New Defense research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
[USPRwire, Wed Mar 30 2016] Demand for military equipment is strong in Malaysia . T he country faces threats from Islamist extremist groups, militants in southern Philippines, organised crime, piracy, and regional tensions over maritime disputes . Meanwhile, many of its neigh bours are investing heavily in raising their own defence capabilities. Much of the armed forces' equipment is outdated and needs to be replaced, although spending is limited by budget constrain t s amid the government's fiscal consolidation efforts. This will mean that some procurement programmes will need to be postponed or cancelled, however, the current size of the budget does allow the defence ministry to carry on with acquisitions of equipment deemed critical for strengthening naval, air and counterterrorism capabilities. Such equipment will need to be sourced from abroad, due to local companies' lack of advanced technological capabilities across these segments.
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In March 2016, it was reported that the local Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) had laid down the keel for the first of the Malaysian navy's six Second Generation Patrol Vessel/Littoral Combat Ships ordered under a USD2.2bn contract in 2014.
Prime Minister Razak confirmed that procurement programmes deemed vital to the strengthening of Malaysian air power and naval capabilities will be maintained, despite a decline in the overall defence budget. These specifically include: the six Second Generation Patrol Vessel/Littoral Combat Ships from BNS; four Airbus 1400M Atlas transport aircraft; 257 Deftech AV8 Gempita armoured vehicles; and the recently ordered Starstreak ground-based air-defence missile system from Thales.
In February 2016, media reported that Malaysia would purchase another 20 M134D Miniguns from Dillon Aero for its Deftech AV4 vehicles on order from Thailand-based Chaiseri.
Also in February, the US' MD Helicopters announced it would supply the Malaysian army air corps with six of its MD 530G light scout attack helicopters equipped with a 'custom weapons package' communications systems and electro-optic systems. The order makes Malaysia the launch customer for the product.
According to media in February 2016, the navy was considering AgustaWestland's AW159 maritime/utility aircraft; the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk and the Airbus Helicopters H225M model for the navy's short-term submarine attack helicopter requirement.
The recent corruption scandal involving Prime Minister Razak (which he has since been cleared of) prompted mass demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur in August 2015, with tens of thousands of protesters showing up to demand his resignation. In response, an estimated 30,000-40,000 Malaysians - predominantly ethnic Malays - took part in a pro-government rally in Kuala Lumpur the following month.
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