Scaneagles in KK

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ScanEagle is launched from the flight deck of the Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce . US Navy

SHAH ALAM: Scaneagles in KK. RMN took formal delivery of six Scaneagles UAV from the United States late yesterday. The delivery took place in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The Scaneagles including its associated equipment were transported on an Antonov Airlines An-124 airlifter to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The arrival of the Scaneagles were announced by the US Embassy in KL on its social media channels.

Crates of the Scaneagles. US Embassy KL.

As you are aware that the Scaneagles were gifted by the US, with another six expected in 2022. From Malaysian Defence post in June, 2019.

The container carrying the drones likely at a warehouse facility at Sepanggar naval base. US Embassy KL

A dozen Scaneagle drones for Malaysia. It appears that Malaysia is getting more Insitu Scaneagle drones for ISR missions. Late last year it was announced that RMN is getting two ScanEagle drone system from the US under Pentagon Maritime Security Initiative. A typical ScanEagle drone system usually has a command launcher unit and three drone airframes, so a two system meant six air frames.

On May 31, the Pentagon announced that Malaysia is getting 12 Scaneagles (four systems). I was told that Malaysia was originally offered six drones with an option for another six. I was told that we had exercised the option so we are getting 12 drones. It is likely the extra ScanEagles were bought for Malaysia under Pentagon’s other security cooperation funds instead of just from the MSI.

The Scaneagleas UAVs in their crates inside the Antonov airlifter. US Embasssy KL

Apart from Malaysia, three other SEA countries are also getting the same drones, namely Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
RMN has said that the Scaneagles will be based at its Sepanggar naval base though the drones are expected to be deployed around the country, from its ships and also from land bases.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Good news. Hope more new asset will be buy and come. May our new government have a political will to invest more on military.

  2. Great news.

    The scaneagle system needs quite a space on board ships. If say a gowind is carrying the scaneagle system, i dont think the hangar could take a helicopter too. Why something bigger like the Type 31 would be ideal complement to thr gowinds to deploy unmanned systems like UAV and USV.

    Anyway we have been operating scaneagles in ESSCOM right? So how many systems we had before this donation?

    The ESSCOM ScanEagles contract had expired at least two three years ago after all of them were lost in crashes

  3. @ marhalim

    A reason why we need to consider about the high attrition rate when we operate UAVs.

    @ melayu ketinggan

    Of course. Also with MALE UAVs

  4. @ marhalim

    If that is not possible, a photo op of the MKM with Kh-31 flying over West Capella should be okay right?

    We should show that tudm is also there for our oil and gas personnels risking their lives in the middle of the south china sea.

    It’s basically the same thing

  5. Malaysian EEZ, malaysian defence assets, malaysian oil and gas exploration activity… and even pictures cannot be taken as to kowtow to china?

    China is acting like imperial japan 1941, and we know what happened to japan then.

  6. Any reason why we didn’t use Aerostat for esscom like the Thais did in southern Thailand?

    I know the acquisition cost is high but these thing could be put on the sky almost indefinitely

    Because it is not yet a proven system. Even the Thais has not bought them. Only the Philippines and Singapore have aerostats at the moment and these were introduced within the last two years. We bought fixed coastal surveillance radars as these have been in service previously. The military are very conservative by nature and unless they are forced to do so they won’t commit to a completely new equipment just like that.

  7. @…..

    “China is acting like imperial japan 1941, and we know what happened to japan then.”

    True. I find it quite ironic that they harped on Japan WW2 record while they are actually more or less doing the same thing . However, I am not sure whether the Americans will be willing to commit themselves to conflict in the SCS..if the worst do happen (God forbid) we may be alone.

  8. Perhaps the RMN should consider adding another Bunga Mas size ship to the fleet. The CCG MO so far is either pelting other ships using water cannon or pushing other ships away. At least with Bunga Mas size they will think twice before pulling the same move….probably.

  9. @ asm

    Nope, we are not alone in South China Sea. US, UK, Australia, NZ, France are all there to make sure that international law would be upheld in south china sea. US always have a presence there, and next year UK will be deploying its aircraft carrier battle group to south china sea. It is us who are imagining ourselves to be alone. Right now we are afraid to show ourselves to be on their side, or not wanting china to be angry at us.

    Now ironically our special envoy to china is from bintulu, which sees its waters being colonized by china. Would he fiercely defend malaysias interest? Or be a supporter of chinese interests?

  10. @…

    I grew up in Bintulu, so this Chinese incursion hits me personally. Tiong is indeed the new special envoy but he’s just appointed to the post, at the moment he’s nowhere near China due to the MCO.

    China is also going to establish ADIZ above the SCS, so not only they coming after the sea, they want to take over the airspace too. If i remember correctly before Xi Jinping China never did this kind of thing with ASEAN. There were some occasional scuffles with the US Navy but that was about it.

    On another note I think the Navy should consider adding another Bunga Mas size ship to its fleet. CCG isn’t afraid to throw its weight around seeing the size of their ships is bigger than most of ours, both Navy & MMEA. They’ll probably think twice about pulling that stunt on the Bunga Mas size vessel

  11. I agree more Bunga Mas 5 size ships for patrol or more constant seabasing in EEZ. It is not ours if we cannot even patrol it, much less defend it.

  12. Thailand did have surveillance blimp but apparently it was plagued with technical problems and suffered catastrophic crash. There’s the problem of OEM being an israeli company and also that unlike the middle east where it is hot and dry most of the time, we have monsoon wind and relatively frequent thunderstorm to worry about.

  13. @ ASM, Encik.

    The best thing is for MMEA to have its own 10,000 tonne patrol cutter. But i dont think it is a possibility in the near term. Or, i dont know, it it is really ideal to buy used tankers or container ships and paint them in MMEA colours? Tankers have double hulls to prevent oil spills, so collisions will not cause them to sink.

    For the near term i was thinking if we can get for MMEA a few of these 104m frigates from south korea, as a bigger patrol ship, and for us to take out the guns to be reused to lower the cost of our future frigates.

    Or we could order some of these Tae Pyung Yang-class OPVs from South Korea. It has a length of 140m with a full displacement of about 4,000 tonnes. Each cost about usd37 million

    Indonesia has build a 110m patrol ship. Strangely the cost is said to be same as their smaller 80m patrol ship (less than usd20 million)

    This is some of the current, and future chinese 10,000 ton patrol ships and destroyers.
    China coast guard
    China Maritime Safety Administration
    People Liberation Army – Navy (PLAN)

  14. @…
    I would really like MMEA to have its own 10 kTon PVs, but I am not sure if MMEA has the manpower and more importantly the budget to operate and maintain such ships. Also getting such a large ship might reduce funding for getting other ships, since our pressing concern is having sufficient number of hulls to perform the missions.

    So realistically IMO a cargo freighter will be a good compromise. We can reconfigure the deck to have helipad and maybe drone launch/recovery platform, plus contingent of GOF + UNIGERIN units.

    The Tae Yong looks quite nice, actually. Wouldn’t mind going for this one. About our upcoming OPV, can we stretch that design to around the same size as this?

    As of yesterday USS Montgomery has also entered the West Capella area to shadow CCG activity. The USS Montgomery is Independance-class LCS, which I thought they are going to retire soon with the announcement of the FREMM as the winner of the US Navy frigate’s competition

  15. “I thought they are going to retire soon with the announcement of the FREMM as the winner of the US Navy frigate’s competition”

    There are only plans to retire the first two units of each class of LCS. These early units are less reliable. LCS is still in production and will remain so alongside the frigate.

    The LCS isn’t a bad ship. Now that the module concept has been discarded, all that remains is to arm them befitting their size and capacity. These ships are a good size for the shorter range missions required in forward deployed areas, for roles that don’t require a frigate or a destroyer. I also wonder if 34 hulls after retirement of the first four is an excessive number.

    The commencement of the FFG programme and selection of FREMM in itself is a very welcome landmark event. A capable foreign design has been selected for a less demanding role, removing the need to reinvent the wheel at greater cost.

  16. @ asm

    ” but I am not sure if MMEA has the manpower and more importantly the budget to operate and maintain such ships ”

    The Tae Pyung Yang-class is larger than the Damen 1800 OPV, but is cheaper (usd37 million vs usd56 million) and has around the same crew number.


    Interesting dose of history on our Hornets and some great views of the land.
    -We’ve always had civilian instructor pilots for the Hornet.
    -We’ve standardized the radios on the fighter fleet.
    -Our Hornets perform mission profiles that in other air arms are handled by better suited types.
    -But why would we train on a missile that we don’t have? (Rich, secretive Singapore says they don’t have it either.)
    -Malaysia is a cool place to be, for people in general and for fighter pilots in particular.

  18. @ AM

    Seen the vid before.

    -We’ve standardized the radios on the fighter fleet.
    Most of our aircrafts use rohde and schwarz digital software-defined radios (SDR) for quite sometime, with MKMs having them installed from new. It is something that looks insignificant that will be a gamechanger in a conflict. Indian AIr Force, learnt it the hard way in 2019.

    -But why would we train on a missile that we don’t have? (Rich, secretive Singapore says they don’t have it either.)
    If we train on it, probably we have it. For example, until recently, there is no news of us having received the ADM-141 TALD, and all a sudden, pictures of it appeared in the open.
    We do confirm to have the Kh-31 anti-radiation version for MKM though.

  19. @…
    With these bigger and cheaper OPVs from Korea and Indonesia available and already in service, one would wonder why didn’t MMEA opted for these designs in place of Damen OPVs. Any particular reasons that you can think of why didn’t they choose them “…”?

  20. @ luqman

    The indonesian OPV was offered, but it was just a paper ship at the time and we would have been the first buyer. The korean and others are simply not offered to us at the time. The damen opv was still actually lower than the budget approved. The budget approved was actually just for 2 OPVs, but by getting the damen OPV, MMEA managed to get 3 as it is actually cheaper per ship than what is budgeted for them.

    Remember the damen opv is actually cheaper than the TLDM LMS (usd56 vs usd63 million)

  21. @….

    The Iranian missile incident is a curious one. Wonder why that ship was sailing close to the target; if there’s a live firing drill usually no vessel will be allowed in the vicinity of the target area, going by how our Navy conducts its live firing drills all this while.

    It’s a pity that the Korean OPV wasn’t offered at that time, it would be an attractive proposal methinks. OTOH I wonder if it’s possible to add more armour or improved hull protection to the Damen OPVs, might come in handy if the MMEA got tangled in a ramming incident with CCG.

  22. @ ASM

    ” The Iranian missile incident is a curious one ”

    Thats what happen when recklessness is a part and parcel of your military culture. And always blaming others (america, jews etc) for all the mistakes that you do. When it is always other peoples fault, you will never accept and learn from your mistakes.

  23. “Thats what happen when recklessness is a part and parcel of your military culture. And always blaming others (america, jews etc) for all the mistakes that you do. When it is always other peoples fault, you will never accept and learn from your mistakes.”

    It is generally hard to get middle easterners to take responsibility for their mistakes, in everyday life. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence. This tendency has cost them dearly in their wars.

    “Arabs at War” has many examples of that are nearly beyond belief. You will find them highly entertaining.

    From the news reports I read the ship that got hit was towing the target for the exercise. However when the missile was fired it had not yet clear the target area. And the missile hit the ship instead of the target. It may well maybe the missile found the ship to be a much attractive target than the training target. It was not reported why the ill fated ship remained in the vicinity of the target, perhaps engine trouble or navigation error.

  24. @ encik

    I have been a proponent of this vidar system. Not only for scaneagles, but as an equipment for our future MPA too. It will make the need to have binoculars our of the window to search for missing persons or boats the thing of the past.

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