07 Mei 2015
Otokar Altay MBT (photo : SSM)
Malaysia is looking for new tanks
Malaysian Army intends to form a second armored regiment, include possibility the purchase of another batch of platform PT-91M tanks.
The plans of forming a second Malaysian Armored Regiment has been known for several years. Information about possibility of purchasing another batch of tanks of PT-91M Pendekar are, however, quite surprising. Especially given the problems with time delivery and initial operation of the tank and comments on the Polish construction falling in recent years from the mouth of anonymous army representatives of Malaysia.
The commander of Tentera Darat Malaysia (Army of Malaysia), Gen. Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, confirmed the information appearing in the media in the recent few month on a plan to create another Armored Regiment. The new unit would complement the 11th Kor Armor Diraja (KAD), equipped with Polish tanks PT-91M Pendekar.
Bumar-Łabędy has provided Malaysia in recent years 48 PT-91M with accompanying vehicles, including 6 WZT-4 (WZT-91M) - armored recovery vehicles, 3 MID-4 (MID-91M) - engineering tanks, 5 PMC Leguan (PMC-91M) - armored vehicle-launched bridges and one SJ-09 driver training tank.
The formation of the second Malaysian Armored Regiment will require the purchase of additional main battle tanks. Gen. Raja Affandi admitted that the land forces command seriously considering the purchase of another PT-91M tanks Pendekar. One of the conditions of the contract would, however, by the Polish producer to introduce the necessary modifications.
Some commentators suggest that Malaysians could opt for Turkish platform Altay tanks. Serial production of Altay tank in Turkey should start before Tentera Darat Malaysia will secure funding for the purchase of new tanks. In support of this bid Malaysia has attract positive experience from the operation of other Turkish combat vehicles, including ACV 300.
Alternative to the Polish tanks is probably the Russian T-90S, which have been sold in recent years, including to Algiers, or the Ukrainian T-84M Oplot, which was purchased by Thailand.
The formation of the second Armored Regiment will allow Malaysian to implement plans to create an armored brigade. The new formation could be built in place of a functioning 1 Infantry Brigade. The unit would also receive an unspecified number of 155-mm self-propelled howitzer. Gen. Raja Affandi confirmed that the plan to acquire kits of artillery will be included in the term purchasing for the years 2016-2020 (RMK-11).