Kuala Lumpur- Joseph Roukoz
Once again, all the key stakeholders at the international defene arena reconvened at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur for the 15th of DSA. This year’s show welcomed defence and security companies across 60 countries, as well as trade visitors from 77 countries. This year also saw the particpation of 29 group pavillons, including France, United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy and China.
Conerning the company’s presence, the biggest was the Turkish followed by the Russian.
Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammudin Tun Hussein said, «MINDEF is proud to support DSA 2016 in the interest of further advancing our national defences capabilities, service sectors and strategic collaborations. It is an honour to once again be given the opportunity to host one of the world’s top five international defenceand security shows, and to welcome over 1,200 exhibitors and 34,000 visitors at DSA 2016 ».
One of the world’s top defence companies, Airbus Group was present in DSA. In Malaysia, Airbus is a household name, with its rotorcraft and military aircraft being in service of the Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF). The Air Force currently operates 12 EC 725 helicopters in its fleet as well as two A400M military transporters. The RMAF’s revealed the first A400M in March last year during the Langkawi international and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition and the RMAF received the second transporter in January of this year. They are based at Air Force Base Subang. The third RMAF A400M is currently undergoing testing and recently conducted its maiden flight and the third and fourth aircraft are expected to be delivered this year.
Airbus was promoting the A330 MRTT tanker transport which is performing well in Australia and has been ordered by Singapore and South Korea. The C295 transporter has been ordered by Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and Airbus has already delivered 15 of 17 ordered. All these are transports but Airbus is seeing increasing interest in surveillance variants, such as anti-submarine warfare which are proven in-service in other parts of the world.
During DSA Thales declared to reinforces its commitment to supporting Malaysian maritime security by securing a contract to deliver the Fulmar UAS system to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
A small, high performance, fixed wing UAS, the Fulmar is to be installed on six New Generation Patrol Crafts (NGPC), being constructed by Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering Sdn. Bhd. The maritime design of Fulmar allows the aircraft to take-off and land, whilst the ship is in motion, a key requirement of the MMEA. This capability offers an unrivalled competitive advantage to other systems in the market.
Fulmar will extend the operational capabilities of the MMEA fleet, proving a broad range of operational capabilities including counter-piracy, anti-smuggling operations, fisheries policing and border surveillance. Automatic detection and tracking systems and Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) deliver unrivalled high performance surveillance on a flexible platform.
Thales remains committed to supporting the Malaysian authorities as it renews and updates its naval fleet. Starting in 2016, Thales employees in Malaysia will provide local training and support for the Fulmar, ensuring effective knowledge transfer for operational and maintenance needs throughout the system’s life cycle.
Thales has over 40 years of experience in airborne surveillance systems and is the European leader in Tactical unmanned aircraft, making us the ideal partner for current and future surveillance UAV programmes.
As Malaysia prepares to induct the lightweight multiple launcher- next generation missile (LML-NG), Thales showcased the STARSTReak missile. On March 28, the Minister of Defence of Malaysia attended the STARSTReak missile weapon systems shooting events at Lapang Sasar Bumi ke Udara, Tanjung Logok. A total of three missiles were fired by composite teams drawn from the Malaysian Army’s 32nd Royal Artillery Regiment, the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Base Air Defence Unit, and the Royal Malaysian. Air Force’s 401 GBAD Squadron. The missiles were fired with success at a Meggit BTT-3 Banshee target drone.
Dassault showcased at DSA the twin-engined multirole fighter Rafale which is one of the leading contender for Malaysia’s requirement for 18 state-of-the-art combat aircraft to replace its ageing MiG-29 fighter jets. Official sources from Malaysia have stated that the decision should be taken in the end of this year or latest in the beginning of 2017.
What will certainly help the Rafale campaign in Malaysia, is the fact that the type is now seeing extensive combat operations with the French Air Force and has notched up export successes in Egypt and Qatar (48 aircraft), with India expected to join the ranks of Rafale customers
The latest variant of the Rafale that is in service with the French Air Force is being offered to Malaysia, along with a technical assistance in Malaysia that will allow for the creation of a substantial local maintenance, repair and support infrastructure for the aircraft and its systems to cover a period of service of 40 years for the type.
MBDA showcased at DSA a range of missiles including the Medium Range Missile (MMP) which is a high-technology, new generation battlefield missile. It is established as one of the French MoD’s major new programmes to modernise the French Army. This versatile missile, conceived by MBDA, is currently in its development phase following notification of a development contract by the DGA, the French Defense Procurement Agency.
It can be fired from a networked infantry firing post or from a vehicle turret, features a wide range of functions, one of which is firing on coordinates that allows non line-of-sight targets to be engaged.
DCNS was also present at DSA in Kuala Lumpur and it has a strong industrial commitment in the country through its partnership with the Boustead Group and their Joint-Venture Boustead DCNS Naval Corporation (BDNC) for the In-Service Support (ISS) of the two Royal Malaysian Navy Scorpene submarines. The Boustead Group and DCNS are working together to ensure the success of this programme which includes a large transfer of technology from DCNS, a crucial element to allow local participation, self-reliance and local content in accordance with the National Defence Industry Policy.
DCNS also works with the Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) through a solid transfer on the LCS Programme launched by the Royal Malaysian Navy to purchase six Littoral Combat Ships. BNS is the Prime Contractor of this programme for which DCNS’s Gowind design and SETIS Combat Management System have both been selected. The keel laying of the first vessel was completed by BNS in March 2016 at the company shipyard in Lumut.
Besides its historical activities in naval defense, DCNS develops innovative solutions in marine renewable energies, in particular Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) systems which could answer the energy needs of Malaysia. OTEC uses the difference of temperature that naturally exists in tropical waters between the surface water (about 25°C) and deep water (5°C at a depth of 1,000 metres) to create electricity.