapore. Last year , we also sent observers for the China Asean naval exercise and not ships. Apart from FPDA exercise I don’t think the government will be keen to be involved in such exercises. Even the previous administration had lukewarm reception for such exercises apart from FPDA. Apart from money the government is not keen to be seen as partial to any country. That said there is always a first time for anything. The recent exercise in Sabah is only between MY and US.

  28. Well, next year’s budget is said to be “expansionary”. Which means, and I’m telling you guys first so you can brace for impact, that the Govt will borrow money and/or cut expenditures in order to spend on stimulating business.

    It’s the right thing to do, the only thing to do really (short of finding a sponsor superpower and begging cash), but it means nothing exciting for defence for the next couple of years.

    It has been stated here before any major spending will only be funded in RMK12.

  29. @ marhalim

    The next year US Army “defender pacific” program could be a part of the regular US Army “keris strike” exercises. But it will be several times bigger than the usual “keris strike”. For “defender pacific” they are looking at deploying for training at least a brigade-sized force as they are saying

    ” About a year from now, the Army plans to practice rapidly deploying 8,000 to 10,000 soldiers from the mainland through Western Pacific islands and into nations around the East and South China Seas for training that will send a message to China ”

    They have not said that it would be a multilateral training, so it could be bilateral training with individual countries around east and south china sea.


    Ah, ok.

  30. ” It has been stated here before any major spending will only be funded in RMK12 ”

    RMK12 is just 1 year away (2021). Any spending in RMK12 should already be planned now.

    Yes its being planned now that’s what the DWP will bring to the table

  31. I dont know about u guys…but as far as I know these 2 anti tank weapons have different carecteristic….84mm CG can be loaded with varieties of rounds…the most popular of them all is the air burst rounds meant for anti personnel
    The disadvantages of 84mm is its 50m back blast area…one shot n ur opponent will counter u easily…and that is why u need x2 84mm to kill x1 tank..incase the first shot misses.
    For the NLAW its a 1 shot missile and with no back blast…that means it can be use in urban n enclosed areas.
    So I say both weapons compliments each other….

    The comment was actually about the CG vs the RPG, both has back blasts actually. To me the main difference is the weight of the weapon and warheads.

  32. Red Sot – “ dont know about u guys…but as far as I know these 2 anti tank weapons have different”

    Red Sot – “So I say both weapons compliments each other…”

    You’re a bit late in the game. Read the previous posts on the subject. It was made very clear that both are slightly different, both have respective merits and both indeed complement – not do away – with each other.

    Which is precisely why the army sees fit in getting new Gustavs despite already having other types of shoulder launched weapons.

  33. AM,

    He also mentioned the Confrontation ending decades ago but Malaysia still spending on defence, about Malaysia wanting MRCAs when countries were going for “drones” and asked why 10 Para wasn’t deployed to Sabah in 2013 when it was.

    He should just stick to writing on politics, good governance and questioning authority (as is the right of everyone).

    On the RPG and the Russians; to me the fact that there are other better performing Russian shoulder fired weapons and the Russians still maintain RPG-7s telling. After all when viewed objectively or dispassionately; there is nothing fantastic about the several decades vintage RPG-7; it’s use by non state actors has afforded it a cult status and yes it’s reliable, inexpensive and effective (when employed properly) but there are others that are just as effective and may even have certain characteristics that are better/superior.

  34. “To me the main difference is the weight of the weapon and warheads.”

    To me the main difference is in effective range and accuracy. Lower risk to operator makes the Carl Gustav a far superior weapon.

    With the M4 version, weight is no longer greater than the RPG and it can be fielded down to squad level, at least in armies that can afford it. Still, the rounds are very heavy, which limits the number carried and the echelon at which the weapon is fielded.

    SAF infantry battalions used to have 4x M2 in each of their 3 companies (to back up the Armbrusts at section level) and had jeep mounted M40 106mm. I’m not sure when the M40 went out, but it was still around last decade. The M2s were retired a couple of years ago when Matador replaced the Armbrusts one for one. Spike SR was introduced at company level some time within the past 3 years.

    Yes it might be lighter the CG M4 but its still bulky compared to the RPG launcher which could be slung across the body. This is especially helpful going up and down hills in the forests and narrow confines of an urban area.

  35. “He should just stick to writing on politics, good governance and questioning authority (as is the right of everyone). ”

    I don’t conclude that he is ignorant of defence matters but rather he is happy to see us in a position where we are unable to defend our interests. There are people like that, who far from being ignorant of regional developments are happy to see them (the most perplexing being those who are very vocal about KL giving them revenue from their states’ offshore oil fields but also vocally in favour of being stripped of those same oil fields by another country.)

  36. AM – “I don’t conclude that he is ignorant of defence matters but rather he is happy to see us in a position where we are unable to defend our interests”

    I think he is truly ignorant. Typical of many politicians and NGOs who can’t be bothered to do detailed and objective research and who are quick to jump to conclusions without weighting in all the factors and taking into account that practical realities can differ greatly to what looks good on paper. Unfortunately people who peddle this type of rubbish have a keen following which accepts what is said at face value.

  37. I do think we should have the capability of at least manufacture our own munitions for the RPG, at least for basic HE/HE-FRAG/HEAT rounds. RPG-7 is by far the most numerous anti-tank weapon we have
    (used by both the army and gof) and it would make sense to produce munitions for them. I mean, if we can produce our own munitions for 105mm and 155mm artillery, I don’t see why we couldn’t do the same for RPG.

    The same goes to munitions for carl gustaf as well

    SMEO used to assemble the CG rounds locally previously as well as the 105/155mm round previously. But lately it has failed to win various tenders to supply ammo for the military. It is likely that it will be cheaper to buy ammo from overseas rather than to manufacture or assemble them locally even for the RPG round. It must be noted that even the US Army buys them directly from Saab which manufacture them in the US. The US buys plenty of ammo so it make sense for foreign producers to set up shop in the US to manufacture them. Whereas for us we buy them in small lots so it will be cheaper to import them directly. I understand you concern and I also think the same way but there are many variables here.

  38. Having a local ammunition manufacturing capability will cost more than buying off the shelf. Is that capability still important in our overall defence agenda?

    Yes if the government decides self reliance is part of the national defence strategy. But it must allocate enough funds to do it, starting first by taking over SMEO.

  39. Let me guess, new gomen thought it would be better to source munitions elsewhere instead of developing local industries.

    The whole economic drive is misplaced. The old man man prolly thought setting up 3rd national car brand and flying cars is better than investing on local defence industry.

    No lah it started around 2012/2013. I guess with our limited budget both the Defence and Finance ministries officials realised it was cheaper to go for imported ammo rather than buying them from SMEO. As I mentioned in another comment the government must decides what to do with this conundrum getting more ammo by importing them or getting a smaller batch for the same amount of money and at the same time help local industry. If it decides for the latter it must be prepared to spend more to aid the local company.

  40. Hazwan – “I do think we should have the capability of at least manufacture our own munitions for the RPG”

    You do realise that we don’t have the economics of scale, that all the raw ingredients needed (from the chemicals needed for the explosives to the steel and fuzes) have to be imported and that’s its cheaper to import the stuff?

    Hazwan – “if we can produce our own munitions for 105mm and 155mm artillery”

    Like RPG rounds everything needed; from the chemicals to the brass to the fuzes to the charges; have to be imported are paid in foreign currency. In case of an emergency do you really think SME stocks large amounts of all this stuff to enable ammo to be produced (assembled is actually a mote accurate term) at short notice? Also, it’s not as it the army operates large numbers arty and fires large amounts of ammo per year.

    It’s nice to talk about “self sufficiency” but give really self reliant can we be when everything needed for production/assembly has to be imported and when the small amounts actually needed makes it more practical and cheaper to source from abroad.

  41. Hassan – RPG-7 is by far the most numerous anti-tank weapon we have”

    Is it really an “anti-tank” weapon per see? Given that it has to be used at certain ranges to be effective (hard in unrestricted terrain where there’s less cover) and can’t penetrate the front of flanks is uparmoured MBTs; it’s more accurate to call it a “general purpose” weapon. Like the C-90s (now gone) and LAW; it’s intended to be used against a variety of targets – AFVs, soft skin vehicles. field fortifications, buildings and even – if circumstances permit – in the anti personnel role.

    The RPG is an inexpensive, rugged and useful weapon which has been around for decades. It crept back into the minds of the general public following its use against Blackhawks in Somalia but we must never overestimate its capability. Like all shoulder fired weapons it has a minimum range (getting into range or an ideal firing position can be hard when people are firing at you) and accuracy is an issue.

    When looking at the actual kill ratio in relation to the number of rounds fired to actually score a hit; RPGs with standard sights are not very accurate beyond close ranges – which applies to most shoulder fired weapons. The Gustav however has much better sights and the tripod (also available for RPGs bit not commonly employed) enables a more stable firing position.

  42. Dundun – “better than investing on local defence industry”

    We assembled HK-33s way back in the 1970’s but it was Dr.M which really put emphasis on it to the extent that it had consequences for the MAF and tax payer …..

    Viewed objectively how did the AUG, M-4, Kedah and other programmes actually benefit the MAF and tax payer? Did both actually get the desired capability and their ringgit’s worth? Did it actually benefit the local industry besides creating revenue and jobs?

    What is the quality of 5.56mm ammo produced by SME and how does it compare price wise compared to buying abroad? Were prices charged by ATSC for depot level maintenance and other stuff on the Fulcrums and good use of the taxpayer’s ringgit? Throughout all the years it assembled the AUG did SME actually come up with any improvements in its own? In the years to come will BNS on its own or with much less reliance on DCNS be able to offer the RMN an improved LCS?

  43. All the toolings for AUG is still around. AFAIK we are one of a few that has original AUG toolings.

    AUG patents has expired, as is the M16/M4 so SME can actually build them without issues. The main problem is the market for them. If you dont go into the US civillian rifle market, there is barely any other out there. Or you could try to push them to current large national tenders, like the indian army for example.

    I believe SME has already finished building the 14,000 M4 rifles for malaysian army. What it can do further is to rebuild the older M16A1 in the army inventory.

    Surplus SME ammos have found their way into american civilian market, and it generally has favourable reviews.

  44. I don’t know about locally produced 5.56mm ammo (or whether it’s about the SS109 or M193. We do still maintain large M16A1 inventory after all) but our “surplus” 7.62mm nato saw some export success in the US where it is used in anything from rechambered mauser to FALs and M14s without much issues. Even smeo-made 9mm rounds is used without problems in our mp5 tho apparently ours are loaded hotter with harder primer

    Also, I’m not talking about producing things like tanks, ships and whatnot but munitions, a type of consumables supplies. This thing gets used all the time.

  45. With defense budget “ciput” actually having local defense industries is useless. Local defense industries need local consistent buyers to keep them alive. Export is hard, who is going to buy?

  46. Romeo

    By your logic, Serbia, with smaller armed forces and in more pathetic situation than the MAF and where their manufacturing capacity being dismantled by dissolution of Yugoslavia (and what little they had were bombed to hell by allied forces during bosnian war), shouldn’t have a sound military industry when in fact they did

    No lah, most of their defence manufacturing plants were left intact even those in Serbia and also Bosnia. Serbia continues to be a major ammo exporter as their facilities are able to produce Nato and Russian ammo and other stuff.

  47. Dundun – “This thing gets used all the time.”

    We don’t use enough arty ammo
    and other things to justify large scale production/assembly. Only by producing/assembling things in large numbers can we bring prices down.

    Also given that all the raw ingredients have to imported; whether for 5.56mm ammo or 60mm; it’s often cheaper to buy the stuff from abroad. SME small
    arms ammo was indeed exported – both for military and civilian use – but not in the numbers and frequency we desired in order to generate steady revenue and bring prices down.


    Mostly rusting and collecting dust.

  48. Prior to getting ASTROS we looked at getting the Orkan. It would have been a partnership comprising SME and a Bosnian company. We also sourced 125mm (1980’s Soviet vintage) rounds and not too long ago ordered 57mm rounds. The irony of course is we bought 81mn mortars from what was then Yugoslavia in the 1970’s and deployed them to Bosnia in the 1990’s. According to the rumour mill; when the cabinet in the late 1990’s first decided on getting a design based on the T-72 (yes a decision was made then) we looked at a Croatian/Bosnian connection but at that time they were unable to fulfil such an order.

    Unlike us: countries like Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic have a long history exporting stuff and a customer base. With regards to end user certificates and legality issues; buying from these sources are more appealing for certain customers. They also make stuff with a higher level of deniability afforded.

    Producing/assembling stuff locally makes sense only if there are long term tangible benefits. If there is no economics of scale (from exports or otherwise) and when it’s cheaper to buy from abroad; makes no sense to locally do things – waste of the taxpayer’s ringgit. Also, amidst all the talk about “self sufficiency” (which people love to talk about without looking at the various factors) how “self sufficient” can we really be when all the stuff needed for production/assembly has to be imported and when we hardly have any indigenous R&D.

  49. The Artillery Directorate has to first make up its mind if it wants a tracked or wheeled solution; or a bit of both. The fact that M109s were ordered doesn’t tell us much as the decision could have been a political one or they could have been ordered on the basis of being relatively inexpensive. If it’s a wheeled solution the army prefers; Caeser [mounted on a Handalan] will still have the advantage as its been offered for years and there was previously a high level of interest.

  50. Handalan is a light 3 ton capacity truck. It cannot take the caesar howitzer which needs at least a 10 ton capacity truck like the unimog 6×6. The brutus 155mn OTOH is designed to be fitted on a 5 ton truck.

    There is a five ton Handalan truck already in service, it carries the mobile communication shelter. The standard Handalan is of course, three tonner. In the past the Army chief said they bought the Iveco and MAN trucks as the Japanese made noise about it arming its Handalan, that was before the Japan relax its arms export ban of course. Japan Army now uses a MAN truck for its new truck SPH.

  51. @ marhalim

    I thought we are mainly using MAN 5 tonners?


    Anyway the new brutus is a game changer as it is about half the total weight of something like the caesar.


    Well i am very interested with the hawkeye concept, for our close support fires rapid shoot and scoot to support the mechanized forces.

    Yes they are many more MAN 5 tonnes truck than the Iveco ones, only a limited number of the 5 ton Handalan, there are also a number of 5 and 7 tonne Amdac trucks for that matter.

  52. Now it looks like Saab is going to develop guided munitions for Carl Gustav


    Should be a good addition to our anti tank capability. It’ll be much cheaper than say, Javelin or Spike (which isn’t going to happen anyway) and although it still going to be a beam riding SACLOS instead of top attack fire and forget like Javelin or Spike, yet it would complement nicely with NLAW which, while is capable of fire and forget, is comparatively short ranged

  53. Kamal – “. It’ll be much cheaper than say, Javelin or Spike (which isn’t going to happen anyway) and although it still going“”

    Of course but those are a different category of weapon. It’s like saying assault rifle is cheaper than a LMG; given.

    Chua – “Effective range is still comparatively low”

    Where the weapon will be employed is the main factor. In restricted terrain and in urban areas ranges will be shorter and shots can be taken on the flanks and tear much easier compared to in non restricted terrain where there’s lees natural cover. In open areas or non restricted terrain; yes; range is an issue. In restricted terrain and urban areas; employing ATGWs can be a problem given the minimum ranges these weapons have; which tend to be shorter than the minimum ranges of unguided weapons.

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