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.
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