Russian Pitching Continues

SHAH ALAM: ROSTEC Corporation – the state owned Russian company established to promote the country’s civil and defence exports – recently conducted a presentation of naval products to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) officials.

Among others Rostec representatives highlighted the latest and greatest Russian naval products from guns to the offshore patrol vessels (OPV) and frigates.

Not much details have emerged from the presentation but it is unlikely an order from the RMN and MMEA are expected soon.

Beriev Be-200s multi-role amphibious aircraft. Beriev
Beriev Be-200s multi-role amphibious aircraft. Beriev

For the record, both the RMN and MMEA have not procured any major naval products from Russia although the marketing had started back in the 1990s. Among the items Rostec would really like Malaysia and its neighbour, Indonesia, at present, to take up is the Beriev BE-200 amphibious aircraft which could be used for fire fighting.

Beriev claimed that the amphibious water bomber was more capable than MMEA’s own Bombardier CL-415s.

One of the Steregushchy-class corvette of the Russian navy.  Two variants of this corvette were sold to the Algerian Navy.
One of the Steregushchy-class corvette of the Russian navy. Two variant of this corvette were sold to the Algerian Navy.

Russia had promoted the Kilo class submarines and the various frigates, corvettes and OPVs to meet the RMN requirements but the service had chosen Western designs instead. Its aerospace products have had better luck in Malaysia with both the MIG-RAC Mig-29 and the Sukhoi Su-30MKM in service with the RMAF. Bomba also operates four Russian made Mi-17 helicopters.

One of Bomba Mi-17s conducting a rescue exercise with ground troops.
One of Bomba Mi-17s conducting a rescue exercise with ground troops.

The Army also operates a number of Russian products from the Igla MANPADS and the Metis M-ATGMs. It also operates the Polish-made PT-91M MBT and its engineering variants, which was derived from the Russian T-72 MBT.

Despite the lack of success in the naval products category, industry sources said Rostec will continue to market the products as part of its overall effort to engage the Malaysian Armed Forces. Regionally , Vietnam is currently the biggest user of Russian naval products.

Vietnam Navy Kilo class submarine. TalkVietnam.
Vietnam Navy Kilo class submarine. TalkVietnam.

It recently received the fifth of the six Kilo class submarines it ordered from Russia back in 2009. The sixth Kilo-class submarine is expected to be delivered later this year. It is likely that the submarines are the same variant which was offered to Malaysia before the Scorpenes were ordered from DCNS.

Apart from the submarines, Vietnam also operate a sizeable number of Russian made vessels from corvettes to missile boats, some of which were built in the country by local shipyards.

Indonesia reportedly will also buy two Kilo class submarines from Russia.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. I read that the Metis didn’t come from Russia, but some other ex satellite states, with complains about bad quality.

    Perhaps, if we are not too picky about small arms, a lot of Russian’s equivalent are quite solid (with caliber conversion of course). Neither pretty nor match level accurate, but they work. IMHO.

  2. It would be tough to sell to MAF anything Russian made for the next 5 to 10 years be it additional Sukhoi, IGLA or even Metis-M until some sort of acceptable closure can be found for the MH17 saga.

    That said, one can never say never especially if money too tight to mention and China got more ambitious (and Uncle SAM unwilling to give us hefty discount on arm purchase), we may have to go back to Mother Russia to help us with our defense needs.

  3. A dozen of mi 17 for our mig would be good.

    Not really good from Russia’s perspective. Anyhow the sales pitch was about naval products.

  4. Didn’t the RMN engine of choices is MTU of Germany and Western sensors / radar / guns etc? Any chances for Russian to sell their naval ships with engines from different manufacturer, especially during this time of confrontation between NATO / EU and Russia…

    I like the Red Bear weapons / platforms but big NO for Russian submarine, that is a dive coffin.

    Yes RMN and MMEA got their preferences but who knows, that is why they continue to market their products.

  5. It is only natural. In times of economic stress, Russian weapons are the winners. Even assuming the Russians can make big budget items, they won’t because this is their market.

    As for MH17, it all depends on whose interests a country’s decision makers put first. The Russians are counting on that.

  6. I like the Buyan Class…. If only we can just buy the hull and fit western equipments… But will be far fetched for now till the Ukrainian conflict is resolves

  7. Other than SSMs, and maybe Tarantul/Molniya class FACs, I don’t see Russian naval systems/prodicts that appealing. Even the Korean offers comparably-priced and better QC naval platform/system than Russia right now

  8. No. Metis was obtained direct from the OEM via Rosboronexport: not from any other sources. During the 2000-20001 period Metis competed against Kornet for the Malaysian requirement. The local rep for Kornet was an ex army Major.

  9. Buying military stuff is influenced by current political mean. Current Najib administration is not in Russian favor. May be if najib step down and someone from Tun Mahathir team take place, Russian product will have more chances.

  10. IMHO the only thing i see as a potential sales by Russia to Malaysia would be the new stealth T50 aircraft be made available by 2025 the earliest.


    1) It would be the cheapest 5th generation stealth fighter which capability close to F22 (so as they claim)

    2) I dont think Malaysia would go ahead with the MRCA. Chances are we would just use what ever we have till 2025-2030 (when time due for replacement both SU and F18).

    3) IMHO during that time the Rafale, SH, Typhoon and Gripen would no longer be an attractive proposition (unless a radical upgrade to make it on par or better than F35 available). Sure F35 would be a better choice but with its schedule of existing 3,000+ orders would be tough for the producer to finish by then

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