Tender for A Single Long Range Radar

SHAH ALAM: The Defence Ministry today has issued a request for bids for a single 3D long range surveillance radar for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Only representatives from companies with the authorised letter from the original equipment manufacturers, system providers and integrators will be allowed to purchase the tender documents which will closed on August 30.

Lockheed Martin TPS-77 Air Surveillance Radar – Transportable version of the FPS-117, the radar can be configured for C-130, C-17, truck, rail or helicopter transport. Used for illustration only

From the ministry’s tender page:

FOR THE SUPPLY, DELIVERY, TESTING AND COMMISSIONING OF ONE (1) UNIT OF 3D AIR DEFENSE LONG RANGE RADAR (LRR) COMPLETE WITH ANCILLARY EQUIPMENTS, LRR ASSOCIATED SUPPORTS AND DESIGN & BUILD OF INFASTRUCTURES TO THE ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE (RMAF) AND THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA

Thales Raytheon GM 403 radar in service with RMAF. TUDM

Malaysian Defence readers will know that RMAF had been planning to buy the radar since 2019. The tender for the radar was supposed to move last year but Covid got in the way. Anyhow back in 2019 RMAF was already preparing for the radar.
A model of the Leonardo RAT 31 D/L air surveillance radar.

And last year we were also informed that the US was preparing to gift us long range radars. There is no new development on this front but it is likely by 2025 RMAF will be operating three new radars.
Martello S 743 air surveillance radar similar to ones still in service with RMAF. Internet

The advertisement for the tender of the new radar came as the country were still digesting the news that 16 China transport aircraft came just 60nm from flying into Sarawak airspace.
The radar track of the PLAAF aircraft intrusion on May 31, 2021. RMAF

The good news was that RMAF air defence radars in Sabah and Sarawak were instrumental in preparing the Hawk fighter jets to intercept and identify them.
Saab Giraffe 4A multi function radar. Saab

Hopefully this time around the tender will move ahead and a worthy bidder is selected.

— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. Political turmoil, lockdown, malaysia soft policy on China, lack of military jets and no air defence platforms led to China not worrying to go on an intrusion on our space. I thought the goverment would at least respond by calling the cabinet to discuss for the purchase of at least a squadron of LCA. How’d they decide to purchase a single unit of radar. Its not even as a response to China it was an old requirement. Damn we are broke

  2. Again going through agents?. We should buy not just 1 but a few more for redundancy n beyter coverage.
    The recent Chinese intrusion had proven the need for long range coverage is critical

    Reply
    No it will be direct from OEM if they have people here or their representatives if dont have. Only a few OEMs can afford to have permenant representatives here, like Saab, Leonardo and BAE Systems

  3. I see so we will possibly get two new long range radar? One from msi initiative and one from this tender? Noice..Put one on west malaysia and one on east malaysia and we pretty much good to go..radar part that is

  4. Lee – “We should buy not just 1 but a few more for redundancy n beyter coverage.”

    – It’s not as if it will be the only RMAF radar operated
    – Like everywhere else coverage is also provided by civil ATC radars
    – Budgetary allocation has only been provided for a single radar

  5. GBAD radar especially long range ones should be coupled with suitable long range interceptors too. No point if you can see somone encroaching your boundaries but you are not able to stop them from encroaching.
    We need more of the Super Hornet likes, the MRCA with range and power projection.
    Kemon Malaysia, you can do it, be better or at least on par with your potential adversaries, whether or not they are your friends or foes at the moment.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  6. How many radars will we be getting from Uncle Sam? Why not Malaysia procure same ones from US for the sake of commonity and relationship?

    Reply
    I was told it would be two. No idea on the reason

  7. Pidot – “Political turmoil, lockdown, malaysia soft policy on China, lack of military jets and no air defence platforms led to China not worrying to go on an intrusion on our space”

    Not really. They have their own reasons. Bear in mind that PLAAF planes have also entered the skies over the EEZ of countries countries with stronger AD defences during periods before Covid when there was no lockdown or political turmoil.

    We can have a chain of a dozen primary surveillance radars in East Malaysia; backed by a couple OTOH ones and 3 squadrons of fighters; if they want to come close to entering our airspace; they will, like with the likes of Japan and South Korea.

    Pidot – “I thought the goverment would at least respond by calling the cabinet to discuss”

    For what exactly? The LCA purchase has been approved and a tender will soon be issued. What the RMAF should be doing is milking the incident for al it’s worth to speed up funding for other programmes which have been approved in principle but for which actual funding has yet to be granted.

    Pidot – “not even as a response to China it was an old requirement”

    Doesn’t have to be. A lot of our purchases are capability; not threat driven.

  8. With the Pandemic still around. I not sure how we going to get a brand new LCA. This single Radar should be doable and hopefully uncle SAM do not forget the FOC radar. Let’s dun talk about $ first, by psychology if we go for LCA during Pandemic, rakyat will bising some MBs will bising also…

    Based on Utusan news (https://www.utusan.com.my/gaya/2021/04/tldm-ke-arah-pemerkasaan-armada-negara/)

    “Panglima Tentera Laut, Laksamana Tan Sri Mohd. Reza Mohd. Sany berkata, bagi tempoh 10 hingga 15 tahun akan datang TLDM telah merangka pelan pembangunan peningkatan keupayaan pertahanan perkhidmatan itu.

    MOHD. REZA MOHD. SANY
    Katanya, antara aset utama yang akan diberi fokus termasuk 14 kapal jenis Littoral Mission Ship (LMS), tiga kapal Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS), 11 kapal New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) dan dua kapal selam.

    “Selain itu, TLDM juga merancang memperolehi beberapa buah aset pelengkap atau force multiplier seperti Bot Tempur Laju (FCB), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) dan juga helikopter anti kapal selam.”

    11 NGPV? not 12? Is it because SGPV extra payment issue and reduce it to 11?

    Reply
    You better asked Utusan about this

  9. With RMAF currently operating 2 models of relatively high end AESA radars (RAT 31 D/L and GM403) with RAT 31 D/L being the oldest, I am pretty sure RMAF knows what it is looking for. Not to mention the TPS-77 that we are getting from Uncle Sam. I am able to confirm that 2 of these radars uses the latest GaN tech but its safe to assume that current RAT 31 D/L may use it also. Both latest version RAT 31 D/L and GM403 claimed to have range of over 500km.

    Its also worth mentioning that Thailand and Indonesia recently choose RAT 31 D/L as their new radar. Regardless, any of the radars mentioned above definitely would meet most of RMAFs criteria if not all. Hopefully stupid political intervention would not be a big issue.

  10. To me,it will be nice just to stick with gm403 like the one bought a few years back, can tap into its existing support & training establishment. But if I found in the market there are other models that meet my needs, much better in capabilities + support & easier on the wallet than ones in use, then why not.

    I think I know where this new radar will be if its for Malaysia Borneo.

  11. Kamal – “? Why not Malaysia procure same ones from US”

    Good point. Apart from the point that it’s practical from a commonality issue and that we train and more joint training and dialogues/exchanges with the U.S. military than we do with anyone else; there is another angle. If I was a U.S. Congressman or a State Department official; I would press Malaysia to seriously consider buying some U.S. stuff.

    After all; over the years Malaysia has benefited from U.S. largesse in the form of actual equipment and cash grants for MAF people to attend courses in the U.S. It’s not too much to hope that Malaysia in turn seriously considers some U.S. stuff (which the MAF is only to happy to).

    Micheal – “we go for LCA during Pandemic, rakyat will bising some MBs will bising also…”

    Like I said : the RMAF has to milk it for all its worth. To press the point for more funding sooner rather than later.

    Also; after calling on the government for non partisan dialogue and to meet the MAF’s needs; Pakatan is in no position to complain when the LCA proceeds.

    Naturally though; we’ll still hear complains from certain clueless politicians and NGOs when the LCA deal proceeds. We”ll hear the likes of “the cash can be better used for vaccines and hospitals rather than expensive jets”; “we are not at war”; “a waste of the rakyat’s money”; “the Hawks should be fully upgraded” (never mind that they are getting obsolete and that a full upgrade is not a sound long term return of investment); etc, etc. They’ll give the impression that by getting a mere 18 LCAs; the penalty will be us having less schools, hospitals and vacineas.

  12. One question: Why do we need radars? Existing one not working? If not working, why not upgrade or repair them?

    Reply
    For surveillance of course. We need new radars as the newest one was bought ten years ago, the Thales Raytheon GM400. Its old enough that the ThalesRaytheon JV no longer exist though Thales continue to support the radar we have. The other radars are Leonardo ones, around 20 years old and Martellos which were bought in the early 80s. The Martello ones are already obsolete, do you have any PCs from that era still operating?

  13. I do hope the radar selected would be the same as MSI donated ones or even existing Martello one, for the sake of commonality and operation. This tender came at right time but I think its just a coincidence in the timing.

    Reply
    The Martello ones are basically obsolete already, the successor to these system are the ones manufactured by BAE Systems. Not popular though outside the UK

  14. Will the global OEMs even get out of bed for one (1) system??

    Hopefully there is more back end added value i.e. network integration that can justify the production of just one system.

    Reply
    Yes it may seem insignificant but its long term support and services that woke them up

  15. We already have certain sides milking the slow vaccination rate on social media and group talks, so rest assured they are milking this for what its worth and any large scale expenditure that are not Covid or rakyat focused will get further milked. This is the era of silly politics after all.

  16. Kamal – “One question: Why do we need radars”

    Mainly because we don’t have the numbers we need to provide total coverage over most of airspace in West and East Malaysia and to cover blind spots caused by terrain/geography.

    There are basically 2 types of radars; primary search/surveillance ones (RMAF) abs secondary ATC ones (DCA mostly but the RMAF also has them). Secondary ATC ones have shorter ranges but are heavily used to monitor airspace and are the ones integrated with HQIADS. Not all the primary search/surveillance ones are switched on 24 hours, 365 days a year unless there’s a reason – not only here but practically everywhere too.

  17. Another topic. I quote from

    “Coincidentally, a newspaper coverage on RMAF’s anniversary quoted the RMAF Chief that a letter of intent (LOI) has been sent to Kuwait for a number of their Boeing F/A-18C Hornet. It is now pending approval from Kuwait and US Congress..”

    True news or not?

    Reply
    You better ask the website, I cannot be answering stories from every one on the Internet

  18. Azlan “There are basically 2 types of radars; primary search/surveillance ones (RMAF) abs secondary ATC ones (DCA mostly but the RMAF also has them). Secondary ATC ones have shorter ranges but are heavily used to monitor airspace and are the ones integrated with HQIADS.”

    Which category do the RMAF radars in Johor Baru, Bukit Ibam and Penang Hill belong to?

  19. lalok – “radar especially long range ones should be coupled with suitable long range interceptors too”

    Depends on the operational circumstances. Intruders along the periphery of our air boundary ate only minutes flying time away. Not as if we have to operate as far afield as Guam or the Taiwan Straits to perform intercepts.

    We also have differentiate peacetime and wartime QRAs. Peacetime QRAs will see fighters carrying the bare minimum in ordnance and better endurance as a result.

    lalok – “No point if you can see somone encroaching your boundaries”

    Which is clearly not a problem we face.

    Another very important element; to complete the equation is a AEW; it enables battle management; extends the range of GBAD and airborne sensors and enables to maximise fully the capabilities offered by fighters.

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