Saturday, January 9, 2010

VERA-E – WAS IT A SENSIBLE ACQUISITION?

Back in 2007 (the year when the lost of the RMAF jet engines were detected), the Malaysian army acquired a passive defence sensor from the Czech Republic at a cost that is unknown to the tax payers, supposedly on grounds that the purchase is deemed highly classified’ which in reality is the contrary. The commercial name for the equipment is VERA-E, and reports has it that a similar equipment is also manufactured in Ukraine under the commercial name of KOLCHUGA, developed by a consortium that took eight years (1993-2000) of research and development...........details of the equipment is readily available in Wikipedia.

Apparently, the decision to acquire VERA-E was decided by a few 'top notch' military officers (predominantly army) without it having to go through the usual technical evaluation, considering that the operational nature of equipment will impact upon other Electronic Support Measures (ESM) systems that are in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Royal Malaysia Navy (RMN). An all paid visit by some military officers to the Czech Republic was all that was necessary.

Reports have it that initially, the RMAF were coerce to accept the equipment, but the RMAF for reasons of its own, refused to have anything to do with the equipment. Since the decision to acquire have been made, army is now saddled with the responsibility to operate and maintain it; rightly or wrongly.

Wikipedia describes VERA-E briefly as follows:

'VERA-E a passive radiolocator is an electronic support measures (ESM) system the uses measurements of time difference of arrival (TDOA) of pulses at three or four sites to accurately detect and track airborne emitters'.

'The System is generally line-of-sight limited, with a nominal range of 450 km, the normal radio horizon'. (KOLCHUGA has a detection range in excess of 450 km)

'Up to 200 targets can be automatically tracked simultaneously, with an output rate adjustable from 1 to 5 seconds'.

While I cannot dispute the need for army to be equipped with ESMs in this modern day battlefield; the question that needs to be asked is whether VERA-E with a 450 km detecting range is tactically and operationally prudent to meet the battlefield ESM needs of the army. Isn't the deployment of VERA-E is best served by the RMAF whose role is to maintain surveillance of the airspace well beyond the horizon? And why does army require an ESM system which has a detection range that far exceeds the optimum range of its largest guns and missiles? Or is the army now thinking of acquiring rockets and missiles exceeding the range of 450 km? I am no battlefield strategist, but I feel VERA-E acquisition far exceeds the requirement of army.

Now, the million dollar questions that one needs to ask are as follows. First, on what basis was the acquisition made? Was it based on a professional or a business imperative? If it was the latter, then it is not too far fetch to presume that there were solicited kickbacks to sponsors of the acquisition.

Second, who actually toyed with the idea of acquiring the VERA-E from the Czech Republic and why?

Third, was the decision to acquire within the planned acquisition programme, or was it a 'spontaneous' purchase devised by someone with financial expectations?

Fourth, why was it so necessary that the acquisition be made through direct negotiation, rather than by the open tender system?

Fifth, who was the agent or middleman that was linked to the contract?

Six, since ESM deployed in the battlefield has impact on other likely ESM operated by the other sister services, was there any consultation made with the two sister services?

Lastly, is army thinking of fighting alone without the support of its two sister services; hence a 450 km passive defence sensor? Have army dumped the Joint Warfare doctrine and if so, why does the Armed Forces need the Joint Force HQ?

Lets us hope that in this particular acquisition, the name Sydney Franklin does not come into play at all, or another tailoring company being offered the contract in a platter.

Honestly, I am sick and tired of hearing contracts being awarded through some dubious process, because some 'top-notch military officers' decided so, without any professional consideration, thought and planning and worse still, without taking into account the expectant operational inter-play of the other two services. For a capital purchase of such significance to the entire the Armed Forces, it cannot be decided by 'a selected few', and worse still by just one man.

This deal certainly has the trimmings of corruption and abuse, and it must be thoroughly investigated to bring to justice all those who were a party to this outrageous unsavory act. The nation must never allow the greed of a few to compromise national defence and security.

Will Mindef be ready to open up a preliminary investigation into this acquisition?


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

32 comments:

synchonocity said...

Dear Dato'
I simply cannot fathom the fact that you write as after events. Pardon my french, these folks don''t care a F@#$k for what you are saying or insinuating. The only thing you are able to is to enlighten us, the readership.Damage is done, we are sorely "wrongly equipped",spares etc. will go on for many years to come, then suddenly "phase out"will be shouted. The vicious cycle goes on. These acts of unprofessional officers and civilians, in cohort with their cronies can fall under the classification of treason. But, we live in times of 'karaoke'women and C4 perpetrators leading the pack.We aim to be a credible force, but with this going on, I have serious doubts. I can only hope for the new generation of "stars"to simply do their job as officers and gentlemen.I can still remember the old IMA credo - "The welfare of your nation comes first, then your men, and lastly yours".Will we ever see the day when our Military is led by people who will live by this. I am a realist, so my thought is no.

komando said...

We buy what the Minister and the contractor says so my dear Dato Pak Chad!

The PTD has to agree, what choice does he has?

Derhaka kalau dia tidak ikut perintah...ingat dia dari kor apo?

"TAAT SETIA" !

See I tolded you - the PTD must always be a RAMD officer!

komando said...

If the PTD was a Ranger officer he would shout the war cry:

"AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN"

Which literally means selagi hidup kita melawan !

MELAWAN APO - Melawan yang jahat, melawan yang tidak baik, melawan yang tidak benar, melawan yang buruk, melawan yang tidak betul, Melawan yang tidak adil, melawan yang zalim, melawan yang tipu kita semua !

MAKA SEKARANG PEGAWAI PEGAWAI RANGER TIDAK AKAN JADI PTD HINGGA DUNIA INI KHIAMAT!

APATAH LAGI DARI KOR LAIN!

PM said...

Looks like the army do not know what they want and this leads to the next question do they understand the roles of the Services in Joint Warfare???

synchonocity said...

Remember the expression "squeeze your balls". Well, I suppose that is being done to our Chiefs by the political masters. But, then again, they may not be able to do this, as these top brass may not have balls in the first place.

maurice said...

I think we should not question why the Army need such a capability because this falls under the realm of operational requirement for which the Military Commander of the day knows best what equipment he needs to maintain the military detterrent posture in order to keep the peace.

But we can question how the procurement was done and by whom.

It is not correct to say that every mega project comes from the top.Most projects come from the users themselves except VShorad Jernas, 4xA400M Airbus Tranport aircraft and the 2nd Regiment MLRS ASTROS Avibras.

Now to the VERA- E, I was told the agent is Sydney Franklin who is also the agent for the 2xRegiment MLRS ASTROS Avibras. For some reasons known best to KSU, Sydney Franklin a British citizen is allowed to represent the VERA-E and MLRS ASTROS Avibras in Malaysia without the need to appoint a local company.Really strange and going against Government's policy.

Sydney Franklins I was told boasted that he has many top civil servants, military officers and politicians as his friends.This I tend to believe as he has been seen walking in the corridors of power in Mindef and MOF unescorted and attending high profile wedding receptions and Hari Raya Open Houses hosted by top military leaders since the late 90s.

I was also told Sydney Franklin is a close associate of Tan Sri Arumugam who is behind many mega defence projects since the days of Tun Mahathir.

I was told he is VERY generous in entertaining VIPs to receptions and entertaiments overseas in particular his home base in London.Believe it or not, certain VIPs received the VIP treatment including the use of his Rolls Royce while in London.


To my mind there are enough reasons for Mindef and MACC to investigate the award of the VERA-E and 2xRegts MLRS ASTROS Avibras if the Government is really serious in eradicating corruptiion.

PM said...

"Friends of Sydney Franklins" I should say they are leeches and when Sydney is sucked dried of blood the leeches will look for a new victim.

maurice said...

Dear PM,

It is the other way around!
Syney Franklin is sucking our country of its resources from the high commission he gets from the sale of 2xMLRS ASTROS and VERA-E passive radar.The total cost of these projects is about RM2.5 billions.Since the three contracts were awarded on direct negotiation basis, his commision could easily exceed 30% of the project cost.So he is getting AT LEAST RM750 millions!With that kind of money, surely he could take care of things.Our people tak ada dignity, selling their souls to our former colonial master.

Legion™ said...

As far as what I gathered regarding VERA-E when it was first reported last year, the original company that manufactured the VERA-E was acquired by a US defense contractor. It was said that the VERA-E technology was able to detect radiation transmissions produced by stealth aircrafts as per the US arsenal. The VERA-E technology should be quite unique in that sense. Therefore, I thought that was why the purchase was classified or not widely announced.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

Lets hear what others have to say or know about Sydney Franklin, before we take the case a step further. This man seems to have our leaders in his pocket. I am not surprise if he is also in full knowledge of our defence plans, or is he a party to the plans? Don't our AF bosses sees this, or are they all being well fed by this man?

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

Lets hear what others have to say or know about Sydney Franklin, before we take the case a step further. This man seems to have our leaders in his pocket. I am not surprise if he is also in full knowledge of our defence plans, or is he a party to the plans? Don't our AF bosses sees this, or are they all being well fed by this man?

Capt's Longhouse said...

,,,And so the lesson is enforced that true virtue lies in practical deeds of manlinss, kindness, and good faith.

…exhortation to Faith, Obedience, a sense of Personal Responsibility, and Prayer.

,,,when faith is lost, people put off obedience with various excuses; even when at last they obey in the letter, they fail in the spirit, which means that they get fossilised, and their self-sufficiency prevents them from seeing that spiritually thay are not alive but dead. For life is movement, activity, striving, fighting against baser things.

Salam,

Capt.

taming said...

Dato' Arshad,

Seperti Dato', maurice dan ramai kawan-kawan lain, saya juga amat kenal Sydney Franklin, Arumugam dan satu lagi, David Yeoh, manusia dilahirkan dimuka bumi ini untuk menjadi "arms merchants" yang bijak dan licik diMalaysia yang saya namakan PWR.

Saya percaya Dato' sendiri sedia maklum semasa berkhidmat dalam ATM, bagaimana PWR ini
beroperasi dengan begitu bijak dan teratur sehingga ramai pemimpin-pmimpin tinggi awam dan tentera terjerumus menjadi kawan-kawan mereka. Ramai diantara kita juga dengar dan lihat, mungkin ada menerima "rasuah T shirt dan satu sleeve golf balls" daripada mereka, tetapi ramai pula yang membina tiang rumah dan pintu-pintu kayu jati mahal-mahal melalui "hadiah" PWR.

Kita tahu berapa harga sesuatu peralatan sistem pertahanan dan kita juga tahu berapa yang dibayar oleh kerajaan, satu-satunya harga amat tinggi yang tidak munasabah dan sangat berbedza kerana PWR mesti menentukan jumlahnya untuk diagihkan kepada kuncu-kuncu pemimpin politik, pegawai PTD dan pegawai tinggi ATM.

Ramai kawan-kawan atau pegawai-pegawai tinggi yang kita syak kerana telah menjadi kaya raya dalam masa yang singkat dan kita juga tahu kekayaan ini bukalah kerana gaji, harta pesaka atau perniagaan tetapi ada "kekayaan serta-merta dari langit"! Kita tak perlu jaga tepi kain orang tetapi Allah swt maha mengetahui.

MACC boleh menyiasat semua sistem pertahanan yang telah dibeli oleh kerajaan Malaysia untuk ATM, tetapi saya percaya MACC tidak sanggup meneliti mereka yang terlibat kerana mereka semua
telah mati, bersara atau sedang memegang jawatan-jawatan yang sangat tinggi dan tentu sekali akan menyusahkan mereka sendiri pula!

Pada hakikatnya PWR akan menentukan bersama pemimpin atasan apa sistem yang bakal memberi habuan yang banyak. Pengguna (ATM)pula menyediakan GSR yang PWR juga sangat faham bahawa TIADA pegawai tinggi ATM yang menentang kehendak pemimpin politik ( kerana semua mahu jaga periok nasi) dan itulah sebabnya semua GSR-GSR diolahkan begitu rupa, sesuai dengan rancangan PWR.

Bermula dengan British MOU(Pesawat Hawk, Frigates, Martello Radars, C4I, Starburst Missiles), RMN's Corvettes dari Italy, MLRS dari Brazil, JERNAS dari BAE, Vera-E dari Czech dan bayak lagi yang Menteri Zahid Hamidi perlu ambil iktibar untuk disiasat!

Kita tidak mengharapkan MACC menyiasat kes-kes ini kerana trelalu banyak kes rasuah lain yang harus diberi keutamaan. Jika Dato' Arshad, maurice, EAGLE, capt's Longhouse dan ramai lagi kawan-kawan bloggers dilantik bersama saya menjadi penyiasat kes-kes ini, saya pasti ramai mungkin terpaksa memulangkan wang rakyat yang telah dirampas oleh PWR
( PERAMPAS WANG RAKYAT).

"A pathetic state of affair, ruining the image of Mindef and the military which becomes one of the root causes of the perceived corruptions among the military"!

tamingsari

eli said...

Unbelievable!! . Another startling exposure of a perfect con job by Sydney Franklin. VERA – B is not the appropriate solution for our AA Defense. No wonder, the Air Force had refused to use the system. No body in the Army, Navy and Air Force wanted the system except fools who were corrupt.

hussin said...

"If You Want To Fight Corruption, You have To Change The Government" - Zaid Ibrahim
http://kerabubersuara.blogspot.com/

Dear Dato, I totally agree with Dato Zaid. Corruption is deeply embeded in the system. Only by changing the system, can corruption be checked. It has been proven that the change of leadership from Paklah to Najib means nothing. The system left by 22 years of TDM premiership is what we are in today.

Wallahu'alam.

askarsusu said...

A'kum Bro Komando
jgn lah emotional on RAMD... jgn ingat RAMD tak melawan untuk yang benar.. kalo tak, tak kan ada Hang Jebat... RAMD kalo melawan lagi teruk sampai ke sultan pun disanggahnya... pls jgn lah main sentimen bangsa n kor... kami RAMD nak tengok kebenaran gak.. ramai Jen yang baru macam Hang Jebat.. tetapi melawan dengan bijaksana, saya sedih bila prasangka begini terus dimainkan seolah2 RAMD buruk sangat.... cuba sebut siapa mamat RAMD tu jgn semata-mata sebut kelompok RAMD macam stereotype aje... matang lah sikit bro, tq wsalam... BELAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT... hehehe

komando said...

Askar susu, sorry to have disturb your feelings. the real RAMD officers yang berani lawan dah pencen semua dah beb!

askarsusu said...

patah tumbuh hilang berganti... insya'alah kalau ada rezeki akan kami bukti kan.... kalo saya hidup zaman bro pun kami sangat-sangat ingin kan untuk mendapat SP n PGB dari dapat Tan Sri n Datoship... lagi lah nak lawan politician.. hehehe... biar ku jadi mcm Tan Sri Sany pun tak pe... dia tetap ku sanjung walau ahli politik membenci dia... hehehe.. BELAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT... amin..

askarsusu said...

tak pun jadi macam Dato Gaffir pun jadi lah... Sir i'm sick n tired with the way they manage our organization.. from G matters to A matters as well as Q matters... all being political driven... it's just becoz the chiefs are not unite... it's not impossible to demand respect from the politicians if we are unite... actually the politicians knows we are the best employee among the civil servants... and it's been proof by MAMPU star rating.. and u surely know how we work... it's never being change seen 1st mac 1933 sir... hehehe

askarsusu said...

dan darah ini tak kan berubah kerana ia telah dibesarkan oleh susu ATM... dia akan terus kekal dengan azam untuk mendapat kegemilangan seperti dahulu untuk membawa panji-panji kita terus dihormati.... kalo rebah pun biar lah rebah seperti zaman rasullah...insya'alah...

maurice said...

Dear Taming,

I must say you have given us an accurate analysis of the situation.

Rumours has it that David Yeoh (consultant to BAE) had a hand in the early retirement of Lt Jen Dato Ghaffir.Dato Ghaffir being a true professional did not tow the political line with regard to the Jernas VSHORAD.He did not see Jernas to be a cost effective solution as a point defence for troops in the battle field.This man of principle did not go well with the politicians who view defence procurement as a cash cow and therefore want military leaders to do their biddings like what is happening in the recent past and at the present time.As for Dato Ghaffir the rest is history and he can sleep well every night these days, as Jernas true to his assessment is causing continous and constant headache to the Army leadership.

People like David Yeoh had caused a lot of harm to the Army and Nation in that good military leaders like Dato Ghaffir who could have given the Army excellent military leadership had been cast aside by people with monetary and personal agenda to pursue at the expense of our Army and Nation.

muhammad arshad raji said...

Dear Maurice,

I agree that principled military officers are hard to come by these days. And you are correct to say that Gen Ghafir can sleep soundly in retirement without the curses and swearing of others.

komando said...

Askar susu, saya harap anda jangan give up, dan teruskan berjuang untuk keadilan kepada semua anggota, terutamanya orang bawah kita!
Siapa lah kita kalau tidak ada macai?

"All chiefs and no Indians makes you a lame duck, even a dead duck!"

komando said...

We should all go and see this so called top arms dealer in this country soon I guess

ismeth said...

salam semua..

zaman ini semuanya salah...yang betul , yang baik, yang bagus semuanya masa lalu. sebabnya, semua yang sibuk menghentam kat sini kebanyakannnya dah berhenti dan pencen..ataupun yan g nak masuk kontrak askar tak dapat..so, ada tiket le nak hentam askar zaman ini.mindef..semuanya kata tak bagus...bagusle...dedahkan sampai telanjang keupayaan pertahanan kita, senang risik-risik dari negara jiran dan mungkin musuh kita nak menilai keupayaan dan kemampuan ATM...kat mana titik lemahnya...bagusle...teruskan menelanjangi sistem kita, senjata kita, keupayaan kita. supaya ATM ini jadi bacul, lemah dan tak mampu berhadapan dengan musuh apabila maklumat yang sepatutnya rahsia didedahkan..bagusle...TAAT SETIA..

maurice said...

Sdr Ismeth,

Military procurement should be made transparent for the purpose of military deterrence.

The function of the Armed Forces is to keep the peace (prevent the outbreak of war), not to create war.If war breaks out, then the Armed Forces has failed its duty to keep the peace.

To keep the peace, the Armed Forces must deter other people from even thinking of attacking us.How do we do that? One way is that we show other people what we have in terms of military hardware.This is what Singapore is doing now, showing its military hardware to neighbouring states that they have better military hardaware than us.

So we have to think 10 times before wanting to harm Singapore by military means because they can use their better military hardware to incur extensive damage to our defence and economic infrastructures.So they have deterred us from even thinking of attacking them, which means their armed forces has successfully fulfilled its role of keeping the peace for their citizens.This is the main function of any armed forces, to keep the peace.

So military procurement must be made transparent and not in great secrecy for the purpose military deterrence.Also better military hardwares for the MAF is an essential prequisite to achieving the desired military deterrence.

But how we want to use our military hardwares in times of conficts, this is another matter altogether. These military plans of course will be accorded the highest security classification with all the necessary protection and safeguards as you have rightly pointed out.

askarsusu said...

Hehehe.... Bro Ismeth.. i like your statement....

lemahnya...bagusle...teruskan menelanjangi sistem kita, senjata kita, keupayaan kita. supaya ATM ini jadi bacul, lemah dan tak mampu berhadapan dengan musuh..

sejak bila kita tak bacul... BACUL DENGAN POLITICIANS....

minta maaf PANGLIMA kalo saya berkasar... ampun dan maaf dipinta..
Bro Maurice saya setuju dengan bro.. well done..

TAAT SETIA & BELAJAR UNTUK BERKHIDMAT..

askarsusu said...

lagi satu saya setuju dgn contoh singapore.. kenapa dia org bagus bcoz ramai menteri dia ex armed forces pers.... sbb tu dia org bagus.. bukan macam malaysia.. kalo ada pun pengarah kagat tu pun najib tak de ulamak nak sokong dia dah tu yang ambil jamil khair.. cuba kabinet kt ada strong pers like TS sany n Dato Ghaffir dalam kabinet baru UMPhhhhhh......

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

If the AF reasoned that they want to keep classified some of the military hardware they purchase, I say it is bull-shit. The only reason they want to keep the acquisition classified is because they want to hide the costs.
Don't they know that the moment a purchase is made, it will appear in Jane magazine? In fact, Jane will even know well in advance. We can only hide, if we develop our own hardware, and that is not forthcoming in a million years.

pendita said...

The more time you spent worrying about the past, the less time you have to think about the future....
Anthony Robbins.

Thanks.

F said...

The only reason I can think why its the army and not the RMAF that operates the VERA is the army already has a unit equipped with
alerting devices and guns/missiles, GAPU. Or maybe its just plain inter service infighting again or meddling by politicans? As VERA is capable of detecting the data links on UAVs and TACAN on aircraft, I suppose it will be used by GAPU to supplement the radars and be used as an early warning device.

It's basicly a land based EW system so I fail to understand why there is so much secrecy mantained over the purchase.

lam said...

Vera-E was delivered in 2009, See this report.

Kuala Lumpur, KLS: Source at DSA 2010 confirmed that Czech VERA-E Mobile Long-range Passive Surveillance System is already in Malaysia now.

Previously, Malaysia had signed a MOU with OMNIPOL which is only exporter of VERA-E on August 7th, 2007 at Malaysian Ministry of Defense.

But, top rank officers of MINDEF denied it due to the sensitiveness of importing VERA-E system. VERA-E is reported to be able to detect stealth aircraft.

http://www.klsreview.com/HTML/2010Jan_Jun/20100419.html