Time to Move on From HK

SHAH ALAM: Time to move on from Heckler & Koch. In my post in Oct. 21. 2014, I wrote about the MMEA tender for small arms. The tender documents specifically stated that they wanted the HK416 A5s, HK UMPs and CZ pistols.

I am told the numbers are small but its instructive that as the quotation document specifically stated the type and make of the firearm, it disqualified other makes at the starting gate. It is maybe unfair to other dealers but by stating the make and model of the small arms in the official document, MMEA officials probably wanted to ensure that they will get what they wanted in the first place.

I am not sure whether they will succeed with the 416s though, as the government had stated that its partially owned SMEO will supply the assault rifles – the M4s – to all agencies, no matter whom. As even the Paskal has to make do with the M4s – with accessories of course – I do not think MMEA can get away with buying the 416s. That said stranger things had happen before so we have to wait and see

At the launch of the National Special Operations Force (NSOF) in late October, MMEA Special Operations team – Special Task (s) and Rescue (STAR) team – displayed their firearms together with the other units. On show were the Adcor Elite 5.56mm, the Colt CM901, the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 and the Blaser R93 Tactical Rifle.

STAR new firearms on display. The guns on the left are Paskal HKs.

The personnel at the display said the firearms were received last year. When I asked about the tender in 2014, the personnel pleaded ignorance. However checks on the MMEA 2015 Annual Report revealed that the agency had received the Colt, CZ Evo 3 and CZ P-07 pistol, the Adcor and the Denel SS-77 Mark II GPMG under a RM6.5 million program.

KM Perwira, one of the two Bay class patrol boats donated to MMEA by Australia.

It did not state the numbers acquired though it did say that the firearms were distributed to all APPM units including those attached to the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) while the new GPMGs were meant for two new ships, KM Satria and KM Perwira. Satria and Perwira are the two ex-Bay class patrol boats donated by Australia.

Another view of the STAR firearms. Partly hidden is the Adcor Elite, Colt CM901, CZ Evo and Blaser R93.

I was told recently that MMEA initially did selected the HKs as per the tender documents but later ditched them as the local agent could not get the export license to import them from Germany. Industry sources told me that HK has not been able to export their firearms to Malaysia for some years now and that was the reason, some units had purchased other weapons from other manufacturers like Belgium’ s FN Herstal and Czech Republic’s CZ.

Similarly, SwissArms from Switzerland had relied on its US-based company, SIG Sauer, to market its firearms to Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries though I have not heard of any agencies buying them here lately. I am not sure where the Blasers of the MMEA were sourced from, but its highly likely that it came from the US.

Two VAT69 operators at the 2015 open day. One is armed with a FN Herstal SCAR H for DMR while the other is armed with the Bushmaster Carbine.

Meanwhile, apart from MMEA, PDRM special forces unit, the VAT 69 and UTK, have also faced up to reality and had moved on from HK. As reported previously, both units have adopted FN Herstal SCAR series, and Ferfrans M4s. They also got Colts from SMEO.

VAT 69 has also adopted the RPG-7 as shown at its 2016 Open day.

VAT 69 operators with the RPG-7 with probably the RUAG Ammotec MEP warhead at the 2016 Open Day. PDRM picture.

And it appears, other SF units in Malaysia like Paskal and Paskau have to forget about getting HKs in the near future as the German manufacturer has also given up prospects of selling its weapons to non-NATO countries. Paskal for the record, had the largest HK firearm  collection during the NSOF display including the fabled XM8 Carbine.

Paskal range of HK firearms. The XM8 carbine is the one nearest with the HK417 next to it.

Reuters reported on Nov. 28.

German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch will no longer sign contracts to supply countries outside of NATO’s influence because it has become too difficult to obtain government approval for such deals, news agency DPA reported on Monday.

The company, one of the world’s best-known gunmakers, will in future only sell to countries that are democratic and free from corruption and that are members of NATO or NATO members’ partners, DPA said, citing company sources.

It said this change in strategy would rule out deals with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, India or even NATO member Turkey.

HK MP5 sub machine guns are the preferred firearm for Malaysian SF assault teams including the NSOF.

As HK  no longer wants to export its guns to most markets, it appears that once the MP5s sub guns in the Malaysian arsenals are rendered unserviceable, I guess we will have to rely on M4s or its derivatives as the primary tactical firearm. If they still want them, we may have to get copies from either Turkey or Pakistan. The CZ Evo submachine gun looked to fragile for assault team duty IMO.

–Malaysian Defence

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