Quotation Notice for HOM Guns

Admiral Reza Sani taking a closer look on the FN Herstal M3M 12.7mm machine gun fitted on AW139 M503-3. RMN

SHAH ALAM: The RMN has issued a seven-day long quotation notice for the purchase of two machine guns to arm the air wing’s AW139 Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH). The three HOMs are mostly stationed at the Kota Kinabalu air base. The budget for the purchase comes from the RMN Headquarters. The notice was published on March 21 and closes on March 28.

One of the two machine guns being sought is in 7.62mm caliber while the other is in 12.7mm. Basically they are looking to buy a single FN MAG and the M3M both manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium and offered in the appropriate mounting for helicopter operations.

Admiral Reza Sani checking out the FN Herstal M3M machine gun fitted on M503-03. Picture taken in November 2022. RMN

The third MOH – tail number M503-3 – was delivered with the M3M machine gun. Based on the new notice, only one M3M machine gun was purchased with the three helicopters. Apart from the single M3M on the M503-3, the Super Lynx and Ecureil of the air wing are also fitted with the FN MAG and M3M machine guns.
RMN Super Lynx helicopter fitted with 12.7mm calibre M3M HMG from FN Herstal. Malaysian Defence

Meanwhile, the RMN Eastern Fleet Command has also issued six separate quotation notices for repairs for AW139 Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH) M503-2. The repairs are for the left and right forward floats; aft left and right 15 passengers life raft and the emergency floatation system of the helicopter.
RMN AW139 HOM M503-2. Picture taken in 2023. RMN

The other two notices are for repairs of the helicopter’s horizontal stabilizer and the search light assembly. I have no idea why these were issued but it must be noted that in August last year similar notices were also published. The notices were issued for the supply of spare parts and maintenance for the floatation system though the helicopter was not identified.
RMN AW130 HOM M503-1 and M503-2 flying over Kota Kinabalu in January 2023. RMN

At the same time, notices for the supply of spares and maintenance for the emergency floatation system for the three helicopters were also published. Galaxy Aerospace Sdn was awarded the contracts (eight) which comes around to some RM3.5 million.

The public specifications of the latest notices did not revealed much though it differed from the old ones as it also include repairs for horizontal stabiliser and search light of tail number 02:

Specification: Main equipment : HORIZONTAL
STABILIZER Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR

Specification: Main equipment : FWD FLOAT LEFT
ASSY Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR
Specification: Main equipment : FWD FLOAT RIGHT
ASSY Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR
Specification: Main equipment : AFT LH FLOAT WITH
15 PAX LIFERAFT ASSY Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR
Specification: Main equipment : AFT RH FLOAT WITH
15 PAX LIFERAFT ASSY Serial No: 31954 Quantity :
01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR
Specification: Main equipment : EFS INFLATION
SYSTEM Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR
Specification: Main equipment : HORIZONTAL
STABILIZER Serial No: 31954 Quantity : 01 IN NO
Defect : REPAIR

The RMN personnel at the Kota Kinabalu air station posed with their helicopters in 2023. RMN

The repairs according to the notices will be conducted at the air wing station at the base. The notices were published today – March 20 – and closes in seven days. It must be noted that the tender for the performance based maintenance of the helicopters was published in May, last year but it was subsequently cancelled.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

23 Comments

  1. Marhalim,

    Apart from the SPH, RMAF Nuri replacement and LMS Batch 2 programmes; as week as vehicles for the army; what other so called big ticket items are funded under the current Malaysia Plan? Has it been confirmed that the MPSS and Jernas replacements will be under the next Malaysia Plan?

  2. AFAIK there is no Jernas replacements, MRAD going to RMAF. Army is supposed to be get one big ticket item for this RMK. Whether or not funding will be made available is beyond me. MRSS is supposed to be in the next RMK.

  3. Well ‘…’ will be overjoyed. The problem of course is that the RMAF will prioritise the defence of its assets unlike GAPU which although is an army unit is also tasked with the defence of critical national infrastructure. Then we also have the RMN which has no organic land based AD; totally reliant on others.

  4. Other big ticket items in RMK12 2021-2025
    – LCS Gowind completion
    – Scorpene refit (from Opex?)
    – FA-50
    – ATR-72 MPA

    @ Marhalim

    ” AFAIK there is no Jernas replacements, MRAD going to RMAF ”

    If that is the case, why are they building a brand new larger base specifically for 34 RAD GAPU if they have no plans to replace the now obsolete and unsupportable JERNAS? In a few years we would probably be the last operational user of rapiers in the world.

    Also according to plan in the next RMK is supposed to have the LMS B2 Tranche 2, for another 5 units of LMS Corvette at a budget of RM4.1 billion. The second batch of HOM is also due, as is the ASW helicopter requirement.

  5. Apparently the M3M isnt just the gun itself but include the pintle & aircraft mounting system: “The M3M is a weapon system rather than just a machine gun. The system has three parts: The Machine Gun, the Medium Pintle Head (MPH) or “Soft Mount”, and the Cradle, which is used to integrate the weapon into a particular aircraft or vehicle.”

    Its interesting to note that TLDM also went for equivalent weapons but from other brands on surface vessels ie Vektor 7.62mm & Canik 12.7mm MGs, rather than standardising their surface & air MGs.

  6. “Army is supposed to be get one big ticket item for this RMK.”
    Yeah by right should have been Gempita Batch2 but that got deprecated all the way down to KJA. But if they could bungle small ticket item SPH multiple times along with the changing Govts, how much more can they screw up a big ticket decision? They might be the most senior branch service with arguably the biggest budget but they certainly arent showing that gumption and authority other than playing politics.

  7. The Canik is basically the same gun though it is the Turkish M2 variant which can be fired from a land mount if and when needed.

  8. ”But if they could bungle small ticket item SPH multiple times along with the changing Govts,”

    How did the army ”bungle” it? The decision was made at a political level and although the army was consulted it’s not as it had a say or it’s opinion would have made a key difference.

  9. “AFAIK there is no Jernas replacements”

    Is there a requirement to replace our manpads marhalim?

  10. If GAPU isn’t going to get a new generation SHORADs to replace Jernas and will only have a force structure comprising V-SHORADs I don’t sen any need for its continued existence. It’s not like GAPU is a large entity and has a air defence school anyway. Must as well stand it down and have its V-SHORADs become organic assets to brigades/ battalions. I’m a firm believer of decentralisation. Whether it’s missiles, UASs or counter battery radars they should be organic to brigades/battalions to ensure the capability is there when needed and they can train with the units they support. Placing them under the control of a HQ [eases logistical and administrative issues] is inflexible and runs the risk of them not being available when needed.

    Or have a joint AD command; tasked with providing all services; ass well as key economic/political infrastructure with AD coverage. All V-SHORADs would still however be still operated by the respective services. Like how a future joint UAS command would only operate MALES. Why joint comments? To ensure all services get the needed capability in a efficient and flexible manner; to avoid role duplication and service centric parochialism and infighting and to ensure we get the optimum of what we have.

  11. As it is, we don’t have the means to equip each battalion or even brigades with their own AD systems. GAPU is practically a national-level asset similar to 10PARA or Briged Artilleri Rocket.

    Currently GAPU is tasked with providing all services; as well as key economic/political infrastructure with AD coverage.

    The army must have big plans for GAPU as they are building both a new dedicated HQ for GAPU and new larger facilities for 34 RAD GAPU, and blurring them from google maps. Even the multiple new large hangars for 882 PUTD was not blurred in google maps.

    I am a firm believer that the best and lowest cost course of action for malaysia to have ground-based MRAD is to replace 34 RAD GAPU Jernas with a medium range air defence missile system, of which if TLDM LCS Gowinds are to be fitted with VL MICA NG, then the missile system for MRAD should be VL MICA NG too.

  12. “As usual, the Army plans changes…”
    Which doesnt give assurance to what they actually want so Govt, politicians, & beancounters take advantage to influence TDM buys. Which is how they keep bungling the SPH buy til today when we see NOTHING compared to if they stuck with M109 deal.

  13. Hulubalang “if TLDM LCS Gowinds are to be fitted with VL MICA NG, then the missile system for MRAD should be VL MICA NG too.”

    If TLDM truly want MICA then there’s no need to put the SAM status on the LMS2 as FFBNW as the MICA is already integrated with the Ada.

    And if RMAF are in charge of MERAD, they won’t go for MICA either.

  14. ”we don’t have the means to equip each battalion or even brigades with their own AD”

    Precisely why what little we have must be distributed on a flexible and decentralised manner… Same reason why UASs and radars must be organic to artillery batteries and regiments; not a higher formation.

    … – ”Currently GAPU is tasked with providing all services; as well as key economic/political infrastructure with AD coverage.”

    Then raise a joint AD Command. Makes far more sense. ”Jointness” is everything; especially for resource strapped militaries. Same reason why in the future all MALES must be operated by a joint ”UAS Command” to maximise efficacy; reduce redundancy; ensure those who need the capability get it when they needs it and to reduce the service centric parochialism and bureaucracy which still lingers.

    Given it’s size and resources it’s sheer buffoonery to expect that GAPU will be able to provide the RMAF with coverage.

    ”’ – ”of which if TLDM LCS Gowinds are to be fitted with VL MICA NG, then the missile system for MRAD should be VL MICA NG too.”

    I’ve been harping about commonality here for a while now but commonality if it suits the purpose’ not for the sheer sake of it. If the RMAF or GAU for whatever reason decide that another system is more suitable; so be it.

    ”I am a firm believer that the best and lowest cost course of action ”

    ”I am a firm believer” that there’s no such thing as ”best” only what come closest to getting what one needs [after the needed trade offs] and that whatever we buy must be networked with other assets; namely alerting devices.

  15. ” Then raise a joint AD Command ”
    There is no need for a joint AD command if you put all the GBAD assets under 1 service, which is the TD GAPU

    ” Given it’s size and resources it’s sheer buffoonery to expect that GAPU will be able to provide the RMAF with coverage ”
    Do you naively expect TUDM if equipped with MERADs it will be solely used to protect TUDM airbases? As it is right now GAPU has more human and infrastructure resources, and also experience than TUDM to absorb and operate MERADs

    ” there’s no such thing as ”best” ”
    What you described is actually the meaning of “best”. If you want to be pedantic notice that I did not use the word “perfect”.

  16. There is a need for joint Commands if you understand or are willing to a knowledge that there’s a reason why people have joint commands; that joint command increase efficacy and that
    redundancy and service centric parochialism is a lingering issue. On top of that the idea or notion that a small GAPU will be able to enable coverage for its sister services in addition to doing the same the the army is fantasy.

    Yet you spoke of “naively”. Rich. And yes the reality is that RMAF AD assets will mainly be used to defend RMAF targets. That’s the reason why all 3 services has/their own V-SHORAFs to do with the need to avoid relying on others. If a RMAF base was being pummelled you expect the RMAF to move its only medium range SAM regiment to cover an army base? Yet you have the nerve to mention “naive” and there’s a difference between being “naive” and “ realistic”.

    Or are you “naive” enough to be under the cloud cuckoo land illusion the services will always selfishly look out for each other? People don’t stand up joint commands for fun or because it looks great on paper. The SAF stood up SADA for a reason as it did with its UAV Command and so did Ukraine and South Korea with their joint UAS set ups.

    No despite voices telling you there is no “best” only what comes closest to meeting requirements after the needed trade offs are made. As for being “pedantic” the “…” should not be calling the Azlan kettle black

  17. … – ”Yes only you are right.”

    Well, first of all you’re reverting to your default mode. Childish. Seen this over the years before. Secondly, if I’m wrong – whether about jointness and the fact that the RMAF can’t be expected to provide AD coverage to the army – show how I’m wrong instead of cherry picking, making assumptions and refusing to see anything not in your train of thought. The RMAF will only have a single regiment; if it’s bases were being hot you really think it would be able to help the army? Do also look up the benefits of joint commands and why people create them instead of showing a tantrum.

  18. Joint commands is needed if there is many units all doing the same thing

    For example UK Joint Helicopter Command because there are helicopters operated by RAF, RN and British Army

    Why do we need to have Joint Command if all GBAD system is under one service ie GAPU?? Even UK has disbanded all RAF air defence units and has put all GBAD under Royal Artillery 7th Air Defence Group (7 AD Gp), which is a mirror of our own GAPU (Grup Artilleri Pertahanan Udara)

    Anyway I don’t want to, and I am not here to play your games of attributing things that I don’t say to me, and I am not going through the hassle to correct that.

  19. Joint commands are especially needed for militaries like ours which are resource strapped; for a variety of reasons and not just or mainly for your “if many units are doing the same thing”.
    They negate issues related to command/control; inter service parochialism and rivalry and redundancy. Not hard to fathom. Do look up why the SAF has SADA and why Ukraine and South Korea set up UAV Commands [get a link]. It’s not for fun or to look sound on a PowerPoint slide.

    As for your comparisons perhaps look at the nuances rather than direct comparisons which you traditionally do. GAPU is in a completely different position to the RA and its AD assets. For one the RA has alerting devices which are fully linked to the RAF’s IADS and there is strong fighter cover.

    The idea of having a joint AD command; just like a joint UAS Command; is also to ensure that those who need the capability get it rather than having it hogged by one particular service. As I said; if the RMAF’s bases were being pummelled you seriously think it would be able or would want to assume the army with its sole medium range AD regiment?

    As for “playing games” are you referring to yourself?

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