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DSA 2018: Malaysian Army to Counter Drones

Live firing exercise testing effectiveness of Malaysian Army weapons in countering weaponised UAVs


The Malaysian Army is preparing to hold a live firing exercise testing the effectiveness of its weapons in countering weaponised commercial and military grade drones (aka unmanned aerial vehicles – UAV) and to formulate operational procedures and tactics in engaging such. 

A Malaysian Army source told MONCh at the DSA exhibition that the exercise, which will be held at the end of April, will be under the Army’s Grup Artileri Pertahanan Udara (Air Defence Artillery Group, GAPU) that commands all the army’s air defence systems.  

The exercise will involve the firing of all the army’s small arms, vehicle mounted weapons, 35mm Oerlikon (now Rheinmetall) air defence artillery and MANPADs against a variety of drone targets. The source said existing operational procedures and tactics already exists for the engagement of low flying aircraft and helicopters from ground weapons but the army wants to see whether these procedures and tactics are applicable to engaging drones or need to be modified. The Malaysian Army is concerned about the threat posed by commercial drones, which are easily available and potentially can be weaponised as well as the threat posed by military drones. 

Along with direct engagement by weapons, the army is looking at enhancing its jamming capabilities to block drone control signals. The source also stated that GAPU was also refining its operational practices for deployment in urban areas to provide ground based air defence protection against airborne threats during public events.

Dzirhan Mahadzir 

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