Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Laser warning devices give Malaysian armour an edge in combat

If you believe forewarned is forearmed, then Malaysian armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) may pack an advantage in combat thanks to their laser warning devices (LWDs).

The presence of LWDs on all of the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia's (ATM, Malaysian Armed Forces) AFVs introduced this century could be more than a coincidence. The requirement for such defence electronics could have been woven into tender specifications that tailor AFVs for the ATM's specific operational requirements.

Every one of the ATM's latest armoured vehicles can warn its occupants of the danger from military lasers. The AFV types are the ACV300 Adnan from Turkey (2002), Polish PT-91M Pendekar (2008) and the prototype for the AV8 eight-wheeled infantry fighting vehicle which was unveiled this March. This indicates future war machines introduced to Kor Armor Diraja's stable could be similarly protected by LWDs.

At least two models of LWDs are in ATM service. This includes the Avimo LWD2 on Adnans and Obra-3 aboard the Pendekars.

To cut to the chase, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) AFVs such as the Bionix IFV, Terrex and Leopard 2SG main battle tanks have not been observed with LWD sensors.

The decision by the Malaysian military to install them on AFVs that form its armoured spearhead says a lot. It indicates that Malaysian defence planners recognise that in their modest but growing AFV fleet, every vehicle (or more precisely, the ATM crew) is precious. The AFVs and crew therefore deserve maximum protection.

The installation of LWDs shows that Malaysian AFVs are expected to operate in a threat environment infested with hostile lasers that are used for range finding or smart munitions guidance. Early warning furnished by LWDs allows a vehicle commander (VC) to screen the vehicle using smoke grenades or order the driver to take immediate evasive action by moving under or behind cover, or executing aggressive driving.

Such defence electronics could frustrate enemy attempts at targeting KAD vehicles as the LWD warning console would light up the moment the vehicle is painted by a laser beam, with the VC provided the approximate bearing of the laser's point of origin.

When observing the ATMs latest AFVs, it is noteworthy remembering that the notion that Malaysia is behind the curve in defence science is untrue, dangerous and sometimes self-deluding.

Among the DRUMS (Distortions, Rumours, Untruths, Misinformation and Smears), this impression is potentially damaging as it dilutes one's appreciation of the ATM's combat readiness and robustness in battle.


Anonymous said...

Once you are targeted by an infrared or ultraviolet laser - more IR than UV - you are tracked. How fast can a vehicle move compared to projectile coming your way? The destructive power of a projectile - all other things being equal - is proportional to its velocity to the power 8.

Anonymous said...

pretty obvious who is the winner

Anonymous said...

It is SOP to not lase the target itself, but just off to one side, until you are nearly about to strike. Even without laser warning systems, lasing the target itself is risky because the crew might see you with their Mk 1 eyeballs. A laser warning system is nice to have, but against a competent foe, it provides very little value.

ah seng said...

aiyah... what for... lets attack JB now and get more land for already congested spore. i want warrrr!!!

Anonymous said...

no point leh. apache destroy everything :)

Anonymous said...

Ah beng ...oops ah seng, JB already congested with your kind mah.. Go north a bit like Ulu tiram or kulai but bring sing dollar and keep your tanks and apache at home, or in brunei or ostralia for your annual war games.

Anonymous said...

Singapore will always look down upon anything that the Malaysian army has. Thats a fact. Sorry 4 that Mr David. Ive personally trained a few of ur so called "officers" during the late 90s. They were a just a bunch of spoiled cityguys to me. Thats why they opted to be trained in Brunei after that. The jungle there is less dense compared to ours. Nyamuk pun kurang..

Anonymous said...

^ That is the result of blind consumption of rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

^ When you force people to serve NS for two years, there must be an enemy for them to believe in.

Anonymous said...

Spot on as usual David.

As a corporate trainer working with c-suite executives, I often see such "blindness." The phrase victim of one's own success comes to mind. Nokia and Kodak are 2 companies that come to mind.

Hopefully our military leaders know the truth about the MAF's capabilities.

Anonymous said...

btw, does the saf has any electronic warfare capabilities?

Anonymous said...

Of course. But these things r opsec.

Anonymous said...

And Malaysians will always take it for granted that Singaporeans are city boys who will not fight in jungles. They discount the sheer diligence, perseverance and determination of Singaporeans to succeed no matter the odds. They forget so easily that Singapore came this far with nothing exemplifying the Malay proverb - frog under the coconut shell.

Anonymous said...

The lazers will largely come from on high (for jdams etc). Try and shake that with the milliseconds you have and topographical constraints. Further, apaches use millimeter wave radar for the hell fire missiles, not laser guided munitions. An exercise in futility if you are to encounter a more advanced adversary.

JohorMali said...

Anon 7.05,
It is just your conjecture that Msians take Spore for granted. Kopitiam crowds maybe but MAF?

The MAF mantra has always been about defence and to inflict considerable damage to delay any incoming attack on its territory, especially the offshore economic zone.
Its of no use barking at the mountains ( eg China or Vietnam with a standing army far superior than the combine forces of Asean)

The recent show of its weaponary by MAF is nothing when compared to the parade by ROK armed forces on Oct 1st.

My contention is that Msia has always been positive about its neighbours unlike S'pore who will always be jittery about its surrounding.

Would S'pore invade Msia? That's best for the level headed S'poreeans to delibrate .So just one question, is Malaysia Spore's enemy?

Pulau Batu Putih, the crooked bridge, KTM railway are but some of the issues that Msia magnanimously conceded, perhaps grudgingly but never being vindictive.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7.18p 4 oct.

Not all RSAF hellfire are of the Longbow hellfire. Anyway some warning system available are better than none at all.

Anonymous said...

Popping smoke not effective on the run and LJDAMs have moving target capability. Stay or go no diff except to psychology. Newer weapons all got multiple targeting systems where smoke is no longer effective.

cocksureand happening said...

Laser warning is great.

But when you are warned, what can you do next?

Missile already on its way. Can countermeasure defeat missile or is warning bell for crew to chabot?

You think Singapore so stupid mah? Don't know how to 'overcome' laser warning.

Going by logic of Malaysian, if Singapore jungle tak boleh, high tech betol boleh over Malaysia.

Tank surely mampos.

Stereotyping only ah.;)

bob villa said...


David if the small lazer warning system can stir enough shit to spill the pot many times over ?

Well i hope read on this link and see what many miss out, you and me included :)

Please put up your thoughts on this malaysian new toy, I am sure this time the shit storm will hit the fan!!!!, well singapore shit mostly :)

David Boey said...

Dear Bob Villa,
Thank you for the link. I left the flypast alone as I was fixated with the ground stuff. This was a mistake... :(

An edge in combat is not all technical. Having your forces believe a LWD can help them increase the odds against battlefield lasers (range-finding or weapons guidance) gives them a psychological edge. Technical and operational arguments aside, if you were their commander, would you fit AFVs with the device if it gains you a psychological advantage for a modest financial outlay?

re: "Advanced adversary". I suppose readers are to treat this as shorthand for the SAF?

My sense is that the MAF has had firefights with less advanced adversaries in places like Somalia. Not every hypothetical fight by the MAF will involve munitions in the SAF armoury like Hellfire missiles or JDAMs.

As laser-guided munitions proliferate, MAF may some day face a less advanced adversary armed with a laser-guided munition, but without the benefit of "multiple targeting systems" that an amply financed army may have.

In such cases, the smoke dischargers initiated by the LWD may save the host vehicle. Again, if you were their commander, would you fit the LWD?

MAF and SAF have operated jointly alongside one another during bilats such as Eksesais Semangat Bersatu and multilaterals under FPDA.

The LWD example outlined here puts into sharp contrast the views held by MAF Kor Armor Diraja and SAF HQ Armour.

Indeed, even among friendly (yet competitive) forces, there is a noticeable diversity of views on the baseline equipment fit for our AFVs.

Precisely which CONOPS is the right or better one would make a fascinating topic for our staff college students to debate.

Best regards,


bob villa said...

Actually LWD was a standard fit for the Adnan ACV300 when she was offered by the Turks. As for the usefullness , hmmm that is subjective .
But it is a nice toy to have on board. Trust me if the foe use a lazer designator for her Krasnopal round or 1st gen bean riding AT round you can bet whoever is facing the pointy will sing a diffrent tune. :)

By the way i am looking foward to your disection on SU 30 new gizmo add on. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Ah, but you have the generic kopitiam politicians as leaders.... Vietnam? Are you in still leaving in the 1960s? As for the point about Sgreans being always jittery about its neighbours, why are you always trying to follow in our foot-steps in military procurement even if it does not suit your current operational needs? In fact, what are you even spouting such nonsense in a Singaporean blog? Who is jittery? I know Singapore has overwhelming advantage in some areas..but not all. Don't worry. Lol.

Malaysia never magnanimously conceded on any dispute, preferring to even engage in blatant lies - it has always been an unwholesome fight with Singapore. Remember the photoshop-ed image of Pedra Branca. Save your breath on magnanimity. If not for the sheer strength of the SAF, Singapore would be subjected to various levels of threats from Malaysia. Singaporeans do not forget.

Anonymous said...

Can't sat much about air forces as being lazered by aerial platforms mean you're just dead mostly. But if you are lazered by ground forces mean your ground troops have not cleared the area well enough considering the enemy is that close. That is a serious failure.

Anonymous said...

Saf's main anti armour weapon, Spike, is infrared/optical guided. As others have pointed out, this is meant for peacekeeping missions and asymmetrical threats.

David Boey said...

Dear Bob Villa,
The post on the Sukhoi Su-30MKM is up.

Best regards,


bob villa said...

Oh thank you David, i wonder if this post will start another round of verbal fire works., :) well it goes to show you how infantile some some people can get. Or is it a case of penile envy?

Anonymous said...

Just an inability of certain foreign posters to agree to disagree in a Singaporean blog. Infantile indeed. Grow up.