Scorpions To Be Retired

SHAH ALAM: Scorpions to be retired. The Army has recommended that it’s fleet of Scorpion light tanks be retired due to the high cost of maintenance and obsolescence issues. Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong told Parliament today (Dec. 18, 2018) that none of the Scorpions are no longer operational. The recommendation to retire the Scorpions was made after the Army conducted a study on its armoured vehicles requirements for the long term. The Scorpions it seemed are not compatible with the Army’s plans, directions and further more being costly to maintain.

An export Scorpion fitted with a 90mm gun, a co-axial 7.62mmmachine gun and roof mounted 50 caliber turret gun. KAD Scorpions are normally fitted with roof mounted 7.62mm gun. BAE Systems via Janes turret gun.

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He said the Scorpion fleet entered service in 1981 and were placed in service with the Armoured Squadron of the 10th Para Brigade. The fleet had undergone a Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP) and upgrades from 2007 to 2011 and the Army decided to continue the service of the vehicle until 2018.
Liew said none of the Scorpions are currently operational and the Army had decided to declare the vehicle obsolete. The ministry is expected to declare the status of the fleet next year.
Malaysian Defence had previously reported that the planned upgrades of the Scorpion and Condor were on a short leash and under review. Without the planned upgrades both vehicles would be facing obsolescence in the near future.

KAD Scorpion and Sibmas in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration last year.

There was no word on the Condor upgrade however. It is likely the Army is continuing to see whether it is cheaper to upgrade them or retire them.

The prototype Scorpion upgrade.

The plans to upgrade the Condor and Scorpions were first revealed in 2014. The Condor project appeared to be the one that will be given the green light, more of these vehicles remained in service compared to the Scorpion. It must be recalled that only 26 Scorpions were bought together with 25 Stormer APC.

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

The Scorpion were in service with the Armour Squadron with the 10th Para Brigade, though I am not sure of the numbers. It is likely that the Stormers are also no longer operational.

*updated with more information from the Hansard, Dec. 18, 2018.

-Malaysian Defence

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