Wednesday, December 30, 2009

WITHER THE MAINTENANCE CULTURE

I wish to refer to an article I had posted on December 9, 2009 regarding the intended phasing out of the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29N by the RMAF, and of a similar topic posted by Tun Dr. Mahathir in his weblog on December 28, 2009. I think, Tun Dr. Mahathir and I share a similar view concerning the phasing out of the aircraft, in that we are of the opinion that the aircrafts are still good for a number of more years.

I now wish to draw my readers to an article written by one Siva Govindasamy titled, 'Malaysia to phase out troublesome MiG-29 fighter' dated June 6, 2009, in which he wrote that 'Malaysia has announced plans to phase out its RSK MiG-29N fighter over the next few years, with the fleet having been plagued by problems since it bought the type in the early 1990s'. He went further to say that, 'Malaysia has encountered problems in obtaining spares for its 14 MiG-29s, and that maintenance has been a issue for a long while'.(http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/06/03/32)

Siva Govindasamy has made statements that need to be further substantiated with facts and figures; not bare statements that appears to have a 'business-like' overtone. If one is looking for an authority to speak on the subject, it can only come from the RMAF themselves. I do not believe any other person nor any authority is wise enough to make any judgment on the serviceability state of the MiG-29N aircraft, other than the RMAF.

I did suggest that we should look at how the Indian Air Force (IAF) with its huge fleet of MiG-29s, can maintain its fleet for a much longer period than does Malaysia. There must be something that we can learn for the IAF experience, if indeed the RMAF is plagued by problems in the acquisition of spares and maintenance. I suppose it would not be economically viable to begin manufacturing aircraft spares and components for the MiG-29s, but if the spares and components are difficult to procure from its Russian OEM, why not look at the possibility of purchasing them from India, who are licensed to manufacture the spares and components.

Changing of aircrafts is not like changing our clothes; like I used to do on 'change parades' during my days as an army cadet. Changing of aircrafts involves a multitude of issues ranging from the training of personnels (pilots, technicians etc) and logistics, and every bit of this costs money.

One may argue that with the change of aircraft, Malaysian air force pilots will have the advantage of engaging themselves with the latest in aircraft technologies. But that was similarly the case when we bought the F/A-18D Honets, BAe Hawk 208 and now the SU-30 MKM. But what technologies have we acquired, other than be experts at flying a variety of aircrafts.

I note a similar trend happening to the army. The buying and changing culture never ceases in the army, with the notion of a transfer of technology. Had the army been serious with this term that they so commonly refer to as the 'transfer of technology' in their procurement exercises, they would not have been discarding their capital equipments purchased at exorbitant prices too often. I think the fault lies in the unwillingness of the army, and likewise its sister services, to be serious in developing an expert maintenance capability that is comparable to the OEM. It is because of this failure that the costs of maintenance is high, and who tends to gain.................surely it is the OEM and its local agents.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

16 comments:

Capt's Longhouse said...

Dato,

,,,lets start with the naive notion that rid of 'corruption' been implemented out accordingly in MAF!!.
,,,yes, WHY NOT just apply the "military maintenance culture" similarly to 'military strategy and tactics' which are essential to the conduct of warfare. Broadly stated, strategy is the planning, coordination, and general direction of military operations to meet overall political and military objectives. Tactics implement strategy by short-term decisions on the movement of troops and employment of weapons on the field of battle.
.."Tactics is the art of using troops in battle; strategy is the art of using battles to win the war."
,,,Strategy and tactics, however, have been viewed differently in almost every era of history. The change in the meaning of these terms over time has been basically one of scope as the nature of war and society has changed and as technology has changed. Strategy, for example, literally means "the art of the general" and originally signified the purely military planning of a campaign. Thus until the 17th and 18th centuries strategy included to varying degrees such problems as fortification, maneuver, and supply. In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, with the rise of mass ideologies, vast conscript armies, global alliances, and rapid technological change, military strategy became difficult to distinguish from national policy or "grand strategy," that is, the proper planning and utilization of the entire resources of a society--military, technological, economic, and political.
,,,The change in the scope and meaning of tactics over time has been largely due to enormous changes in technology. Tactics have always been difficult--and have become increasingly difficult--to distinguish in reality from strategy because the two are so interdependent. (Indeed, in the 20th century, tactics have been termed operational strategy.) Strategy is limited by what tactics are possible; given the size, training, and morale of forces, type and number of weapons available, terrain, weather, and quality and location of enemy forces, the tactics to be used are dependent on strategic considerations.
,,,pls note; I just served only 11 years in the services BUT another 23+ years as Aviation Advisor plus Logistics Strategist/Planner with an International Oil & Gas Company, guess what was my guiding principles that I followed - "The Guiding Principles of War" !!. Indeed and if not WHY not ??.
,,,Most of it are interdependent, BUT unthinking rigid attention to a principle of war, however, can be unfortunate.
,,,basicly, we just need THINKING professional soldiers/officers in MINDEF that cares and be smart at it.... AND most of them were trained similarly as to what you and me had went through basic training in RMC too !. Good and honest foundation to start with ??.
,,,and corrupted military personnel should be charged for treason, full STOP. I fully support the new Chief.

I rest my case.

2Lt Peh Hoo Guan said...

We really lack of maintenance and manufacturing mentality of millitary equipment, and we lack of the mindset of improvising and inventions...pejolok laras senjata pun tak boleh mass manufacture Kalau senjata memang tak kisah la, tetapi, pejolok laras tu sememangnya benda yang agak simple..hilang satu pejolok laras pun dah kecoh 1 unit...siap kena debit lagi...padahal benda yang memang simple dan boleh mass produced untuk semua anggota dan di-issue dlm Exs,Ops dan latihan menembak...tapi hakikatnya, dalam 1 PL, 1 pejolok sahaja yang di-issue masa latihan.

It's time not to think of not just being a technology user only, we have to start with manufacturing and modifying our own military equipment to better suit our own needs even it has to start with only a simple pejolok laras or magazines. All achivement starts with one baby steps...start now or never...

askarsusu said...

Bro...
i like that penjolok laras..
hehehe.. yes u are right.. whatever u said just now it's very true.. satu penjolok laras hilang kecoh satu unit... tapi sebenar nya kalo kita melawat COD kat batu kantomen.. penjolok laras bertong-tong.. dan kalo tong tu diterbalekkan dan dan penjolok laras tu dijatuh kan keatas saya ... saya boleh lemas dengan penjolok laras tu...
apa yang saya cuba sampai kan spares kat COD tu berlambak-lambak tapi tak diagihkan... kita on the ground meraung kekurangan benda tu.. siapa yang dapat untung pembelian penjolok laras tu... tapi ada ke diagihkan?? kalo tanya jeneral logistik, dia kata pasukan tak minta lak.. tapi COD tak reveal pun apa yang ada kat stores dia org..
apa yang saya cuba sampai kan pembelian terlampau rahsia... konon-konon rahsia n strategik.. itu yang kita kena tipu pun tak de siapa tau... macam isu yang bro ceta pasal kapalselam yang tak dibuat open tender.. kapal selam tu pun kepala FRENCH punya n ekor SPAIN punya... apa pandai sangat lah kita nie.. hehehe.. tapi oklah kot ..
pembaziran memang dah jadi budaya kita.. tapi bukan budaya org bawah.. tapi budaya JENERAL lah.. tapi end of the day bukan jeneral tapi anggota bawahan gak yang disalahkan... betulkan? maintenance culture.. sebenarnya memang dah lama kita semua praktis kan tapi kalo tak de spare n peralatan nak maintain APA KE JADAH nak maintain.. pakai airliur ke? spares sampai semua sorok.. contoh.. kalo tak percaya cakap saya pergi COD dan tengok lah.. minyak senjata second world war.. yang vietnam war.. point 22 punya minyak senjata dari saiz small, medium n large pun masih ada.. dah bocor-bocor wat apa simpan.. siapa yang salah ni.. jeneral beli tak bagitau kat unit... tak ceta peralatan perubatan lagi.. kang ceta menangis lah ketua pengarah perubatan ATM BPK... lagi bersepah-sepah... hospital baru buka peralatan lama tak boleh pakai.. mesti nak peralatan baru... maintenance culture apa tu.. membazir culture ada lah.. siapa yang dapat keuntungan.. don't tell me that the middle manager n the other ranks share the profits..tak tau lah.. peritah ulung semua jeneral mesti ada maintenance culture.. tapi semua wayang kulit untuk justify dia orang menghabiskan duit ATM.. hehehe... BELAJAR BERKHIDMAT.. Ops lupa SELAMAT MENYAMBUT TAHUN BARU 2010 Buat semua BRADER.. Harap-harap AFATS tak kan ditutup lah hendaknya oleh PTDkan??? amin..hehehe .. sekarang pun dah jadi SPPTD..

maurice said...

Dear 2nd Lt Peh Hoo Guan,

I really like your suggestion.

Army should get STRIDE to do research on fundamental items like the pejolok, parang, material for loreng, boots,shoes, socks, underwear, beret, jungle hats etc.

The everyday items soldiers need to do their tasks in tropical jungle environment, their quality could be improved by further R&D by STRIDE.

We know for a fact the material for the above items are below the required standard.

For example look at the beret worn by our soldiers; neighbouring armies provide better beret quality for their soldiers.

Infantry soldiers curse the quality of parangs, ponco, boots etc they are equipped with.

STRIDE should use its R&D resources to help the MAF improve on its fundamental equipment rather than doing grandiose projects which do not benefit the soldiers/sailors/airmen directly.

maurice said...

ATSC was specially set-up by the Government to look after the maintenance of the MiG29.It was a joint venture company between the Government of Malaysia and MAPO (the Russian manufacturer of the MiG29).When ATSC was intially set up it was staffed by RMAF personnel.


Sometime later Tun Mahathir privatized ATSC together with AIROD, SMEA, and SMEO to PJS Industries owned by Tan Sri Ahmad Johan.The privatization exercise was to bring the Malaysian aerospace industries to greater height of achievement.

Five local companies were given DPA contract (direct purchase agreement) by Mindef.These companies are local agents to overseas vendors/stockist of MiG29 spare parts.

As far as I am aware, MAPO is not allowed to sell MiG29 spares direct to ATSC or the RMAF.All MiG29 spares must go through the Russian Government trading arm, called Roxboronexport.It is believed Roxboronexport often assign MiG29 spares parts to their agents in Euroupe.So before a spare part reaches ATSC, it has to go through 3 toll houses ie Roxboronexport, European agents and local DPA company.ATSC will add its own margin before finally billing the RMAF.That's why the MiG29 spares are so expensive here in Malaysia.Hope the Sukhoi spares supply system does not go the same route!

So the question that need to be asked:

Why is that the RMAF or ATSC are unable to purchase the MiG29 spares direct from MAPO?Surely Mindef then, during contract negotiation of the MiG29 project, could use its bargaining power to force the Russian to accede to our requirement if they want to sell their aircraft to us.

komando said...

Maintenance - is it a dirty word?

They say it makes our hands dirty!

So better pakai habis dan buang sahaja!

The ATM is old enough and has many a good brains to sit down and think seriously about self reliant!

Battles and future wars are a thing I can't imagine, without spares and replacement parts, we will last two weeks!

The scenario is simple..the supplier can turn around and say we have been "sanctioned" !

The UN just have to say that, what is going to happen?

Or worst still the biggest bullies can say we are a rogue state !

Where do we go then?

The good brains of this country is left to waste, because we were never ever serious to be self reliant!

The western blocs have their own agenda, what have we?
Which bloc do we belong to?
Are they bothered to fly in, ship in spares when all hell breaks loose!???
Where is the assurance if any, has been committed?
We must be realistic and cannot rely on promises, many promises were broken!

Rightfully pointed out we can't even produce the simplest of things for the soldier!

It is about time the "think tanks" get cracking and do not sit on their butts!

I wish all those Master Degree and PHD qualified officers become more serious in their outlook and thinking.

A piece of paper hanging on the wall behind one's desk remains just that and nothing more!

It means nothing!

Capt's Longhouse said...

maurice,

,,,exactly the point am putting across i.e. to treat maintenance as part of the war strategy !!. Logistics support is 70% of the battle success factor and our military strategists must capitalise on it up-front too. Treat this short-comings/failures as learnings plus crafting provocative propositions and organising principles plus its alignment prior to purchasing future/present hardwares etc. Our guys are all tactics & strategy trained militarily, utilize such skills-lah.

beb1961 said...

memang mmaintenance dalam angkatan tentera tidak banyak diambil berat. Bukannya langsung tidak ada tetapi hanya setakat minima sahaja. Saya masihn ingat ketika saya berkhidmat di RMAF pada awal tahun 1980an sebagai AC cabuk banyak spare part Karibo dihantar ke Singapore. Kebanyakkannya instrument yang ada di kokpit. Harga maintenance mak dato mahal betul syarikat singapore tu charge tak padan dengan kerja yang dibuat. Bila spare parts tak ada aircraft AOG. Kadangkala mengambil masa yang agak lama aircraft itu servicable sebab tunggu spareparts dari singapore tu.

taming said...

I like Capt's Longhouse's very phylosophical input on strategy and tactics which reminds early days when some of us went through various studies at the military schools like MAT, MPAT, war colleges and defence colleges!

If this country and the MAF were to
to adhere to the basic principles of war, the strategies and tactics as suggested by Capt's Longhouse, Dato Arshad and the bloggers will have very little to comment on some very critical issues which are ruining the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Maurice has highligted the facts on the forming-up of ATSC by Mahathir. I am sure Brig Gen Richard Robless who was appointed its first GM and later the CEO, would swear the decision to set-up ATSC to handle the MIG-29 and Russian equipments was a great idea which we must respect.

However, when honestly analysing what ATSC currently is , I feel very sad and I am sure Mahathir would feel the same, disappointed and disgusted. The ATSC privatisation, the appointment of local DPA contractors to handle non-proprietory spares and the manner in which MIG-29 spares are being sold to the RMAF by Mindef and ATSC cronies, is a big mistake which has become a laughing stock!

I know the MIG-29 parts and spare prices sold to the RMAF are beyond imagination and people are taking full advantage of making quick bucks at the government expense. There is too many loopholes
which are being exploited to the full by some irresponsible vultures.

I talked to some of the 5 DPA contractors originally appointed by the government to handle the MIG-29 spares, they reveal that there is so much hanky-panky going on, ranging from crony non-DPA hoders ( now very rich and made Datuks ) supplying parts to ATSC, new DPA holders given DPA contracts and many more nightmares. Currently many become MIG-29 DPA contractors overnight and they seem to be blessed by some politicians/ cronies. It's sickening and can you guess the number?

I know some prices sold to RMAF by certain crony companies through ATSC are beyond imagination and this is one of the reasons why MIG-29 maintenance cost artificially has been quoted very high, besides the services overcharging by ATSC and MAPO.

This case merits MACC to conduct a fair and thorough investigations to book the "culprits", once and for all putting a stop to this unscrupulous act of government funds hijackking in the broad daylight.

To top the above unfortunate episode, the ATSC has very senior government servants to sit as members of the Board of Directors who collect very handsome director allowances, honoriums and lucrative perks which render them
"impotent" to provide a fair and effective public service.

There is no arguement, these officers have very direct conflict of interest which the country has so much to lose. The government must immediately put a stop to this nonsense of very senior government servants sitting on boards of defence industry companies, drawing excessive financial returns ( official plus discreet) and perks which smells a form of corrupion.

I fully support Mahathir and his comment opposing the RMAF from stopping the operations of MIG-29because I know this aircraft is an excellent weapon systems which some poorer countries are able to sustain its operations. The current RMAF Chief, General Rodzali, former DA in Moscow, MIG-29 Project Team Leader and Squadron Commander would surely agree with continued operations of this figher plane, provided we embark upon a more economically and practical maintenance system.

I know some agenda is in hand to bring in new replacement aircraft for quick bucks! Please, there is no war to fight, the SUKHOI-30 and the MIG-29, properly equipped, maintained and professionally operated, are lethal weapon systems which would provide sufficient air power deterrance for our country in the region.

Salam,
Tamingsari

maurice said...

Capt's Longhouse,

Our Generals and Admirals know what they want for their soldiers/sailors/airmen.

The problem is most of the time they were overruled by the KSU and the political master who have other interests in mind.

The user (Army/Navy/Air Force) are left to their own device to maintain the systems after the purchase.

Just look at the following purchases: MLRS Astros, Jernas and PT91 Tank, all concluded without the required logistic packages.The Army is expected to maintain on their own.The RMN and RMAF are better off as they have Boustead Shipyard and AIROD to support them.

So it is the KSU and the political master that need to be educated in the art of militray strategy and thinking!

komando said...

It is not the matter of educating the Civilian Generals in Mindef!
It is our duty as a military professional to be honest with ourselves and speak the truth, no matter who is at the receiving end!

We must know what we want and what we need to ensure that the nation is secure and capable at all times!

The comments form the serving and those retired seems endless, from trucks to boots to even the simple "pull trough" for weapons cleaning!

Mine you, I am pretty sure our neighbours are laughing off their heads reading what we have been mumbling and talking!

It is sad, that this is the only forum for us to voice out what we are feeling, after years and years of bad practices!

How I wish we could do it behind closed doors, real "malu meludah dilangit kena pada muka sendiri"!

komando said...

Dear Brother Maurice, you are one of those who trust the Yankees so much right!

What have you to say about Tun M's saying he wished he did not approved the buying of the F-18's !

He finally revealed it after so many years, how sad indeed. What would have happened if we really needed the codes?

The code issue ?
Care to comment please!

maurice said...

Brother Komando,

With due respect to TM, what he said cannot be true.The RMAF will be the first to reject the F18's if their pilots do not have access to the weapon release codes.I cannot believe the RMAF accept the F18's blindly.

We have to admit the US has a better modality of eradicating corruption when dealing with foreign buyers for its weapon systems.So if we are serious about our crusade against corruption in Mindef and the MAF, please do not be afraid to look at the US model with sincerity.

Capt's Longhouse said...

THE ANT PHILOSOPHY !!



O.K. guys/buddies the year end is just hours away, guess lets have some fun reading this too, it has its lessons too if you read it carefully !!

1st PART PHILOSOPHY ANTS NEVER QUIT !!
...If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, they’ll climb around.
...They keep looking for another way.
LESSON: To never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go.??.

2nd PART PHILOSOPHY ANTS THINK WINTER ALL SUMMER ?!.
,,,You can’t be so na├»ve as to think summer will last forever. So ants are gathering their winter food in the middle of summer.
,,, You’ve got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun.
LESSON: It is important to be realistic. Think ahead !!.

3rd PART PHILOSOPHY ANTS THINK SUMMER ALL WINTER-lah !
,,,During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” At the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day.
LESSON: Stay positive at all times.

4th PART PHILOSOPHY ALL-THAT-YOU-POSSIBLY-CAN !!
,,,How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All that he possibly can.
LESSON: Do all you can….and more!

IN A NUT SHELL... FOUR-PART ANT's PHILOSOPHY
,,,Never Give Up !!
.. Look Ahead !!
.. Stay Positive!!
.. Do All You Can ??

“Don’t be encumbered by history, just go out & do something wonderful”...Happy New Year 2010 !?.

Just be like an ANT (semut)....its not that bad !!....in fact, its bloody GOOD !!.
,,,BUT just watch out for 'Joe' the Snake too !! hahaha.

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,and I was just an ANT (semut) b4 while in the services and still is so till today and still "bites & stings". hehehe!!..crazy ant indeed.

Cheers guys !! Relax be Cool.

Capt's Longhouse said...

Dear Tamingsari and the rest,

I will share with you what i suggested to another blogger buddy that might be of interests to you too ??.....(he is looking into the formation of Voter’s Association (VA)or as Lobbyist,,,,

"""""drrafick,

,,,Large-scale corruption by high-level public officials—kleptocracy—is a particular threat for democracy and rule of law in our country. Such corruption undermines financial accountability, discourages foreign investment, stifles economic performance, and diminishes trust in legal and judicial systems.
,,,Kleptocracy is indeed a development issue, because high-level corruption undermines economic development and renders important issues, such as the fight against poverty, ineffective.
,,,We are not wrong to assume that in many if not all of our Govn. Ministries, kleptocrats have lined their own pockets instead of funding development, such as new roads, schools, and hospitals. Proper procurement of defence equipments etc etc. and the acquisition of goods and/or services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the right quality and quantity, at the right time, in the right place and from the right source for the direct benefit or use of the nation.
,,,Lobbyist has to develop new ways to deny corrupt officials access to the wealth they have accumulated through corrupt activities, and they have been employing new ways to target their assets.
,,,The strategy should also take the fight against high-level corruption to a new level by involving both local and foreign partners and financial institutions in more robust efforts to develop best practices for uncovering and seizing stolen funds, enhance information sharing, and ensure greater accountability for all Federal and State government project developments.
,,,Two crucial aspects of the fight against kleptocracy are the denial of safe haven to corrupt officials and Asset Recovery & proper dispersion of the proceeds of corrupt acts.

…Suggest that these are the areas that our Local VA or Malaysian Lobbyist should concentrate on from 2010 onwards !!. AND am dead sure, you will have/get our full support too."""""

I rest my case.

Capt.