Turkey, Malaysia Sign Defense Deal

* April 23, 2010

LONDON [MENL] -- Turkey and Malaysia have signed a deal for defense
cooperation.

Malaysia Aims to Upgrade Air Force With New Fighters, AEW Aircraft Wednesday, 14 April 2010 Super Admin Malaysia has tended to buy military equipment from Russia and Europe. This is partly because the country's prime minister for nearly 23 years was Mahathir Mohamad, a staunch critic of US foreign policy. But Mahathir left politics in 2003, and the current prime minister, Najib Razak, is seen to be much more open to the USA. His government, for example, has been trying to reach a free trade agreement with the Americans. President Barack Obama has also been making a concerted effort to engage Malaysia and other Muslim nations. But despite the USA's overtures, the Europeans and Russians may continue their strong track record. Russia in particular has close political ties. Najib's father Abdul Razak was Malaysia's prime minister in the 1970s, and during his time in office, Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2003 visited Malaysia and that year signed a deal to sell 18 Su-30MKM fighters. All of these have since been delivered. Najib was Malaysia's defence minister at the time and helped negotiate the Sukhoi deal. As for the current competition, Russia's defence export agency Rosoboronexport has always said publicly it will offer the Su-30. Malaysia is seeking enough fighters for one to two squadrons. If it is two squadrons, this would bring the total to 36-40 fighter aircraft. As well as the Su-30, other fighters Malaysia is considering include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Saab Gripen. Malaysia already has eight F/A-18Ds, which puts Boeing in a strong position. It could be argued that Malaysia needs to phase out its older fighters, such as its Northrop F-5s, and simplify its fleet, with the costs involved in maintaining the aircraft also a major consideration.

Malaysia to get military equipment worth billions Wednesday April 21, 2010, 12:11 pm EDT KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia has signed defense contracts worth 10.4 billion ringgit ($3.2 billion), including a major deal for European helicopters that the opposition had accused of being improper and too expensive, an official said Wednesday. The 1.6 billion ringgit ($500 million) deal to buy 12 EC752 helicopters from French company Eurocopter, the world's biggest helicopter maker, was put on hold almost two years ago because of budget constraints, but has since been revived. Malaysia announced the contracts during a defense exhibition that started early this week, said an official from the Defense Ministry who declined to be named citing protocol. Malaysia also intends to buy 233 armored personnel carriers and support vehicles worth 8 billion ringgit ($2.5 billion) from DRB-Hicom Defense Technologies Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company that is still developing them, the official said. The choppers from Eurocopter are meant to replace Malaysia's aging fleet of U.S.-made Sikorsky helicopters, renamed Nuri by the Malaysians. Calls for the Nuri's replacement increased after several of them crashed during flights. But the opposition has alleged the tender process for the helicopters was marred with irregularities, and the price tag was too high. However, a bipartisan inquiry in Parliament found no wrongdoing. Malaysia has been dogged by several scandals of wasted public funds and corruption, but virtually no high-ranking officials have ever been convicted of any crime. The helicopter deal started when Prime Minister Najib Razak was the defense minister. He signed a letter of intent to purchase the equipment shortly before handing over the defense portfolio in 2008 to then-Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who suspended the deal amid the global economic crisis.

An exhibitor staff stands beside missiles and rockets manufactured by Roketsan in Turkey at the 12th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 19, 2010. Defence Services Asia is now become one of the world's top five defense and security exhibitions and firmly remains the Asia Pacific region's most vital procurement hub for defense and security. the organizer said. Read more
(AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

A visitor tries out a sniper rifle manufactured by MKE in Turkey at the 12th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 19, 2010. Defence Services Asia is now become one of the world's top five defense and security exhibitions and firmly remains the Asia Pacific region's most vital procurement hub for defense and security, the organizer said. Read more
(AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

A visitor tries out a M4 carbine rifle manufactured by Colt Defense LLC in the United States at the 12th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 19, 2010. Defence Services Asia is now become one of the world's top 5 defence and security exhibitions and firmly remains the Asia Pacific region's most vital procurement hub for defence and security. Read more
(AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Malaysian soldier Hasnul Hadi (R) and a riot policeman check U.S.-made Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifles at the 12th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference in Kuala Lumpur, April 20, 2010. Read more
REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad (MALAYSIA - Tags: MILITARY BUSINESS)

ARSing Statements: Malaysia's New Wheeled APCs

22-Apr-2010 18:35 EDT

Britain's BAE Systems Plc and Turkey's Nurol Holding AS reportedly signed a letter of intent worth up to $500 million, to help supply about 250 armored vehicles to the Malaysian government through their FNSS Savunma Sistemleri AS joint venture. Their Malaysia partner would be a unit of Kuala Lumpur-listed DRB-Hicom Bhd., who would perform assembly in country. The overall project cost will be higher, however, as it is an industrial project paying to enhance a local industry and make a regional statement, rather than a project aimed purely at meeting military needs.

The new APCs will be based on FNSS' wheeled Pars 8×8 Armored Personnel Carrier, which was designed in conjunction with GPV Inc. of New Haven, Michigan. In 2006, Malaysia had tested the Pars 8×8 against the Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIC, and the Patria Oyj AMV from Finland. The Pars design has apparently won. South Africa's Denel will build a 2-man turret for the APC, while Sapura Thales is expected to become the systems integrator. Overall, Malaysia reportedly plans 12 variants including a APC, anti-tank weapon carrier, command-and-control, and anti-aircraft variants. The Malaysian army is expected take delivery of the prototype APC for testing in 2011, followed by deliveries from 2012-1018.

Malaysia was already an FNSS customer. Contracts signed in 2004 and 2008 led to delivery of over 200 ACV-300 upgraded M113 tracked vehicles. They serve in roles including APC, IFV, ambulance, command, mortar, anti-tank, and armored recovery variants. Malaysia's air force and navy are also significant BAE clients. Malay Mail | Bloomberg | Defense World | UPI.

A male spotted leopard walks in the Endau-Rompin National Park in Malaysia in this December 2009 handout released April 19, 2010. Researchers managed to capture images of the leopard at the national park in December 2009, the first such camera-trapped documentation of the animal's existence in the country, Bernama news agency reported on April 17, 2010. REUTERS/Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society/Handout (MALAYSIA - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT)

Heavy rain hit a swimming pool at an apartment complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, April 13, 2010. Kuala Lumpur's climate receives an average of 2409 mm (94.8 in) of rainfall per year, or 201 mm (7.9 in) per month. Read more
(AP Photo/Mark Baker)