What’s in Store for MAF in 2016?

Deftech logo on the AV4.

SHAH ALAM: What’s in store for the Malaysian Armed Forces next year? Based on the 2016 budget I believe it will be a mixed year. Mixed as only the air force and the Army are getting some new kit while the navy is finally getting one of the two long delayed training ships.

There are development projects to be completed or handed-over in the new year but I am not purview to the locations and exact dates.

Gagah Samudera at the National Hydrography Centre. Picture taken on April 22, 2014
Gagah Samudera at the National Hydrography Centre. Picture taken on April 22, 2014

At MAF, the status quo will remained with changes only expected in mid 2017. Its the same at the ministry level as changes will occur after the GE14 and unlikely before.

MSN32/M54-02 taking off for a test flight at Seville on Dec 15. Airbus DS
MSN32/M54-02 taking off for a test flight at Seville on Dec 15. Airbus DS

As mentioned earlier, in 2016, the air force is taking delivery of at least two A400M transport planes (with the second M54-02 expected any time this week); 5 PC-7 Mark II turbo-trainers (mid year) and four EC120/HC120 helicopters, to be delivered within the year.

Pilatus PC 7 Mk II M50-08 of Pulatibang 1 landing at Subang on Aug 31, 2015.
Pilatus PC 7 Mk II M50-08 of Pulatibang 1 landing at Subang on Aug 31, 2015.

Before RMAF day on June 1, it will also have new leaders, both of whom are fighter pilots by training. The impending change in leadership have got the industry excited but with the economic uncertainties still hanging over the nation it is unlikely the MRCA will get the nod soon enough.

One of the first production model Gempita, fitted with the 25mm Bushmaster turret.
One of the first production model Gempita, fitted with the 25mm Bushmaster turret.

Like the air force, the army is also expected to have a leadership reshuffle within the new year though it is less predictable than the former. Much of the new kit expected are the new batches of the Gempita. According to the Hansard, a total of 40 Gempita has been delivered to the army so far.

It is likely that the Gempita delivered so far were limited to the 25mm Bushmaster turret variant. Gempita to be delivered this year are expected to include the 30mm and ATGM variants. As for numbers, it is unlikely to exceed the number already delivered.

Deftech AV4 in digital camo.
Deftech AV4 in digital camo.

The army is also expected to receive the first batch of 20 AV4s ordered this year, though the exact numbers remained unknown. As this vehicles are meant for ESSCOM operations, they are expected to be operated by the units stationed in the area.

Both services are also expected to operate the 4 Blackhawk helicopters to be donated by Brunei in the new year, armed with the mini-guns. The exact time when the joint unit will start operating remained uncertain at this moment, however.

RBAF S-70A Blackhawk helicopter.  USAF photo
RBAF S-70A Blackhawk helicopter. USAF photo

With more Nuris to be delivered this year (four already delivered), PUTD is also expected to stand up a new unit for this medium helicopters.

As for the navy, apart from the sole training ship, it is not expected to receive new capital assets in 2016. Most of the ships in service will receive enhancements but only minor ones unfortunately.

Mig-29N M43-03 flies together with a USAF F-22 Raptor at Cope Taufan 2014. 03 is one of the most pictured Fulcrum instantly reconigsable for its colourful fins simbolising the 17th Squadron,
Mig-29N M43-03 flies together with a USAF F-22 Raptor at Cope Taufan 2014. 03 is one of the most pictured Fulcrum instantly reconigsable for its colourful fins simbolising the 17th Squadron,

The new year will also be a time for reflections with three types of aircraft going into the history books though the exact dates remained uncertain. As reported before the Alouettes of Pulatibang 1 in Alor Setar is expected to be retired – in stages – with the introduction of the EC120/H120 early next year.

A drawing of PC 7 Mark I M33-25
A drawing of PC 7 Mark I M33-25

Another type used at Pulatibang 1, the PC-7 Mark 1s will also be retired in stages with the additional Mark IIs coming on line next year. Of course, the biggest fading away will be the Fulcrums.

That’s it for now, as we reflect on the last 12 months and celebrate the New Year, we must also keep an eye on the economy. Any further shocks will affect us all and it will not just be the security sector.

Happy New Year!

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1179 Articles
Shah Alam

8 Comments

  1. i like to read all of ur articles. very good info you have. as just ‘rakyat biasa’ I or majority of malaysian ‘might’ not know the important of our defence

    i want to ask one Q. if we have limited amount of money to spend why not ATM just look into the most important requirement only. Example if we really need the new mrca we pull all the resources to buy this item in rmk11.

    ini sana sikit, situ sikit…last2 keutamaan tak dapat pun.

    Reply
    Its not that easy because many important stuff have been put on hold for donkey years now, the MRCA requirement was already identified in 2000 but then we bought the Sukhois…

  2. “…eye on the economy. Any shock will affect us all…”

    Agreed. Hope that SG, China, USA and EU economic health getting better next year. As usual, almost all local traders I asked if there is a price increase next year answered, “Yes, RM drop so big, new inventory comes with higher price, don’t care if its import or Made in Malaysia,same-same go up…”

    Isn’t the Army standing up new light infantry battalions for Sarawak and Sabah starting 2016?

    Reply
    The plan is to have a single Rejimen Sempadan in Sarawak while another in Sabah and the ESSCOM briged so the 5th Division could be stood up. Whether funding is approved is something I am chasing…

  3. I understand that Deftech is assembling the Chaiseri First Win MRAP that is pictured.

    Does that mean that Deftech’s original in-house AV4 design has been cancelled?

    Reply
    Yes

  4. marhalim,
    I am sure that the MD530G and the Starstreak system will also start arriving in 2016 though the later part though.

    Everyone is predicting that 2016/17 will be a tough year economically. I guess mega purchases will be a no-no but rather purhases new/used that consolidate the capabilities will be in.

    MAF should be on the lokout for good used assets deals such Brunei Blackhawk. something that make sense and not stretch their budget further.

    For RMN, they just need to make sure that LCS goes on schedule so time to sit tight. Hopefully they get the budget to have both Samudera class commisioned this year,

    While the other nation around the region are spending like tomorrow in defense, the reality is our nation is currently dealing with an ‘external economic attack’ on top of a global slowdown.Further the threat in Sabah will not fade away because the element of revenge will always be there.

    Happy New Year to MAF & all readers

  5. I believe the MAF have decent assets already. Just maintain and improve the readiness level. Agree, LCS is pivotal to the overall development and the stance of the nation. Let us hope that everything will go as planned for the LCS. After that MRCA can be handled with more care. If SCS is the next scenario, 2 extra subs maybe required, not to mention sub tender. Now more than ever the need to go for homogenized fleet to bring costs down and availability up. Wishing Malaysian defence and ATM a safe and brighter year ahead.

  6. What are our detail wish list for 2016?

    Reply
    You get to check with the Armed Forces for that….

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