SLEP For Adnan Green Lighted

One of the three configuration for FNSS AT15 modernisation. AT15 is the designation of the APC known in Malaysia as the ACV 300 Adnan. It is unclear whether the SLEP will be like the AT15. Picture used for illustration only. FNSS.

SHAH ALAM: The government has finally greenlighted the Service Life Extension Programme for its fleet of ACV Adnan 300 vehicles. The Army had proposed the SLEP for both the Adnan and MIFV fleet during this RMK but it appears only the former has been funded.

The confirmation of the Adnan SLEP was revealed by Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan when he spoke in Dewan Negara on December 7. He said 60 Adnan will be involved in the programme though he did not reveal the cost. The Parliament was told in 2019 that the maintenance cost of the Adnan fleet was RM122.2 million.

7 RRD personnel taking auditors on the Adnan ACV 300 around the camp as part of the audit inspection in March 2023. 7 RRD

For the record, a total of 211 Adnans were bought between 2002 and 2004 with another 56 purchased in 2010 including eight equipped with 120mm TDA mortar. The total cost of the procurement is RM1.324 billion.
An 81mm mortar could be seen exiting from the the mortar on an Adnan mortar carrier. I was told that this is the Expal 81mm mortar. Malaysian Defence

As only 60 Adnan will undergo the SLEP, it is likely they will be the ones operated by 12th (Mechanised) Royal Malay Regiment, attached to the 4th (Mechanised) Brigade. (I stand be corrected of course.) These are the ones purchased in 2002 and 2004 – the IFV version equipped with 25mm gun turret and the pintle-mounted 12.7mm guns. A few will be the command and radio variants.
Adnan with the Thales 2R2M 120mm preparing to fire a round. Note how hight the mortar round is held above the tube before it is placed in there for the firing.12th RMR.

It is likely that other 151 Adnan – fitters, recovery, radio, mortar, command, anti-tank and ambulances – purchased during the same period, will undergo the SLEP in the next RMK and the next. If the government decides to that, it will take 15 years for the whole Adnan fleet to undergo the SLEP. And we have yet to talk about the MIFV fleet.
Adnan from 12th RMR with the sole 14th RMR MIFV (right).

It is unknown how the SLEP will be conducted and its scope. It is likely an open tender will be held to get bids for the job. FNSS – the OEM and Deftech – which local assembled them previously – are of course the favourites to be given the job. The Army could also decide to do it on its own, buying the SLEP kits and installing them on the vehicles.
Adnan, Pendekar MBT and recovery vehicle at 11 KAD on October 11 2022. 11 KAD.

Edited copy of the Hansard on December 7:

Kementerian Pertahanan dan ATM akan memulakan proses perolehan asetaset tersebut seperti berikut. Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM) bakal memperoleh 60
buah kereta perisai infantry mechanize life extension program untuk APC Adnan. Ini,
Tuan Yang di-Pertua, kereta perisai Adnan ini masih lagi baik keadaannya tetapi
memerlukan program life extension program iaitu untuk menambah usia kereta
perisai ini kerana dia dah lama, Tuan Yang di-Pertua. 50 buah High Mobility Light
Tactical Vehicle, enam buah Hover Craft Integrated Fast Interceptor serta 733 buah
kenderaan sokongan pelbagai jenis termasuk 45 buah bot pelbagai jenis untuk
operasi bencana.
TLDM pula akan meneruskan perolehan tiga buah littoral mission ship
ataupun LMS yang kita akan putuskan tak lama lagi untuk mendapat perolehan
melalui government to government (G2G), Tuan Yang di-Pertua untuk kita
mempercepat dan memudahkan perolehan ini dan kerja-kerja memasang baik pulih
refit dua aset kapal selam kita. TUDM pula bakal menerima perolehan 12 helikopter
yang baru.

Kedua, keselamatan persempadanan negara. Keselamatan persempadanan
negara akan terus dipertahankan dengan pembinaan tujuh buah pos imbangan
antaranya di Melikin dan Pa’ Dalih, di Sarawak. Kita akan membina banyak pos sama
ada pos GADMA iaitu gabungan bersama Tuan Yang di-Pertua, dengan Indonesia
ataupun pos imbangan kita bersendirian untuk kita pastikan supaya persempadanan
kita ini dapat kita kawal dengan terbaik yang mungkin daripada masalah-masalah
cross border exercise, penyeludupan dan yang lain-lain.

One of the three configuration for FNSS AT15 modernisation. AT15 is the designation of the APC known in Malaysia as the ACV 300 Adnan. It is unclear whether the SLEP will be like the AT15. Picture used for illustration only. FNSS.

Apart from 12 RMR, the other user of the Adnan is the 7th (Mechanised) Royal Ranger Regiment. The other user is 11th Kor Armor Di Raja 11 (KAD) which combined the Adnan with the Pendekar MBT to form a combined battle-group. It is also likely the 4th (Mechanised) Brigade also operate a number of Adnan in its headquarters.

How to differentiate the Adnan and the MIFV.
— Malaysian Defence

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48 Comments

  1. The TLDM FACs can ne repowered and rehulled by small dockyards at very competitive cost. If we are serious about having a defence industry, opportunities must he given also to our better workshops to service these IFVs and APCs. Its not rocket science. Just diesel engines and tracked power trains. There are many workshops doing that in all the states.

  2. Good and acceptable action given our tight budget but well behind our southern neighbours..they have like what 800 units of bionix I and II ifv in various configurations and 100+ hunter ifv + hundreds of leopards..easily the most well equipped armoured corps/regiment in this region

  3. Marhalim, what’s this 50 buah High Mobility Light Tactical Vehicle he’s talking about? Is it the Mildef Tarantula or the Cendana Auto one?

  4. ‘Good and acceptable action given our tight budget but well behind our southern neighbours..they have like what 800 units of bionix I and II ifv in various configurations and 100+ hunter ifv + hundreds of leopards..easily the most well equipped armoured corps/regiment in this region’ ..we are not competing with them , they can have 1000 + MBT & IFV running around the tiny island .. why do we care ?

  5. 267 Adnan and 111 MIFV is not enough to have mechanized units on both east and west malaysia.

    I would like if TD would look into getting more used KIFV/MIFV from south korea to equip units in east malaysia.

    As for the upgrades, engine-wise MIFV has a more powerful 350hp doosan engine compared to the 300hp engine on the Adnan. But even that is much more powerful than Turkish army own ACV-15 which has a 250hp engine.

    Upgrades (that FNSS has offered) that should be done for the Adnan :
    – upgraded situational awareness system
    – driver 360 degree camera
    – gunshot locator system
    – improved air-conditioning
    – auxiliary power unit (APU)

    If there is money for 25mm unmanned turret, most of FNSS offering is heavy and will delete the amphibious capability. Maybe can look at other lighter alternatives?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GA-rzVHasAA1-Ap.jpg

    With NEFER 25mm RCWS
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GA-rwZ7bgAEV25h.jpg

  6. At RM1.3 billion for 257 vehicles, it really is a worthwhile investment imho that the Army had done, sometimes i wonder why has not more of it being ordered especially the 25mm cannon version and the 120mm mortar carrier…but i guess focus was then more on the Gempita though wheeled type vehicles, the gempita is about 6 times more expensive than the Adnans

  7. Gempita is much more expensive due to its larger size and better armor protection.

    Adnan weighs around 14 tons, while the Gempita is nearly 30 tons.

    I am for :

    1x mechanized brigade fully wheeled (for rapid self-deployment) – with 3x Mechanized Infantry Battalions with Gempita and 1x Armored cavalry regiment with Gempita + new 4×4 armored vehicle.

    1x armored brigade fully tracked – with 3x Mechanized Infantry Battalions with Adnan/MIFV and 1 Armored tank regiment with PT-91M

    with 1 each Mechanized Infantry Battalions with MIFV (additional used buy from South Korea) in Sabah and Sarawak.

    This will need additional :
    – 120-150 Gempita mostly of the IFV25 version
    – 200+ KIFV used secondhand

  8. How about getting a new, more modern IFVs like KF21 and send the existing KIFVs to S&S

    With KF-21 (and other suitable tracked platform) the army could fill in both Adnan(more like KIFV) replacement as well as light tank requirement

  9. Total of 211 Adnans plus 111 older MIFVs that ought to get the SLEP 1st. Based on the time frame & priority it looks like MIFV will not be getting major updates anytime soon.

  10. Hanwha redback maybe suitable but at USD36 mil a piec3 (Australian version) per unit cost (inclusive of support and training), its too expensive for a country with limited budget like us to afford i think. Maybe more updated brand new ACV300 from Turkiye would be better to the budget, should there is a requirement for it

  11. Spending only 1% of GDP which is about USD4b, more than 3/4 goinf to opex….why do some of us keep listing down impossible stuff for the MAF to acquire?

  12. So that announced 60 Infantry Armoured Vehicles during budget tabling are the SLEP of Adnans and not additional new IFV/APC? I thought that much though..Maybe just maybe just to keep DEFTECH pekan plant running?

  13. Sure, the expenditure item is different but they come from the same pool, appropriated or allocated differently. Curious if the Army plans to keep operating Gempita, MIFV, Adnan and the planned 6×6 concurrently or the plan is to replace some of the tracked vehicles with wheeled or move entirely to wheeled.

  14. @ dundun

    KF21?? You mean Korean K-21?

    1) It is another different type of which we don’t have the budget (no budget for MIFV/Adnan replacement). And if we do have budget, we should prioritise to buy more Gempita IFV25 1st before getting yet another different type.

    2) K-21 has fiberglass driver hatch and rear doors (to keep weight down), which could degrade under the harsh UV malaysian sun.

    3) KIFV is still a viable vehicle, as seen from its utility in the Ukrainian war (the AIFV version). A bigger fleet of adnan/kifv will be easier on our logistics, maintenance and manpower training.

    4) the army for now does not have a light tank requirement.

  15. “enam buah Hover Craft Integrated Fast Interceptor”

    I hope this abomination will be cancelled permanently.

    There are other more practical options to support maritime security by Tentera Darat. One of it is to raise a coastal anti-ship missile regiment (ideally with NSM missile same as TLDM Gowinds) under the RAD Briged Artileri Roket.

  16. If there is money after the mechanical upgrades, I would prefer those non-turreted version to be mounted with RWS that is drop in compatible with commanders hatch so no need major hull modification. Arm with 50 cal or grenade launcher. The MIFV should be given, at least commonise with the Adnan SLEP tracks, suspension, gearbox & drivetrain.

    @hulubalang
    “TD would look into getting more used KIFV/MIFV”
    We dont even have enough money to upgrade all of our MIFV & Adnans. Getting more used units meant a longer list of things need to upgrade. So nope.

    @dundun
    “How about getting a new, more modern IFVs like KF21”
    We dont have the money. We dont even have enough to upgrade all the Adnans & MIFV together.

  17. Back in mid 2015 i think, there was a mentioning by the Army that they would like to expand the Pendekar Tanks number. Now that i doubt funding is available plus PT91 is no longer in production (brand new), thus the plan does not seem to gather pace. However now with poland shifting to US, Germany and Korean made tanks as their main MBT due to issues with Russia, maybe there is opportunity for us to get cheap existing PT91 tanks from Poland. Currently they have about 170 in stock, with 60 were donated to Ukraine in 2022. Not interested those version that were upgraded from T72 (built in the 80s) but the version built between 95 to 97, which form the basic blue print to our own Pendekar (there is about 30 of them left in Poland). Assuming off course there is still plan by the Army to expand the MBT fleet.

  18. @ joe

    This is an excerpt i find on the Army 4Next G
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/FlweWksaUAIWZFl.jpg
    There is a clear need for a mechanized brigade in PMT (East Malaysia) along with the need for 2x PUTD Brigade.

    There is not much option get new IFVs to raise mechanized units in East Malaysia due to our lack of budget.

    MIFV/ South Korean KIFV A1 actually has much more powerful engine/powertrain (350hp) than adnan (300hp, which is why malaysian version is called ACV-300). Ours are actually retrofitted around early millennium.

    So with not much budget, the only option for east Malaysia is
    1) accept no IFV
    2) get used KIFV

    @ Kamal A

    I am for getting more PT-91M (used of course) say 2-3 dozen, not for expanding the MBT fleet, but for attrition and reserve fleet. With additional PT-91, we can resurrect our previous deployment of a squadron of 11KAD scorpions to Kem Paradise Sabah, to have some MBTs for East Malaysia defence.

  19. Long term if the army want to replace the adnans and mifvs or intended to add ifv..Maybe the army can look at adnans newer and latest siblings the fnss kaplan ngafv,kaplan 20 and 30..ought to be almost on par with bionix ifv at least..ofcourse if we can afford them and suit the army’s need first..sure we are not competing with others but heard someline somewhere that said in military/defence your closest neighbour is your closest adversary/enemy

  20. @Kamal A
    Money for TDM have been sucked in by Gempita project, whatmore with TLDM LCS needing extra cash infusion, and TUDM incoming dozen utility choppers & LCA. But even if money was available, it would be hard these days to justify buying foreign wholly made vehicles as beancounters & politicians will press on localised production ‘national project’, which not all foreign partners will agree to.

    This on top, as you said, no more new PT91 and TDM will balk at buying used unless its what they wanted (maybe used Leo2 will be okay perhaps). Now with years under their belt, Im sure TDM would know whats best will meet their evolved needs. Buying new there is only a few new under production models to choose from; Korean K2, its Turk cousin Altay, and Japan Type10 being most promising with its super lightweight for a MBT. But again it comes back to money & the OEM interest for our local production, Japan being most stringent.

  21. Recently there has been some tests of a Gunshot Locator System mounted on the MIFV
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-o1kheaYAA0XQf.jpg
    How to know it is a MIFV? Flat rear section (no external fuel tanks)

    The system is Metravib Pillar, from France. This is probably one of the most widely used Gunshot Locator System for military.

    Installing this system on the Adnan SLEP would be a good decision.

    Anyway, another option low cost high impact addition for MIFV fleet – a holographic red dot sight for the Browning M2 machine guns. Currently there is even a thermal day/night sight that has been developed to be mounted on the M2 machine gun.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GBMOB9oa8AAGb5O.jpg

  22. Should Army consider scrapping the MBTs? Doesn’t seem like major upgrades will happen. Doesn’t seem like another 48 MBTs will be bought anytime soon. Doesn’t seem like Army is prioritising MBTs in the next few RMKs. The OE savings could be funnelled into fixing the Gempitas and upgrading more Adnans or paying for leased Blackhawks or getting more ATGMs.

  23. @hulubalang
    ‘Mechanised’ could mean a lot of things, as the TDM current preference is for more wheeled APC rather than tracked (see their wish for more Gempitas barring which they switch to a mix 4×4 + 6×6 APC plan by the previous Govt, either ways whichever option are wheeled).

    “KIFV A1 actually has much more powerful engine”
    Regardless, used is used. So if bought still has to be refurb. And if were going to modernise the Adnans & MIFV then these KIFV will thus needs to be modernised too and commonise with the existing fleet. Unless we buy & use ‘as is’ until hancur berkecai we simply lack money to upgrade used stuff.

    “the only option for east Malaysia is 1) accept no IFV”
    If you seen how the SPH fiasco been panning out and according to Azlan that TDM can wait to get exactly what they wanted, I think TDM would prefer the ‘accept no used IFV’ option until they get brand new stuff. After all, the logic goes that we arent at war so theres no urgent need for IFV/APC so they can wait to buy, rite? Hehe

    For tanks I consider the PT91 as a tester/trial, if we are going to buy more MBTs it should be next gen what TDM will want to use for the next decades and has upgrade path. Preferably those in production ie K21/Altay or Type10 (now that Japan allows weapons export). Used Leo2 are an option but not sure TDM will accept used plus available stocks are eaten up by 2nd hand users.

  24. @ Kel

    So your logic >>> no upgrades = scrap??

    The Pendekar has one of the most advanced sub-systems mounted on a T-72 chassis in the world. It is still a functioning operational system as is.

    TD has many other stuff that is not upgraded, scrap those too? Our L5 howitzer was never upgraded, the Oerlikon GDF-005 and its skyguard radars is as is for decades, our Arthur Artillery Locator Radar, our ASTROS rocket launchers…

    @ joe

    – Now with the news of 19 RAMD with Gempita permanently moving to Sabah, the dynamics have changed. What should a mechanized battalion if for sarawak be equipped with? Rojak equipment between battalions is not conducive for maintaining operational capability, training and sustainment.

    – we can always buy the equipment that is already refurbished by the seller.

    – PT-91, that will be the MBT we will have to do with for the next 20 years at least. Our MBTs are mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support anyway, not to undertake major tank on tank battles. Tentera Darat priority IMO, with the reality of Malaysia being a maritime nation, is to support and enable effective control of our littoral areas. This would mean
    – coastal defence/anti-amphibious landing operations
    – long range land-based precision strike capability
    – coastal anti-ship missile batteries / area denial of shipping lanes
    – area defence against loitering missiles and drones
    – Electronic Warfare / Electronic Attack capability

    New tanks should be one of the least important item in the priority of things for the next 10-20 years.

  25. Hulubalang – Yes, scrap. Nothing the Army has indicated in recent years and what it has planned for the future suggests the existing MBTs will be upgraded or new MBTs would be acquired. In all of the 48 MBTs existence with the Army, what has is accomplished or allowed the Army to do that other equipment could not – espcially given the proliferation of portable ATGW systems and precision weapons (including precision artillery and rocket systems)? The Army’s doctrine may say MBTs, but it’s in such small amounts that the doctrine doesn’t translate into strategy and tactics. In the meantime, a 2019 damaged Gempita remains unrepaired, there are only 18 ATGW launchers, not nearly enough 155mm howitzers, no upgrades to the MLRS rockets, SLEP for Adnan vehicles that if funded every RMK will still take 15 years just to complete, just 4 Blackhawks, a 4×4 program to fund, something to augment the Gempita shortfall, air defense systems to acquire, etc. We don’t even know the level of readiness of the MBTs – 30%, 40%, 50%, 80% – given the Army couldn’t find the money to fix just 1 Gempita? Something has to go to pay for other programs or to improve overall readiness.

  26. kel – ”Should Army consider scrapping the MBTs? ”

    The notion that we should ”scrap” something just because we don’t have enough of it or because we’re unlikely to get anymore soon; is downright daft … By your logic we should ‘scrap’ various things including ARTHUR.

    kamal,

    – Yes the Armour Directorate has a requirement for another regiment’s worth of MBTs but a requirement is one thing; having something actually registered and approved for funding and having funding allocated is another completely different thing.
    – When the times comes to get follow on MBTs why on earth would we go for a design dating from the 1960’s; one made for Soviet requirements; one which has a fundamental flaw; one with bad ergonomics and one which has reached the end of its growth potential?

    Buying more T-72 in a few years would be a highly regressive move; like getting upgraded MiG-29s in 2030 to fulfill the MRCA requirement. We need something with better survivability; better connectivity and something we can operate for at least a couple of decades without having to worry about various issues.

    … – ”Our MBTs are mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support anyway, not to undertake major tank on tank battles. ”

    Incorrect. How did you get this notion? Our MBTs – like all others – are intended to provide mobile, protected firepower; whether on the defensive or offensive. We didn’t go or a Slovakian gun [the Pole one wasn’t accurate when paired with the FCS] and do various other things we did because the PTs are ”mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support anyway” [they aren’t] and is a flawed way of deploying armour. There will BTW be instances where armour plays a supporting role to infantry and vice versa; depends on the operational context and BTW even if tasked to support mech units MBTs will still likely come up against enemy armour; even if not the ‘major tank on tank battles” you spoke off …

    … – ”New tanks should be one of the least important item in the priority of things for the next 10-20 years.”

    On ”paper” but if faced with a situation which requires MBTs and we don’t have enough; then bugger … Just like how the decision to get LCAs is great if we don’t face a situation requiring MRCAs. We – like others – make decisions or gambles which we feel we have to and we hope that they turn out to be the right ones.

    … – ”– Now with the news of 19 RAMD with Gempita permanently moving to Sabah, the dynamics have changed. ”

    Sounds overly dramatic. One battalion by itself or with the existing set [minimal number of arty; no live range able to handle 155mm fire; mostly lightly equipped units; etc, in East Malaysia. I could go on] doesn’t fundamentally change anything’ let alone the ”dynamics”… The ”dynamics” would really change if we actually didn’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul and do everything on the cheap because of tight fisted politicians. What we’re doing is the proverbial ”bit but hardly enough of anything”.

    … ”– coastal defence/anti-amphibious landing operations
    – / area denial of shipping lanes
    – area defence against loitering missiles and drones
    – Electronic Warfare / Electronic Attack capability”

    All this sounds great but to have a meaningful impact as opposed to having an impressive on paper capability entails the need for a sustained and adequate level of funding over a protracted period to enable tertiary capabilities; no point having ”long range land-based precision strike capability” or ”coastal anti-ship missile batteries” if we can’t detect, track and hit moving targets in a non permissive environment. Take the Black Sea example; the Ukrainians achieved what they did not only because of the hardware they have but also because of external ISR support.

    on your ”anti-amphibious landing operations” I see a need for a land based anti ship capability as part of recce/strike complex [the hardest part is to deconflict] but not necessarily for anti-amphibious landing operations” which is unlikely in our context.

    On ”Electronic Warfare / Electronic Attack capability” sounds great but an army which can’t even afford anything beyond 18 SPHs and can’t even afford to upgrade all its IFVs in one go and managed by a government which has a very minimilist approach to defence is unlikely to have the funds needed to acquire a meaningful EW capability which is highly niche and can be hard to justify in an environment where one does not face an existential threat.

    EW BTW is very resourced intensive; hard/expensive to get into and requires progressive funding to retain and to keep up with the times; so to speak. Even within NATO; only a bare handful of armies actually invest in EW they way they should. The Russians achieve what they did with EW is because even in the darkest days of the post Soviet collapse they never underfunded EW; it’s seen as integral to everything they do; even regimental sized groupings have a EW component.

  27. @kel
    “Should Army consider scrapping the MBTs?”
    TDM (and every other service for that matter) will not want to remove a role they had worked on getting after investing time, man, money & effort on. Its how they justify grabbing more resources. IMHO at the low risk of going to all out war, the PT91 are sufficient for use in the next 10-20 years as T72 parts are still made and Westernised system can be adopted (Scania + RENK powertrain, SAGEM FCS).

    @Hulubalang
    “What should a mechanized battalion if for sarawak be equipped with?”
    Mechanised regiments in Swk already have Gempitas. Depending on situations where low loaders for tracked APC transportation are limited, a wheeled APC can drive right into operation theatre. IMHO I prefer tracks are majority based in Peninsular while having more wheeled units in East MY for that reason. Road quality here are also qualitatively better so it can better handle tracks (ever seen the undulations and unevenness on PAN BORNEO?).

    “buy the equipment that is already refurbished by the seller.”
    Indeed, like the cancelled M109 but it will add the cost of buying, no? And used is still used so TDM will balk anyhow as they want brand new even if got no money. Plus foreign companies refurb have potential to be politicised on the excuse it can be done locally.

    “New tanks should be one of the least important item”
    Indeed and I never said it was a priority, but if were going to buy more it should be something worthwhile and will not be obsolete in the future. But TDM will undoubtedly focus on land combat rather than your priority to coastal defence as thats not their purview. EW is in their 4NextG plan tho.

  28. kel – ”The Army’s doctrine may say MBTs, but it’s in such small amounts that the doctrine doesn’t translate into strategy and tactics. In the meantime, a 2019 damaged Gempita remains unrepaired, there are only 18 ATGW launchers”

    If you look at things in totality and with a clear understanding of the issue; this goes back gain to the minimalist policy we have; the indifference and the belief amongst policy planners that any conflict we’re involved in will be swift/non- protracted [you’ve ask several times and have been told several times what non-protracted means]; will remain localised – as opposed to a long drawn state on state conflict. On top of that is the longstanding policy we have of having a minimal deterrence in order to deal with the non high intensity or non existential threats we feel we’ll face. The result is the army we have; it’s force structure and the way we fund it …

    kel – ”there are only 18 ATGW launchers”

    The number of actual ATGW launchers operated is far above ”18’…

    kel – ” just 4 Blackhawks”

    The ‘4’ are an interim measure until 18 can be ordered.

    kel – ”no upgrades to the MLRS rockets”

    Has Avibras actually completed development of the GPS guided round it first spoke of about a decade ago?

  29. @ joe

    – Ideally mechanized battalion in Sarawak should also be equipped with Gempita similar to 19 RAMD, as is 5 KAD cavalry unit in Sabah to be equipped the same as 4 KAD in Kuching. Reality is I don’t see the government greenlighting a Batch 2 of Gempita anytime in the near future. Ideally we need an additional 120-140 units of Gempita to have a homogeneous equipment in all mechanized and cavalry units stationed in sabah and Sarawak (assuming to have 1x Mech battalion and 1x Cavalry Regiment in each state)

    – “it will add the cost of buying, no?”
    Still it would be cheaper than buying new. But now with the decision to move 19 RAMD to Sabah, ideally the RAMD/RRD mechanized battalion to be stood up in Sawarak should be equipped with Gempita too.

    – “focus on land combat”
    defending our land from attacks from the sea is still land combat

    @ azlan

    – mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support = provide mobile, protected firepower (which is by definition infantry fire support and does not function as a tank), so why is it incorrect? Even if it faces enemy armor, it is still fighting those enemy armor as part of combined arms formation, not an armored tank formation. So we are on the same page here.

    – “sounds overly dramatic”
    What is it with you and your overly dramatic everything comment?
    I am just commenting on the latest decision made by the army, which changes the dynamics of units allocated for East Malaysia. I did not expect 19 RAMD to be based permanently in Sabah. As this is a new decision, the best move forward is for an equivalent mechanized battalion for Sarawak to be equally equipped with Gempita like 19 RAMD. And 5 KAD Sabah to be similarly equipped with 4 KAD Sarawak, also with Gempita. This will also change the dynamics of units remaining in Semenanjung. Do we still need 2 KAD Cavalry units under 3rd Division? Should 11 KAD be now attached to 4th Mechanized Brigade instead of 1 KAD, and change its designation to 4th Armoured Brigade as now it will be a fully tracked formation?

    – “no point having ”long range land-based precision strike capability” or ”coastal anti-ship missile batteries” if we can’t detect, track and hit moving targets in a non permissive environment”
    I have elaborated on this in the SPH post. We also need to invest in sovereign geospatial satellite capability (this is a Joint Force topic rather than army specific as it is useful for all services) for BLOS targeting capability. Initially we can depend on commercial data, but going for cubesats with high resolution cameras is the way to go.

    – “but not necessarily for anti-amphibious landing operations”
    This is more of a change in training of our current units, to do more beach defence drills/exercises, building of obstacles etc.

    – “EW BTW is very resourced intensive”
    Yes it is, but it is a capability that is stated explicitly in Army 4Next G.
    Its an investment we need to spend if we need the capability. EA, unlike kinetic attack, could be used in MOOTW. Nowadays ESM hardware/software looks more and more similar to curent radio equipments. We can expand ESM capability down to smaller units (to track/locate enemy comms/datalinks, detect and track drones) and start on a small scale EA capability (we can look to Turkiye, Czechia etc for such EA systems)

  30. kel – ”The Army’s doctrine may say MBTs”

    In this regards does the army actually have a ”doctrine”? Don’t assume so. BTW, despite our counter insurgency/jungle warfare heritage/legacy; we don’t have a institutionalised or prescribed counter insurgency doctrine per see or even a jungle warfare manual.

    Also, MBTs were acquired ostensibly to enable having the first combined arms division [the other elements being arty, IFVs, etc]. MBTs as you know [or not] form a vital element of any maneuver formation; having more firepower, protection and mobility than any wheeled or tracked IFV. What constitutes ”enough” is a policy decision; as prescribed in a particular country’s threat perceptions and how it views the strategic calculus. With us; we seem to say all the right things; whether by the politicians or in the White Paper/15-5/CAP 55/ 4Next G which some see as holy writ; problem is we don’t put our money where our mouth is.

  31. @ azlan

    “Has Avibras actually completed development of the GPS guided round it first spoke of about a decade ago?”

    Yes, recently in the past 2-3 years.

    2 variants
    – SS-40G
    – SS-80G – based on SS-60 but with smaller warhead and more solid fuel section.

    But it basically makes a ballistic flight path of the rocket more accurate, and not able to fly around like a true guided missile does.

    An upgrade that I would like for the ASTROS to have is, to adept the ASTROS launcher to fire GL-SDB (Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb). This would entail designing a pod that would have same external size and connection points as regular ASTROS rocket pods, but with internal dimensions to hold and launch the GL-SDB. For a regular SS-60 rocket pod (2 pods of 2 SS-60 rocket each) the rocket diameter is 300mm and pod overall length of 4.2m. the GL-SDB will easily fit inside that envelope as it has a diameter of 240mm and overall length of 3.91m. GL-SDB has a max range of around 150km and it could fly around, hitting targets even on a reverse slope of a hill/mountain. Multiple GL-SDB can be launched simultaneously with each programmed to hit different targets. Another advantage is the low cost of each GL-SDB when compared to other ground launched precision missiles.
    https://youtu.be/slwQZIlxAP8

    A small disadvantage? HIMARS could fit 6 GL-SDB, while the ASTROS launcher could probably only fit just 4.

    So for future tentera darat long range precision fire :
    1) 45km – 155mm howitzer with precision guided fuse kit
    2) 150km – ASTROS II launcher with 4x GL-SDB
    3) 200+km – NSM Coastal Missile System (NSM can also be used to strike ground targets)
    4) more than 200+km – the task of TUDM using MRCA/SU-30MKM with new stand-off missiles (turkish SOM perhaps?)

    “the White Paper/15-5/CAP 55/ 4Next G which some see as holy writ”
    I see them as a public intent on what they want for in the future. Those i feel right i will use it as a guide to my proposals, those I feel not I will clearly state why and propose the alternative to that detail.

  32. One can spend 30 years still developing something, still learning… If the intent is being able to say “we have the capability”… Can always keep fighting past battles if that makes it easier.

    Yes, doctrines do exist. If MAF doesn’t have one, that would be negligent.

    Examples from a public source although the files are protected.

    Perhaps the National Defence Policy – this from the executive side.

    https://www.pmo.gov.my/2019/07/national-defence-policy/

    Don’t skip the OO in OODA.

  33. One could consider reading the US Army Offense and Defense doctrine, although it doesn’t specifically address tank warfare. It has relevant content on employment of artillery or indirect fire.

    https://armypubs.army.mil/ProductMaps/PubForm/Details.aspx?PUB_ID=1007526

    If not the USMC Marine Corps Tank Employment while not quite 100% relevant to the TDM’s context, is still applicable for 70%. There is Chapter 1-Organisational Structure, Chapter 3-Employment with Infantry, and Chapter 7-Scout and Antitank Platoons.

    Alternatively, if one seeks new ideas, can consider reading the USMC Force Design 2030.

    Not all relevant to TDM but some of the USMC decisions seem relevant to TDM, when read in conjunction with Malaysia’s National Defence Policy description for Land Operations.

  34. @hulubalang
    “Ideally we need an additional 120-140 units of Gempita”
    Ideally TDM agrees with you, but reality of insufficient money caused them to consider a hybrid 4×4 + 6×6 plan to meet those numbers, a plan that is now back in ether with this Govt. So now they have to share around Gempitas between units.

    “Still it would be cheaper than buying new.”
    Yes of course and going used would actually get them something real, much like the cancelled M109 which we would have been operating by now. But since TDM has a penchant for everything must be new, no point to try convince them to consider 2nd hand.

    “defending our land from attacks from the sea is still land combat”
    Shooting things at sea isnt defined as land combat…

    “it is a capability that is stated explicitly in Army 4Next G”
    Like all things its something TDM wishes to have but due to funding limitations its likely they will try to get some nascent capabilities but nothing more until money is available & other priorities have gotten fulfilled.

  35. kel – ”Yes, doctrines do exist.”

    They do but my question was does the Malaysian army actually have a maneuver orientated combined arms doctrine? Don’t assume so. Having a doctrine per see and training for something are different things. Note, a ”doctrine’ is a prescribed institutionalised way of doing things.

    kel – ”Don’t skip the OO in OODA.”

    Boyd would be so impressed with you.

    kel – ”If the intent is being able to say “we have the capability”… ”

    As has been explained to you; the intent was always to have some level of deterrence against the threats we foresee.

    kel – ”Can always keep fighting past battles if that makes it easier.”

    Sure you mean ”past conflicts’.. For your information the transition to an army geared mostly for internal security into one geared for external security too/takes time. There was an article in ADJ on this in the late 1980’s titled ”Getting It Right Takes Time” – an apt title. Getting back; things are somewhat easier given that the generation of officers who spent their careers in a counter insurgency army have retired and are replaced by a new breed; so to speak.

    .. – ”mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support”

    From what I’ve picked up from open sources and from discussions with various people over the years; there is nothing to indicate that the main function of the PT-91 is ” mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support”…

    … – ”– “What is it with you and your overly dramatic everything comment?”

    Because you have a penchant for being overly dramatic… Sensationalism. In this case, a single battalion changes the ”dynamics”? If that’s not overly ”dramatic; don’t know what is… A lot of things can ”change” the ”dynamics” but certainly not the relocating of a single unit. And what replaces that unit in the Peninsular?

    … – ”I have elaborated on this in the SPH post. We also need to invest in sovereign geospatial satellite”

    You have ”elaborated” on a lot of things. If we want to go on about things we should do; we can write a 600 page report and you can provide innumerable links and prices. There is a difference between what we can do; what we should do and what we actually will or are likely to do. For years we didn’t even get down to integrating the various radars operated by different entities to enable a common picture; yet we’ll ”invest in sovereign geospatial satellite”?

    … – ”Yes it is, but it is a capability that is stated explicitly in Army 4Next G.”

    The Army 4Next G; like the CAP 55 and 15/5 states what the respective services want; not what they’ll actually get. Like I said, EW is a hard game to get into; once in; entails lots of resources to maintain and keep; hard to do even for various armies which are far better funded than us and hard to justify when one’s not facing an existential threat.

    We’re talking about an army which still operates short legged howitzers older than the crews who operate them; which has battalions still largely geared for low key non protracted wars and which can’t afford to get more than 18 SPHS; you really think this army will do the more than the bare basics when it comes to EW or anything else for that matter?

    … – ” Even if it faces enemy armor, it is still fighting those enemy armor as part of combined arms formation, not an armored tank formation. ”

    I don’t have an oracle unfortunately. MBTs should never operate alone [a lesson we first learnt on the fields of Flanders] but we simply can’t assume that this will always be the case. MBTs should not and never bee seen as primarily an asset to support infantry; see how well that went for the French in 1940 and the Brits in North Africa. Also, even if ”it is still fighting those enemy armor as part of combined arms formation” [your quote] doesn’t mean they’re ”mainly tasked as infantry/mechanised support” [your quote]…

    … – ”to do more beach defence drills/exercises, building of obstacles etc.”

    Lay thousands of mines too while we’re at it; lay wooden posts to thwart parachutists and have plans to flood the surrounding area; in case we’re faced with a Gallipoli or Sword/Juno situation? Back to reality; I see the need for a land based ASM but RMN not army operated and one operating as part of a recce/strike complex; not one relying solely on its acquisition radar.

  36. … – ”An upgrade that I would like for the ASTROS to have is”

    Something I would like to see – before any of the sexy ”long range”/”precision” stuff – are additions to enable the ‘Rocket Brigade’ to fully coordinate or synchronise fire with the arty regiments and to be able to ”see” at a distance in real time in order to be able to hit targets [some time sensitive] with as little delay as possible; whether due to the actual set up in place or other reasons. We kept hearing about how effective HIMARS was in the Ukraine; we however heard so much less about how it wasn’t just HIMARS but HIMARS with ISR provided by external parties which enabled the results to be achieved. Interestingly Russian EW at a later stage was quite effective in disrupting the GPSs on HIMARS rounds.

    kel – ”If MAF doesn’t have one, that would be negligent.”

    You’d be surprised as to how many armies don’t have doctrines for various things and it has nothing to do with ”negligence”. Note that not having a ‘doctrine” does not mean an army does not certain for certain things.

  37. @ azlan

    “are additions to enable the ‘Rocket Brigade’ to fully coordinate or synchronize fire with the arty regiments and to be able to ”see” at a distance in real time in order to be able to hit targets [some time sensitive] with as little delay as possible”

    Technically, if no changes to the ASTROS system itself, very difficult to precision hit targets. ASTROS is more of a strategic, rather than a tactical system. Individual rocket launchers is not designed to find their own targets. The whole battery can fire at 1 target at a time (which is what it is designed to do – Artillery SaTuration Rocket System). It is designed to vaporise a grid, rather than do precision hits.

    Which is why i came out with the GL-SDB suggestion. Using GL-SDB enables each launcher to move and operate independently (moving in a battery makes it easier for enemy to do counter battery kill), and hit individual targets with each GL-SDB. The GL-SDB system actually can operate independently of the ASTROS system, the ASTROS launchers are needed just to bring them around.

    Targeting is not just about the artillery unit finding what to hit, but mostly about units on the front line calling in for the artillery to hit time-sensitive targets in front of them. This is where app-based system such as the GIS-ARTA will simplify the process.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/half-of-sph-will-be-in-sabah/#comment-885323

    As for the Rocket Artillery Brigade, the current setup is okay-ish for me, and just need to add 1 more regiment armed with NSM missiles. Even now the Rocket Artillery Brigade is tasked with saturation attacks firing into the Malacca Straits for area denial. Adding a NSM coastal regiment will give the Brigade a naval precision kill capability from shore, in addition to the NSM land attack capability.

    My ideal Briged Artileri Roket orbat

    – 51 RAD – 18x ASTROS II+GL-SDB – 3 batteries
    – 52 RAD – 18x ASTROS II+GL-SDB – 3 batteries
    – 53 RAD – ARTHUR replaced with GM200 MM/C (way cheaper then ARTHUR upgrade but more capable) + scaneagle-sized UAV but with 180km range
    – 54 RAD – 12x NSM launchers (each with 4x NSM missiles) – 4 batteries in total, each battery with 3x NSM launchers. 1 battery deployed to Sabah.

    “in case we’re faced with a Gallipoli or Sword/Juno situation?”
    Rather than our army keep on repeating the usual “beach assault” exercises, it would probably be more useful for the army to practice full scale “beach defense” exercise instead.

  38. The Army’s MLRS is the most offensive weapon in its arsenal. It is one of the cheapest way to increase offensive firepower. MLRS used to be a mass saturation weapon system but now it can be precise as demonstrated in the Russia-Ukraine war. Even replicating precise artillery fire. Avibras even has antiship and cruise missiles (the MTC-300) for the Astros II. Unfortunately, Army is armour, armour, armour for the forseeable future. Maybe it is the good old “buy a bit of everything, not enough of anything” just to be able to say “we have the capability”.

  39. … – ”Technically, if no changes to the ASTROS system itself, very difficult to precision hit targets. ”

    Forget the technicality; one can have all the sexy ”long range” ordnance in the world but it will account for nothing if one can’t ”see” at a distance in real time in order to be able to hit targets [some time sensitive] with as little delay as possible; whether due to the actual set up in place or other reasons.” Measure of efficiency VS Measure of success.

    … – ”Rather than our army keep on repeating the usual “beach assault” exercises, it would probably be more useful for the army to practice full scale “beach defense” exercise instead.”

    Two different things which really shouldn’t be conflated and in case you haven’t noticed; the days of amphib assaults against defended beaches are largely over; the idea is to go around or above defended sites . Also; I really don’t see – in our context – why anyone would need to perform amphib assault on our beaches. They need to control the sea lanes; deny us access to the maritime domain; not physically seize real estate.

    If you really believe that someone is going to launch a direct assault on a defended beach [like we’re in 1944 again] and that troops should be doing ”beach defence drills/exercises, building of obstacles” [your quote] then we must as well lay thousands of mines; lay wooden posts to thwart parachutists; have plans to flood the surrounding area; get thousands of foreign labourers and buy millions of tonnes of cement to construct miles and miles of concrete bunkers; i.e. ”Festung Malaysia”.

    … – ”Targeting is not just about the artillery unit finding what to hit,”

    Thanks for the heads up but are you telling me or stating a fact? Has anything I’ve said indicated that I don’t understand that “targeting is not just about the artillery unit finding what to hit,”?

    As I’ve been pointing out for many moons; it’s not the hardware; it’s the system. Being able to detect and hit targets; being able to mass fire without having mass guns; being able to rapidly shift fire; etc, etc. If you’re trying to convert me; I’ve long been converted but at least stick to the same page if we’re going to have meaningful discussion.

    Take 1991, the Iraqis had a numerical edge and were supposedly battle hardened after 8 years of war with Iran. They also has some high end arty which outranged U.S. arty but against an opponent who had tertiary capabilities; Iraqi arty was ineffective. Couldn’t locate targets; had issues massing four; could give out fire orders, etc. Despite being a artillery centric army look at the dismal performance of Russian arty in the early stages of the conflict.

    We’ve actually had this discussion in depth more than once; as is the case with other topics.

    … – ”Adding a NSM coastal regiment will give the Brigade a naval precision kill capability from shore, in addition to the NSM land attack capability.”

    My main concern are the enablers. The needed recce/strike complex; the element which really makes various things effective. No point having the hardware which mesmorises/fixates people but not have the enablers. Things like “precision strike” or “precision kill” sound great and impressive but can’t be conjured from zero or from a vacuum.

    The Ukrainians achieved what they did in the Black Sea with their ASMs and other things because they had the enablers.

    … – ”ASTROS is more of a strategic, rather than a tactical system.”

    You see things in black/white. A certain target if hit could have a strategic affect/impact but by and large MLRSs are intended to hit operational level targets; as has been the case since MLRSs or rockets were first deployed widely in WW2. MLRSs are mostly or almost all exclusively intended to hit target beyond the range of artillery at an operational; not strategic level.

    … – ”This is where app-based system such as the GIS-ARTA will simplify the process.”

    Thanks for the link which I believe you provided before but we already have handheld ballistic computers with the needed functions. Can we do better? Yes no doubt we can and should but it’s not as if we don’t have such a capability. Also; no point having your GIS-ARTA – which does not work in a vacuum – if we don’t have the needed C3 set up.

    … – ”The whole battery can fire at 1 target at a time (which is what it is designed to do – Artillery SaTuration Rocket System). It is designed to vaporise a grid, rather than do precision hits.”

    [1] One can have a battery engaging two different targets simultaneously; if one has the needed set up and I’m not referring to hardware. Depends on the target and circumstances; at times batteries might be parceled out.
    [2] Highly aware that unguided MLRS fire is not ”precise” but a saturation weapon and that’s precisely why we bought it and them. If the day ever comes when we buy guided rounds; we’ll still have to locate the targets. No point having long range guided rounds if we can’t locate targets to hit or can’t positively ID the targets. Measure of efficiency VS Measure of success.

  40. @hulubalang
    “adept the ASTROS launcher to fire GL-SDB”
    What your suggesting isnt as simple as you make it to be. What your asking for is a ballistic delivery payload system. The rocket is the “dumb” part but then you need the payload system that will automatically preprogrammed to release the warhead which will individually guide itself on a terminal trajectory.

  41. @ azlan

    “but at least stick to the same page if we’re going to have meaningful discussion”

    It is you that always assume everyone else does not understand. Of course target acquisition is important. But we are talking about precision strike, when our artillery hardware cannot technically do it.

    “My main concern are the enablers. The needed recce/strike complex; the element which really makes various things effective”
    I have mentioned about the enablers many times even in this thread, but you seems not to read them.

    “You see things in black/white”
    I really understand the technicality of how the ASTROS operate unlike you based on all the books you read thinks all “MLRS” in the world operates the same. Also ASTROS ≠ HIMARs as it has much better missiles and targeting capability. ASTROS rocket launchers as designed cannot operate singly/independently, or rocket launchers in a battery able to target multiple targets at the same time. Unlike some howitzers or other MLRS launcher that have individual ballistic targeting computers, the ASTROS system does not. The whole battery could only point to a single target at a time by a Fire control vehicle, which is on the bottom right of the picture below
    https://assets.kompasiana.com/statics/crawl/5604ab8724a9d5132f8b456c.jpeg
    So even if you give a coordinate to an individual ASTROS rocket launcher, it cannot destroy that target because it cannot point to and calculate the ballistic trajectory by its own. Of course you can just point at a general direction and launch, but it is not precision targeting and will just be a terror attack like what is done in Ukraine.

    Systems like HIMARs consist only of the rocket launcher itself, and not need any other vehicles to operate. Which is why it can operate independently. Also to do precision strike, it depends on firing precision missiles like GMLRS, a missile which ASTROS system does not have.

    So to recap, just by adding more Surveillance and target acquisition (STA) resources will not change the current Briged Artileri Roket ASTROS II from a rocket saturation system into a precision targeting system.

    “Doosan engine or a Detroit Diesel D2848T?”
    MIFV has MAN-Doosan D2848T made in korea, same engines really.

    @ joe
    “What your suggesting isnt as simple as you make it to be”

    It actually is. The GL-SDB in itself is a self contained system, it can be launched from anything and by anything that it can even be fired from the ground. It just needs a coordinate input and it will automatically fly to the target without the need of any further human input. What i suggest is reusing the ASTROS II rocket launcher lorries just as a means to transport the GL-SDB around. It will not need to be integrated into the complicated ASTROS command system, fire control system at all, as that is not needed. So you still have the option to use unguided rokets from the ASTROS system, or want to disperse and use GL-SDB.

  42. Avibras was working on GPS guided rockets for Astros 2 but unsure if they did it or are the rockets backward compatible with existing Astros II. The GL-SDB is designed for the US M26 rockets to retrofit a SDB into US rcoket systems. Unless Avibras’s Astros 2 rockets are US M26 equivalent, there is no GL-SDB conversion kits for Astros 2 rockets. And no, one couldnt just do the conversion because the SDB is a US weapon system.

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