SME Ordnance

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SME Ordnance Sdn Bhd
Industry Industrial, Defence
Founded 12 November 1969
Headquarters Batu Arang, Selangor, Malaysia
Products Document management systems, firearms, ammunition and pyrotechnics

The SME Ordnance Sdn Bhd company (SMEO), formerly known as Syarikat Malaysia Explosive Sdn Bhd, is a Malaysian defence company that specialises in the manufacturing and marketing of ordnance.[1] The company is located in Batu Arang, Selangor.[2]

SMEO is a subsidiary company of National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd.[3]


SME Ordance was created in 1969 as a joint venture company with equity participation between the Government of Malaysia, Dynamit Nobel of Germany, Oerlikon Machine Tools of Switzerland and two local partners namely Syarikat Permodalan Kebangsaan and Syarikat Jaya Raya Sdn Bhd.[3][4] The Malaysian government later acquired all shares in 1974, making SMEO a government-owned company.[4] In 1991, SMEO acquired a licence to manufacture Steyr AUG rifles.[1][5] Joint production with Steyr later started in 2003 and 2004.[6][7] SMEO later withdrew from joint production, leading to lawsuits from Steyr.[8] This led to arguments between SME Ordnance and Steyr over allegation of contract violations.[9]

On 28 September 1993, SMEO was approved by Royal Ordnance Division, British Aerospace (BAe) as the preferred suppliers of weapons and ammunition.[4] The Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) bestowed & registered SMEO’s quality system as compliant with MS ISO 9002:1991 systems on 7 December 1993.[4] On 21 February 2001, SMEO had integrated Syarikat Malaysia Explosive Technologies Sdn Bhd due to problems after the company had fulfilled their contracts to the Defence Ministry.[10]

SME Ordnance had acquired the licence to manufacture M4 carbines in 2006-2007 with Colt Defence, as announced by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak after he gave SMEO a letter of intent to procure 14,000 rifles to replace the Steyr AUG.[11][12] In 2009, SMEO announced that they would invest RM36.4 million for further research and development into the M4.[3] The amount consists of RM26.4 million, which will be for the purchase of machinery and RM10 million for the buildings.[3] 14,000 M4s will be supplied to the Malaysian army.[13] Under the ASEAN Defence Industry Collaboration programme, Malaysia plans to produce the M4 carbine together with Indonesia and Thailand.[14]


Although it manufactures ammunition and pyrotechnics, SMEO is known for the manufacture of the Steyr AUG and the M4 carbine under licence.[1][11] They are in service with the Malaysian Army.[1][11]


  1. ^ a b c d "Products and Services". Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Marhalim Abas (5 December 2011). "Local production of M4 to begin in 2013". The Sun Daily. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d Samantha Tan Chiew Tieng (31 December 2009). "SME Ordnance Plans RM36 Million Investment For M4 Carbine Development". Bernama. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Company Profile". Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Watters, Daniel E. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 1990-1994". The Gun Zone. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Watters, Daniel E. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 2004". The Gun Zone. Retrieved 21 June 2008. 
  7. ^ "Austria to shift assault rifle Steyr production to Malaysia". Defence Talk. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Watters, Daniel E. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 2005". The Gun Zone. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Marhalim Abas (7 October 2009). "Rifle dumped by US for our soldiers". Malay Mail. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  10. ^ New Straits Times, 21 February 2001, National Section, "Arms producer to be absorbed by sister company", page 8.
  11. ^ a b c "Malaysia has licence to make M4 assault rifles". The Star. 5 November 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Watters, Daniel E. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 2006". The Gun Zone. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "MEO has yet to sign MLA with Colt". KL Security Review. Retrieved 24 August 2010. 
  14. ^ KL eyes rifle deal with Jakarta and Bangkok, New Strait Times, 21 May 2011.

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