Deftech Debuts Logistics Condor Vehicle

Condor logistics vehicle with trailer and UAV,

SHAH ALAM: Deftech debuts logistics Condor vehicle. Due to the flu, I was unable to go to the Merdeka 2017 final dress rehersal today (Aug 29, 2017) though I had planned to do so since last week. However, a friend managed to get to Dataran Merdeka and send pictures of this Condor (and others seen here) which had been converted into a logistics or cargo hauler.

For 2017 Merdeka parade, the Condor MPV carried what appeared to be ammo boxes on its rear flat bed and towed a trailer with a UAV, mostly likely a Deftech Aludra (HT to …)

Condor logistics vehicle with trailer for 2017 Merdeka Day parade.

The Deftech personnel with the vehicle says it was a protoype logistics/cargo hauler. During DSA 2016, Malaysian Defence quoted Armed Forces chief Jen Raja Affandi Raja Mohammed (who was then the Army chief) as saying

that the service was looking into converting some of its Condors as logistic vehicles to carry supplies or ammunition for the mechanised or armoured regiments as part of its overall upgrading program for the German made APCs.

“The Pendekar, Gempita and Condor units need re-supply vehicles that can keep up with their formations so some of the upgraded Condors will have a flat bed so they can be used to carry equipment and other items.

Condor logistics vehicle with trailer and UAV,

Frrom the pictures here one can surmised that Deftech only cut only the top portion of the rear cabin of the Condor, just behind the engine compartment. This may well kept the rigidity of the monocoque chassis of the Condor which itself was modified from the Mercedes Unimog. The flat bed conversion left the vehicle with space for two crew members only, the driver and a commander/observer.

The logistics Condor seats two.

As for the trailer, it is likely meant for the Merdeka Day parade only. It does not look as if it will survive a trip into unpaved roads.

The trailer hitched to the logistics Condor.

It also appears that the Condor which was modified for the proof concept upgrade program had been returned to the user as it is also taking part in the Merdeka Day parade.

Condor ZA 9474 features new air intakes, beefier suspension and new larger, weapon shield for its 7.62mm GPMG.

I am not sure whether the Condor has been returned for an extensive user trials or it meant that the upgrade program has been greenlighted.

A standard Condor ZA 9487 which also took part in the Merdeka Day parade rehersal.

As Deftech has an on-going contract to maintain and refit the Condors, any further modifications could easily be done with a variation order to the original one. It must be noted that the air intake modifications on ZA 9474 is completely different from the vehicle shown at DSA 2016. 9474 also sports a GPMG, with a large weapon shield and big ammo box compared to the mini gun that was displayed with the Condor at DSA.

The prototype proof of concept Condor.

Perhaps the new modification and others were made following the trials conducted after DSA 2016. Huge thanks for DM for the pictures. Check out the other pictures, below

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— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
Shah Alam

27 Comments

  1. Comments from the few photos here.

    The logistic conversion, although sounds like a good idea, the execution shows that it isn’t. The prototype looks like a rushed job, just cut the back, no engine or axle changes. The cargo platform is small and is very high from the ground, complicating loading and unloading. No idea if the structural integrity of the rear monocoque is beefed up when the rear is cut. Btw the UAV is aldura, not aerotiga as you mentioned. IMO it is better to just buy a MAN truck with the optional armored cab rather than doing this. The condor can still be converted as a 81mm mortar carrier, armoured communications/radio/satcom vehicle, armoured ambulances, armoured engineering vehicles, etc etc.

    As for the upgraded condor, please benchmark other APC designs when designing the engine upgrade. What do they learn from doing the Adnan and Gempita? How can you design a forward-facing intake directly in the line of enemy fire?

  2. In the early 2000’s Alvis tried to sell us a logistics variant of the Stormer. It had a small crane at the back to lift stuff and if I recall correctly an example underwent trials at the same time as the Piranha and Rosomak at PD.

    I wonder if they’re any plans to convert some Sibmas into something similar. Then again a problem with the Sibmas is the rear placement of the engine.

  3. Off topic.This year merdeka our airforce is going all out with their available asset. Heard there will be a minimum of 6 SU30. Also, is the number 1 A400 back from Spain?

  4. What about converting the Condor into a mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) launcher? Although, that would depend on what sort of SAM missiles we need to buy from.

    Reply
    As … rightly pointed its better just to buy a MAN truck for that purpose.

  5. Well, let’s face it, we still have something like 400+ , and that’s a lot of numbers.

    Unless we can sell the whole lot to someone, we better get a reputable company to upgrade these Condors into something of a more recent development upgrade, APS included.

    Same with Sibmas.

    Reply
    No lah I believe 200+ as the most likely the number of Condors in service currently, less than 50 for Sibmas

  6. Look great for me about Condor ZA 9474. It can well serve at Sabah and Sarawak. Condor logistics vehicle idea look fine for me.

  7. The whole idea is to put the Condors to practical use without spending too much; this is what been done. No doubt there are better options but the whole idea is to use what we have and not buy anything new. Personally, I would like to see a crane fitted to the rear to lift heavy loads.

    Someone mentioned a full refurbishment or a ” more recent development upgrade, APS included” : doesn’t make sense given the Condor’s age and mobility and protection level limitations. Is it really worth it spending good cash on an old vehicle with such limitations? Converting it into a resupply vehicle is fine as it doesn’t cost too much. Same with the Sibmas; we should use them until they fall apart or convert a few for non combat roles as in the direct combat role the Sibmas is a big, slow and poorly protected target. Not worth spending more than the bare minimum on it.

    Fitting the Condor with a MANPADs launcher doesn’t make sense as it doesn’t provide any added value; given the Condors mobility restrictions. Plus we’ll soon have 4x4s fitted with MANPADs anyway.. If indeed we had a need to fit a MANPADs launcher on a hard skin vehicle it should be the Stormer [which the Brits have long done]; at least the Stormer [unlike the 4×4 Condor] will be able to operate in rough terrain in support of mechanised units.

  8. Marhalim,

    It’s interesting that upgraded Condor ZA 9474 took part in the rehearsal with a GPMG. It appeared in today’s parade with a minigun and with some additional metal plating on the gun shield.

  9. Off topic but is the Aludra drone or any drones used by our millitary capable of firing missiles? If not, is there any reason why they havent pursued variants that can?

    Reply
    These UAVs need to be a lot bigger if they want to arm them. No idea why we have not done so.

  10. Marhalim,
    Are the Aludra’s under the command of the Army ? or Airforce? Are they already in operations? If so, where? Not much is discussed about this asset, thus, I am led to belief the effectiveness is still being trialled and tested.

    To be weaponised, not only the Audra’s need to be of the larger version but the weapons for the hard points are subject to US approval. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe our military assets have such weapons in our inventory eg Hellfires

    Reply
    The Aludra has been in service with Joint Force command at Ops Pasir as far back as 2002. Its capability, or lack of it led to the fielding of the ScanEagles. Our UAVs are currently operated by MI, so no TD/TUDM/TLDM thing here. We do not need any approval from anyone if we are to arm our home build UAV. Only the US will not sell us any weapon capable UAVs while others are eager to do so.

  11. The upgraded condor uses the gun shield from the Chaiseri Firstwin aka Lipanbara. Something that could be left out, and the original turrets with twin 7.62mm gun or the 20mm cannon retained if cost saving is paramount.

    To put condors into other use without spending too much. Yes, I agree that should be the way to go. And by that is to repurpose the condor to be used in the supporting units that would support the armoured and mechanised brigades, like ambulance, engineering, communications, howitzer (armoured tow vehicle for the 105mm guns maybe), towing field kitchens, etc etc

    But cutting the back for a meagre logistic capability is IMO not the most prudent way to use the limited resources of available condor chassis. The army is already ordering new 5 ton MAN trucks, so why not order a few armoured cabs to go with the trucks?

    http://images.hobby57.com/photos/TRUM01009.jpg

  12. I noticed the Scorpions were absent from this year’s parade, maybe they are being pulled for the turret swap. If the work had been completed, my feeling is they would have been displayed.

    Other things we didn’t see compared to past years include the Stormers, light strike vehicles, track and truck borne bridges, containerised surgical units and PDRM Ferrets, V-150, Shorland, Saxon and Unimog. I am not sure if the Streit Typhoon has ever been paraded.

    Reply
    Most of the PDRM vehicles you mentioned are already retired, the Scorpions with around a dozen or so still in service have not taken part in the parade for a while now as does the Stormer.

  13. Some people commenting here have no sense of scale. They look at the picture of the tiny Aludra here and think it can carry any weapons.

    The only way to weaponise it is to pack it with explosives for a one way trip, like the Israeli Orbiter drone.

    Reply
    Oh, yeah I completely forgot the attack option. That said they still need upscale the thing so it can carry a meaningful load something like 120mm mortar round, failing that they could always rely on terminal velocity

  14. … – ”But cutting the back for a meagre logistic capability is IMO not the most prudent way to use the limited resources of available condor chassis.”

    The army has no need for Condors to be reconfigured to say ambulances, command posts, engineering, etc; thus it’s putting it to use to do what it feels is the most practical or needed. As I said, there are much better options but the intent was to use what we currently have without spending too much on it or buy anything new for the purpose. A supply variant of the Condor will obviously have limitations – namely its available space and the load it can carry, as well as the Condor’s mobility limitations – but it is what it is and it does serve a useful purpose; limited or not. With the Sibmas, converting them into engineering or ARVs would be very useful. As it is the ARV variant has been very useful doing various things not related to the Sibmas.

    AM,

    Over the years I can count the number of times Stormers were present at Merdeka Day parades; rarely. Not sure why though.

    AM – ”Some people commenting here have no sense of scale. They look at the picture of the tiny Aludra here and think it can carry any weapons.”

    They also overlook that we’re relatively new to the UAS business despite having them for some years already. We first have to fully integrate them with our current infrastructure and figure out how to better utilise them so that they can benefit those who need them by providing data/intel/imagery in a timely manner with as little bureaucratic delay as possible before even considering getting armed UAS. Getting armed UAS will also mean that we have to have clear rules of engagements and those in charge must have the authority to do as they see fit without going through the long process of referring to the next level of command.

    Reply
    Wasn’t the Sibmas ARV the biggest issue with these vehicles ie that they were so underpowered that they were basically useless for that purpose?

  15. @ marhalim,

    Most of the police armoured vehicles are still in service. There are 5 PGA armoured squadrons (1 each brigade) and the equipment varies among them. Some recent ones, like the S-5 Barracuda (which is called the condor by the crews, as they look alike and based on the unimog) have never graced the padang merdeka celebrations too.

    As for the saxons, i believe pdrm is one of the first, if not the first user of them. Pdrm got them in the mid 70s while british army adopted them in the early 80s.

    Reply
    Granted they maybe around but I guess the powers that be don’t want to see legacy stuff unless they are part of the pantomime. Anyhow 3 or 2 years ago the Saxon did take part in the PDRM parade at Pulapol. I asked around what was that about and one officer told me it was a gentle reminder to the PM/DPM that their requests for new stuff have not been fulfilled. True enough the last two years the parade consists of new vehicles.

  16. “Over the years I can count the number of times Stormers were present at Merdeka Day parades; rarely. Not sure why though. ”

    I suppose most of the times I was watching were the times they were paraded.

    Marhalim: (PDRM Ferrets, V-150, Shorland, Saxon and Unimog. I am not sure if the Streit Typhoon has ever been paraded.) “Most of the PDRM vehicles you mentioned are already retired”

    Btw I saw all these except the Typhoon at the 2013 parade. It makes me wonder if at the time any of them were retired but doing parade duty nonetheless?

    This year an Aspide missile was paraded. We do parade things that aren’t in service, like the XM8 in past years.

    I also recall in 2013 the first AV8 25mm with a Bushmaster turret- ZB2699- was paraded. It might have been the only running AV8 at the time. And earlier that year, the AV8 was paraded at PD with a Future Soldier demonstration team.

  17. Marhalim,

    From what I’ve heard the Sibmas ARV variant is very useful. It’s been used to lift almost everything from armoured vehicles, to heavy loads, to crashed Alo 3s. I wonder if the 911 recovery vehicles we still had up until a few years ago are still around.

    The Saxons are so underpowered that when going uphill, passengers have to get out. This was told to me by a Bruneian army guy. With regards to the Police; the question is why their
    V-100/50s still have their 90mm/20mm barrels when the actual gun has long been dismantled :] Not sure about the 20mm but ammo for the 90mm was never even issued. Perhaps the army objected to the police having the 90mms. There were also police 81mm that were never issued and were stored for years.

  18. Lack of actual irl experience seeing our drones is why the question came up.

    Apologies if i trigerred you millitary buffs. But while on the topic why hasnt the goverment invested in getting some drones that does fire ordnance. The americans have shown what a usefull tool it is since.

    If so i would like to see an post about cost effective drones that do and could be bought by the Airforce @Marhalim

  19. Dodo,

    The priority is to first have enough UAS with a decent capability to provide a surveillance capability in ESSCOM and elsewhere. In our scheme of things, having an armed UAS is not an urgent priority. Indeed the Americans and others have found armed UAS to be very useful but then they’re facing a very different operational setting than we are. We can’t just target every unindentified craft/boat that enters our waters in ESSCOM – there are issues to be sorted out first, namely a realistic ROE and a clear chain of command.

    AM – ” We do parade things that aren’t in service, like the XM8 in past years.”

    Technically even if we have a handful of XM8s; they are ”in service” irrespective of the fact that we only have a handful, don’t plan on getting more and will place them in storage once spares run out :] Who knows? Perhaps the XM8s have been used on operations. There is a photo of G-36s used in the Gulf of Aden. Something that was paraded years ago [2007 if I recall correctly] and is not even fully developed, let alone in service [and probably never will]; is a certain laser guided round that bears a striking resemblance to Krasnapol.

  20. On Condor MPV. Don’t cut the top section of hull, but seal rear half of the hull, pressure test it for leaks then tasked it as POL tanker or potable water tanker. Or seal the rear half, throw in 50 gallon drums+piping+pump+nozzle then no need to pressure test the “armoured tanker”. An armoured column travel by its ron95&diesel B7. Sure enough, better get a proper water tender and diesel tanker.

  21. I can see a Chinese-made rocket laucher installed on those flat bed. Not a bad idea to appease China while also boosting artillery support for Adnan IFVs, Gempita APCs, and Pendekar MBTs

  22. If we’re going to go through all the hassle and trouble of installing a rocket system/MLRS on the Condor (a lot of redesigning and reengineering to consider) we might as well just go down the more practical and cheaper route of fixing a mortar on it. Installing a rocket system /MLRS on the Condor will also lead to the need for command and resupply vehicles. Do we even have enough Condors to convert; given that most of the Condors will continue to perform the same roles they’ve always been doing.

  23. “can see a Chinese-made rocket laucher installed on those flat bed. Not a bad idea to appease China while also boosting artillery support for Adnan IFVs, Gempita APCs, and Pendekar MBTs”

    Buying a few rockets is will not do anything to “appease” China or alter their policy aims in the slightest.

  24. I think Deftech made the right choice going for Cummins. These engines have been superbly represented in Malaysia for over 60 years, for mining, ports (all Malaysian port cranes are overwhelmingly Cummins), fishing boats (>90% of the 15 and 19 litre fishing boats), oil rig supply boats, etc. Not as glamourous as Benz or CAT but much, much better parts and tech support. No wonder the AV4 Lipanbara (by Chaiseri) also uses a Cummins. ISB I think.

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