Oz Prepares For Post Covid World

An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter flies over RAAF Base Richmond during circuit and instrument landing approach training. *** Local Caption *** Two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft from No. 3 Squadron conducted daylight flying training at RAAF Base Richmond. The training included circuit training and instrument landing approaches as part of pilot familiarisation.

SHAH ALAM: Oz prepares for post Covid world. Australia is preparing to spend AUS$270 billion (RM798 billion) in the next decade to “prepare for a post-COVID world that is poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly. Australian PM Scott Morrison when announcing the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan, announced that the new funding commitment was on top of the 2016 funding plan of AUS$175 billion.

The plan.

RAAF P-8A flying over RMAF Butterworth. Australian Defense Department

The Strategic Update sets out the challenges in Australia’s strategic environment and their implications for Defence planning. It provides a new strategic policy framework to ensure Australia is able – and is understood as willing – to deploy military power to shape our environment, deter actions against our interests and, when required, respond with military force.

While the drivers of change identified in the 2016 Defence White Paper persist, they have accelerated faster than anticipated. Australia now faces an environment of increasing strategic competition; the introduction of more capable military systems enabled by technological change; and the increasingly aggressive use of diverse grey-zone tactics to coerce states under the threshold for a conventional military response.

According to the Australian:

An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter flies over RAAF Base Richmond during circuit and instrument landing approach training. *** Local Caption *** Two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft from No. 3 Squadron conducted daylight flying training at RAAF Base Richmond. The training included circuit training and instrument landing approaches as part of pilot familiarisation.

The update includes a $75bn expansion to maritime forces to “provide greater capability for anti-submarine warfare, sealift, border security, maritime patrol, aerial warfare, area denial and undersea warfare”.Between $168bn and $183bn will be spent on upgrades to Navy and Army fleets and $5bn-$7bn on undersea surveillance systems including hi-tech sensors. Between $6.2bn and $9.3bn will also be spent on developing “high speed long range strike” and hypersonic missile technology as well as an estimated $400m-$500m in long-range maritime strike missiles, including the joint strike missile capable of low level flight up to 500km.

A further $10bn-$17bn investment will be made in fighter aircraft, signalling the possible expansion of the JSF acquisition program, and $5bn for an expanded long range air launched strike capability. A $1bn investment will be made in Operational Radar Network expansion, while $70bn will be spent on increased combat power for army and land based forces, drone vehicles and long range rocket artillery.

The specific platforms have yet to be decided and would need to go through a thorough defence procurement process.

F-35A Joint Strike Fighters fly in formation with an F/A18 Hornets. Commonweatlh of Australia

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. @ marhalim

    thanks for the link, which i will need to go through tonight.

    anyway it is clear that countries from indonesia to australia is looking at bolstering their defence in the next 10 years. We need to do so too, as in the next 10 years is probably the closest we would get to losing parts our sovereignty ever since we got our independence from the british.

    To compare, this year our defence budget is rm15.6 billion.

    Indonesia for 2021 will be spending usd10.6 billion (rm45.58 billion) for defence.

    IMO for us to have adequate operational and developmental budget, in the next 10 years we need to spend at least usd4.5 billion per year up to 2030. With at least usd1 billion per year of that budget set aside for development expenditure. Anything less IMO would see our defensive posture diminish when compared to regional countries.

  2. I am very, very excited for Australia’s acquisition of cutting edge technology.

    Also curious about the direction Singapore will take. Singapore has so far saved money by acquiring only the best technology that has reached a reasonably mature state. We’ll see if regional pressures lead to them changing this policy.

    Marhalim, how often do Australian P-8’s visit us and how long do they stay?

    … “We need to do so too, as in the next 10 years is probably the closest we would get to losing parts our sovereignty ever since we got our independence from the british. IMO for us to have adequate operational and developmental budget, in the next 10 years we need to spend at least usd4.5 billion per year up to 2030. ”

    I agree with you. We have to overcome not only external challenges but also years of our own neglect. The trouble is, upping our defence spending will require up-ending the entire model of government spending and you will have to get people to accept that.

    Our task is not only pointing out where defence spending should grow but also where other areas should be cut. Then there are the matters of corruption and national interest.

    Professionals study logistics, it is said.

    RAAF never announced its deployment of P8 or Orions before especially if its done under Ops Gateway it’s own operations.

  3. Rm800bil, that’s like Rm200bil per year.

    What’s interesting, they are spending AUS $10bil on stand-off long range offensive strike weapons. A battery installed at their off-shore bases, like in Penang could choke off Selat Melaka to belligerent fleets. Another battery based in SG could overwatch southern SCS, choking marine lanes from Selat Melaka to SCS and vice versa.

  4. Ha ha, I will be helping pay for it. Looks like the tax cuts promised by Morrison during the last election will not be happening 😢.

  5. Lets face it ..post covid 19, we will not increase our defence budget, or rather we dont have the capacity to increase them..if we can retain the same amount for next year like this year’s, it will be good enough..

  6. Right now the question is…

    How do we prepare for the post-covid world?

    The biggest issues for the next 10 years IMO would be
    – The loss of malaysian EEZ into the unethical Chinese territorial waters of 9-dash line
    – Coping with increased military posture in borneo due to Indonesia having its new capitol in Kalimantan
    – Maintaining security in malaysian waters and eez
    – Maintaining security in malaysian airspace and avoiding MH370 like scenario to ever happen again
    – Rapid deployment of our ground troops and maintaining the ops tempo with secure logistical lines.

    IMO we could have a development expenditure (or what the aussies call “capability investment” in their papers) of usd10 billion for 2020-2030, which is just usd1 billion per year. This increase, can be afforded by the government, and although minimal, would be a workable one if it can be agreed to as a long term stable budgetary planning.

    From what I suggested previously as 10 years would cover 2 RMK, for each service the development expenditure to 2030 would be
    Navy usd4 billion
    Air force usd3.2 billion
    Army usd2.8 billion

    Yes if you can see the amount is tiny when compared to what Indonesia wants to spend just for 1 year, but that is basically what we can afford without sacrificing our health, public and education budget that we enjoy.

    With small budget comes big responsibility to get the best equipment for the money. Hard choices need to be made. Mundane equipment that gets the job done is better than expensive high tech but unaffordable to operate it frequently.

    What IMO needs to be done from 2020-2030
    – forget about OPVs and pass all kedah class to MMEA by 2030
    – get its head down and proceed building the gowinds to 9 ships in total
    – with budget freed of building OPVs, try to get 1 more scorpenes by 2030
    – enlargement of PASKAL and setting up a littoral strike force ala the sweedish jaegers

    RMK12 2021-2025 USD2bil
    2x SGPV Gowind USD1000 mil (include additional cost due to delay)
    2x MRSS USD300 mil
    16x FIC USD50 mil
    5x AS332 USD50 mil (used – maritime utility helicopter)
    4x Lynx ASW upgrades USD100 mil (2 additional used + 2 conversion from existing)
    2x AS355NP USD5 mil (used – utility and PASKAL support)
    8x LMS68 USD250 mil
    1x Autonomous MCM system USD60 mil
    3x Offshore OSV USD40 mil (used – MCM, survey, salvage, PASKAL support, as auxillary ship)
    2x Support tanker USD60 mil (Brand new Indonesia 150m tanker BM5 BM6 replacement, as auxillary ship)

    RMK13 2026-2030 USD2 bil
    3x SGPV Gowind USD1200 mil Gowind no.7, 8 & 9
    1x Scorpene USD500 mil Scorpene no.3
    3x Autonomous MCM system USD180 mil
    16x FIC USD50 mil
    2x Floating base USD30 mil (used – tanker ship conversion semisubmersible, as auxillary ship)
    1x Heavilift RORO USD10 mil (used – additional transport – as auxillary ship)

    Air Force
    – conversion of 6 CN-235-220 into capable MPAs. Yes some is paid for by usa, but we need to put money into it too to put more capable systems into it, such as VIDAR, MAD XR, OSPREY AESA Radar and such.
    – LCA/LIFT. We need to decide by 2021 the latest actually, to have first of them by 2025. We need a capable, supersonic fighter in numbers with frugal operating costs to enable us to do our daily taskings much more successfully.
    – AWACS and EW/EA.

    RMK12 2021-2025 USD1.56bil
    40 TA/FA-50M 1350mil 16 TA-50, 24 FA-50. Hawk/MB-339CM replacement 2 operational Sqn, 1 LIFT Sqn, 1 Adversary/Display Sqn
    6 CN-235-220 MPA conv 40mil plus trade in 3 B200T MPA, 4 with USA MSI grant.
    4 Su-30MKI (used india) trade-in 12 MiG-29N, plus overhaul IAF C-130J in Airod
    12 Bayraktar TB2 MALE UAV 70mil 3 systems with 4 uav per system
    6 EC-225LP(used) 50mil Free transfer of 5 from Boustead MHS (as a consession to approving additional RM1.4billion budget for the Gowinds) plus 1 bought. Upgrade all to mil spec radios.
    1 GroundMaster GM403 radar 30mil
    1-2 TPS-77 MRR radar Free transfer USA
    11 PC-7 MkII (used s africa) 20mil Include upgrades and SCAR Pods for observation use in ESSCOM. Future fleet to consist of 32x PC-7 MkII.
    -3 C-130H-30 -75mil Sell 3 C-130H-30 to fund C-130 fleet upgrade + buy 1 additional short fuselage C-130H for SF support. Future fleet to consist of 6x C-130H-30, 4x KC-130H, 1x C-130H-MP, 1x C-130H SF support.

    RMK13 2026-2030 USD1.56bil
    12 FA-50M 450mil
    3 G6000 Erieye ER AEW&C 600mil
    1 G6000 HAVASOJ EW 120mil
    2 G6000 (used) 40mil VIP/training to replace Global Express
    2 A400M 300mil partly used Spain/UK/Germany allocation
    2 GroundMaster GM403 radar 50mil

    – Gempita batch 2. I forsee a 2nd batch of just 170 units mostly of the cheaper IFV variant to enable us to create a wholly gempita brigade. This will have a better operational capability than with the current mix of wheeled and tracked vehicles in 1 brigade. This can be had for around usd500 million.
    – 6×6 for cavalry? the same tasks can be done by cheaper J-LTVs. We can get 350 J-LTV for around usd150 million.
    – recapitalization of artillery pieces. more LG-1, new 155mm towed and SPH.
    – recapitalization of jernas
    – recapitalisation of ATGM and heat seeking MANPADS
    – Nuri replacement

    RMK12 2021-2025 USD1.4bil
    Cyber warfare 0.1
    4 Vera-NG ESM 0.1
    165 AV8 Gempita batch2 0.5
    125 J-LTV 0.05
    45 LG-1 105mm 0.06
    70 PT-91M batch2 0.28 refurbished PT-91 include upgrade batch1
    26 S-70A-9 used 0.06 ex Australian Army + swap with MD530G
    10 A109E Power 0.02 used commercial. utility, training, medevac, VIP (taking over tudm vip helicopter taskings)
    220 Polaris DAGOR A1 0.04 10PARA + GGK
    20 SH-15 155mm SPH 0.05
    260 KIA KLTV 0.04

    RMK13 2026-2030 USD1.4bil
    Cyber warfare 0.1
    Electronic warfare 0.05
    400 Bushmaster HMPV 0.25
    250 J-LTV 0.1
    36 CAMM 0.3 (replacement for Jernas)
    45 LG-1 105mm 0.06
    48 AH4/AHS4 155mm 0.1
    6 Fulmar X UAV 0.008 (ISTAR for RAD)
    6 PAC 750XL 0.015 ISTAR and SF support
    4 PC-12NG used 0.015 utility, medevac, SF support
    Arthur upgrade + add 0.1 (arthur upgrade + additional 6 used units)
    60 LIG Nex1 Chiron MANPAD 0.05 (replacement for IGLA)
    72 LIG Nex1 Raybolt ATGM 0.05 (replacement for ERYX, Metis-M)
    260 KIA KLTV 0.04

  7. I like ur suggestion but i kinda sceptical cuz we never dish that kind of money for defence sector..i like to propose a security boost every 5 years for some 10 billion myr outside that year defence and home ministry budget

  8. AM – “ill require up-ending the entire model of government spending and you will have to get people to accept that””

    Will require more than that.

    Will require deep fundamental changes in our whole policy and outlook; including undoing years of flawed and disastrous decisions; including the role the local industry plays. The problem is that a lot of the hard decisions needed are in turn linked to political factors. Also imperative we learn from our mistakes; rather than them again and again.

    Unless that happens it will matter not how much we allocate for defence and what planning we do. What cash there is will be squandered; the MAF will continue to be in a neither here nor there position and taxpayer will continue to be screwed.

    I won’t go into hypothetical ORBATs or TOEs. For me a good start would be maintaining the course with stuff already approved by the previous government such as MPAs and UASs. Even that is in ridiculously small numbers.

  9. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-02/australias-new-defence-strategy-strategic-shift-foreign-policy/12412650

    Excerpt of the article :

    Given all this uncertainty, Australia is embracing a doctrine of deterrence.

    There are limits to this strategy. Australia’s military is small, and does not have any nuclear weapons.

    The defence strategy puts it baldly: “Only the nuclear and conventional capabilities of the United States can offer effective deterrence against the possibility of nuclear threats against Australia.”

    But the shifts in power and unpredictability of the Trump administration have convinced the Federal Government that Australia must be able to do more by itself.

    “It is the Government’s intent that Australia take greater responsibility for our own security,” is how the strategy puts it.

    “It is therefore essential that the ADF grow its self-reliant ability to deliver deterrent effects.”

    Why IMO we need to excel in 2 things. 1 is to do our day to day peacetime security missions effectively. 2 is to have a deterrence effect to make any attempt to attack malaysia or its interests a costly one.

    Someone said here that deterrence is only possible with nuclear weapons and impossible with conventional ones. But as what australia is planning to do, we need to think of deterrence factors even without nuclear weapons.

    Additional deterrence could be in the form of more attack submarines, multiple anti-ship attack and targetting options, area denial by upgrading our naval mine stockpile and delivery methods, saturation attacks with MLRS, long range precision land attack missiles, electronic attack. Some items that could improve our deterrence posture.
    – additional scorpene submarine
    – Supersonic Brahmos NG for SU-30MKM (3 NG can be carried by MKM compared to needing to heavily modify airframe for just one for the original Brahmos)
    – air and submarine launched NSM.
    – Roketsan SOM cruise missile
    – Quickstrike fuses or equivalent for Mk80 series bombs to convert them into naval mines.
    – Aselsan HAVASOJ Electronic Attack aircraft.

    @ firdaus

    usd4.5 billion is around RM19.35 billion, just additional RM3.75 billion compared to this years RM15.6 billion budget. Indonesia for example is going to increase its defence budget by about usd1.9 billion in 2021 compared to this year.

  10. @…
    Nice on paper, but can we afford such a boost? USD$ 1Bil is Rm4Bil a year, that an increase of 25% on top of the Rm16Bil we had earlier budgeted. Where we’re going to cut to get that money? Looking at post-Covid MY, we’d be lucky if we could still get that much to use. Even when good times return, we’d be lucky to spend that much without any sort of “pemangkin ekonomi” ToT trade-off.

  11. In Malaysian political thinker think that the defense sector is low priority, first priority is economic and business…

  12. @ joe

    Its RM3.75 billion per year. It is not about if we can, but it is really because we really must. Our current defence budget is too low to even afford basic needs like MPA, LCA and constant patrols by our ships and aircraft. In a few years, if we cannot increase our budget, probably the philippines defence budget would be much more bigger than us (and with it comes the tricky situation of stronger rhetoric about sabah). Even the philippines 2020 defence budget is usd3.87 billion, or rm16.64 billion which is RM1 billion more than our 2020 defence budget. It does not need to be exactly RM3.75 billion increase next year. Just needs it to be in overall USD45 billion for the timeframe of 2020-2030.

    To compare, next year indonesia will increase their defence budget by RM8.2 billion compared to this year.

    Even with the tiny increase, it still does not give us the means to buy all the best weapons under the sky. We still need to juggle our acquisitions and buy used, and also accept donated items. For example, we still cannot afford stealth fighters, new MBTs, Medium range SAM and the like before 2030.

  13. Those few hundred words of idea from … looks more like a practical plan rather than the Mindef Defence White Paper.

  14. @…
    I just round up figures to keep discussions simple.

    How to define that ‘must’? Between defending ourselves from potential enemies and making sure we (as in rakyat) don’t go hungry, how would a government convince the people and more importantly the Opposition, that the less obvious choice is actually better in long run?

    If per accordance to DWP, the defence budget is tied to GDP, wouldn’t it make more sense to throw everything to raise the GDP first? Logic dictates that when GDP grows, money for defence increases in tandem.

    So how would the Government convince everyone that we need to sacrifice some GDP for defence needs now? If we increase to 2% of GDP, we have to cut 1% from other sectors that would have generated income. Bear in mind even our GDP growth is losing out to Pinoy, Indonesia, Thai and others. So their defence expenditure growth is more ‘natural’ as the increases are in tandem with their speedier GDP gains as compared to ours.

    It is easy to preach to enlightened people like you or Azlan or the readers here but when we have Luddite ministers questioning the need for subs, it would take a miracle to convince the many others on justifying to spend more for defence when we still have the poor to feed, homeless to shelter, the sick to heal, and the infirm to take care of.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support what you said but reality is, for the sake of political survival, the rakyat’s need takes precedence and there are endless needs to fulfill.

  15. As I’ve pointed out; a clear policy is needed; as well as deep fundamental changes. Do we actually intend to learn from our mistakes? Are we buying stuff to acquire a minimal deterrent capability or to meet certain threats? In short; capability or threat driven?

    It’s one thing having paper plans but we also need an MAF which we can afford to sustain; not just one which has an impressive ORBAT but is subject to regular budgetary cuts which affects its ability to train adequately and to maintain a certain readiness level.

    Is there even the political will on the part of the government to make the needs changes? As it stands the average voter couldn’t care less so what incentives are there for change?

    Irrespective of where it’s sourced; equipment must be based on sound factors; not merely to benefit the local industry or improve bilateral ties. Pre owned stuff should only be acquired if it meets our requirements and if it doesn’t cost and arm and leg to maintain for the duration of its service life. No point achieving short term savings only to have go fork out more at a later date.

  16. It’s fine to talk about future plans and threats but the reality is that the MAF in its current state is under resourced and overstretched – struggling to even meet its peacetime commitments.

    The politicians and average citizen doesn’t care but if or when the time comes when the MAF has to deliver; they’ll expect the MAF to deliver ….

  17. AM – “Professionals study logistics, it is said””

    Indeed. This is a major concern – for me at least. We’ve raised new units over the years but the same level hasn’t been given to logistical/support elements.

    It’s for the same reason why I also constantly harp about the importance of engineering and signal elements; without which no unit can perform. Also for the reason, when we raised a 4th jump qualified unit, I questioned whether 10 Para was also provided with extra HQ, signals, engineering and support elements to cater for the extra battalion.

    I would like to see a mech brigade with organic arty, engineering, signals and support elements; rather than have it just parceled out by divisional HQ when needed or in an ad hoc basis. This would ensure the Brigade CO has the capability when needed and all elements train together on a regular basis.

    We are short of resources and can’t afford equip even a fraction of the army the way we’d like – more the reason for holistic changes in organisation.

  18. @ joe

    things for you to ponder.

    1. How much GDP would we lost if we lost all our oil and gas fields off sabah and sarawak? People will literally go hungry (our people who work in oil and gas will lost their jobs) if we lose our seas to the 9-dash line.

    2. Throwing everything (that you must meant throwing the drfence budget) to increase GDP? Losing our EEZ will have our GDP on nosedive. Oil and gas accounts for nearly 20% of our GDP. Without our EEZ we wont have oil and gas industry like we have right now. You will lose so much more than that paltry increase in defence budget to defend our oil and gas fields.

    3. My suggestion of increase is just going to be a paltry 0.25% of the gdp. An increase to 2% of gdp would amount to RM32 billion in 2021, which of course we cannot afford, but not affording 0.25%? Come on. By losing our EEZ, we can lose half our oil and gas contribution to gdp. That is 10% of our gdp. Saving 0.25% to lose 10%? That is penny wise but pound foolish.

    @ azlan

    Exactly why we need to talk about our future defences. because MAF in its current state is under resourced and overstretched – struggling to even meet its peacetime commitments. We need to increase our defence budget not just to upgrade our capabilities, but also to meet our peacetime commitments.

    Why we need a clear paper plan is to actually plan to fulfill all our defence commitments, and to see that those plans actually can contribute to our peacetime defence commitments within our operational budgets. Why we need LCAs for peacetime air policing missions instead of using hornets and mkms. Why we should pass opv missions to mmea instead of tldm. Why we should opt for J-LTV instead of expensive 6×6 for our cavalry.

  19. Coming back to Aussie.
    If you ask the Aborigine people whether its better to put AUS$ 10Bil money into long range strike weapons as compared to setting up more schools for Aborigine children and staffing them with better quality teachers, guess which option the Aborigine community will pick?

  20. Off topic: “NEW DELHI: India’s government on Thursday approved the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to another 59 planes, acting to beef up its air force at a time when the military is locked in a border stand-off with China.

    The approval for 21 MiG-29 planes and a dozen Su-30 jets will together cost 181.48 billion rupees (US$2.43 billion), the defence ministry said.”

  21. On Australia; the last thing it wants is to be placed in a similar position as in early to mid 1942 when the whole of SEA fell to the Japs and Australia had to rely on a tenuous sea lanes of communications to the U.S. and the Commonwealth; leaving it very vulnerable.

    Australia needs more than a deterrent; it needs the ability to not only project power in the region but also the ability to protect its access to international shipping lanes: lanes that if interdicted would leave it very vulnerable – it has to worry about its access to the Indian Ocean and beyond; the South China Sea and access to East Asia and its backyard the South Pacific.

    It’s biggest worry is if some point in the future Uncle Sam downgrades it’s presence in the Asia Pacific.

  22. To paraphrase how serious the situation in the next 10 years, that sea that china, australia and others are at odds with each orher is actually our own front yard.

    The south china sea is straddled by Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor, Sarawak and Sabah. Beting Serupai is 80km from bintulu, and the 9-dash line cuts up to as near as 40km from bintulu. The 9-dash line practically engulfs all of our oil and gas resources in sabah and sarawak.

    How much longer can our leaders downplay the threat? If we lost our EEZ, with it comes the economic downfall of our country too. Which of our leaders would be remembered as the one who lost our seas, and collapsing our oil and gas industries (petronas)? Or would someone want to be remembered as the statesman who defended our tanah air from the greedy adversary intent on bullying snaller countries?

  23. Unrelated, but just want to share that I saw a Nuri flying this morning. Not sure though it was in AF colour or Army.

  24. …. – “We need to increase our defence budget not just to upgrade our capabilities””

    That’s fine but ultimately increasing the budget is just a short term solution. We’ve at various occasions increased our defence budget only for it to be slashed when times got tough. In parallel with an increase in budget – one that can be maintained – other changes are needed.

    Having a plan and an increased budget is one thing; actually being able to commit and carry out the plan over a long period and being able to tweak the plan to reflect operational changes; is another thing. It requires lung term focus and commitment on the part of the politicians.

    We need a complete revamp. A complete and holistic rethink as to what we’ve been doing wrong and how we can avoid making the same disastrous mistakes over and over again; everything from our defence outlook, to how we handle and conduct procurement to the part the local industry play; needs a fundamental change.

  25. …. – “Why we need LCAs for peacetime air policing missions instead of using hornets and mkms””

    All of us here are agreed on why we need LCAs.

    Ultimately we need focus and commitment; rather than just buying when we have the extra cash. It’s not enough to have a long term procurement plan if we lack the will and commitment to follow through and if certain changes are not made.

    Take the LCAs. Assuming we get the initial 12; when will the follow on batch arrive? Hopefully not say 10 or 15 years later because that will again leave us with another “a bit of everything but not enough of anything situation”. Time and time we do the same thing : buy an initial batch with plans for a follow one; only it never happens because we have to divert resources to other areas.

    Unless we get our fundamental right; we’ll continue to be in the rut we’re in. We”ll continue to make the same mistakes : the result will be us not getting the best value for our money and the MAF being in a “neither here nor there situation”.

  26. …. – “ Why we should opt for J-LTV instead of expensive 6×6 for our cavalry””

    Depends on whether the army is willing to tweak its requirement. The JLTV can do many things but it’s not an IFV and the requirement is for an IFV. Overall it inexpensive and can be configured various ways – originally designed for American requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I see the need for the JLTV to equip units like the Border Regiment and to equip the pathfinders of 10 Para as well as recce/scout elements of certain units. It can also equip the Support Companies of infantry battalions.

  27. I think the recent Covid events plus Ops Benteng have provided some awareness to the dire state of our security forces (Armed Forces + police) as well dispel the notion that they just “makan gaji buta” paraphrasing a certain idiotic tycoon.

    Ultimately the choice lies with the government to continue bury their head in the sand or do something. A proper media campaign should be launched to properly explain the current security situation and projected threats of the future. Get the admirals and generals to talk on morning talk shows. Cut the ministers’ salaries and perks.

  28. ASM – “I think the recent Covid events plus Ops Benteng have provided some awareness to the dire state of our security forces”

    Post Lahad Dato 2013 we hoped the same would happen but over time most people turned their attention elsewhere. The average citizen has no idea the MAF is under resourced and under funded. Granted there are some aware but are if the opinion that the MAF just has to make do.

    ASM – “A proper media campaign should be launched to properly explain the current security situation and projected threats of the future”

    The problem is that this costs money and this would highlight the fact the politicians are failing to make the right investments towards the MAF. On top of everything is that fact that the average voter couldn’t care less and there’s no incentive on the part of the politicians to change things.

  29. ASM,

    Post MH17 we hoped that the government would finally fund a MPA. The RMAF took the opportunity to highlight the lack of a MPA with decent legs and endurance and also the fact that it had been pressing for a MPA for a number of years. The government agreed but nothing happened.

    It’s a classic case of having limited resources and having too many things to fund; resulting in shifting priorities. At different times; different things are a priority for the government.

  30. Azlan “I saw a Pinzgauer on the road. Painted on khaki.”

    I will presume that it was in private hands because the MAF imposes a lifespan on its light vehicles that should have long passed in this case.

    It’s good that someone appreciates it. I understand that used MAF vehicles are made available for sale, but my personal observation in my area is that buyers prefer the short, civilian spec Defenders.

    That said, just last week there was a Defender in MAF camo advertised on a popular site, I believe for around 60 grand. Someone is also advertising a JSDF-style Mega Cruiser.

  31. @…
    I’m not sure why my earlier comment didn’t get thru.

    But if you study Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the base need of humans are food, shelter, clothing, family. Once these needs are taken care of the next need is safety and security. So if the Government struggles to fulfill the base needs and rakyat still don’t ‘feel’ all these needs are addressed, there is lesser priority for the Government to prioritise safety & security, and there is less push from the rakyat. As long poverty and destitution are not taken care of or seen to be taken care of, there is political mileage to prioritise more resource for them instead of other needs like defence.

  32. @ joe

    Put all your phd theoretical ideas away. I want to ask you, is malaysia struggling to give its rakyat their basic needs? We have advanced highways, medical facilities, one of the highest standards of living in south east asia. Have you been to cambodia or papua new guinea? You talk like malaysia is a least developed country.

  33. @…

    Judging by your reply to joe I’d say if your definition of ‘Malaysia’ is Klang Valley and some major towns then you’re quite correct. Have you been to the remote part of Sabah and Sarawak?

  34. “ Get the admirals and generals to talk on morning talk shows”

    As long as the government is not going to fund what the MAF lacks, do you think they will allow officers to seek public support for funding what the MAF lacks? Even if they did, it would come to nothing because our citizenry do not have mature conversations.

    No officer will publicly say that the MAF is underfunded, either because they are happy to go along or because they know their self-destruction will come to nothing. Officers don’t even speak up about procurement scandals and here you are suggesting that they say national sovereignty is being taken lightly.

  35. ” Even if they did, it would come to nothing because our citizenry do not have mature conversations.”

    My point is to educate the public about our security situation, and as more become aware of it and start asking questions, then the government will have to take notice. And as the public is largely ignorant about this matter so are we going to let them be ignorant forever? There are plenty of jobs that the public don’t know about, so going by your approach then it’s pointless to hold recruitment drives and job fairs to explain about these open positions and just leave them empty?

    “No officer will publicly say that the MAF is underfunded, either because they are happy to go along or because they know their self-destruction will come to nothing.”

    This is an example of PC done by the MMEA chief about the Damen OPVs and his suggestion of getting more boats (MPMS)

    In a way he is implying the agency is lacking assets. There are ways to explain these things without referencing it directly. But the important thing is the public needs to know about it, regardless they are not mature in the beginning. Eventually they will wise up.

  36. @ hornet_lover

    Remote part of Sabah and Sarawak? I want to ask you, are they living in the remote part of sabah and sarawak struggling to have food, shelther, clothing? I am not saying that there is no such instances, but those are exceptional rather than the norm. Can that be a main reason that we abandon our defences by lowering our already low defence budget?

  37. Of course we need a plan. At different periods the armed services always had plans; based on what the government can afford over a set period and based on what the government indicates its wiling to approve at different periods. Contrary to the impression some may have the armed services don’t expect the sky and moon or operate as if the government has bottomless coffers.

    At various stages in the past we’ve actually had we thought our plans had they been implemented scheduled would have resulted in an MAF that has a more effective capability than what it has now. Yet it’s the politicians who keep backtracking, delaying and shifting priorities. Time and again the armed services revise their plans to cope with financial realities; yet the politicians still don’t deliver.

    Which is why I keep harping about deep fundamental changes that are needed; without which all the plans in the world and a budget increase (which will later be slashed) won’t rectify. We’ll just keep in making the same mistakes over and over again.

  38. It’s one thing having a plan, another thing having the will and focus to carry it through.

    Take the LCAs. Great that 12 have been approved: subject to funding. Granted everything is politics but will the RMAF get something that meet its requirement or will be forced to get something due to politics including to benefit the local industry?

    When will the 2nd batch be funded – we don’t have a good record when it comes to progressively adding to what we have. Always shifting priorities. Sheets buying “a bit of everything but not enough anything” leaving the MAF in a neither here nor there situation.

    If we get a 2nd LCA batch 10-15 years later; will we bring it to the same standard as the initial batch? Will it the same aircraft actually be what we need in the future? Will it take us 20 years before we upgrade the 1st batch?

    Yes we need plans and more money but we also need fundamental changes in mindset and policy for things to really change.

  39. There are numerous examples of MAF senior officers openly saying funding and resources are an issue but they will never criticise the government openly because there is a chain of command and SOPs.

  40. @ ASM

    From the PC. what we really need is essentially this:

    Enduring Presence at the edge of our EEZ.

    Exactly why we need ships that have long endurance. Why the planned MPMS is planned to have 30 days endurance. Why we need replenishment ships even though our ports are less than a day sailing time away. As the MMEA chief says, the moment we leave the area, foreign entities like fishing vessels and coast guard will move into the area.

    MPMS is a very good idea. But i am not sure why it needs to be that expensive. another idea is to have converted tankers like picture below to act as MPMS. Lower descks can be flooded like an LPD and acts like big boat dock.

    or long enduring presence with low operating costs can be done by high tech sailing vessels like this.






    It is not as big as MPMS, but still can carry 4 (instead of 6) fast interceptor crafts, and can reduce the need for UAV, as the tall masts can be a great location for long range EO turrets. At sea, slow loitering on station by just using sails, with fuel just for the electrical needs on the ship.

  41. Joe – In regards to the Aborigines in Australia they’re actually doing alright, the government isn’t neglecting their needs etc.

    For sure they’d be grateful knowing the country wants to ensure Australia is safe from foreign harm by spending heaps on defence.

  42. @Azlan

    I get what you meant by on Lahad Datu incident, however the circumstances are a little bit different now. Lahad Datu affected a fraction of Malaysians,mainly those in Lahad Datu while Covid affects everybody. Gauging the reaction on the PATI I think the public do understand the need to have additional ships and *probably* won’t make much of a fuss if the budget is increased.

    ” The problem is that this costs money and this would highlight the fact the politicians are failing to make the right investments towards the MAF.”

    I suggested having generals and admirals on talk shows to discuss on these topics, not necessarily about funding, but defence and security matters related to the country. TV3 regularly have these segments mainly those are mainly special events; passing out parade, HUT etc. If we can have segments a la Money Matters but on security topics I think that’s a good start

  43. @…
    I am surprised at your response since your all about theoretical ideas, but let me ask you this: Do we have a significant segment of rakyat that are poor, destitute, homeless or shelterless, who are too sickly to cure themselves, whom constantly worry about what next day will bring? Yes or No.

    Keep in mind the B40 aren’t called that if their percentage of society is minuscule and easily ignored. There’s a lot of political mileage in that for and against the sitting Government and even the lower M40s would feel their struggles as I myself feel life struggles are getting harder whatmore for those below me? So if 40-60% of society are conscious of their struggles on meeting the base needs, how would they be turned to prioritise on a higher level need like security? On a societal level, they would make do with less security or going the cheaper route with lesser quality. On a national level, it would be differed expenditure or going the cheaper route with lesser capabled equipment.

    That is the reason why I brought Maslow’s Law into the picture. For you to see the bigger picture.

    It would be easy to talk about defence matters by itself, just being objective as you have put it. But it has to tie in with the bigger picture of what influences it and what drives it. Ultimately defence matters is about the rakyat and it really is about what the rakyat wants, and if the rakyat chooses to prioritise their daily needs firstly, a good Government should heed that call above all others.

    Anyways I digress. So I will end it here.

  44. … -!even though our ports are less than a day sailing time away”

    Never more than 2-3 days actually.

    We need the ability replenish at sea but it doesn’t have to be by dedicated “replenishment” ships per see; notwithstanding the MPSS requirement. It’s for the same reason that although some of our ships can refuel at sea and the Saktis have the capability; it’s something we rarely do or practice. It’s something that ship most COs have never performed.

  45. O/T

    Based on wiki THHE is actually building two different vessels for MMEA: Bagan Datuk (Fassmer) and Kota Bharu (Damen 1800). MMEA chief said that the Kota Bharus should be ready by the end of this year. What about Bagan Datuk ships? Seems that there are still 4 yet to be delivered.

    No lah, THHE Destini JV is building the OPV, Destini itself is doing the NGPC.

  46. @ ASM

    Wikipedia is inaccurate if there is no hardcore defence enthusiasts updating all the info.

    FYI all of the NGPCs has been handed over to MMEA.

    The last one KM Lahad Datu now has been assigned to Labuan for more than 1 year already.

    Info on KM Lahad Datu 4546

    Keel Laying on 30 August 2016.

    Launching on 12 June 2018.

    1st crew on board : 21 November 2018.

    Sea Acceptance Trial : 12 December 2018.

    Delivered : end of January 2019

    The KM Lahad Datu with its first CO Leftenan Komander (Maritim) Mohammad Zaini Bin Zainal

    Not really, MMEA had difficulties in paying Destini for the last two ships during the last 22 months, likely due to the change of ministries which resulted in the bureaucracy issues. Two will be handed over tomorrow

  47. “..we can have segments a la Money Matters but on security topics I think that’s a good start..”

    Defence Matters Season 1, Ep.1 – “LCS Di Mana?” Ouch.

  48. @ joe

    ” Do we have a significant segment of rakyat that are poor, destitute, homeless or shelterless, who are too sickly to cure themselves, whom constantly worry about what next day will bring? Yes or No ”

    my answer is no.

    the B40 designation is just that, the bottom 40% of our society. But does the majority of the B40 rakyat all poor, destitute, homeless or shelterless, who are too sickly to cure themselves, whom constantly worry about what next day will bring? You make it sound like our B40 society are rohingya refugees. There may be some destitute people in the B40, like 2% ? But significant like you said? no. If significant, the problems would be people dying of hunger, not people dying of rempiting in the streets, or dying of diabetes. Malaysian people has probably one of the biggest disposable incomes in south east asia. Just look at how malaysians like to travel for holidays. Even B40 people can afford to take their cubchais to travel to thailand for example. Is that a sign of destitute?

  49. @Melayu Ketinggalan
    Straying off topic here.

    But is it? No, not if you have seen ABC News documentaries on the plight of Aborigine people. They have children who goes thru public schooling still end up illiterate with little hope for further education because they get teachers that are more concerned on their paychecks than educating the children, and they are being discriminated from tradesmen profession which are predominantly White.

    So these are the future they faced.

    On a personal note, the only Aborigine I met in Sydney was a man selling craftsware out in the open during cold windy Aussie winter dressed only in loincloth and body paint. If they had to struggle like that I really empathise their fate. Heck, I’ve seen more Asians than Aborigines in the CBD sadly and that just emphasises the social inequality & stigma against them not to mention the very few representative they had in Government. If they had a much more significant voice, likely such generous defence budget would have been cut for better/more help to uplift the Aborigine people. Such a significant sum of money (AUS$ 10Bil) sunk into power projection wouldn’t have sit well with their community because it isn’t in their culture to do that. Not when they have more pressing needs.

  50. ASM – “I get what you meant by on Lahad Datu incident, however the circumstances are a little bit different now””

    The point Im trying to make is that we don’t follow through. Something happens and we make it a priority to do something but time circumstances (including the need to juggle scarce resources) diverts us elsewhere.
    At different times different things are the priority as selected by the government but then we move on to other things – the result is where we are now.

    ASM – to discuss on these topics, not necessarily about funding, but defence and security matters related to the country”

    It does happen from time to time but the actual impact is minimal; if at all. It remains a passing interest for most people – something they’ll pay attention to for the duration of the show.

    There are various things that can be done but ultimately there must be the desire for fundamental changes in how we go about managing defence issues; whether it’s how we allocate funding; the amount, to how we select stuff and the part played by the local industry.

  51. @ marhalim

    Tomorrow probably the “official” handover as all the dues has been paid to destini? Remember the 2 samudera training ships went all over south east asia, even to the thailand fleet review before they were officially handed over to TLDM.

    If that is the case with NGPC, more of similar would cripple a much more complex project like the LCS Gowind.

    The Samuderas was already under the government books when they went around the country after their completion. The yard that completed them was contracted to do just that. The NGPC is different they were basically completed but handing over was delayed as no payment was made.
    Yes money need to be paid as otherwise the warranties and etc will not be honoured. Technically under government rules and regulations as well, the ships need to be handed over before payment (for oil and supplies) can be paid for by the government

  52. Azlan “There are numerous examples of MAF senior officers openly saying funding and resources are an issue”

    Officers have been quoted in passing remarks that more resources are needed, but that’s it. The government’s line is that it is doing everything that is needed and has provided the proper resources, which no one will openly go against.

    “but they will never criticise the government openly because there is a chain of command and SOPs.”

    Retired officers also do not criticise the government, even though they are not bound by the same rules and penalties that bind those still serving.

  53. AM – “Officers have been quoted in passing remarks that more resources are needed”

    Indeed, as I pointed out.

    It’s also not the place for serving officers to openly criticise the government as there is a chain of command and ultimately it serves no purpose. I’m all for senior speaking out for the interest of their services but to so do openly is verboten by virtue of them being serving officers and doing so publicly when there are SOPs and chain of commands.

    AM – “Retired officers also do not criticise the government””

    No …. There have been a few times exceptions.

  54. AM,

    To give an example; a former army Chief (also the 1st 10 Para CO) was scathing in his criticism over government handling of Lahad Dato. He spoke of a poor chain of command and several other issues.

    Granted he was in PKR during this period (a cynic can say his comments were politically motivated) and his criticism was not over a lack of resources but nonetheless he was still a senior retired officer.

    There are a few other examples. Not a common occurrence of course but also not completely unheard of.

  55. @AM

    Even b4 Covid Singapore will be getting

    1) F16Vs
    2) F35Bs by 2026
    3) 6 new large 5000 to 6000+ MRCV frigates
    4) 6 new OPVs or light frigates ( from Defencetalk)
    5) 2 large LHDs or JSSMs that can embark F35bs
    6) 4 type 218SG ( probably the most advanced in the region together with the Aussie Barracuda. ADJ says Singapore will likely invest more in submarines.
    7) 207 Leopard MBTs
    8) hundreds of the new NGAFVs or Hunter AFCs armed with spikes
    9) ADJ showed Hunters armed with 105mm cannons as well
    10) New 155mm 52 cal self propelled artillery to replace old ones – similar to Swedish Archer.
    11) The formidable frigates are about to be upgraded with better radar and anti air and anti sub weapons.

    One thing that is strange is that they do not have a Coast Guard. Maybe it is because there is no need to..they do not have a EEZ. They have a marine police outfit cled Police Coast Guard but these are for near shore patrols.

  56. @ Nazri

    Yeah, that is what singapore is getting, which is by far would make them still arguably the most advanced defence force in South East Asia.

    While Singapore have started looking at their F-16 replacements with the F-35B, we sadly in the next 10 years time still need to seriously look at enabling our airforce to perform its basic peacetime missions with adequate numbers of Ground Surveillance radars, LCA, MPA and MALE UAVs before even thinking about a stealth MRCA.

    The 6 new OPVs/corvettes, are quite hush-hush, considering the LMV was supposed to be the best option out there. So probably there is something that makes singapore wants to add smaller OPV/corvettes to complement the LMVs.

    The NGAFVs would be quite a game changer in the context of singapore land forces when compared to malaysia. We barely have the AV8 numbers to match their wheeled Terrex and now they are leaping forward with advanced tracked AFVs with optional UGV capability. I dont think we can afford to have an answer to the Hunter before 2030s, and up to 2030 we need to concentrate and have our AV8s in better numbers, while still looking at additional HMPVs and cavalry vehicles. Adnan replacement would need to be looked at seriously post 2030, with similar or better capability to the Hunters. We need to rearrange our armoured fleet to better exploit each types strengths. Our armoured fleet to be rearranged into 3 brigades, 1 Gempita brigade, 1 armoured brigade tracked (all PT-91M and adnan/MIFV) and 1 motorized brigade (HMPV), and that could be our mechanized division.

    Yes the main reason for the lack of a coast guard is that they dont really need them.

  57. @ …

    Yes i am concerned. It is abt time security takes centre stage. Singapore GDP is only slightly larger than Malaysia? Why cant we raise the budget? Too many GLC projects which are rahsia?

    The Singapore navy new 6 OPVs seem larger than the LMV and online reports states that it will be armed with missiles. This may be a response to increasing numbers of PLAN ships in the region. Singapore cannot say that it is officially the case of course. If true, RSN will be operating 18 frigates (excluding the 8 LMVs and minesweepers) which is unbelieveable given Singapores size. Habe a lookhttps://defpost.com/singapores-maritime-security-task-force-to-acquire-new-purpose-built-platforms/amp/

  58. Nazri – “ADJ showed Hunters armed with 105mm cannons as well””

    I would be very surprised if they actually went down this route. If they did it would probably be as a close support platform.

    Nazri – “They have a marine police outfit cled Police Coast Guard but these are for near shore patrols””

    Many years ago I was onboard a boat that has entered Tuas. We were speeding as we were late; thanks to an earlier storm off Melaka. As we entered the harbour we were illuminated by a Marine Police boat. They picked us up on radar and stopped us because we were moving beyond the stipulated speed limit.

    For us logically it would be the RMAF and RMN that would get the bulk of the procurement budget but of course politics and inter service rivalry plays a part.

    Whilst the army is certainly in need of additional hardware; no less important is the need for a corresponding improvement in engineering, signals and logistical capabilities; without which we won’t be able to effectively operate and sustain our combat formations in the field. Equally important is for the army to make certain organisational changes in order for it to better utilise what we have; especially given the limited resources.

    With regards to the introduction “low observable platforms”; the RSAF has an edge over others in that already has certain tertiary capabilities and already has the needed assets plus the networked set up.

  59. @ nazri

    Some of us are saying that we should lower our defence budget as malaysia has a “significant” segment of rakyat that are poor, destitute, homeless or shelterless, who are too sickly to cure themselves, whom constantly worry about what next day will bring. You on the other hand wants our security to take the center stage.

    For me, I am probably going with the middle route. Yes we need to increase our defence spending, not by much and probably not to take the center stage like you say. An increase is one thing, but giving assurance of the said amount of budget to be there till 2030 is also very2 important. No long term planning can be executed when the budget availability cannot be made firm. While I am advocating just a modest increase in defence spending, I am also advocating for the budget to be officially assigned in black and white so that a long term planning to 2030 can be done.

  60. @Nazri
    SG 2019 GDP – USD$362.818 billion
    MY 2019 GDP – USD$364.70 billion

    But SG has 3X the purchasing power of MY. So with the same quotient of money, SG could buy 3X more stuff or 3X better quality stuff than MY. Bearing in mind MY too has far higher social responsibilities debts than SG. We have more people on BPN payout than SG has card carrying citizens.

    SG citizens have different mentality about security and armed forces than MY people. A significant portion (>50% maybe?) of their citizens are mandated to join the armed forces as NS and theirs are the real deal, not the summer camp enjoy school holiday NS of MY. Thus they have a significant number of citizens come to appreciate the duties, importance, and role of their armed forces and are accepting that a higher investment in defence, would better protect their country while their troopers (who could be their sons), would stand a better chance of coming home safely. Also a number of top brasses after retiring later joins the PAP & Cabinet so they have a stronger influence to sway the Government on defence matters and they could articulate it back to the citizens in an accepting way.

  61. Nazri- “It is abt time security takes centre stage”

    Of course it does. Our position has traditionally been based on only spending when times are good; when there’s extra cash. We spend to achieve a minimal deterrent capability – unlike Singapore we don’t foresee being in a high intensity conflict. Some of our purchases are threat driven but most are capability driven.

    The problem is that we don’t get the best value on what we spend as big ticket items are based on political factors; including benefiting the local industry (with disastrous consequences) rather than ensuring the MAF gets the desired capability and the taxpayer his/her RM’s worth.

    Which is why we need a complete rethink and revamp as to how we handle defence; it’s not enough we increase the budget as it will later be slashed. Unless we fundamentally change the way we do things and learn from our many mistakes; we’ll continue to be in the rut we are ….As it stands there’s no incentive or urgency on the part of the politicians to change things.

  62. speaking of the post covid world.

    Indonesia is buying 8 Ospreys for USD2 billion.


    congratulations to them. whike here we are still not decided on what to do with our nuris. Why for me i have said that we should get used helicopters for PUTD nuri replacement. Because in the near future there will be more matured tiltrotor platforms available, like this bell valor







    Lets use used Blackhawks for now. In around 15 years time lets see if we can replace those with something like the bell valor

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