The Guns Of Kuala Lumpur- Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters that the first of 22 South African 155mm 45-caliber G5 Mark 3 towed artillery systems ordered in 2000 would arrive in December. The howitzers (along with 18 Brazilian-made Astros II multiple launch rocket system (MLRS)) were among the defense assets which had been approved under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) to beef up Kuala Lumpur's national defense system. The Defense Ministry also planned to buy submarines, air defense system, tanks and helicopters.
In October 2000, South Africa's Denel group signed an $50m agreement with the Malaysian government to supply the G5 artillery systems, along with accessories, fire control system, ammunition and modular charges, as well as logistic support and training packages. The Mk 3 was the latest version of the 1980's-vintage G5 artillery system, incorporating digital fire control, advanced communications and enhanced safety features.
The G5s were to be delivered in stages, with the first batch expected within 12 months of contract signing. Capable of hitting a target up to 39km away, the G5s have been advertised as capable of coastal defense fire missions. The G5 weighs 13.75 tons, making it air-mobile by Malaysia's nine C-130H and easily transported on barges or the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD "RAJA JAROM" 511-1152 class Landing Ship Tank (LST). - Adam Geibel