Friday, April 23, 2010


I received an SMS last night from a reader citing that I have been erroneous in some facts that I have stated relating to the acquisition of the 8 x8 FNSS AFV (refer to article titled ‘Billions in defence deal clinched at DSA 2010 dated April 22, 2010). The point in contention relates to a statement that I made i.e. that due to the weight of the AFV, in all probability it will sink in our terrain; hence “ deploying them in dry padi land and oil palm/rubber estate is out of the question”.

The facts mentioned by the reader I quote, “When we did our trial 4 or 5 years back, we were doing the trial most of the time during rainy season. The paya (marshy) areas that we were in were damn soggy and bloody soft, worst that wet padi field. I didn’t remember we got stranded in muddy areas. I can certify to you as the expert in this field, my MSC degree in Weapon and Vehicle System, all the three 8 x 8 we tested including PATRIA, PARS and MOWAG went through wet ground test inclusive padi field with flying colours. I can also assure you the ground pressure of most world 8 x 8 is small enough to operate in our padi field”.

I do not wish to dispute the above statement made by an expert who was involved in the trial, and wish to acknowledge and assume responsibility that I may have misled my readers into believing what I have written.

Be that as it may, my position with regards to a statement that the 8 x 8 AFV regardless of model and manufacturer) is too cumbersome for the Malaysian terrain still remains. I am of the opinion that a smaller, lighter and a well armed AFV is the better choice. After all, it is the weapons systems used that are critical in battle.



maurice said...

I think it is still not too late for the Armour leadership to rethink the role and function of the Cavalry Regiments: the ones that are intended to be equipped with the 8 x 8.

We should draw strength and lessons from our past military history, not forgetting the trend in regional and global military development about how the Cavalry functions could be carried by other means, other than the 8x8 monster.So is it really necessary to equip all the Cavalry Regiments with the 8x8? Why not look other ways of doing things which are more effective and less costly.

Surveillance and screening operations by Cavalry Regiments using AFVs belong to past military doctrine.These functions these days are best done by modern technologies and machines which are more effective and suitable in our tropical terrain.

The Armour Corps still have a chance to put itself as the premier teeth arms of the Army if only its leadership is willing to embark on transfroming its ideology, organization and weapon systems to fight future war.

Please do not commit the mistake of organizing, equipping and training the Armour Corps for the last war.

komando said...

This machine is good for target practice...go take a real good look at the size....

how much firepower does it have?

how much speed does it have?

how much manouvarability has it ?

how much RANGE can it cover with single fuel load?

How about parking and hiding from the enemy, from above and on the ground ?

Just simple questions asked in PULADA ?

Can you see the enemy, if yes,
he can see you too !

I have not mentioned about resup plans & the recovery plans yet ?


Fighting a war on paper is easy...we talk of real life scenarios...swamps, rivers, our terrain from north to south and east to west....!


abdulhalimshah said...

With hindsight, the Japanese had shown the Imperial powers during the Second World War that speed and surprise apart from hardware overran the country within such a short span of time.
In this new millennium, definitely countries with sophisticated high tech weapons coupled with highly-trained and well-equipped armed forces personnel will be a deterrent. But if our soldiers and infantrymen are issued with sub-standard and out-dated equipment, we would just be a walkover.

Capt's Longhouse said...


,,,may i suggest that the Cavalry Regiment to seriously consider utilizing helicopters too as part of their inventory ?. Its a flying tank so to say, with multiple roles.

komando said...

Capt Pak Uban, that is why you left early, and me too...nobody listens...their pockets do the listening and talking..

Please do not think they do not know that a HELI is the best Tank & APC killer !

Leaders with ball-less configuration...cannot speak, cannot justify, cannot rebutt, cannot sum up a good or bad equipment....

as good as headless, brainless, lastly leader-less organization!



maurice said...

Suggest the Armour leadership look at the following organizing principles to prepare for future warfare:

Tank fighting using Tanks, helicopters and UAVs.

Surveillance and screening functions using UAVs, light AFVs, scout vehicles and motor cycles parties.

FMZam said...

Dear all,

There's no more good to talk from the drawing board about this because the deal has been sealed. The only thing left for crusaders is to fight it out on the purchase of that overpriced sonofabitch 8X8, a cool RM8 billion total cost at RM34 million a piece (all inclusive)? Save your tactical and technical ingenuity for that cannot stop some corrupt general to smile all the way to his fat retiremnent fund.

Arunzab said...

In your typical well mannered way you have chosen not to argue with this so called expert but I would take his findings that "I can also assure you the ground pressure of most world 8 x 8 is small enough to operate in our padi field” with a dozen eggs of TELOR MASIN . May I also kindly request of this expert that the detail trials that he conducted on these vehicles in the damn soggy and bloody soft, worst that wet padi field as he put it, be put on U Tube so that we can all look at it and judge for yourselves, then perhaps I will not need to take the dozen TELOR MASIN , because really it's is bad for my cholesterol and blood pressure

As for Rocky's Bru nothing further need be said.

Mawar_Rimba said...

Wahhh... i see alot of Master in Warfare here. So Sifus, what vehicles are you all recomending for the Armour Corps?
You people are just talking as though the Armour Wallas can make their own choice of vehicles. Do you Sifus really think these is the type of vehicle the Malaysian Armour Corp want.
Just Thinking Out Loud.

maurice said...

The 8x8 project is not a done deal.There are loop holes in the business model.Therefore the project can be stopped because it is too expensive for the country.

As the prime contractor, Deftech should explore with other AFVs manufacturers for collaboration on the project rather than going straight with FNSS of Turkey, Denel of South Africa and Thales of France.

Since there is no competitive bidding from other OEMs to Deftech as the prime contractor,on the 8x8 Body, 30mm Turret, Fire Control,Missile Systems and the Integration, the price has sky rocketted due to monopoly and other reasons.

It is not too late for the Minister of Defence to reverse gear on the 8x8 project.

F said...


What you said about the vehicles being cumbersome is vey true. The problem is that there is currently no smaller or less cumbersome 8x8 or 4x4 vehicle in the market that offers the same protection level and mobility as the Pars, Rosomak and Piranha. Its a tradeoff between mobility and protection. If the army goes for something lighter and smaller, it wont offer a big improvement in protection levels over the Condors.

Somebody mentioned ''target practice'' on account of the size of the Pars and Rosomak. The same goes for Condors and Sibmas as their thin armour wont even wistand 7.62mm AP rounds, let alone 12.7mm rounds. Both are also slower and especially in the Condor's case, less manuverable than the Pars or Rosomak.

In terms of ability to operate in marshy and soft ground, the armoured vehicle operated by the army with the lowest ground pressure is the Scorpion. During an armour talk a few years ago, an Australian veteran mentioned that
in Vietnam a good way of gauging if their M113s could operate in soft terrain or paddy fields was to see if water buffaloes were in the area, due to their ground pressure.

Legion™ said...

Based on Wikipedia:

1. 1 unit of M1 Abrams MBT equipped with the latest and best technology that the US Military Industrial Complex could design and develop, cost approximately USD$ 6.1 million per unit (Rounded up to RM 20 million per unit) (USD$@3.2000).

2. 1 unit of M2 Bradley IFV cost approximately USD$ 3.2 million per unit (Rounded up to RM 10.3 million per unit) (USD$@3.2000).

The 256 units of 8X8 AFW that Mindef is buying cost a total of RM 8 billion which is at the average cost of RM 31.2 million per unit.

Does it mean we should expect it to beat the M1's and M2's technical capabilities and survivabilities technologies? Maybe by simply deploying it, the whole world would be afraid of our military might (from the pricetag point of view).

I would also like to point out this link to all of you. It reported that Britain's BAE Systems PLC signed a LOI with Turkey's Nurol Holdings AS worth up to USD$ 500 million to supply 250 units of armored vehicles to Malaysia.

Does it mean for 250 units of armored vehicles, the total price is actually USD$ 500 million (RM 1.6 Billion)? Which comes up to USD$ 2 million per unit?

If so, what is the balance RM 6.6 Billion for?

Legion™ said...

Sorry, it should be a balance of RM 6.4 Billion, not 6.6 Billion.

F said...


The unit price you quoted for the Bradley and Abrams does not include the billions spent on
R & D.

You also need to bear in mind that the army is not buying something off the shelf. It is taking an existing design and customising it to suit local requirements.

Legion™ said...

I guess that is fair to say RM 6.4 Billion is to be spent to set up R&D, repair, simulation, training, arming, refurbishment and other facilities.

Consider this news item. DRB Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) showcased their AV8 unit at the DSA expo and claimed that the entire product life cycle is local. Doesn't this mean that Deftech already has the facilities to do the whole manufacturing processes?

Based on DRB-Hicom's 2009 Annual Report Pages 52-53, it claimed that they do not have such facilities and they need to invest in it.

However, in this case, the government is giving DRB-Hicom RM 8 Billion as advanced payment for the goods, including the costs of the facilities to produce and assemble the goods.

I am a business owner. If I were to spend RM 1 million to build up my business by hiring more people and acquiring hardware and software, I will hope to at least make a return on the RM 1 million investment that I made.

Here, the Government is putting in RM 8 Billion for a total assembly line without any prospect of getting a return on the RM 8 Billion since it does not own DRB Hicom completely. By virtue of indirect and direct holdings, the Government only owns 17.23% of the company.

Additionally, this whole manufacturing operations may not be done locally. Denel Land Systems of South Africa will be jointly manufacturing turrets and performing systems integration; Sapura Thales Electronics will be doing the communications equipment portion. This means the RM 8 Billion "invested" will become capital outflow from our country to some other places or some other people's pockets.

F said...

Yes I've always wondered if Deftech had the facilities on hand to produce the AV4. I think its well designed and would be useful for 2nd line troops or the Askar Wataniah. The designer was South African and was involved in the Olifant project. At DSA 06 his passport and laptop were stolen in the hall. So much for security...

komando said...

More maths and more SUMS it all does not add up ? y Y Y Y

UMNO needs more money to fund the next GE and possbily some more BUY- ELECTIONS, or else they will lose every farking damn thing..

better gormen lose the money than UMNO lose its panties...


maurice said...

Apparently the Armour Directorate has not made its mind on the type of 8x8 AFVs for its Cavalry Regiments.

DEFTECH with the necessary support has seized the initiative by proposing a DEFTECH designed 8x8 AFV with the assistance of FNSS (Turkey), Denel (South Africa) and Thales (France).

A prototype will be built by DEFTECH for user trial in 18 months time.

Obviously substantial Government investment is required to make DEFTECH a manufacturer of the locally-designed 8x8 AFV.

Will the government get back its investment? I doubt so.Malaysian defence companies especially those getting big contracts from Mindef in the past have not shown their ability to compete/sell its services/equipment outside Malaysia.What make Deftech different from other companies?Even with the locally assembled ADNAN APCs (M113), Deftech have no sold a single unit to other country sofar.So what can you say.

Kerajaan harus insaf jangan sewenang-wenang membuat perbelanjaan yang bolih menjadikan negara kita muflis satu hari nanti.


Andy said... we need 8x8? replace 6x6? ....was 6x6 Sibmas operationally fully utillized? we really benefit it?...based on past exercises carried-out, overnight harbour especially in oil palm plantation resulted with the 18 ton Sibmas totally bogged down!...moving through the plantations and padi field certainly no problem but to take cover and to hide the entire troop or sqn or even regt over night, what more the 8x8 weighing more than the Sibmas, would be a good sitting duck/target we really need a big standing army...we are maritime, surrounded with sea lanes....we need a reliable air power and navy....with good intelligence ...not a big standing army...are we still facing communist insurgents?

ArshadRaji said...

Dear All,

Any major capital purchase will affect doctrine. I hope army has given consideration to this.

komando said...

What terrain are we fighting in the future wars & conflict?

Or are we buying for usage in UN missions in Europe?

Is the country chopping down all its rubber and palm oil plantations in preparation for imminent WAR !

For that giant bug to move in our terrain, God forbid "masuk gaung selalu"...

Kalau nak gerak atas jalan raya sahaja...fuyoh good target practice,,

Think of the country and its bloody terrain lah!

DOCTRINE or WHAT comes secondary! You can't possibly change the terrain to fight on !

You change the doctrine becos of the bloody terrain!


Which one is thinking, talking and making decisions!

Peace-time soldiering is to train for WAR,..which war and where eh ? Must train with real stuff and real scenarios, not a video game war mind you!

FMZam said...


Our army is any of this type;

1. Alah membeli, menang memakai, menang berperang ke?
2. Alah membeli, menang memakai, alah berperang ke?
3. Alah membeli, menang memakai, tak perang2.
4. Menang membeli, menang memakai, jangan haraplah.

Our neighbours' army is of just one type - Buy once and then apply the Japanese 5I - Immitate, Improvise, Improve, Invent and Innovate.

WIRA said...

Dear Dato',
Judging from the figures quoted in the press, the DRB-Hicom 8x8 would be the most expensive APC in the world. It is even more expensive than the M1-Abrams.
However, from inside sources, the LOI is conditional, subject to certain performance criteria.
I wonder what they are?
Another KKK project.