Saturday, March 2, 2013

Malaysian Army showcases new combat systems for its infantry

Ready to rock and roll: Malaysian Army mechanised infantry showed off their network-enabled capabilities like the Battlefield Management System (BMS) when the PARS eight-wheeled infantry carrier vehicle (background) went on public display for the first time.

Port Dickson, Malaysia: The Malaysian Army this morning underlined its determination to introduce network-enabled capabilities that will allow the Malaysian soldier to go to war carrying the full weight of the Army's firepower in his backpack.

Done at the Malaysian Army's 80th Anniversary parade, this capability shop window indicates to defence observe that the Army has formally ushered itself into the age of network-enabled warfare. It is early days yet before every Malaysian warfighter can plug into the battlefield network, but the Malaysian General Staff's (MARKAS ATM) determination to raise, train and sustain network-enabled fighting forces was a message heard loud and clear this morning.

The Malaysian Army's drive to signal that it is modernising its forces with the same network-enabled lexicon as modern armies is noteworthy.

It indicates that MARKAS ATM is aware of the battle-winning advantages that come with integrating units using a secure data sharing network that will allow Malaysian warfighters to exchange voice, data or video in realtime.

The focus on information warfare was underscored by the first ever participation of the Malaysian Army's new eight-wheeled PARS AV-8 infantry carrier vehicle, which made its public debut in Bandar Tenterat Darat (Army Town) amid a frenzy of interest from the Malaysian media. Reporters and cameramen swarmed round the Turkish-made 8x8 when it stopped briefly before the saluting platform graced by the Malaysian Defence Minister and top brass from MARKAS ATM.

PARS AV-8 with Malaysian Army numberplate ZB 2699 was given pride of place at the head of a mobile column that had more than 120 A and B-vehicles from all its combat and combat service support formations. The new war horse was followed by the Army's PT-91M Pendekar Main Battle Tank - the spearhead of Malaysian armoured battle groups.

This morning's firepower display included systems such as the TDA Dragon Fire 120mm mortar fitted to Adnan armoured fighting vehicles, which can lob 10 mortar bombs a minute, assault bridging vehicles and air-portable war machines fielded by Malaysia's Pasukan Aturgerak Cepat (PAC: rapid deployment force) formation.

Borrowing phrases that would be familiar to Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) warfighters, the capabilities of the PARS and its onboard infantry were explained using English terms which stood out in the Bahasa Malaysia commentary. These include terms like Battlefield Management System (BMS).

Mechanised infantry carried aboard the AV-8 were fully kitted out for night combat with a variety of hand-held devices for communicating with other fire teams, friendly vehicles and Malaysian Army units, night sights and body armour.

Particularly impressive were paratroopers from the Malaysian Army's 10th Brigade and special forces from the Grup Gerak Khas, who went on parade with seldom-seen war machines.

This blog will carry more reports from this special trip to Bandar Tentara Darat in coming weeks.

We are due to watch a GGK demo tomorrow morning.

The blog team thanks MARKAS ATM and the Public Affairs Department, Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia, for opening doors. The march past and mobile column were impressive. We say this having seen how Singapore National Day Mobile Columns are put together. Gagah Setia.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that another designation for the Terrex is also AV-8.

Let now the reactionary comments flow.

Anonymous said...

since the mid-1980s, the m'sian military (especially its army) has been copying almost everything that the SAF is doing.

Anonymous said...

Do they reporters inside. Would like to see their BMS and the IFV's gadgets like cameras.

Anonymous said...

Parade is one thing. Whether the equipment can be operated skillfully and in a timely manner is another.

Anonymous said...

Typical Singaporean prejudice.

Anon 0822 - Malaysia only allocate a small sum of its budget to defence and half of the allocation is usually for operational expenses. Our troops are regularly deployed in the field near the border regions. We don't have the luxury of fielding new technology and even if we do, it won't be in large numbers. While to you, Malaysia appears to be copying, the reality is we are behind the curve but at the same time the government and top brass realize we cannot be too far behind.

In any case the development of Malaysia's military is always based on practical requirements - eg. Formation of the rapid response unit form of the para brigade (primarily for rapid deployment to east Malaysia), formation of border regiment to free up regular units from guard duty at the Thai border. Only now we are creating units to develop urban combat and cyberwarfare doctrines. Again it is a response to real requirements.

Anon 1614- Well our armed forces do get tested from time to time in unplanned incidents. Looking at their performance during ops fajar, ops astute, ops pasir and ops pyramid, it wasn't too shabby and they did make thee most of their existing gear.

David Boey said...

Dear Anon 6:37 PM 3 Mar'13,
Thank you for sharing your point of view.

Am back south of the border. Will share more impressions and pictures from this weekend soon.

It is always a pleasure to be able to visit ATM.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...


omega21 said...

Mr Boey - glad to hear you are back safe and sound and that you enjoyed your trip!

Would it be possible to share more about Bandar Tenterat Darat? Is it a training base or a large-scale barrack complex? I'm curious as I am quite unfamiliar with the MAF.

Anonymous said...

Anon March 3, 2013 at 8:22 AM

For your info, Singapore lagged behind Malaysia in fielding

Light weight air transportable howitzers

Last year, Malaysia also introduced a new series of notes and coins. Singapore decided its dick not big enough, imitated the move this year.

Anonymous said...

MINDEF tends to be very low key when introducing new weapon systems or warfighting platforms. It's hard to tell, based on publicly available information, who got what first.

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't matter lah who introduce what first. This is really a navel gazong exercise for those who has too much time on their hands.

For me as a Malaysian, I am more concerned on the safety of our forces involved in the situation in East Malaysia. This now looks like a well planned incursion and the original event was just a diversion.

Omega21, assuming ou are either a Malaysian or Singaporean - just take a drive lah to PD. 60 percent of the place is military - there's multiple camps - basic training school, armour school, arty school, wargame center, officer school, armour camp. There's a few museums you can visit within the camps - army museum, armour museum and ramd museum.

David Boey said...

Hi above,
Armour museum? Where is this located? Kem Sungala "Home of the Black Berets"?

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Yes it is located at the side of camp Sunggala near the entrance. It is not so mich of a museum, more apt to say a display room, most of the good stuff are at the army museum anyway.

By the way i have taken the liberty to post the link to one of your blogs on my facebook page. Hope you are ok with that!

Was using it to highlight certain points. Not a critique of what you wrote.

omega21 said...

Thanks for the rundown!

Anonymous said...

i must say the Malaysian Army seek to be a well balance force given the fiscal realities and need to jaga quite a big real estate.

just wishful thinking... hope one day the SAF and MAF will stand together to defend... really, if you look at the world map, M'sia and SG are so insignificant!

Between us there must be at least a combined force of 100+ infantry and armoured-infantry battalions! Just hope that we don't end up fighting each other lah...

Anonymous said...

It is not wishful thinking. Both sides will never go to war with each other. It would be the end of Malaysia. Singapore's economy will not escape damage either- wars are not short or cheap. Would only open the door to threats from other big neighbours.

Leaders are also self serving and no one wants to risk the end of their leadership. Both our leaders are rich, right?

Only those who don't have friends in the other country will want war.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that if Malaysia and Singapore ever go to war with each other, it will end in defeat for both sides. One side may win nominally but in the long run, it would be a disaster. Look at the Vietnam War, the US won all the battles but lost the War.

Besides, other then giving a chance for saber rattling for the politicians of both sides, I think that there are more real security concerns for both countries. Look at the Sabah invasion. Malaysia is facing a home grown threat in that Malaysian trained MNLF fighters are now supporting the Kiran fighters and prepared to take the war to Sabah.

David Boey said...

Hi Anon 5 May'13 1:16 AM,
"By the way i have taken the liberty to post the link to one of your blogs on my facebook page. Hope you are ok with that!

Was using it to highlight certain points. Not a critique of what you wrote."

Out of sheer curiosity, which post would this be?

re: Being critical. No worries about this. Must be abit thick-skinned sometimes *grin*

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

The one on Singapore Army using MAS.

Some armchair generals/idiot opposition politicians in Malaysia were questioning why the army was carrying personnel via air asia and not via military transports. Somehow it escapes their notice how overnight we have (air transportable) army APCs appearing in Sabah and not realizing how much airlift capacity that would take.

This is what happens in a nation where defence is not a shared burden.

Many thanks for your ok,

Anonymous said...

All (native) Singaporeans serve NS. But many NSmen would also question using civil air transport if the same thing happened to Singapore.

There will always be ignorant people.

TakBolehBohongtheLontongman said...

Worth asking why Singapore have to build the Terrex when one can likely buy something similar from open market.

Singapore has built a lot of local systems (thanks to tax payer's money) but I wonder how much commercial return we have got from it.

...not exactly like much of our systems have garnered favourable returns in international sales. Even Bronco sale to UK is small.

Since the ST books are less than transparent, I guess we will never know.

Rajendran said...

Stupid lah...civilian airline service better dah. Sometimes even have pretty cabin crew.