US offers M109 SPH to Malaysia

A file picture of the M109A5

SHAH ALAM: UNITED States has offered Malaysia up to 30 M109A5 Self Propelled Howitzer (SPH) under the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme. The M109s would be upgraded to the latest A5 standard before entering service with the Army, if the offer is taken up.

The upgrading could be done in the US or locally, industry sources told Malaysian Defence. It is likely around 20 SPH will be upgraded while the rest could be used as spares.

Malaysia has not been a keen EDA buyer previously as shown by the programme database, for reasons unknown. Therefore the likelihood that this offer being accepted remain low however even though bigger nations like Australia, Canada and even Singapore had used this route to get cheap spare parts for their assets.

A M109-A5 howitzer is offloaded and craned onto a trailer at the port in Punta Arenas, Chile, in December, 2014. The self-propelled howitzer was one of 12 purchased by the Chilean army through the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's foreign military sales program.
A M109-A5 howitzer is offloaded and craned onto a trailer at the port in Punta Arenas, Chile, in December, 2014. The self-propelled howitzer was one of 12 purchased by the Chilean army through the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command’s foreign military sales program.

Checks showed that the M109A5-standard uses the 39-caliber 155 mm M284 cannon in an M182 mount, which gave the variant a maximum range of 23,500 meters with unassisted projectiles and 30,000 meters with Rocket Assisted Projectiles (RAP Rounds).

The photo is a magazine compartment of a Paladin but it will be very similar to the A5 version of the M109. US Army photo
The photo is a magazine compartment of a Paladin but it will be very similar to the A5 version of the M109. US Army photo

The A5 variant can carry 36 complete rounds of ammunition and has a 440 hp engine instead of the standard 405 hp engine. The latest variant of the M109 in service with the US Army is the Paladin, referred to previously as the A6 or A7 variant.

US Army M109 Paladin
US Army M109 Paladin

It is also expected that SPH delivered will have upgraded fire control and other components under the deal, according to the industry sources. The deal is inclusive of in-service support which was the main reason the offer for the Mark V SOC was not taken up.

The EDA offer marked a big boost for the Army which had been wanting an SPH unit so it could stand up its first armoured brigade. On October 2, the 11th Kor Armor DiRaja – which operates the Pendekar MBTs and support tanks – were transferred to the Army’s Third Division. The unit was previously under the purview of the Army’s Field Command although it was stationed in the Third Division’s AOR. The transfer is seen as the first step towards the setting-up of the armoured brigade.

However, as reported previously by Malaysian Defence, the long-standing requirement for the SPH -either tracked or wheeled – will not be funded in the RMK11. As funds for SPH is not approved under RMK11, the EDA offer could be taken up under the Operating Expenditure (OE) budget in 2017 and 2018.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that despite this, the M109s faced a stiff competition, from another excess SPH, the PzH2000s, most likely from ex-German Army stocks. The PzH2000 is a more modern design than the M109s offered by the US. It is fitted with a L52 artillery gun, with a maximum range of 30 km with the standard L15A2 round,about 35 km with base bleed rounds, and at least 40 km with assisted projectiles.

Pzh 2000 SPH
Pzh 2000 SPH

However even used PzH2000s is more expensive than the M109s. It was reported that Croatia paid 41 million Euros (RM184 million) for twelve PZh2000 – modernised and overhauled with three used for spare parts together with a simulator and training and support trucks.

In 2011, Chile procured 12 M109A5s for some US$15.8 million (RM66.7 million) under the EDA programme, which covered the procurement, overhaul and upgrading as well as training and shipping costs. The Chilean already operated another 12 M109s procured separately from this deal.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The only problem is this M109A5 don’t have autoloading system. Because Malaysian Armed Forces easily fatigue, it’s hard to accept offer. But…… if Malaysian Goverment accept the offer and purchase it then they need to start to find some foreign nation to put autoloading system in M109A5. Despite budget woe, we better wait next year or another year.

    Note: Buy new autoloading system from Russian that use on their new SPH the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV could be in near future.

  2. We operate 155mm gun howitzers without autoloaders. The A5/6 series all support power ramming. If our gunners cannot handle 155mm projectiles, then they should stick to lighter ordnance. Any gun needs to be operable while degraded.

    We can wait till 2020 and there will still be no money.

    How are we going to buy anything Russian with MH17 unresolved?

  3. 30 M109A5 SPH,Good Offer but What About We Take 50 Ex-US Army M1A2SEP Abrams.We can Use to Advantage our targets.And I don’t Mind We Buy SPH From Any country.

  4. What about Denel? Does South African company offer us their SPH?

    As i remembered, other than G6-52 SPH, they have other SPH system that can be offered. The T5-52 is like a G5 towed artillery system mounted on the modified 8×8 Tatra truck chassis. The T6 turret is a G5 155mm 52 caliber turret systems that can be mounted on any suitable chassis such as T-72, Arjun etc. Both systems are based on the combat-proven 155mm 45 caliber G5 towed artillery system, and the same system are in MAF inventory. Get the idea, anyone???

    Until now, only Caesar wheeled SPH from France and K9 Thunder Tracked SPH from South Korea have undergone trial in Malaysia. The Caesar already in service with Thai and Indonesian while The K9 Thunder recently won tender to supply SPH for India.

    But US offer is also good and I not an expert here, but then again no harm to give opinion here. As long as this is a win-win situation and local company can support it, then proceed. This offer maybe just a stop gap until MAF gets what they truly want. For JUST my personal taste, South African Denel SPH system is the best for RAD…

    AFAIK SA Army don’t have excess SPH that they could offer to us like the Yanks and the Germans. They want of course to sell the truck mounted SPH but since these are new items simply there is no money for it.

  5. RMN top brass has made it quite clear that it dont want anymore gas type engine 4 its fleet so we can safely write off the perry’s. M1A2 Sep? Damn.. again with the gas guzzlers. Better go 4 2ndhand leclerc. Lighter, newer and got diesel too engine la bro. Imo we should take the sph offer. Its a good opportunity 4 the army to get a decent sph system. Dont use the “we got no money” excuse. Yes. We dont have enough money but bang, suddenly theres a 500 mil cntract 4 starstreak missiles? What da fish? But i bet u bro. If the chilean could get 12 m109 4 dirt cheap it will be a diff story 4 us. Must have extra cost punyala bro. Its just the malaysian way i think. If theres no profit to be made then they are not going to buy it la.. who cares about what the army need.

  6. It would be a quick and cheap route to get the m109s for the artillery support for the proposed armoured brigade.

    As for additional towed g5’s south africa has around 40+ stored g5, and Qatar is retiring its 12 g5.

  7. Its just the malaysian way i think. If theres no profit to be made then they are not going to buy it la.. who cares about what the army need.

    I personally couldn’t have agree with you more!

  8. G-5s are big and clumsy. The way to go is something lighter and something that can get into position and out faster; the M777.

  9. Recently so many fussy commentor asking the forum why dont buy f-22, why no aegis cruisee why no b-2 and I just keep laughing 🙂

    These EDA will likely end up the same fate like the Mk V soc as per Marhalim quoted before, because of in service support. Meaning that no local contractor will get the contract to maintain em, meaning no money for cronies. Malaysian armed force is managed by … thats all the reason for all the probs

    There was a proposal for the Mark V ISS but it was way too costly, that was the reason the offer was not taken up

  10. i have no idea why malaysia dont wanna build own tanks..planes..ships.. we\’ve been independent since 1957 till now.. that\’s just so many years and what we got is only IFV… if it takes so much budget at least create own guns… USA once been invaded by british/france (*idk) but when they achieved independent, they started to build their own weapon.. and now they are the most powerful military in the world.. if we dont a step we will achieve nothing! buying other\’s tanks and all that require more money that build our own…

    Why reinvent the wheel, the money could be used instead to develop things not all ready available.

  11. JimmySchoolboy,
    Market scale is one thing. The truth is, we Malaysian are incompetent to handle a complex project.

  12. Regarding the proposed 3rd armoured brigade.

    The known armoured/mechanized units are

    11 KAD – PT-91M
    14 RAMD – MIFV

    What is the other units to be added/converted to form the complete armoured brigade?

    I believed the composition of the first Armoured Brigade will composed of the 11 KAD, the 14 RAMD and the SPH batallion. The rest will be supporting units like GAPU, engineering, medical and a hq element. The second MBT battalion is for the second Armoured brigade.

    1 regiment of SPH (m109?)
    1 more battalion of MBT (more pt-91m?)

    It would seem that the army wants an all tracked armoured brigade.

  13. Take up the offer. Its the best for us. Of course, have more money, lets get the german system. Beggars cant be choosers right

  14. As for the artillery regiment modernisation.

    The g5 155mm artillery is heavy compared to the m777, but it is a quite recent buy. At least it has a slow selfpropelled capability. Right now there is only 1 regiment of 155mm artillery. Additional regiment of 155mm artillery in East malaysia would be good, even with used g5’s. To get m777 would mean phasing out the g5 and spending money on new m777’s.

    The astros equipped mlrs regiments (now 2) are employed as strategic weapons. There is a further 1 astros regiment on order. Any date on those additional astros?

    Regarding the 105mm pack howitzers. Its close support and direct fire capability was a good thing to have. But current use of heavy weapons in standard infantry battalions such as rpg7 makes direct fire capability of the pack howitzers quite redundant. As indirect fire weapon, probably the pack howitzers could be substituted with lightweight 120mm mortars?

    Yes it will be good deal if we go for more 120mm mortars, lightweight or not. However, retiring the 105mm howitzers without getting more 155mm guns first will not work.

  15. If the army wants all tracked SPH, why not put T6-52 turret from Denel onto PT-91M chassis? You got tracked SPH, you ease the logistic, and maybe TOT from South African.

    If we got extra money, better go with the K9 Thunder from South Korea. But still not bad to take this offer along with what SPH the army truly wants.

    Just my sekupang…

  16. TNI grabbed F16 and then upgraded to block 52 under EDA. A bit sad the US only offers ATM used M109 SPH which can be upgraded to the latest standard.

    Although there are some negative comment if TUDM asked for used F18 under EDA, but I strongly support this. If the used F16 can be upgraded so can the used F18. Asked at least 10+2 for spareparts.

    For the M109 SPH just take them unless gomen has a better way to buy a better SPH.

    Unfortunately most of the Hornets in US service are mostly used for carrier landings which really caused the airframe much more stress than just normal high hour flights, so it will not be a good idea getting it from them. So thats why its better to get used Hornets from other users, hint, Kuwait.

  17. Radin – ”Because Malaysian Armed Forces easily fatigue, it’s hard to accept offer”

    Irrespective of whether the gunner is from Kota Marudu, is anorexic and weights 55 kilos or is from Sioux City, is 95 kilos and has bulging forearms and biceps; both are going to tire out if required to load ammo on a prolonged basis. Also, in this day and age, fire mission tend to be brief to avoid counter battery fire, Gone are the days when guns use to have fire missions lasting for hours.

    Zaidi – ”Who’s the intended enemy here?”

    There doesn’t have to be an ”enemy”.

    Buying new gear for the Royal Artillery Corps should be seen in the overall context of on going efforts to modernise the MAF; irrespective of whether there’s an enemy or not.

    Jimmy Schoolboy – ”i have no idea why malaysia dont wanna build own tanks..planes..ships.. we\’ve been independent since 1957 till now.. that\’s just so many years and what we got is only IFV…

    Think ….

    Even if we had the know how; can we sell enough to achieve economics of scale? If a local product is more expensive and is not as capable as a foreign product; do we buy the local product just to support the local industry or do we buy the cheaper and more capable foreign product? Priority must be ensuring the MAF gets the desired capability, not ensuring we build up the local industry at the expense of the MAF and the taxpayer.

    …….. – ”The g5 155mm artillery is heavy compared to the m777, but it is a quite recent buy.”

    Guns such as the G-5 are yesterday’s guns: too heavy and too cumbersome. The way to go is with lightweight guns such as the M777 which can be laid faster and moved in and out faster despite not having an APU. Denel has been working on a lightweight 155mm gun, not sure if it’s now on offer. The first order for G-5s was in 2002; back then there were no lighter alternatives, now there is.

  18. Just as important, in fact more important, than the actual gun is the need for the Royal Artillery Corps to keep up with the times. New guns lead to the need for a new doctrine to employ those new guns in our operational conditions alongside other stuff we operate.

    No point having new guns if we don’t improve the way we do things : cutting down the time rounds fall on target from the moment a FOO gets a request; improving the ability to rapidly shift targets and to hit time sensitive targets; improving how we detect targets [no point having ”firepower” and ”range” if we can’t see a target and ensure that rounds fired actually hits the target], increasing the number of people in platoon, company and battalion level who are trained to call in fire; making sure arty units get regular time in training alongside the units they are supposed to support, etc.

  19. Out of topi
    I saw a couple mig27 at Kuching International Airport today. Any idea in what’s the occasion?

    if it was really Floggers I would also be stoked! Anyway it’s normal for the Fulcrums to fly to Sabah/Sarawak on TDY as other RMAF jets

  20. Marhalim,
    Is EDA really ‘free’? Maybe we should ask the US for some 100 M-60 mbt plus M-60 related recovery, bridgelayer and 300 M-113. After all according to Wiki, thousands of them are ‘mothballed’ and waiting to be activated. Those are the cheap ones (presumably ‘cheap’) to refurbish.
    I am not too keen on EDA aircraft as I still remember what happened with the A-4PTM.
    And some ships too,if I’m not mistaken there is still 1 or 2 Newport class available.

    No its not really free. Even if its been in the desert for 20 years, you need to pay for the shipping. Refurbishment is at your own costs.
    No one wants the M60s or the M113s, these things are really old stuff, like the Newport ships. If we want MBTs, there M1A2s available though as had been said before, gas guzzlers and a real …as it weighs nearly 80 tonnes!

  21. Saw them Mig 29 x 2 just now at KIA…Didnt they joined the ex. in Labuan with the others? Aggressor perhaps?

    No, Eks Paradise ended on Nov 22. The Mig 29s were on QRA during the Asean summit.

  22. Could you elaborate on planned Armoured Brigade? I read 14 RAMD became fully Mekanized, so will two bataillons in Seremban also be Mekanized? Because they all belong together in Briged Pertama. And 11 KAD will be put under Briged Pertama command as well?

    AFAIK only the 14 RAMD will be the mechanised unit in the planned Armoured Brigade. The other battalions are issued with limited number of KIFVs for familiarisation only, in case they need to deploy to ESSCOM as replacements for the units currently there. No plans to re-equip the whole unit with them. It is likely that 11 KAD will be the lead battalion of the armoured brigade.
    It must be noted that the priority now is to set up the battalions for the Fifth Division in Sabah, they need two extra brigades , one Regiment Sempadan (at least three battalion and brigade Hq) and one Infantry Regiment (same units as the Sempadan). As the name implies it will be mostly light infantry units though the third regiment is expected to be the composite regiment with its own armour, artillery and other supporting units. Dont get excited when I said armour, it will not be MBTs but APCs like the AV4, Gempita. and KIFVs. Thats why I said we should look at ABMs now…

  23. Thank you for the answer Marhalim. And sorry, my browser tells me “error” when I try to submit a message, so I might have send the same text like 5 times..

    I don’t see a use for MBT anyway. For Sempadan duty light armor is way more useful. Abu Sayyaf and Zulu Army wont attack with mechanized armour so why would we need MBTs in Sabah? 😉

  24. The problems we had with our Skyhawks had nothing to do with the fact that they were pre-owned. All went through quite an intensive upgrade. We were lucky with our Newport as it was in every good condition when were acquired it. Other pre-used American stuff we got were M-102s; these are still used for ceremonial purposes. Buying 40 year old M-60s and M-113s is a bad idea; as is operating 2 types of MBTs.

  25. Self sufficiency is a myth. Even if you make a platform, you’ll never make the sub systems and all their sub parts (and their parts) yourself. No country can or it would be prohibitively expensive.

    Land based Hornets are not necessarily landed gently. The aircraft is still made for hard landings and the pilots have no need to be gentle, especially if they practice short field arrested landings. There was an F-18 pilot who forgot that he was flying the Navy’s F-16N aggressor aircraft. When he put it down hard, the landing gear collapsed.

    onox: Considering the size of the Sabah theater, land vehicles will never get anywhere in time to respond to an intrusion. They will be useful if the intruders stay and fight (not likely). But intruders are more likely to engage in quick in and out kidnappings, killings or other terrorist activity.

    “Also, in this day and age, fire mission tend to be brief to avoid counter battery fire,”

    True. Also because targeting procedures have become more precise and ISR assets are more capable. The guns themselves are more accurate. As a result, ammunition expenditure has fallen.

  26. if SPH cost too much, would a cheap MLRS system be considered?. With GPS guidance option (like the 122mm), perhaps it could be made to work effectively.

    It could but it cannot offer direct fire capability which the SPH does. That said I am not an artilleryman

  27. AM: I never claimed anything otherwise.

    cheekucai: Guns and missiles never fully replace each other, both have distinct roles and pros and cons. Missile artillery is much more costly (cost per missile vs. cost per artillery grenade), so I doubt a MLRS will be cheaper than a 2nd-hand SPH in the long run. Gun artillery is much more useful for operational support and the ‘everyday tasks’ of an artilleryman. Missile more useful in pre-planned strikes or deep support like counter-battery fire. In general, even though many here disregard sustained fire support operations, and claim that shoot-and-scoot firing missions is the future, I disagree. Don’t get caught up in technological wet dreams. Even hightech enemy army will not have artillery hunting radar and counter-batteries available at all times, so extended fire mission are definitely part of an artilleryman’s task and will be so in the future. For Malaysia, classic howitzers will be part of the inventory for many years. In terms of modernity, the actual advantage of the M777 vs the G5 will be irrelevant in many situations. As I said, don’t get caught up in technological wet dreams. Artillery unit with M777 is not “stronger” than artillery unit with G5 howitzer in most situations, if everything else like training, information network, etc. is the same, both will perform similar in majority of situations. If you need mobile artillery support, you need SPH, if static extended support is enough, it doesn’t matter whether its G5 or M777 or whatever. We don’t fly M777 into the mountains of Afghanistan hanging from a Chinook helicopter, we will tow it to its position by truck, and truck will go same speed no matter if it pulls M777 or G5.

    Because its lighter the M777 can be towed by a smaller, cheaper truck.

  28. If the army is really interested with cheap,new towed gun to quickly armed the RAD, South Korea offered KH-179, a modernized version of the M114. TNI bought 18 of those for less than 1 million USD.

    They also offered a cheap alternative to our aging pack howitzer,the KH-178

    Until the discussions on the merits of the 155 or 105 is settled no funding will be issued even if money is available

  29. Onox – ” Artillery unit with M777 is not “stronger” than artillery unit with G5 howitzer in most situations,”

    Who said anything about ”stronger”?

    Lightweight new generation guns like the M777 are smaller and lighter; which in turn equates with being easier and faster to move in and out of position – which is precisely why armies are now going for such guns. Guns like the G-5 and GHN-45 are excellent guns but they are also yesterday’s guns – they have been replaced by newer, more practical designs. The design of the M777 enables it to be moved in and out faster even though it has no APU!

    Onox – ” and claim that shoot-and-scoot firing missions is the future, I disagree. Don’t get caught up in technological wet dreams.”

    The Iraqi artillery units in 1991 who didn’t move fast enough and were plastered; will not agree with you. The Shia militias who didn’t move their mortars fast enough because the Yanks were able to put rounds on target in 25 seconds will disagree with you.

    It all depends on who you’re fighting against – there is NO set rule.
    If you’re up against an adversary who has similar arty and radar; staying in position for extended periods would be silly. If however you’re up against an adversary who can’t hit back then you can do things you wouldn’t normally do – a prime example would be the Dutch Panzerhaubitze 2000s that stayed in placed for extended periods whilst in Uruzgan because the Talibs couldn’t hit back or M-109s who hardly ”shooted and scooted” because Hezbollah couldn’t hit back. IN 2001 even the Thai GHN-45s ”shot and scooted” for fear Myanmar 130mms would hit back. TheThais off course had bad memories from facing Lao D-30s in the 190’s.

    Not ”technological wet dreams” but operational realities which determine how people go about doing things. There is still a need for sustained fire missions BUT it depends entirely on the operational circumstances. One major factor that has done away with sustained fire ops is not only because armies are smaller now [compared to decades ago] BUT they tend not to be hiding or be protected under the type of fortifications we saw in WW2 or even something like the bunkers the IDF had along the Bar Lev line.

  30. Both the 105 n 155 have separate roles. The 105 is for shorter range engagements while the 155 hasxa longer range n can be utilised for strategic strikes105 is like for pre assault fire suppression

  31. Azlan, you see no opposition from me there because we completely agree on basic picture. Well, off course there is a place for highly mobile shoot-and-scoot operations. That is exactly what I wrote up there, read again. We completely agree on basic picture, but we have different conclusion when it comes to TDM needing to replace G5. For me I see no reason to push for replacement on arbitrary grounds. G5 takes longer to displace after firing, but not infinitely longer, and M777 may displace quicker, but not infinitely quicker. Like I said, in many situation is no practical difference. There is more urgent questions in TDM than replace G5 howitzers. Oh, and snarky comment about Iraqi soldiers and Shia militias and other random artillery ops during past campaigns that had nothing to do with my point? Well, put it like this: M777 is quick enough to place, conduct firing mission, and displace when enemy artillery hunting radar and counter battery is in place? US soldiers will disagree with you.

  32. onox – ”Oh, and snarky comment about Iraqi soldiers and Shia militias and other random artillery ops during past campaigns that had nothing to do with my point? ”

    The ”snarky” comments was in reference to what you previously posted – ” and claim that shoot-and-scoot firing missions is the future, I disagree. Don’t get caught up in technological wet dreams.”

    You may think it had nothing to do with your point; I think otherwise.

    onox – ”US soldiers will disagree with you.”

    Really?? Because you think so or because you’ve actually asked?

    I’ve actually asked; on ”Defence Talk”. Individuals in this forum who claim to be serving or ex-military have to provide the administrators with actual proof before they can make a claim of being ex or serving military. There are least a 3 people there who have had actual experience on the M777 and who are of the opinion that it’s way ahead of anything they’ve previously operated and that its main plus point is its lighter weight. There is also a promotional video by BAE Systems in which a gun crew arty is full of praise with the M777 saying its lighter weight makes a big difference and that they can move it faster when compared to the M198.

    If faced with someone who has already determined their location and is ready to put rounds on target; them obviously the crew of an M777 or any other howitzers will not be able to leave in time BUT by virtue of the M777 or similar new generation howitzers coming on the market, being lighter and less cumbersome, compared to legacy howitzers, it makes it easier and faster to move it into position, to lay it and to move it out – irrespective of whether one is expecting counter battery fire or not; time is always of the essence when moving into or out of firing positions.

    There is a reason why why several countries have bought the M777 and why other companies are now concentrating on similar weight and sized howitzers.

    onox – ” For me I see no reason to push for replacement on arbitrary grounds. ”

    Neither do I see a reason to immediately replace it.

    IF however we see a need to augment the numbers of towed arty we have; it would be silly to get more get more G-5s or guns that are similar in size and weight to it; when there are newer designs available, ones that can do the job of a G-5 but are lighter and less cumbersome. The G-5 anyhow probably won’t be marketed beyond a few more years as Denel is in the midst of developing a ”lightweight” 155mm howitzer, one that has the same or better firing characteristics of the G-5 but one that is smaller and less cumbersome. The G-5 we operate is heavier than earlier models as it has added stuff, including a barrel temperature monitor – according to Wiki [which I’m not quite fond off] it weights 13,750 kg [not sure if the weight given is for the Mk1, Mk2 or Mk3]. The M777 in comparison weights 4,200 kg.

  33. “…and claim that shoot-and-scoot firing missions is the future, I disagree. Don’t get caught up in technological wet dreams.” –> It is a technological wet dream to think that every fire mission can be realized with a quick shoot-and-scoot. Sometimes you simply need to stand firm and lay harrassment or suppression for prolonged period. This wont be different in future. Thus pushing for more mobile system often will make no difference. You try to bend my argument, you try to imply that I say “Shoot-n-scoot is useless”, you try to imply that I say “Artillery should always be in position for prolonged period, quick displacement never necessary.”. I never say that. Iraqi soldiers who get pounded by US counter battery should have displaced much quicker, no doubt, no argument. But you think they would have survived with M777?

    M777 is mobile in strategic deployment. It is light, can be carried by helo over vast distances very quickly. Crews love it, off course they do, it is a magnificent weapon system. But are crews safer from enemy fire with it? Its not shoot-and-scoot weapon system, BAe does not market it as shoot-n-scoot weapon system and the US Army does not deploy it as shoot-n-scoot weapon system. It is expeditionary howitzer with focus on light weight. Why does it exist? Because US Army deploys globally, yet can’t always bring Paladin, and often, Paladin simply unncessecary, because field howitzer will do. Hence US Army need for lightweight field howitzer. Result: M777. TDM no such need. I stand with argument: M777 no relevant increase of Rejimen Artileri Diraja performance in almost every scenario. Thus I disagree with argument G5 is obsolete, it isn’t. Would be silly to buy more G5 or go for replacement system like M777 in the future? Maybe yes, maybe no. If unit price is scaled down and M777 just as cheap, yes than nothing wrong with buying M777 or similar. But if TDM is going to pay more for M777 compare to more G5, they will be paying more for questionable operational advantage from Malaysian point of view. Malaysian soldiers and US soldiers simply have different operational outlook.

  34. Lee – ” The 105 is for shorter range engagements ”

    Indeed and various armies [including Singapore] have totally done away with 105mm guns. In Britain the only remaining operator of 105mm guns [Light Gun] are the Royal Marines; makes sense given that the Royal Marines tend too operate in areas where the movement and laying of larger guns may be dicey. As far as I’m aware the only remaining U.S. operator of 105mm guns is the 101 Airborne – the Light Gun is designated M119. 10th Para off course operates Model 56s and an arguement can be made that the ability to drop a Model 56 on a pallet is a plus point – how likely a Model 56 will actually have to be air dropped is off course the question. Fitted on a pallet, the gun is not prone to damage as stuff like the optics are taken off; the main problem is the gun landing in the wrong place.

    Lee – ” strikes105 is like for pre assault fire suppression”

    Actually it depends on ones operational requirements. Take the TNI-AD as an example, for many decades its main focus was internal security; thus it never had a need for 155mm guns and has only recently got some. Thailand in contrast was very worried about the Vietnamese moving westwards and from the 1970’s already had a fairly large 155mm inventory. The Thais off course were on the receiving end of Lao 122mm fire in the late 1980’s.

  35. Onox – ”You try to bend my argument, ”

    Not sure about you but I’m not in the business of bending arguements for the sake of doing so.

    Onox – ”But you think they would have survived with M777?”

    No. It was in reference to the need to scoot and the ability of certain armies to respond with counter battery very fast. Irrespective of whether one can move in time to avoid counter battery or not; having a gun weighting 4,200 kg offers several advantages over one that is 13,750 kg.

    Onox – ” US Army does not deploy it as shoot-n-scoot weapon system”

    When there is a need, operators will ”shoot and scoot”; depends on the circumstances. At the end of the day they will obviously ”shoot and scoot” better with an M109 than with an M777 but the design and weight of the M777 makes it faster to move – not so much to avoid counter battery fire but to move into position and to lay. A lighter gun is also easier to transport – compared to legacy guns like the M198; which is precisely why the M777 has become a popular choice for several armies.

    Onox – ”Result: M777. TDM no such need.”

    Actually, the Malaysian army has no plans at all to get additional
    G-5s and it’s not solely due to funding issues.

    Onox – ”I stand with argument: M777 no relevant increase of Rejimen Artileri Diraja performance in almost every scenario. ”

    I stand by my statement : the M777 offers no advantages over legacy guns like the G-5 BUT offers advantages in many areas which is precisely why several armies have ordered it and why other companies, apart from BAE Systems, will soon be offering their own lightweight designs. One does not have to be an expeditionary type army to want the advantages new generation lightweight 155mm guns offer.

  36. P.S. the M777 offers no advantages in ”fire power” over legacy guns like the G-5 ….

  37. Onox,

    Artillery units are huge investments in cost. Besides the guns themselves, the manpower, time and development of effective doctrine are very costly. Are you telling us you want to handicap this enormous effort, just because one capability is not useful some times?

    What happens when it is necessary? You are reducing an otherwise independent asset to dependence on another asset and unit.

    Another point is that all towed objects, as they get heavier, are more likely to get stuck in rough ground and take time to extract. This can lead to mission failure or destruction if caught in the open.

  38. Also, the fact that they have Palidin has no effect on the decision to get M777. The M777s fulfils a need for a lighter gun to eventually replace the M198. Ecen if armies dont have an expeditionary role or dont regulatly have sling a gun under a heli; they still desire a lighter gun. Guns like the G-5 (based on Bull’s GHN-45) were designed in the 70’s.

  39. Admin, how about the AHS KRAB sph?
    Pt 91 chasis,nato ammo,new,not secondhand
    I think we should try for it,

    Who is going to pay for it? BTW do you know the PT-91 chassis was abandoned and the Poles are using K9 Thunder chassis for the AHS KRAB now?

  40. M777 is most certainly not faster into and out of action than a G5 which has an APU and does not require to be manhandled.
    The primary rationale behind the ULWFH was aeromobility and specifically the ability to be slung under a V-22 Osprey that the USMC had bet the farm on at one time.

    Indeed for many years, US tube artillery was regarded as quaintly outdated. It still is in many ways.

    The M777 really doesn’t do all that well when towed over long distances. Clunky, heavy and heavily overbuilt gun carriages can be towed day in and day out without any adverse effects. Which is why the preferred method of moving M777s is on flatbeds.

  41. I suppose it boils down to making trade offs. A lighter gun may not be as durable – the Model 56 comes to mind – when moving long distances over road, especially bad roads but the lighter weight does offer advantages, even if one does not plan to air lift one’s howitzers. The G-5 is a great gun but one problem we face with it is its weight and size. The model we have is the Mk3, which because it has several improvements, is slightly heavier than the Mk1 and 2.

    What are your views on the 105mm? Do you think there is still a place for it or should we switch to 155mms [assuming we can ever afford it] and only leave 105mms in the hands of units like 10 Para?

  42. As for the 105mm guns, I am thinking of a more widespread adoption of the 120mm mortars as their replacement.

    As for the 155mm heavy artilleries like the g5, good tactical strategy could offset its perceived non mobility. We are not operating in inhabited deserts or wide open plains that the enemy can go through. Excess to thousands of school football fields across malaysia is more than adequate to set up firing positions. If the 155mm howitzer can’t go there (say think dense forest in the mountain range of borneo), it can be assured that the enemy brigade sized formation could not too.

    Local council football fields are ok for firing positions, but not those belong to schools

  43. Maybe we could give the 105s to wataniah, and form their very own artillery regiment. Yes I agree with …, i’m more inclined to a more widespread adoption of 120mm mortar, especially self-propelled mortar for the mechanized and armoured regiments. Also, instead of the open top mortar carriers variants like one of the Adnan variant, a turreted, breech loading systems like the Finnish NEMO and AMOS would be nice. I think Norinco has a similar system, I read about it in Tempur a long time ago, but can’t recall the name.

  44. A 120mm mortar can fulfill some of the tasks a 105mm gun performs but it can never totally replace a 105mm gun. If we do get 120mms to be organic to infantry units; minimum they should be distributed at battalion level, which in turn will necessitate the need to keep them feed with adequate amounts of ammo. Having them at brigade level will probably result in units not getting the needed support in time.

    Assuming we get into a conflict with a state actor, most the fighting will probably take place in an urban and semi urban environments as well as places like palm oil states : places with good roads or roads decent enough for vehicles to operate on. The problem here will not be so much in finding suitable areas to lay a gun but in moving fast enough to avoid counter battery fire and other issues.

    It remains to be seen if the army intends to get more towed 155mm guns – this will probably be the case both for operational reasons and for costs [no way we can ever afford to have the number of SPHs we desire]. I have no idea what towed guns we’ve been eyeing – if any – but I do know we made a decision quite a while back not to get anymore G-5s.

    For me, the main focus should be on improving the way we do things – from organisation, to the length it takes to respond to a fire request, to how we go about ensuring we find targets and hit what we aim at.

  45. In the end boiling down to assessment of lightweight howitzers versus more conventional design.
    Azlan argues, lightweight howitzers are next step in the evolution of howitzers in general. Every artillery corps should look at them, to keep up in competition.
    I argue, they are special tool for special requirement. Only armies with expeditionary character really need them, because usually more expensive but rarely more useful.

    I understand Azlan’s point, I see that sometimes lightweight will be useful for non-expeditionary like TDM, but I stand by that it not worth investment. He argue differently, but maybe he now also see my point a little more, even if he stand with his position. That what debate is about. Very boring if we always agree right?

  46. Onox – ”they are special tool for special requirement.”

    Not all of the countries who bought or are going to buy the M777 focus on expeditionary type roles or have a requirement to have it slung under an aircraft. Anything with a smaller footprint is valued and if something with a smaller footprint can do the job of bigger/heavier stuff; then obviously there will be interest. Everything comes with a trade off.

    Onox – ” but I stand by that it not worth investment.”

    What investment exactly? Is the operating costs of the M777 or other lightweight howitzers that will come in the market more expensive than that of larger/heavier guns like the G-5, GHN-45, FH2000 or M198? Do crews require specialised training; beyond what they need to operate any other gun? Will new generation lightweight guns cost much more than the G-5 [which is not cheap in the first place].

    With regards to the M777; what really drives its cost up is the ”Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System” – but there’s no way around this; if you want to get the most ”bang” out of you’re gun, you need a decent Fire Control and C2 system.

  47. The current standard infantry battalion formation with an organic fire support company has given the malaysian infantry battalions plenty of firepower for fire support. So in my opinion the 120mm mortars at brigade level (an artillery regiment consists of 3 batteries, so that in an essence 1 battery per infantry battalion) is more than adequate as a replacement of the 105mm howitzers (by the way the 105mm regiments are also attached to at the brigade level).

  48. Our artillery establishment is gloriously antiquated and wonderfully inflexible. You can see this primarily in the organization which remains regimental (battalion equivalent) for supporting functions (meteo, fire direction, logistics).

    Each Brigade should essentially have a universal Fire Support Battalion HQ and HQ Co that can support between 3-5 batteries that are diverse and complementary, e.g. 2 x 120mm, 2 x 155mm and 1 x MRL.

    The Batteries are generated from their respective regimental depots as needed. So you would essentially have one Fire Support Battalion per Brigade supported by a number of Special Purpose Fire Support Battalions for higher echelon and specialist taskings.

    RAD would have a Markas HQ to generate the HQ, HQ Co and Support capabilities.

    Each artillery specialty (mortar, light, medium, MRL) would have their own depot. Training and force generation occurs here but they fight in the mixed Fire Support Battalions.

  49. ……. – ”The current standard infantry battalion formation with an organic fire support company has given the malaysian infantry battalions plenty of firepower for fire support. ”

    Indeed but not all the battalions have been converted to BIS and giving each section an LMG, a Milkor and shoulder launched weapons [MILKOR operators and those carrying shoulder launched weapons still have to carry their M-4s; as does the radio man] is great but in reality it also increases the need for the section to be adequately re-supplied to feed its hungry weapons and off course gives the men more weight to carry. In many sections, 60mm mortars are also standard; used mainly for illumination. Personally I feel that the sections are too small but the number of men in each section is ultimately dictated by the number of men that can be carried by an ADNAN and AV-8.

    On paper, 120mm mortars should be at battalion level; making it easier for the unit to get the needed mortar support. Problem is, logistics also enters the picture.

    ……. – ”(an artillery regiment consists of 3 batteries, so that in an essence 1 battery per infantry battalion)”

    Given the number of Close Support Regiments and the number of infantry units there are; I doubt there’s enough Model 56s to go around in the unlikely event we get in a situation where the bulk of the army is committed with each unit needing arty support. We originally bought about 110 Model 56s [the last order was in 1982] but it’s to be expected that some may have been binned for various reasons.

    During the 2nd Emergency – for obvious reasons – a lack of guns was never a major issue. Getting the guns in place – to support units based in isolated areas – was the problem; as was reliable comms due to geography. It was very common for units on ops to sometimes be supported by only a single or pair of guns.

    Like the rest of the army[with a few exceptions] the Royal Artillery Corps is still a product of the 2nd Emergency; hence the need for various changes to be made to keep up with the times.

    Anas – ”a turreted, breech loading systems like the Finnish NEMO and AMOS would be nice.”

    Problem is they cost and arm and leg and with regards to AMOS; 2 barrels might be an overkill for our needs.

  50. What I meant is each BIS has their own “kompeni bantuan”, which is basically their own fire support company (usually the D company) with heavy machine guns, 81mm mortars and anti-tank missiles. And that is additional to the increased firepower of the infantry sections.

  51. “Anas – ”a turreted, breech loading systems like the Finnish NEMO and AMOS would be nice.”

    Problem is they cost and arm and leg and with regards to AMOS; 2 barrels might be an overkill for our needs.”

    There’s plenty of single barrel solutions out there, the NEMO is in fact a single barrel version of the AMOS. The 2R2M mortar carrier variant of the Adnan and the AV8 with the open top leaves the crew vulnerable to counter arty. Yes it might cost arm and leg, but the AV8 with its plethora of variants already see to that, the rationale of having three different calibre turrets is baffling to me.

  52. ‘an artillery regiment consists of 3 batteries, so that in an essence 1 battery per infantry battalion’

    Well actually in TD an arty regt are divisional troops. Like the sappers and cavalry, arty are controlled by the div commander. Each bty nominally supports a brigade — the basic manouvre unit in TD, cf with div in US Army, albeit they’ve also employed bde as basic manouvre unit as in the Stryker bdes — though of course there’s nothing to stop the div cdr from ordering regimental fire to support a single bde.

    It is nonsense to say RAD are a product of the 2nd Emergency. They started as a conventional arm from the get go — they have to be, they’re arty — and have been ‘conventional’ since the 80’s when TD decided to place more emphasis on CW. If the TD were stuck with 2nd Emergency and CIW mentality, we’ll be talking about mortar regts.

    As for infantry sections, I think the strength is about right with mobility balanced with firepower. TD have a ‘triangular’ organisation from bn right up to corps.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding about employment of arty and how conventional war is conducted. Going by the comments, some think a battalion or indeed a section is going to fight alone! In conventional war it’s unkijely for a bn, much less a section, to be employed alone. As I’ve said, it’s the bde that’s employed with supporting arms from div. So don’t worry too much about arty at section level. It’ll be provided by the battery supporting the brigade to the battalion that the section is part of. In the case of the Mechs, the vehicle also carries a big stick.

  53. So much argument on what arty pieces to be bought or to be begged.if money is not enough why buy things that are out of the arty regiment inventory…..if we have G5 why not expand those inventory same goes for the MLRS….or the current 105 mm.MAF really need is more long arms to shoot direct or indirect fire.think flexbility…these arty pieces will be use as coastal defence denying enmy troops from landing into our shore…..shoots any intruders before they enter the land boaders.Any enemy that is able to penetrate the boaders signaling the failure of coastal defence by arty bombardment….

  54. Red Sot – ”think flexbility…these arty pieces will be use as coastal defence denying enmy troops from landing into our shore”

    What scenario will there be in which enemy [state actors] troops will land on our shores? Assuming we wanted to use our artillery or MLRS in an anti-maritime role; the main problem would be locating the targets, which will be moving and trying their best not to be detected and hit.

    Red Sot – ”if we have G5 why not expand those inventory same goes for the MLRS…”

    It’s NOT the hardware which is the main issue BUT how we go about doing things and how the Royal Artillery Corps can keep up with the times in terms of organisation, doctrine, etc…

    Red Sot – ”or the current 105 mm”

    In case you’ve noticed; there has been much debate about the usefulness of 105mm guns which is why several armies have concentrated on 155mm guns. As for the ”expanding” ”the current 105 mm”; I doubt if the army would want to buy a design dating from the 1960’s and one that lacks robustness when towed over rough terrain [the main reason Britain, Australia and NZ retired their Model 56s] when there are newer designs available. Oto Melara still offers the Model 56 for sale [as does Norinco with it’s copy] but there is a reason why hardly anyone has made recent orders…..

  55. Let me see my crystal ball…..even singapore a small country have limited number of amx-10RC its an amphbious apc…or maybe some of us know better anyway its for me to know n for u guys to find out the purpose of it…indons have their amphbious bmp….or its not meant for beach landing but maybe for toying around with russian stuff…so do thailand…vietnam…philinas…maybe dome of us might think these doctrine are old school but if executed properly maybe most of the top brass will be caught with their sarongs down….my sekupang…war is full of tricks no body play by the rules like some of us might think….keep thinking beyound the box guys…just look at ur latest incident even old weapons of the 70s suddenly being used in the 21 century….so u tell me…

  56. Redsot, i think there are many other instances where amphibious capability could be useful other than beach landing. Besides, with the exception of singapore and indonesia, most asean navies lack landing platforms. The indonesian needed their amphibious fleet because the whole nation is an archipelago. The singaporean needed theirs because they have frequent overseas trainings.

  57. Based on my knowledge, user must consider which SPH has strong point in ILS because military system needs to be operated at least more than 30 years. Without proper ILS plan, the system will be good for nothing. At the view of this, unfortunately PzH2000, has no mass production anymore. When they sold used PzH2000 to Lituania, they provided 3 PzH2000s for spare parts. It means German PzH 2000 aren’t in good ILS status. In addition CAESER which was procured by Thailand and Indoneisia, the user has some headache due to bad logistic support. In the fact, many wheeled system produced only few vehicles. So how can we expect stable ILS for above mentioned systems ?

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