Upgrades Conundrum

SHAH ALAM: Upgrades Conundrum. JANES is reporting that Malaysia is considering upgrading the Army’s fleet of Scorpion light tanks and the Condor 4X4 APCs. The report datelined from London stated that the upgrade programme was mooted despite its getting delivery of 257 of the Deftech Gempita.

The upgrade plans was revealed by an official from STRIDE, Dr Yazid Ahmad, the director of Mechanical and Aerospace Technology Division at a conference in London. The fact that this programme was made public by a Stride official is interesting. Does this mean that the funding if approved will come under Stride budget? And will they be able to choose the contractors?

I have dont much answers at the moment. Actually I was hoping to get some answers on the various Army programmes including upgrades at the upcoming interview with the chief ahead of its annual anniversary on March 1. AFAIK the Army has several other important programmes and the upgrading of its light armour and APCs are not it’s priorities in the current Malaysian plan.

A RAD Condor in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration in Gemas, last year.
A Condor in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration in Gemas, last year.

The Janes story

“Speaking at the IQPC International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2016 conference held in London, in late January, Dr Yazid Ahmad, director Mechanical & Aerospace Technology Division of the Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE), revealed that Malaysia is planning to upgrade some of its Alvis Vehicles Scorpion 90 light AFVs and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Condor 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

Malaysia received a total of 186 SIBMAS 6×6 AFVs between 1983 and 1984 and 459 Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Condor 4×4 APC and variants. It also acquired 26 Alvis Scorpion 90 light armoured vehicles (LAVs) from 1983, which were fitted with a two-person turret armed with a 90 mm Cockerill gun and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG). They were originally fitted with a flotation screen for amphibious operations, but these have now been removed.

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.
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.

After looking at a number of options a decision was taken to refurbish the current Perkins diesel engine and upgrade the TN15 transmission to the more reliable TN15DE standard, and also to go with a new single pin track.

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

The aluminium hull will be refurbished and seven of the remaining 14 Scorpion 90 LAVs will have their turrets removed and replaced by the Thales UK FVT900 one-person turret armed with a 20 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm co-axial MG.

These FVT900 turrets are being taken from the Alvis Stormer tracked APC, of which 25 were delivered from the United Kingdom. Of the 25 Stormer APCs, 12 had the FVT900 turret and the remainder had a Rheinmetall TH-1 one-person turret armed with two 7.62 mm MGs.”

— Malaysian Defence

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