To The Spratlys Part 2

Skuadron 601 personnel and their ScanEagles and supporting equipment posed for a photograph at the CO parade on June 17, 2023. Skuadron 601.

SHAH ALAM: In an earlier post, Malaysian Defence wrote about a quotation notice for the rental services of assets to deploy the Scan Eagle UAS and related equipment from the Kota Kinabalu naval base to RMN Stesen Lima (Pulau Layang-Layang) in the South China Sea.

The QN dated July 14 and closes on July 21, called for a barge or a ship capable of carrying a 10 tonne crane, a low loader and a Toyota Hilux 4X4 and four container load of ScanEagle UAS and its associated equipment to Stesen LIMA.

A day later, another QN, dated July 14 and closing on July 22, calling for the same requirements was published on Eperolehan. As the earlier QN was not cancelled, it appears that RMN will have eight containers worth ScanEagle UAS and its associated equipment on Stesen LIMA within the next few months.

I am not going to post the specifications of the second QN here as it is the same as the first one so if you want you can read it here again.

As Skuadron 601 has 12 ScanEagle UAS – from its own published pictures – it appears most of its assets will be based at Stesen LIMA for the foreseeable future.

I was told that the US has agreed to supply another six ScanEagles under the same Maritime Security Initiative, though it is unclear when they will be delivered.

Aludra Mk1. CTRM

For the record, Markas Angkatan Tugas Bersama 2 (ATB2) had operated the ScanEagle UAS from 2012 to 2016 under a company-owned, company operated (COCOM) contract with CTRM Sdn Bhd. The contract lapsed when the drones were lost in operations, one after the other (in a period of several months. The contract was for three ScanEagles which was operated in Kudat/Semporna area of operations.

ATB 2 now operate DJI Matrice UAS which were purchased under the Op Benteng UOR.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I wonder what’s the status of the MMEA’s Fulmars are ship operations ceased following a mishap. Are they operated from land?

    Thank in addition to the Spratlys I was expecting a few ScanEagles to be placed in ESSCOM; operating from the converted oil rigs or requisitioned MIC ships turned FOBs.

    If I recall correctly a few years ago a former RMN Chief stated that there were no plans to operate UASs from the LCS. On the CTRM ScanEagles apparently it wasn’t so much hazards posed by prevailing operational conditions but how they were flown by CTRM people.

  2. So from our own track record of using the scaneagle, we lost 3 airframes in the period of just several months from contract for 5 years.

    Should this be a lesson learnt on why we need to include Opex budget for attrition replacement of lost UAS, or to have additional airframes from day 1 to take into account of attrition losses?

  3. Haiqal – “What happen to aludra uav?”

    As dead as the Dodo, Houdini and Elvis. Look it up …

    It was limitations with Aludra which led to the CTRM leasing arrangement.

    … – “or to have additional airframes from day 1 to take into account of attrition losses”

    Add it to the long list of things we should do on paper but in reality don’t for a multitude of reasons …

    Like how replacements should be bought on time to avoid capability gaps; how people should be promoted based on merit and not due to internal politiking; how in a perfect world the armed services will fully operate jointly without any competition, bureaucracy and parochialism and how procurement should always be based on ensuring it benefits the end user and taxpayer rather than the local industry.

  4. “US has agreed to supply another six ScanEagles”
    Looks like Uncle Sam’s blue eyed boy worked his magic, within just 6 months he wrangled more. Hopefully he can further wrangle us some Javelins so we don’t need to buy them, or others essential equipment.

  5. I think there is a difference here with the operation of the Scaneagles. They were operated by CTRM years ago. I would say that the TLDM operators, who have trained by the US would be far more competent.

  6. Nothing to do with the blue eyed boy, lah, it was supposed to be 12 originally but six more were pledged shortly after that announcement back in 2017 but kept mostly low key. I was told by someone that he spoke with a Skuadron 601 personnel during LIMA 23, the six had already been delivered as well. Unfortunately, both RMN and the US Embassy in KL have not spoken about it publicly. Even the Skuadron itself has only shown publicly 12 Scan Eagles.

  7. Rock – “If Im not mistaken the ALUDRA UAV SR-10 variant still in service”

    Well you are mistaken.

    Tom Tom – “I think there is a difference here with the operation of the ScanEagles”

    Those were flown by CTRM people. Yes a major difference.

  8. “Unfortunately, both RMN and the US Embassy in KL have not spoken about it publicly. Even the Skuadron itself has only shown publicly 12 Scan Eagles.”
    Weird why so shy this time around, not like it could be politically damaging for either side. So meaning the 6 additional units are not in service on top the 12 that is known publicly? So total in home base is 10 units, with 8 based offshore.

    Still Im hoping he could wrangle us somemore US stuff, big ticket items would be good.

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