Army’s latest assets roar in firepower training day

TAMPIN: The airspace above Camp Syed Sirajuddin in Gemas here echoed with the roar of MD530G helicopters, the Malaysian military’s newest assets, as they took to the skies for MAF firepower training 2022 (LKT) today.

American-made gunships are equipped with weapons such as 70mm rocket launchers, 7.62mm Gatling guns, and 12.7mm heavy machine guns.

Helicopters are to perform the role of light combat helicopters with the ability to attack light armored vehicles and infantry troops at ranges between 500 m and 7 km, as well as perform aerial reconnaissance tasks.

Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Chief of Defense Force Gen. Tan Sri Affendi Buang and Chief of Army Gen. Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain attended the training exercise.

The LKT 2022 live firepower exercise ran for approximately two hours, starting at 10 a.m., and also featured maneuvers and firepower demonstrations involving assets from the infantry, mechanized units, artillery and army air, as well as aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Navy. (RMN) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

This year’s exercise involved 2,300 officers and personnel of various expertise as well as 644 various combat and support vehicles, and weapon systems.

The asset list included PT 91M Pendekar, AV8 Gempita, AV 4 Lipan Bara, ACV 300 Adnan and Malaysian Infantry Fighting Vehicle (MIFV).

The training exercise also showcased the capability of the combat teams in command operations of the three divisions. Helicopters from all three service branches were also involved.

The capabilities of Tactical Display Air Support (CAS) for RMAF aircraft were also on display during the exercise, with FA 18 D Hornet and BAE Hawk 208 fighters taking to the skies.

Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said he was proud to see the MD530G helicopters used and tested in this year’s exercise.

“I got to see these assets myself and I’m very proud of the MD530G helicopter. People used to say these (assets) weren’t there, but today they’re actually there in operation. The problem has been solved and accepted by the end users who need it badly, namely the army air unit,” he told reporters after watching the training exercise. He said that the armed forces, especially the army, have the opportunity to assess any improvement measures aimed at enhancing the capabilities of their assets in the future.

As to whether the government will purchase additional helicopters, Hishammuddin said it depends on the country’s finances.

“We will also study the threats that we are facing, if the threats are those like Lahad Datu, and we are facing kidnappers, we don’t need attack helicopters like the Apache and the Tiger.

“The MD530G is sufficient as long as it is equipped with the appropriate armament. Not only can it fly, but it is equipped with the appropriate weapons to deal with potential threats,” he added. — Bernama

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