Infantry 4X4 High Mobility Protected Vehicles

KUALA LUMPUR: If you had visited the Deftech booth at DSA 2018 – which ended yesterday – you would have noticed that they have two MRAP-style vehicles, the Lipan Bara – already in service with the Malaysian army- and the Turkish Nurol Ejder Yalcin 4X4.

Both the Lipan Bara and Yalcin are the Deftech’s offering for an Army’s requirement for a High Mobility, Protected Vehicle 4×4 (HMPV) specifically for its infantry battalions. These are battalion level assets for operational requirements – combat and non-combat ones – to move soldiers around. The HMPVs are basically battle taxis and not gun carriers as compared to the with battalion’s support company vehicles.

Nurol Ejder Yalcin 4X4

In the past, the infantry battalions “battle taxis” were typically two or three tonne trucks and Land Rovers though this role was taken over by Volvo C303 vehicles (together with Landys) in the late 70s and 80s. These were then replaced by the MOWAG Duros (7 Brigade only) and Pinzgauers – which were retired only after serving for 10 years as they were very expensive to maintain. Presently the only dedicated HMPVs are the Lipan Bara, most of which are stationed at ESSCOM AOR. A mixture of thin-skinned vehicles from Vamtacs, G-Wagons, Land Rovers, GK-M1s, Isuzu pick-ups and Handalan trucks are used currently as a stop-gap until the new HMPVs are procured.

An Army Lipanbara 4X4 vehicle.

The HMPVs are required as the Army realised the country’s are getting more urbanised and its infantry units need protected vehicles to move quickly to operational areas without resorting to armoured vehicles, if it comes to that. And it was because of these changing scenario, protected 4X4 vehicles are needed hence the Lipan Bara and Yalcin offered by Deftech.

Thales Bushmaster. DM

Why not just Lipan Bara then? Its simply to give the Army options, say Deftech officials pointing out to the armoured 4X4 vehicles displayed at DSA 2018 which included the Thales Bushmaster and NIMR Abjan 440 Combat Vehicle as well as several other makes from Turkey.

NIMR Abjan combat vehicle

Although both Yalcin and the Lipan Bara can carry 11 soldiers – including the driver – the Turkish vehicle is heavier at 14 tons (11 tons for Lipan Bara) and carry another 4 ton of payload. Apart from the troop carrying vehicle, Nurol says the Yalcin is also available in eight other variants. Nurol – partly owned by FNSS – has sold the Yalcin to Tunisia, Senegal, Qatar and Uzbekistan. Turkey’s military also operate some 400 of the Yalcin.

A G-Wagon fitted with an AGL

It is also interesting to note the gun carrier vehicles mostly G-Wagons – operated by support companies of infantry battalions are also long in the tooth. The G-Wagons were mostly put into service in the mid-1990s when the Pinzgauers and Duros were introduced. One has to wonder whether these will be replaced by the HMPVs as well. Or not.

— Malaysian Defence

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