The Great Escape?

PETALING JAYA: Several years back when Lima was held in November (mostly due to the fasting month most of the flight days were either rained out or downgraded due to low clouds. This year’s Lima is being held in December – 6 to 8 which traditionally for Langkawi is a good time for air shows.

But 2011 is different however. With Thailand still underwater and with Malaysian Meteorological Department (warning slow to upload) warning of heavy rains and floods, one has to wonder whether brollies should be the order of the day.

With some 54 planes taking part including Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale and RTAF Gripens taking part (apart from a sizable RMAF contingent together with RSAF) I have the feeling that this year’s event will be a wash-out, and I am not just talking about the weather!

The word is no Major contract will be signed during Lima. MOUs a plenty, spare parts deals and leasing might be in the works but apparently no SGPV/LCS or what I called frigate contract.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2149 Articles
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  1. LIMA is just too close to the Singapore Air Show (14-19 February 2012). And with most defence companies cutting back on their participation in defence-related shows, it is likely that many will skip the ‘minor’ events and put their time and money into the larger events. Some are even skipping the premier events. Northrop Grumman, one of the top 5 US defence contractors, announced last month that they will be skipping Farnborough 2012.

    One does need to think about the Sing show. DSA is just five months away! but Bae Systems, Dassault, DCNS and the other companies involved in selling to Malaysia will have attend Lima albeit with smaller budget

  2. I will be participating this years LIMA, so hopefully it will not flood… Expecting some rain, but not flood….

    Hope to have change to meet you Halim.. 🙂

  3. Also forgot to mention the Dubai show going on now. LIMA is being overshadowed.

    In other news…

    Austria To Sell, Scrap Two-Thirds of Its Tanks

    “Further models, such as the more modern Leopard tanks, will be put up for sale”

    IMO, we should put in a bid for as many of the 114 ex-Dutch Leopard 2s currently in the Austrian inventory that they are willing to sell. According to SIPRI, the Austrians bought them in 1996 (delivery 1997-1998) for $236 million. Also according to SIPRI, the Dutch manufactured their Leopard 2s from 1981-1986. Factoring in 15 years of Austrian use, even with upgrades, etc., we should be able to get a good deal. That is if Singapore doesn’t make the deal first!

    They won’t go for the tanks, they are already spending too much on the AV8.
    What we missed was the Foudre LSD that the French sold to Chile.

  4. We should go AEW system, more figther and training aircraft, attack and heavy lift helicopter, heavy frigates and LSD or LHD, ASW helicopter, MPA aircraft, Medium range air defence system, SP track or wheel 155mm gun.

    Show me the money!

  5. Dont simply spend the rare commodity-money. With China rising and the aggressive posture of both the Chinese and also at least one of our neighbour, we should immediately upgrade the weapon system of the 6 NGPV with all those weapons which they have built for but not with. With these 6 vessels bristling with arms it can be deployed to at least show our flag more effectively in the South China Sea if not be a deterrent. This si the most cost effective solution and it takes care of an immediate need. The second hand tanks can follow latter.

  6. FareedLHS – ”IMO, we should put in a bid for as many of the 114 ex-Dutch Leopard 2s currently in the Austrian inventory that they are willing to sell. ”

    We should have bought surplus Leopards 2s from the start instead of the PT-91M, but it’s now water under the bridge. Introducing a 2nd MBT into service will only create a bigger logistical/support footprint. What we should be looking at in the near future is an upgrade for the PT-91M – thermal for the commander, applique armour, OWS, etc.

  7. No money meh ,Halim-san? 😆

    If u look at the media reports on Azerbajian, very interesting.

    In the area of defence they did it like Spore.
    Started small,making sure they supplied all the basics their military needed, and now venturing into more sophisticated weapon ranges.

    Impressive. Wonder if we have any ties with them.

    And wonder if any of our geniuses at Mindef might …………..

    Yes start small and dont think about export at all. If its good enough everyone will come running for its. For the Azerbijans, its better to left them alone or if we want buy it straight from them. If we really want to be involved its better for us to fund their plants in Azerbijan. We tend to muck things up if we start thinking too much…

  8. fadiman76 – ”We should go AEW system, more fighter and training aircraft, attack and heavy lift helicopter, heavy frigates and LSD or LHD, ASW helicopter, MPA aircraft, Medium range air defence system, SP track or wheel 155mm gun.”

    Fadiman, what we actually need, what we get and what we want to get, are 3 very different issues.

    Out of all the items you listed, it is my firm believe that additional Cougars should come first, for the very simple reason that it is Cougars that we are more likely to use on day to day ops.

  9. Understand that the Dutch are getting rid of all their Leopard 2’s so you don’t have to go to Austria to buy some good maintained second hand Leopards

    Everyone in Europe is trying to get rid of their weapons. The problem are (1) we do not have the money (2) we made bad choices before (as Azlan had said) and we do not like 2nd hand stuff

  10. Hopefully no heavy rain during LIMA since the coast especially in dry season. Just the remnants of rain from the east coast – Kelantan & Terengganu now.
    Eagerly waiting Russian delegate at LIMA 11. Since no major participation from Russia since LIMA 07 especially in aerospace part. The last exhibit aircraft was YAK-130 during LIMA 05.

    No major Russian birds this year not from Sukhoi and MiG at least. I guess even the Russkis realised they got no chance to sell any fighters to us at the moment

  11. Ym Lee – ”Dont simply spend the rare commodity-money. With China rising and the aggressive posture of both the Chinese and also at least one of our neighbour, we should immediately upgrade the weapon system of the 6 NGPV with all those weapons which they have built for but not with.”

    Fully equipping the NGPVs isn’t going too make much of a difference. To think otherwise would be to indulge in wishful thinking….. If the Chinese decide to play games with us [which they haven’t, because of all the claimants we have the best relations with them]like what they have been doing with the Pinoys and the Viets, having 4 Exocets and a 21 round RAM launcher on the Kedah class is not going to make any bloody difference. No matter how many billions more are poured into the defence budget, if China decides [extremely unlikely]to make a grab for the Spratlys, there is nothing we can do about it. Another thing to bear in mind is that our possessions in the Spratlys are further way from the Chinese than those of the other claimants.

  12. Oh, btw, just curious. For the NGPV, since it was constructed with “fitted for but not with concept”, is the RAM launcher installed? Or is it detachable? And if so, how many such launchers have RMN bought?

    None. Since the RAM is partly American, any request to purchase either via FMS or Commercial a notice will be made via DSCA as per the Sidewinder missile. None have been made by us since 1999 when the contract was signed for the ships. I have no idea whether once fixed the RAM launcher could be easily transferred to another ala the modules on the Stanflex ships or the American LCS. Technically most of the new weapons are the plug and play type so I hazard to guess that it will be the case with the RAM and the Kedah class. But I believe that test firings must take place regularly to ensure that it is working as advertised or not just dead weight. Yes one can simulate firings but one need to know whether the rocket motor and other things are working as specified and that only comes from test firing, using inert and live missiles.

  13. Marhalim,

    Apart from the LCS/frigate deal, what other contracts for new stuff were expected to be signed at LIMA? Have you heard anything about the LCS/frigate deal, are the Germans really out and DCNS in?

    As I mentioned in the article, most probably that the LCS/Frigate contract will NOT be sign at Lima. Yes most probably its the French. Most probably they will sign the MRO deals but what remains to be seen. W

  14. Starting on page 8 in Issue 6/2011 (December/January) of armada INTERNATIONAL, there is a great article on fighter aircraft. This, along with other past articles and issues, can be accessed at:

    Just click on ‘View Digital Edition’.

  15. Just read an article in Perajurit yesterday on Indonesian capability on building their on mother ships and support vessels/equipments, which is very impressive albeit causing much anxiety. We are suppose to be more advanced in term of these technologies but seems we are not, where are we now?

    no need to be anxious about them, not at the moment. But yes we are still dreaming about this

  16. In view of the perceived lack of interest(inexplicable delay) in requesting for the RAM system to be made available to RMN, could it be possible that right from day 1, the decision makers never intended for the RAM system to be used on board the Kedah class?

    Its the money. They spent too much money to get the ships ready that FBNW got lost in the muddle

  17. Student,

    The Kedah class from Day 1 was designed to be fitted with RAM. Early artist impressions of the Kedah class in ads by the GNG, released in the 2002-2004 period, showed the Kedah class fitted with RAM. The Germans had a big hand in the development of RAM so it is only natural that they would offer RAM as the first choice and that the TRS/3D and COSYS would be integrated with RAM. Therefore, eventually going for RAM would be the most logical and cost effective solution for the RMN.

  18. It will never be revisited. There will never be an inquest into the failure of PSC-NDSB as the fingers point directly to political masters. There will be no upgrades and none of the options will be executed. Do you actually think the system delivered is fully configured? The sub cons all took hair cuts.

  19. Why get RAM? A better value for money system would be VL MICA with range of 20 km which is an active guided missile with decent local area defence capability. 8-16 missiles will be sufficient for a Kedah OPV.

    An active guided missile has much higher Pk (probability of kill) than a semi guided one, eliminating the necessity of data link + illumination from another radar, which enables less launcher / cells, decreasing weight & occupied space. That’s why the (almost) same tactical effective can be achieved with less VLS cells.

    In a typical scenario, an average of 4 x semi-active ESSM’s required to hit an incoming sea skimming missile, hence the “Quadpack” solution, i.e 4 x ESSM’s in one Mk41 cell.

    The number of VLS cells is directly related with the guidance system of the air defence missiles employed.

    When the kedah was designed back in the 90s, only the RAM was offered as the solution as a way to reduce cost, especially when the ships are supposed to be Fitted For Not Equipped concept. There is a cabin (I am not sure for what) located under the B mounting where the RAM is supposed to be.

  20. “Air force set to seal deals for radars, sensors

    02 December 2011 (Fri)

    RMAF chief says no plans to buy jet fighters and other assets due to budget constraints

    THE Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is expected to seal several contracts at this year’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA 2011).

    Air force chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said among the contracts lined up were for the acquisition of radars, sensors and communication equipment, which would beef up the country’s air defence.

    “Several letters of offer and acceptance will be inked during the exhibition. However, owing to budget constraints, the government is unable to approve the procurement of larger assets for the air force for the time being.

    “This includes the purchase of new-generation aircraft and defence equipment.”

    Rodzali’s comments indicated that the proposed acquisition of multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) might not take place during the current 10th Malaysia Plan (2010-2015).

    It is learnt that the RMAF was evaluating five new-generation jet fighters under its ambitious MRCA programme, worth billions of ringgit, to strengthen its defence capability in protecting the country’s maritime assets ……..”

    Does it mean that the contract for MRCA will not be inked at LIMA as widely speculated? I think this does not reflect well on RMAF’s commitment, notwithstanding factors such as budget constraints. I remember reading somewhere last year that Boeing said something to the effect that they would give RMAF one last chance and if RMAF still do not make a decision by end 2011, then it will not waste its (Boeing’s) time to tender for the contract and focus on other air forces instead.

    Yes, as I had mentioned in a previous post. Even the SGPV/LCS/FFG contract is most probably will not be signed at Lima. It does not reflect badly on RMAF or the Armed Forces. Every one understand the economic situation.

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