Thursday, February 13, 2014

Malaysian Armed Forces expected to strengthen stable of 4x4 vehicles

Malaysian defence company DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) is expected to forge a strategic alliance with United States cross-country vehicle manufacturer, AM General - better known as the maker of the Hummer - in a move expected to strengthen the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia's (ATM, Malaysian Armed Forces) stable of 4x4 light wheeled vehicles.

Leading the charge is this High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or Hummer, which is expected to be resprayed in ATM colours in time for the Defence Services Asia 2014 (DSA) weapons show in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The cost of the makeover is expected to be borne by Deftech. The company is also committed to restoring the vehicle, seen here at the Singapore Airshow 2014, to its original warpaint.

Senang Diri understands an announcement between AM General and Deftech can be expected during DSA. The arms exhibition will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur from 14  to 17 April 2014.

The partnership will be a boost for Malaysia's defence industrial base as it will complement efforts currently underway to build up expertise to manufacture and support  armoured fighting vehicles in the Federation.

The  Hummer seen above in US Army colours recently completed a series of road and cross-country driving trials in Malaysia.

Senang Diri understands that the firsthand look at the Hummer allowed the ATM to compare and contrast the performance of AM General's best seller with the similar looking Urovesa VAMTAC 4x4 which serves the Malaysian Army. The Spanish-built VAMTAC, which is used by some eight countries, is slightly larger and wider than the Hummer.

VAMTACs serve the ATM as weapon carriers.

The order book for VAMTACs is eclipsed by AM General, which has made some 300,000 Hummers for nearly 60 customers worldwide.


Zi'Ang.C said...

Hi David,

that mentioned, how does the Humvees stack up against the VAMTACs currently in ATM service? The trend worldwide, at least in the armies engaged in Afghanistan and other theatres of asymmetrical warfare seems to be that of augmenting or replacing their conventional wheeled vehicles with those having MRAP capability. Would you forsee the ATM making a transition to such vehicles as their mainstay than adapting the Humvee?


Anonymous said...

At first glance, an MRAP might be too specialized a vehicle for conventional warfare and as you noted the trend is limited to armies engaged in counter insurgency. Higher ground pressure and higher profile, inadequate horizontal protection. There are several tracked IFV programmes going on- the GCV, FRES, K21, Puma. There is also a major 8x8 trend showing that strategic mobility is still valued by most armies. Despite the lower cost, an MRAP is likely not optimal for this function.

David Boey said...

Hi Zi'Ang,
The Humvees are said to be superior to the VAMTACs and easier to maintain.

The ATM has amassed extensive experience operating wheeled armour. Cost issues aside, most armies are unlikely to field an MRAP heavy vehicle fleet as light tactical vehicles such as the Humvee can perform a large number of support roles in support of day-to-day ATM operations in peacetime, troubled peace and war.

The selling points for the HMMWV include its ruggedness, mobility and soldier-proof engineering.

Don't forget that some of our scout platoons still use the Mercedes-Benz MB240GD as a scout vehicle. Completely open, unarmoured, questionable mobility over rough ground, more fragile than a Humvee. How long do you think these MB jeeps can last in a real op against credible opposition?

Best regards,


PakTorKing said...

Why Singapore never update fleet?

Buy Ford but that is non military specific design leh.

Why not buy or build something like the Foxhound from FPE or maybe something similar but lighter with adaptability.