KUALA LUMPUR: From cursory readings of the mini-budget, Malaysian Defence acknowledged that the Tenth Malaysian Plan Part 1, funding is financially unattainable. While Malaysian Defence agree with some of the objections raised – where are you going to find the money, Simon – nonetheless it must be pointed out that Malaysian Defence remained comfortable with the salient points of proposed funding.
The S300PMU/S400 SAM complex may not be backward compatible with the current Malaysian air defence network but then beggars cannot be choosers. Faced with a potential aggressor armed with more strike fighters imagine and backed by deep pockets and a new airborne radar system which can peer up to our northern border, what countermeasures would one take? The current Jernas SAM system would be taken out even before they could power up the radar system, let alone fire a salvo of missiles.
Procuring even more strike fighters are cost prohibitive. And these aircraft need force multipliers (tankers, AEW etc) to be really effective , which cost even more money to procure and maintain.
So what is the next best step? Get something which caused nightmares even for a Top Gunner. However, it is plainly obvious that we cannot even afford a single S300 regiment at this moment in time. Perhaps when time is more advantageous we can re-look the plus and minus of this procurement programme.
This second time around Malaysian Defence is proposing a funding of RM7 billion for the defence and sector for the Tenth Malaysian Plan. RM5 billion should be allocated for defence while the rest is for security.
The trust for this more thrifty programme is for the procurement of war stocks. The armed forces simply do not have enough missiles, bombs and ammunition in stock. We need to increase the stock to a more comfortable level based on the funding available capped at RM3 billion. The leftovers should be used to procure body armour, small arms, mortars and anti-tank weapons. RPG-7 may useful in dirty little wars but RPG-30 can take out any Western or Eastern MBTs with room to spare
As the procurement and development fund is limited, operational budget, culled from the annual national budget, should be kept at the present level so as not to impair operational and training objectives.
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Marhalim…not at all. I am not comfortable with practically everything there bar perhaps the .338 LM which I think is a helluva lot more useful than a .50 rifle.
Devolved rotor wing squadrons makes no sense when we don’t even have a half decent consolidated force. The brass is already fantasizing about dedicated attack helos when they can’t haul trash. Just cause the Sings have them and it makes some feel inadequate….
Armed UAVs are pointless in our situation. MALE UAVs are what we need for surveillance and reconnaissance. A Predator or Mariner would do nicely. Upside..they are weapons ready. Lots of these….no AWACs or new MRCAs.
Building up war reserves? Waste of money. Better to shoot stuff we buy than trying to hoard stuff and have it go out of date.
We need to learn to live within our means and that means a draw down in the size of the Army in particular. A hefty chunk of the operational budget goes into pay and other items that do not generate readiness and usable capability. Fewer but better units is what we should be about with a ton less admin bloat across the board.
I’d put more emphasis on SF and small warfighting than grandiose appendage comparisons with our peers and neighbours.
Marhalim: I also prefer the 338 rifles rather than buying 308 for sniping and then buying 50 caliber rifles for longer ranges. On the ammo, its expensive alright but if we changed the procurement process, we might get enough rounds for training and operational purposes plus the other important items of course.
BTW if you look at the wish list provided by other readers, its certainly much more than mine! On the need to draw down the army, that is why I planned for a AirGround Task Force. The helicopters are light attack helos, either the AH-6 or the 407s, certainly not the Tigers or Apaches. I believe an army need its air support, not only for recon but also to harass defenders or attackers, basically route clearing and fire support operations. The task force cannot and should not rely on the air force. The helos will also be useful to correct artillery fire. An AGTF is perfect for small warfighting, a small but highly lethal combat team able to project power in a longer distance, time and space. Due to lack of air transport, mechanisation is the only answer for maneuver…
On the war stock issue, I believe we need them. For example, based on data, we only purchased 28 MM40 Exocets so far. I believed they have fired at least four since 2000, leaving only 24 live missile available. We certainly need more of these missiles, for future needs. The same goes for the Amraams, Sidewinder, Harpoons and other ordnance.
5 billion only? You are probably right, the bill for the stimulus package will come in future years. Reality sucks.
Give me RM5 billion and this is what I will buy:
RMAF (RM2 bil)
– 1.5B for Bell 412EP utility helicopters as Nuri replacements. With 1.5B, I think I can get between 25-30 airframes inclusive of after sales support. Either this or its Nuris forever.
– 0.5B for King 350ER surveillance aircrafts. The budget is probably enough for about 6 aircraft fitted with hi tech surveillance equipment.
Army (RM1.8 bil)
– 0.5B for a mini JRTC complete with MILES equipment for realistic battle group training
– 0.4B for AV4 LAV for the Armor Corps. The AV4 will be fitted with some type of RWS.
– 0.2B for the development and procurement of Aludra Mk2 UAV. To be used by the MI corps and border guards
– 0.2B for small arms esp additional M4 carbines from SME, continuing the Steyr replacement program
– 0.2B for combat optics, NVGs, hand-held thermal imagers, GPS receivers
– 0.2B for additional Handalan and Land Rover trucks
– 0.1B for bullet proof vests for selected units
RMN (RM1.2 bil)
– 0.7B for one MRSS. A simple RoRo design, approx 8000 ton displacement with basic point defence capability and hanger facility for at least 2 helicopters
– 0.5B for additional Super Lynx helicopters
Marhalim: I like your plan, but I dont think you can get 30 Bells and 6 King Airs for RM2 billion. A recent purchase by Iraq for 5 King Air s cost around RM500 million under a FMS sale. I would prefer to buy the King Airs alone and left the Nuri fleet as it is since it was the armed forces which want to fly them until 2015!
We need body armour for the whole armed forces (circa 120,000 including reserves). The cost to get the whole army with body armour (soft and hard plates) have been estimated around RM400 million, so one needs around RM1.2 billion for the whole armed forces.
BTW, I have checked the US Navy Reserve Fleet, there is a single Newport class LST available for purchase, the former USS Boulder. And if one is really ambitious one can also get LHA2 Saipan! There also two Aegis cruisers (CG-47) available for purchase…..
A basic King Air 350 will set one back for at least USD7 million, the ER variant being used for military duty will probably cost USD10 million. The mission system cost will be the killer plus the needed ground station equipment if configured for ISR roles.
I think my costings are pretty reasonable. I’m not pocketing a single sen in commission. I promise 😉
In 2007, Iraq ordered 6 King Air350ER, 5 ISR variants and 1 basic for US132 million. That’s about RM500 million as per my budget. Also we don’t have to have all aircraft fully equipped with everything, we can pool some of the equipment.
As for the Bells, in 2004, it was reported that Pakistan ordered 26 Bell 412EP for US230 million. That’s less than RM900 million, wheras my budget was 1.5B. I understand that the Pakistan version are pretty basic, civvie specs. So I jacked up the price by more than 50% to include mil spec options, perhaps some gunpods, FLIR, IRCM in a pool.
So you prefer to postpone the Nuri replacement purchase to 12th Malaysia Plan? If you consider delivery timelag, when will these be delivered? 2020? And are you sure we will have the budget for it even then?
On body armor, why do we need to equip every single soldier with body armor? We cant afford it nor is there a need to.
Btw As MeesterT implies, the Army is too big for us to equip properly to full modern standards. The size of our Army is close to the British Army, but we have a much smaller defence budget and GDP. What the Army really need is a Malaysian version of Lesley McNair, US Army General in WW2.
Marhalim: Those purchases were under FMS. I wonder whether it will be the same for us.
MY take on the Proposed RM5billion:-
Est RM500 mil- To purchase approximately 24 unit Rapier FSC that were retired from The Royal Army (UK)in 2006 together with approximately 200 missiles
Est RM50 million- Topurchase 32 ex-polish T72 to be used as trainer and secondary MBT
ESTRM300 mil- To purchase more M4 Carbine, new type RPG, new type ATGW and more 120mm mortar
Est RM150 mil- To upgrade 18 nuri’s to UK westland comando standard
Est RM600 mil- To upgrade the 8 Hornets and obtained additional 8 ex US marine surplus
Est RM600 mil- To upgrade 14 MIG 29 to SMT standards plus 2 attrition replacement
Est RM200 mill- acquire and upgrades 6ex-US Army UH60 as CSAR
Est RM900 mil- acquire 3 new C130 J
est RM200 mill -purchase of ex USN LST
est RM800 mil- Upgrade all six OPV to OPC with ASM,SAM and ASUW
est RM500 mil- Purchase 4 new FAC (M) to replace the 8 currently have
Est RM300 million for C4I equipment
Marhalim: Its ok to dream but do not have your mouth open…
In my opinion, for the air defence thing we should start looking into getting some Russian made Pantsir-S1. The Pantsir’s are way meaner than the Tunguska M1’s in use with the Russian Army.
Marhalim: The problem with Russian equipment is that they dont worked well with the other Western equipment we have and spares and support are always a perennial problems….