RMK11 Wish List: SAMs

SHAH ALAM: With the announcement by the Defence Minister the other day that there was a need for an air defence system for the Sepanggar Naval Base, I will assume that SAMs will be in the RMK11 wish list.

The Bernama report on the issue:
KOTA KINABALU: An advanced air defence system will be installed at the Navy base in Teluk Sepanggar near here, home of the Malaysian submarine fleet and regional navy headquarters.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein visited the base today to inspect works on three maintenance workshops at the submarine base.
He said what air defence equipment is to be purchased would be determined later, subject to the economy and political situation.

The system would help the Navy to combat future threats and challenges, in line with rapid technological developments and the need to handle “the current scenario in South China Sea and eastern Sabah waters”.

Hishammuddin said the new air defence system was “aimed at ensuring our base is safe”.

As the economic and social situation of the country are not conducive, perhaps we may take another look at China made SAMS like the Perhaps the mention of an air defence system like KS-1 SAM or its latest variant, the FK-3. The new variant reportedly comes with an enhanced range to 100 km, and altitude from 50 m to 27 km.

Back in 2005, it was reported that Malaysia was on the verge of buying the KS-1 SAM from China. The deal was never finalised however. Instead of Malaysia, another SEA country, Myanmar reported purchased 4 systems, 24 launchers in total.

A model of the FK-3 SAM along with other SSM launchers were displayed during DSA 2014 so there is a chance that system could be offered if and when the MR-SAM tender is called for. Whether buying a SAM system from one of our rival is wise or not, is another issue of course.

Of course the immediate need is to replace the Starbust missiles for RMAF and RMN air defence units but I guess some other things takes precedent.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. 29 Responses to “RMK11 Wish List: SAMs”

    stanman says:
    January 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Heck…we didn’t even understand that our Iglas had a ECCM feature.

    I accidentally deleted your comment on the M4 about the lights, optics etc. Can you repost it?
    azlan says:
    January 29, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I believe BAMSE is a “short” range as opposed to a “medium” range system.

    The Oerlikon/Skyguard combo is good for short range, low level threats; it’s a last ditch or point defence system. Depends entirely on what kind of system they are looking at.

    From what I’ve heard, there is happiness with our FN-6s. As long as it’s stored in the right conditions and the batteries have enough life; shouldn’t be any issues with it.
    stanman says:
    January 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    MBDA blacklisted?

    Not really but no one will bat for them. And I think you know why…
    boku says:
    January 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I suggest RBS23 bamse for medium air defense system.
    SgWay says:
    January 29, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Oerlikon Contraves AAA gun+SHORAD missile combo could be a candidate. Indonesia bought Oerlikon syatem for their airbase defense. The range is short but is good enough as deterrent.
    AM says:
    January 29, 2015 at 3:25 am

    There are reports of the FN-6 performing poorly for Syrian rebels. If the problem is quality (it could equally be training) I hope the sellers did not play us out with our batch.
    Ferret says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:49 pm


    “albeit with foreign collaboration like we did with RazakSat, is something.”

    should read

    “albeit with foreign collaboration like we did with TiungSat, is something.”
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    FLAADS looks promising. It would help if the esteemed Defence Minster clarified whether the system for Teluk Sepanggar is intended to defend against low level or medium to high altitude threats; that would enable us to narrow down the list of likely contenders.
    Ferret says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:10 pm


    “We did not make “giant strides in satellites”. Is a modest success at best.”

    Well, it depends on who you compare it with. Let’s see….

    According to a paper from MIT, Brazil started its space programme (govt dept for aerospace) in 1960. It built its first low earth orbit satellite in 1999. That’s a lead time of 40 years.

    Malaysia started space dept in 1989. It built its first LEO satellite in 1999. Lead time of 10 years.

    Yes, technology usually follows a J-curve and maybe its not fair to compare Brazil’s progress since 1960 (‘low’ availability of technology when they started) to ours (‘higher’ availability) but consider that satellite-wise, both Brazil and us are now level ie both are looking at launch vehicles, the highest phase of satellite technology achievement according to the MIT paper.

    There are only about 65 countries (total countries = 195) with satellites, either bought or made indigenously with or without foreign collaboration.

    You also can’t hurry up the learning process substantially. It takes a certain amount of time for people to gain expertise in something — to build a satellite from scratch in 10 years, albeit with foreign collaboration like we did with RazakSat, is something.

    Blurb from ATSB:
    “ATSB has successfully developed and launched two remote sensing satellites for Malaysia i.e. TiungSAT-1 on 26 September 2000 and the latest was RazakSAT as the world 1st remote sensing satellite launched in the Near Equatorial Orbit (NEqO) on 14 July 2009 using the Falcon 1 launch vehicle.”

    And yes, we are not like India (aerospace dept started 1962), but I would prefer to be charitable to Malaysians who have succeeded in doing something complicated and useful without fanfare and recognise their achievement.
    H says:
    January 28, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    SAM commander needs to have full knowledge in the physics. I believes this needs IQ no less than a pilot.\

    We did not make “giant strides in satellites”. Is a modest success at best.

    If anything new will come, the best bet is some choppers. 120s are coming, 135 probably not considered that AT rent out their hanger to Sapura or Rosm finds a new partner. Watch out for some AW139 too as MMEA restore full operation of their birds and practice their options in conjunction with the AW new hanger. AW is tentatively planning to throw in the 189 FFS. Also making Malaysia as the regional hub for the two models. Pretty much matching EC’s investment. Its about time we keep end of the bargain.
    stanman says:
    January 28, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    FLAADS-L. Lorry put tak yah, just ISO containers that can be moved around with a tractor head. Take a TRS-3D or any other radar we already have on a kapal, stick it in a trailer and kowtim! Does triple duty as spare and training radar. The best thing is that we can have MANY such containers AND paint up twice as many as dummies.

    Yes I also prefer FLAADS-L. Unfortunately the manufacturer remained under a cloud…
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    It is known that Aneka Bekal has teamed up with the OEM to offer the medium range LY-80 to GAPU. The company was the agent for the FN-6 and in the 1990’s teamed up with Norinco to sell the army AFVs. Now it seems (can’t vouch for the accuracy) that a former GAPU head has teamed up with another local individual to offer GAPU the LY-60 which is an Aspide clone/copy and a non-vertically launched, shorter range system, which unlike the vertically launched LY-80 is not widely operated by China.

    Personally, I would prefer Aster 15 and MICA to suit our medium and short range needs but this is extremely unlikely at present and off course there is the valid argument that there are other things we need more urgently like helis and UAVs. Until I’ve seen the actual procurement, support and integration figures, I will hesitate to say that Chinese SAMs are cheaper.
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm


    Given that GAPU has the experience and has surveillance assets which are are integrated or linked to the RMAF; it is GAPU that should be the operator. I don’t see the RMN wanting to go through the trouble of operating anything beyond a replacement for the Starburst.
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm


    In an ideal world where cash was not an issue we would have a multi-layered ground defence comprising long range missiles, medium range missiles, SHORADS and Triple A. Problem is we don’t live in an ideal world and cash is a major issue.

    Stuff like Triple A are best operated in conjunction with other systems, not stand alone. If we decide to buy Triple A it should be operated by GAPU for point defence and not by the RMN.
    anom says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    I have come to the point where I do not have much expectations with the gomen capacity to buy what is necessary. for all you know, the “advance air defence system” that the minister has in mind is the starstreak system
    Faisal says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I think for starters, we could do with artillery base system to complement the missile system which would be procured in the future. I think another set of Bofor guns or similar to the ones already in GAPU’s inventory will do the job. On top of that, we also need to look at upgrading if not acquiring new air defense radar to be integrated into the existing air defense structure.

    On another note, while the air defense of Sepaggar Naval base is the subject of discussion, we must not forget to look at the underwater security as well. This is to prevent any untoward incident or sabotage coming from submersibles that might intrude into the base. In fact, all naval base should take this aspect into account. Sea base mines , like the ones we have over Lumut should be looked at and replicated to other naval base as a deterrent.

    On the USS its already mentioned in my previous story on RMN’s plans for RMK11
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm


    What makes you think that the statement was mainly about China? There is a country which had fighters that can be over Sabahan airspace within minutes after taking off and which also is building a sub base in the neighbourhood.

    The clue to what might be bought lies with GAPU as it is GAPU that will do the evaluation. A Malaysian company has been trying to push the LY-60 and the fact that we have issues with China need necessarily mean we won’t buy Chinese. Buying Chinese is actually in line with our policy of improving relations with China. There are a lot of Russian systems in the market but pointless as we won’t go down that route for a number of reasons. Lets be realistic, anything we buy will provide us with a minimal self-defence capability against the most likely threats but won’t provide defence against all available threats.
    RedSot says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    S.a.m is good but they are time expired why not buy more orliken guns they are cheap the rounds can be produce in country example ahead rounds.air burst rounds etc
    AM says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Wait, do we even know which branch will operate the SAMs? Army, RMAF or RMN?

    Also, hard for me to understand some of your suggestions for us to jump from mostly manpads into a ultra long range system with AESA.

    I suspect the reason I don’t see American systems being suggested is not cost but another irrationality.
    RedSot says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Spada 2000 plus orliken gun comes to mind…can be intergrated with all western search radar etc mid range not that xpensive can be bought in abandance
    Amir says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Reading by the minister remark “the current scenario in South China Sea and eastern Sabah waters”, it means the threat may come from Spratly island disputes and/or Sulu incursion.

    Since Sulu does not have an air force then the SAM must be focused for South China Sea scenario. The threat may come in the nature of aircraft bombs, air to ground missile, air and/or submarine launch cruise missile and ballistic missile.

    Once the threat has been identified then a suitable SAM must be chosen to nullify the threat and act as a deterrent.

    I suggest 2 types of missile to ensure layered defense:-

    1. Medium to long range – Eurosam SAMP/T or S400
    2. Short range – FLAADS or IRIS T SLS or VL MICA

    I agree with truthseeker. Buying from our potential South China Sea adversary is inviting catastrophe.
    Ferret says:
    January 28, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Japan’s Chu-SAM looks good.

    Japan’s constitution allows it to export defence technologies now. Medium range missile and made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries….now where have I heard the name before? Oh yes, they build cars (and Soryu-class submarines).

    Our GLC top brass are too comfortable. There should a cull if they haven’t got a folder about SAMs accompanied by a brief about preliminary discussions ready to be dusted off the moment GOM mentions SAMs.

    Japan is a loyal friend — in hard times they resisted lay-offs as much as possible unlike Taiwanese, for instance, who closed shop and abandoned their workers (read up on Japanese company behaviour during our 1998 financial crisis) and not pushy. Japan is part of the ‘First island chain’ and it makes more sense to equip ourselves with their weapons than China’s. Sometimes all this kow-towing to ‘ge-ge’ leaves a bad taste in the mouth. MH370 comes to mind — I’m not sure if this was for their domestic audience, but a minister coming here to cajole the Malaysian govt to show ‘urgency’ in the search was galling.

    Apart from defence per se, there’s a possibility of enhancing our aerospace capacity. We’ve made giant strides in satellites but we lack know-how on launch platforms — apparently Indonesia has made good progress in this dept. Of course, building our own rockets will raise hackles amongst our neighbours but there shouldn’t be any problems if we send our people to learn about rocket science over there.
    truthseeker says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:49 am

    I don’t think China made SAM will be in the list as the main issue is related to China. With Najib current political tendency I would believe it will be from western product again.
    azlan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 1:20 am

    There is strong interest in a Chinese system (not the KS-1), the problem here is that it’s not being procured in large numbers for the Chinese. The good news is that Chinese missile technology is way ahead of other areas. On paper we should get something like MICA; especially if it’s also going on the LCS. No doubt some will mention stuff like the S-300 or ASTER 30 but let’s be realistic and not mimpi; this won’t happen and long range systems are best operated in conjunction with other systems, not stand alone.

    What goes to Sepanggar will also be very influenced by what GAPU says, as unlike GAPU the RMN has never done a proper evaluation. In the past the RMN said that its Starburst replacement would depend on what GAPU decided. There is also the possibility that the idea of a SAM for Sepanggar will fade away like many others; remember how we were once told how an Inderapura replacement would be a “priority” in 2009?
    Lee Yoke Meng says:
    January 28, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Well fighter cover is onw thing but sam is like a umbrella. Its always there on alert. Fighters have to be scramvled. So missile defence has ots advantage compared to pure fighter cover
    nalzar73 says:
    January 28, 2015 at 12:32 am

    I prefer both SAM and jet fighters for air defence.
    RedSot says:
    January 27, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    Your 2 kupang sugestion is noted tuan…but with money kurang its best to buy s.a.m …the atm can train any ground troops with average IQ aplenty…but to do fast jet selection is not easy maybe out of 100 only 10 will be qualified n the rest goes to transport or rotary wing.Expensive to train n retain pilots n expensive fast jets to obtain n maintain….im no expert but there will be mr…. who will counter n object it is his hobby hehehe.
    mofaz says:
    January 27, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Pansir has both guns and missiles. Its mobile and Putin maybe feeling guilty and let us have it at a favorable price..
    … says:
    January 27, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Rather than having single role SAMs protecting telok sepanggar, might as well have more MRCA in nearby Labuan as an air cover for the submarine base…

    Just my 2 kupang suggestion…

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