SHAH ALAM: The strange case of the 105mm guns. With the contracts of the MD Helicopters MD530G light scout attack helicopter and M109SPH being cancelled, now I can post about the other contract that I have been asked about. It’s the Nexter 105LG1 contract. I can confirmed that it is still valid and deliveries are expected late this year, though it also had went through the wringer.
It went through a wringer? Yes, about 12 months ago, I heard that the review of defence contracts as mandated by the government after the May 2018 general elections had been completed. I contacted my sources and was told that as part of the review, the 105mm howitzer contract was about to be cancelled. This was the only thing I had managed at this point in time, however.
As I was aware of what happened at DSA 2018 – the contract for the 18 Nexter LG1 howitzer was only confirmed a day after the official contract signing ceremony – I kept the story on hold.
Nexter 105LG1 gun displayed at DSA 2018
The Ministry of Defense, Malaysia announced the acquisition of 18 units of 105LG1 artillery systems for the Armed Forces during one of the largest defense services exhibition in Asia, DSA&NATSEC 2018. This 3-year contract will start by November 2019 with the first delivery of 6 light guns and the last delivery is due to take place in February 2020. The 105LG1 is a 105mm gun designed for intervention and rapid reaction forces.
Early this year, I was told by various sources that indeed the 105LG1 contract had been cancelled. As I was about to write a post on the cancellation I was told that the ministry was talking with Nexter over the deal and there was a possibility that the contract would be reinstated despite an offer from another manufacturer.
Apart from the 105mm guns, at this point – around February and March – I was also checking on the status of the other contracts – the MD530Gs and M109 SPH – though at this point I was told every thing was hunky dory. Then came the announcement of the LMS contract revision in mid-March, barely two weeks before LIMA 2019.
At LIMA 2019 I was told that the 105mm guns contract would be reinstated with a slight reduction in cost. They even slotted the contract signing for the guns at the LIMA contract signing day though in the end they never went ahead with it at the function. Despite this the contract was signed though not during the event.
At this moment I can report that the first six Nexter guns are expected to be delivered later this year and assembled locally as announced in the DSA 2018 story. The rest are expected to be delivered by the end of next year. As reported previously, the guns will be assigned to the 1st Royal Artillery Regiment (Para) attached to the 10th Para Brigade. The Nexter guns is likely to be the last 105mm guns to be purchased by the Army.
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