DSA 2016, Day 1

A model of the M109A5+ SPH at BAE Systems showcase.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE Army would like to proceed with the upgrade programmes for its fleet of Condor APC and Scorpion light tanks, according to its chief Jen Raja Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor today. He said the upgrade work will proceed once the Army is satisfied with the work done on the prototype vehicles.

“Once the review is completed and we are satisfied with the work done for the vehicles, we will proceed with the project,” he said when met at the Deftech showcase on the first day of DSA 2016 here today. Asked whether the Condor upgrade project will involved some 300 vehicles, Raja Affandi said “probably more than that”. He did not elaborate however. The Army originally procured 469 Condors back in the 80s.

Proof of concept Condor upgrade fitted with a turret armed with a Dillon Aero mini-gun.
Proof of concept Condor upgrade fitted with a turret armed with a Dillon Aero mini-gun.

Raja Affandi said by upgrading the Condors and Scorpions, the Army will be saving millions of ringgit for the Government. Upgrades to the Condor include installing a new 215hp Deutz diesel engine, new drop box, independent axle, and an automatic transmission. Other changes include new hydraulic, air conditioning, steering and vision systems.

The new suspension of the upgraded Condor.
The new suspension of the upgraded Condor.

A new military standard digital system will allow for the installation of new driving and navigational aids. To complete the upgrade, the vehicle will be fitted with new wiring. The old turret will be replaced with open top ACAV-style electrically powered turret. Some of the Condors will be fitted with the Dillon Aero M134 mini-gun.

The prototype upgraded Condor.
The prototype upgraded Condor.

“Yes some people might not like me for not buying new vehicles but…” he added. Raja Affandi said some of the Condors will also be converted as logistic vehicles to carry supplies or ammunition for the mechanised or armoured regiments.

The prototype Scorpion upgrade with the 20mm Oerlikon, fitted for the display.
The prototype Scorpion upgrade with the 20mm Oerlikon, fitted for the display.

“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.

As for the Scorpion upgrade, Raja Affandi pointed out that most of the work was being carried out by the Army’s Kor Jurutera Letrik dan Jentera Di Raja, together with a local company Kembara Suci Sdn Bhd.

The old Scorpion track (left) to be replaced with a new one-pin type (right).
The old Scorpion track (left) to be replaced with a new one-pin type (right).

He said replacing the 90mm gun on the Scorpion was a good one “to correct the mistakes done in the past”.

Asked whether the upgrades will spell the end of the Sibmas and Stormer APCs still in service, Raja Affandi replied in the negative adding that the vehicles will also undergo upgrades once the Condor and Scorpion projects were completed.

Meanwhile, the Deftech AV4 will from now on be called Lipanbara. The new name was launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Destini Bhd displayed in public for the first time a model of the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) which its subsidiary, Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering Sdn Bhd is building. DES is building six NGPC under a contract worth RM381.3 million for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Destini Armada Sdn Bhd chief executive Alastair J Bisset said the model was a good representation of the NGPC being built at the Destini shipyard at Port Klang. The boats will be armed with Aselsan 30mm RWS with two .50 calibre mounting aft behind the bridge.

A model of the NGPC at Destini Bhd booth.
A model of the NGPC at Destini Bhd booth.

Apart from patrol, the NGPC will also be tasked pollution control, fire fighting and search and rescue.

Bisset said the Fulmar UAS supplied with the NGPC will be launched from a deck just aft of the 30mm gun. It will be recovered using nets to be placed on the aft upper deck just behind the bridge. The UAS recovery net is not shown on the model.

An aft view of the NGPC model at Destini Bhd booth. The upper deck where the two guns are located will also be used to fix the net to recover the Fulmar UAS.
An aft view of the NGPC model at Destini Bhd booth. The upper deck where the two guns are located will also be used to fix the net to recover the Fulmar UAS.

As Malaysian Defence had reported previously the 44-metre NGPC design is derived from Fassmer 40m coastal patrol vessel project.

Bisset said the first vessel is expected to be launched by 2017 and commissioned in the same year.

Meanwhile, Destini -which is also the agent for the Spanish Uro Vamtac 4X4 vehicle, displayed the latest variant, the ST5 complete with the Thales RapidRanger turret.

During the preview day, four Starstreak missile removable launchers were fitted on the turret. However, on the first day the launchers were removed for unknown reason.

Just across from the Destini booth is where the Weststar booth is located. As reported previously, Weststar’s subsidiary, Global Komited Sdn Bhd won the contract to supply the ForceShield, the Thales integrated Advanced Air Defence system.

The RapidRanger turret fitted on the Uro Vamtac 4X$ vehicle at Destini Bhd booth.
The RapidRanger turret fitted on the Uro Vamtac 4X$ vehicle at Destini Bhd booth.

In addition to the Starstreak missiles, the system comprises ControlMaster 200 radar and weapon coordination systems, RapidRanger and RapidRover mobile weapon systems and the Next Generation Lightweight Multiple Launcher, as well as associated communications.

The RapidRanger turret with the missile launchers on display during the preview day of DSA 2016. The missile launchers were conspicuously missing on the opening day.
The RapidRanger turret with the missile launchers on display during the preview day of DSA 2016. The missile launchers were conspicuously missing on the opening day.

Although the RapidRanger turret had been integrated onto the Uro Vamtac, Global Komited reportedly will be integrating the same turret on its Toyota-based 4X4 vehicle, the GK-M1 Weapon Platform.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that while the RapidRover will be integrated on the GK-M1, the RapidRanger will be supplied with the ST5 version of the Vamtac.

— Malaysian Defence.

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12 Comments

  1. Prefer the army to replace Condor and sibmas with Gempita AV6 or that APC made by rubber company from Thailand.

  2. Upgraded condors converted to flatbed? It is a monocoque. An easy example take a milk carton, it is rigid right? Try to cut a hole 2/3rds of its length, all the rigidity would be lost. Would turn out to be more expensive than just putting an armoured cab on top of current army lorries/trucks.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/fmtv-racks-image1.jpg

    http://www.ditzj.de/assets/images/events/esatory2014/esat2014_27.jpg

    As for the suitable variants for the modernised condor
    – basic APC version (for motorised battalions, and other support troops)
    – Medical evacuation (ambulance)
    – Fitter (vehicle repair, engine change, axle, tyre change)
    – Forward artillery observation
    – Communications (satcom, radio communications node)
    – COMMINT/ESM

    As for the missing starstreak on uro-vamtacs. Of course Weststar doesn’t want Destini to steal the limelight from its own GK-M1 (its a Thairung built 4×4 based on the Hilux). I don’t see any advantages of the GK-M1 over a plain Hilux. Personally i would prefer the Rapidranger on the bigger Vamtac, rather than the GK-M1.

    By the way, with all these upgrade programs (Sibmas? Are they going to keep those? For wataniah only i hope), i wonder where would the AV4 fit in the bigger scheme of things?

    Reply
    AV4 is an UOR for ESSCOM while the upgrades are meant for the whole Army. On the flat bed I think at the moment its just a concept, I guess they don’t want to buy many new trucks as well

  3. Indeed there is hope for sibmas and stormer. Condor becomes a Armoured Cargo Carrier…dont cut too much of the hull so that the amphib capability is not lost, no point if condor ACC cant go across a river that had been crossed by its APC brother.

    NGPC oh no I cant see any funnel@smokestack. Looks like the design called for clear topside for UAV flying ops so I suspect the engine exhaust go to the waterline like NGPV Meko.

    Reply
    The smoke stacks are those things next to the RHIB

  4. So it seems as though there is indeed money for the upgrade, as the ‘upgrade work will proceed once the Army is satisfied with the work done on the prototype vehicles’, so says the General.

    If the Scorpions go 20mm, will there be a need for a very modest amount of light tanks for the Paras?

    Reply
    The operational Scorpions are with the Paras.

  5. From Janes: C4iSR & Missions Systems Singapore confirms E/LM-2084 radar is in RSAF service -> Iron dome radar
    —————–
    The EL/M-2084 MMR is a mobile, 3-D active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system that can be configured for air defence and artillery weapons locating (WLR) missions. According to IAI, the MMR is capable of detecting and tracking up to 1,000 targets and features a maximum surveillance range in excess of 470 km. An integral fire control radar functionality enables it to cue surface-to-air missile (SAM) and other defensive weapon systems.
    ————————————

  6. You don’t need to buy new trucks with armoured cab. You could always design an armoured cab to fit existing army handalan trucks. Designed with modular flat panels for ease of manufacture and cost. I believe it could be designed and manufactured locally with local know how.

    http://karopka.ru/upload/iblock/303/photo_14_1382861886.JPG

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/Amerique_du_nord/Etats_Unis/vehicules_a_roues/Truck_with_armour_upgrade/Trcuk_US-Army_with_armour_upgrade_001.jpg

    Btw about the UOR. It costs usd140 million for those 20 UOR chaiseri first win mrap. That kind of money could probably get 100 surplus usa mrap more urgently through EDA…

    Reply
    Its really about getting new trucks. Have you seen the Army’s trucks? Its not USD140 million, its RM140 million. Yes it still cheaper to get used MRAPs from the US for the same amount of vehicles.

  7. Meh – ”Prefer the army to replace Condor and sibmas with Gempita AV6 or that APC made by rubber company from Thailand”

    Why retire the Condor when it still has a role to play and when the type still has plenty of life in it?? Also, not all scenarios call for a Gempita.

    The Chief of Army saying ”“to correct the mistakes done in the past”; in reference to replacing the Cockerill; only reinforces what I’ve been saying all along. Arming it with a Cockerill was a mistake but it was a mistake we were willing to live at a time when we wanted the firepower but could not afford or were unwilling to get a 105mm armed platform. The hull of the Scorpion was never designed to take a 90mm gun; even a ”low pressure” one.

    Tom Tom – ”If the Scorpions go 20mm, will there be a need for a very modest amount of light tanks for the Paras?

    Anything that can’t be dealt with by 10 Para’s Scorpions can be dealt with by the units Eryxs, shoulder fired weapons and Model 56s. Compared to previous years, our combat units are now better armed with direct fire weapons; doing away with the need for a 90mm armed vehicle which is neither here nor there. Off course some armies still see need for 90mm armed vehicles but it’s telling that most armies don’t.

  8. Besides, this “airborne armour” thing is given too much attention.

    Do you really think we will be dropping 10 Para on territory that is ours, yet beyond our forward lines, and landing light armour at a forward strip?

    Even if we have a situation in East Malaysia, it is local, prepositioned and seaborne units that will make a difference. What difference does a few Scorpions make in that kind of conflict?

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