The acquisition of a new anti-tank missile system is meant to replace the Russian-made Metis-M and Pakistan-made Bakhtar Shikan (a variant of Chinese HJ-8) anti-tank missiles in the Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia/TDM).
Through a tender announced in October 2021, MINDEF has outlined several requirements for the new ATGM system. Apart from the unspecified armor penetrating capability, the Anti-Tank Guided Weapon-Medium Range (ATGW-MR) as it is called in the tender, must also have the ability to destroy heavy fortifications from a distance of at least 2,000 meters.
ATGM systems such as FGM-148 Javelin from the United States, Turkiye’s OMTAS, Akeron MP made by France, and South Korea’s AT-1K Raybolt are said to be the current candidates in the MINDEF ATGW-MR tender.
These four candidates have a stated maximum range between 2,500 meters (AT-1K Raybolt) to 5,000 km (Akeron MP), a combined weight of the missile in the launch tube, tripod mount, and targeting system between 20 kg (AT-1K Raybolt) to 71 kg (OMTAS), fire-and-forget with infra-red guidance, as well as tandem warheads and top-attack capability to defeat modern tanks equipped with Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA).
Of all these missile systems, only FGM-148 Javelin and AT-1K have been exported and deployed outside their own respective origin countries’ armed forces, with 21 countries for the former, and three countries for the latter.
It’s currently unclear whether the new ATGM system must also be man-transportable or whether it must be installed and carried on a specially modified vehicle. It is also still unknown when the winning candidate will be announced although it seems likely that it will happen sometime this year.
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