Wednesday, March 5, 2008
PERSENJATAAN TENTERA DARAT MALAYSIA
Weapons File - ASTROS II MRL
As part of its modernization programme, the Malaysian Army has bought the system in 2001 with deliveries completed in October 2002. In preparation, a number of officers and enlisted men from the Royal Artillery Regiment, Artillery Training Centre, Royal Ordnance Corps and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Corps were sent to Brazil to attend a series of maintenance and handling courses to ensure full capability to handle the rocket system. The Malaysian purchase consists of 18 AV-LMUs, 18 AV-RMDs, 1 AV-VCC, 3 AV-PCCs, 3 AV-UCFs, 2 AV-METs and 3 AV-OFVEs – enough to equip three batteries. The ASTROS MRLs form the 51st Regiment Royal Artillery based at Gemas Camp in Johor/Negeri Sembilan. The three batteries of the 51st Regiment are named after traditional Malay weapons: Battery Alpha is named Keris, Battery Bravo is named Panah and Battery Charlie is named Tombak.
In January 2006, 51st Regiment was declared to be fully operational and is placed directly under Army Field Command HQ after previously being under the command of the Army’s 3rd Division. The new organisation basically means that the ASTROS system is considered a high-valued and strategic-type weapon system. The system can be used as general artillery bombardment system or as counter-battery system in conjunction with artillery spotting and battlefield surveillance radars used by the Malaysian Army such as ARTHUR and ASKARAAD.
* Data for rockets purchased by Malaysia, other rockets include SS-150 and tactical missiles.
On a personal note, certain forumners in a certain forum in a certain country makes a whole lot of fuss concerning Astros…probably because not only the system is organized as a ‘strategic’ weapon, but in their case, the weapon truly become strategic as it placed their whole country within its firing range.