4 KAD Getting Gempita 8X8

One of the Gempita to be transferred to 4 KAD had undergone maintenance check prior to the transfer. KAD.

SHAH ALAM: The Army is transferring Gempita 8X8 armoured vehicles from 1 KAD – based in Kuantan, Pahang, to 4 KAD which is based in Kuching, Sarawak. The hand-over ceremony for the vehicles was conducted on August 16 in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, the Armour Directorate said on its social media page.

The vehicles will be shipped to Kuching in two batches starting from next month. The release below did not mention how many Gempita will be transferred to 4 KAD but an earlier one by the directorate stated that it will involve 26 vehicles. It is likely that 1 KAD will still have around 30 Gempita to meet its operational and training commitments.

The COs of 1 KAD and 4 KAD with a Gempita replica signifying the transfer of the armoured vehicles between the two units. The Gempita in the background are from 2 KAD where the ceremony took place on August 16. Kor Armor Di Raja picture.

1 KAD’s parent unit, 4th Mechanised Brigade, will not be affected by the transfer, as there are other mechanised units in the brigade. This include the 19th RAMD which is also equipped with Gempita. 19th RAMD was the first unit to be equipped with Gempita followed by 1 KAD. 4 KAD is under 1 Divisyen which comes under Army Eastern Field Command.
KAD director Brig Jen Mohd Fazly Mat Said inspecting the Gempita attached to 1 KAD on June 26 2023. The Gempita being transferred to 4 KAD were inspected by maintainers attached to 31 Worksyop Armor together with Deftech and FNSS personnel. 1 KAD picture.

With the addition of 4 KAD, six units will be operating the Gempita. The current ones are 19 RAMD, 1 KAD, 2 KAD and 5 KAD though the numbers operated by each of the units is unknown.
A 12 RAJD CBRNE Gempita during training at Gemas in 2019. BTDM picture.

Another unit which is operating Gempita is 12 Skn RAJD – the Armoured Engineer CBRNe unit based at the Terendak camp. 12 SKN is likely to be operating four CBRN variants of the Gempita with a single Gempita recovery vehicle or Scania wrecker for recovery operations.

The release on the transfer:

ACARA PERBARISAN SERAH TERIMA KENDERAAN PERISAI 8X8 GEMPITA
PORT DICKSON, 16 OGOS 2023: Pengarah Kor Armor Diraja, Brigedier Jeneral Mohd Fazly bin Mat Said telah menyaksikan acara Perbarisan Serah Terima Kenderaan Perisai (KP) 8X8 GEMPITA di antara Rejimen Pertama Kor Armor Diraja (1 KAD) dan Rejimen Ke-4 Kor Armor Diraja (4 KAD) di Padang Kawad Rejimen Kedua Kor Armor Diraja (2 KAD), Kem Sunggala, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.
Acara Penyerahan Replika KP 8X8 GEMPITA turut diadakan di antara Pegawai Memerintah 1 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Zainal Azli bin Ismail dan Pegawai Memerintah 4 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Ts. Dr. Wong Wai Loong.
Perbarisan yang diketuai oleh Mejar Izzudin bin Dato’ Abidin merupakan acara simbolik untuk lakaran sejarah apabila Tentera Darat telah bersetuju untuk membuat pemindahan KP 8X8 GEMPITA daripada 1 KAD kepada 4 KAD bagi menampung keperluan operasi, latihan dan kompitensi krew 4 KAD, 1 Divisyen dan Markas Pemerintahan Medan Timur Tentera Darat.
Perpindahan akan dilaksanakan dalam 2 peringkat menggunakan perkhidmatan kapal Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) iaitu KD MAHAWANGSA mulai bulan September dan dijangka selesai pada pertengahan bulan Oktober 2023.
Turut hadir, Pegawai Memerintah 2 KAD, Leftenan Kolonel Maslan bin Ukkas, wakil Pegawai Staf Jabatan Arah Armor, wakil Markas Pemerintahan Medan Barat Tentera Darat dan wakil Markas Tentera Darat – Cawangan OPLAT.

Soldiers from 5 KAD preparing for a training run with their vehicles – several Gempita could be seen – under the garage. Picture taken in March 2020. 5 KAD picture

It is likely that the Gempita operated by 5 KAD – pictured above on March 2020 – were the ones that was operated by 19 RAMD when they rotated to the ESSCOM AOR in 2018/2019. It is unclear whether the Gempita are still there though. 5 KAD remained an ad hoc unit as the commanding officer is still a major unlike other armoured regiments who are headed by a Lt Colonel (as can be ascertained by the release above).
Last hurrah for the Condors and Sibmas by the officers and men of 4KAD. First Division

The transfer of Gempita to 4 KAD meant that the only armoured regiment without Kenderaan Jenis A is 3 KAD. The unit retired their Condors at the same time as 4 KAD early this year though without much fanfare.
Officers and men from 4KAD at the retirement ceremony for their Condors and Sibmas on January 1, 2023. First Division.

However, the need for new armoured vehicles for 3 KAD is not as acute as 4 KAD as the former’s camp is adjacent to that off the 19 RAMD in Sungai Petani, Kedah. That said the soldiers of 3 KAD may have other thoughts about this.

— Malaysian Defence

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35 Comments

  1. First of all congratulations to 4KAD on getting AV8 Gempita’s!

    The stated 26 units is just about enough for 2x Squadrons (12 each) plus 2 in HQ

    All together for the cavalry regiments there are
    78x IFV30
    54x LCT30 (Ingwe)
    24x SURV VINGTAQs

    If divided by 5 regiments, each regiment would have
    15-16x IFV30
    10-11x LCT30
    4x SURV VINGTAQs

    basically each would have 30 Gempita’s.

    Then the army would need 150-200 armored 4x4s to fill up the regiments, to consist of
    2x Gempita squadron
    2x Armored 4×4 squadron

    The 4×4 needs to be agile, if possible equipped with the same 30mm calibre of the Gempita, and to be equipped with ATGMs.

    To be frank, current AV8 Gempita numbers are not ideal, even if we do get the armored 4×4 to shore up the numbers, a top up batch of additional AV8 Gempitas is still needed.
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    As for 5 KAD using Gempita, I have been following their public page for quite sometime now, they are only equipped and operated with Lipanbara. The IFV25 Gempita, although stored in their camp, are owned and operated by 19RAMD. In your picture, you can see the crew of the gempitas standing beside their vehicles and just looking from afar what the 5KAD soldiers are doing, and not actually joining them.

    As for 3 KAD, they were given Gempita’s before, as proven by this picture below
    https://pictr.com/images/2023/08/12/EoagJj.jpg
    No idea why it was not followed through. Probably someone from 3 KAD could tell us more.

  2. “soldiers of 3 KAD may have other thoughts about this”
    Despite having over 250 units, it seems there is not enough to go around and we need more Gempitas. An armoured unit without armour would certainly not sit well with their members. Since 5 KAD is an ad hoc unit, why not disband it and absorbed into 3 KAD?

  3. ” Since 5 KAD is an ad hoc unit, why not disband it and absorbed into 3 KAD? ”

    We need a cavalry regiment in both Sabah and Sarawak. Only 1 regiment for the whole of Pemerintahan Medan Timur is too few, considering Borneo will be the location of Indonesia’s capital in less than a decade.

  4. Question – Do the army have enough manpower if we bought 100+ 4×4 and maybe second batch of Gempita?

  5. Yes, I know 3 KAD had a number of Gempita at their disposal but if you check their latest social media postings that they have no KJA at the moment.

  6. Weird that MAF rather have nothing instead of maybe good second hand stuff. The indonesians and thais can make do quite regularly.

  7. Within KAD context, what are the second hand stuff that are worthwhile to get?

    This is 2023 stuff like Marder and KIFV is no longer that attractive and we’re going to stuck with them for decades. Even second hand Leo 2A4 doesn’t feel as attractive when the tiny red doar already got themselves Merk4 and 2A7

  8. Brand new JLTV which goes for US$400K per vehicle which is RM1.8 million per vehicle. We can get this price if we go via the FMS and will get cheaper if the US pays for some of it under FMF. Better than buying second hand anything, really. However, this is unlikely as I was told that while the Army likes the JLTV, if its procured it will be under a direct commercial contract through a local agent. Of course then it will cost easily RM5 million per vehicle or more.

  9. For 4×4 armored vehicle for the cavalry, the JLTV has the best protection, best mobility, best price of anything out there.

    Previously we paid RM140 for just 20 units of Lipanbara, which is truck ladder chassis fitted with armor. That is RM7 million per vehicle. For the same RM140 amount, we could have gotten 78 JLTV.

    IMO

    buying something new – yes better buy brand new.

    adding something already operational in the army (KIFV and ACV-15 for example) – getting used is okay.
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    Another note,

    Transferring Gempitas to Medan Timur is actually fulfilling one of the aims of Army4NextG plan, which is to have balanced forces on both Medan Timur and Medan Barat, and also raising a mechanized infantry brigade in Medan Timur.
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    Also good to know that the Gempitas can be moved with the current KD Mahawangsa. Seems like around a dozen Gempita can be fitted inside KD Mahawangsa at any one time.

  10. An armoured unit without armour would certainly not sit well with their members.Huh? say that to the para armor who already retired their scorpions and surviving by asking military police’s ifv..So in a nutshell the KAD need another 200 vehicles to complement the av8 maybe thats why they are asking for a mixture of 6×6 and 4×4 as additional av8s are ruled out..

  11. Enlighten me on this.Does they army not yet replacing the sibmas AFSV with the induction of numerous variants of AV8 still? Does additional 200+ vehicles seeked by the army are for condors replacement alone or condors + sibmas replacement?

  12. Wikpedia states that there is a signals intelligence variant of the Gempita (supposedly 3 units). Is this correct?

  13. All of the Sibmas AFSV – fire support – has been retired long ago, the ones that was retired earlier this year together with the Condors were the armoured recovery/engineer versions. ARV/AEV were to support the Condors if the latter brokedown in the field.

  14. Around 160 plus I was told. The Para armoured squadron is just a support unit unlike an actual armour regiment so they will not be that unhappy even if they only used Adnans.

  15. @ firdaus

    Read my previous comment here
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/tarantula-contract/#comment-876512

    Originally each KAD cavalry regiment ( 1 KAD, 2 KAD, 3 KAD, 4 KAD ) consist of
    2 Condor squadron
    2 SIBMAS squadron

    from my personal observation:

    a) the first plan was to give 1 KAD, 2 KAD, 3 KAD
    2 Condor squadron
    2 Gempita squadron

    b) Then around COVID time it was changed to 1 KAD, 2 KAD with
    4 Gempita squadron
    With 3 KAD, 4 KAD left with Condors only as the SIBMAS is already retired (except a few recovery variants)

    c) Now the plan looks like 1 KAD, 2 KAD, 4 KAD with
    2 Gempita squadron
    2 armored 4×4 squadron (hopefully JLTV)
    with 5 KAD (newly established under 5 Div Sabah) so far is still with 1 squadron of Lipanbara. 3 KAD? probably will get some Gempitas from 2 KAD in the future.
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    Ideally our mech forces could look like

    1 armor brigade (all tracked) consisting of
    – 1x MBT regt (11 KAD)
    – 2-3x tracked IFV battalions (MIFV/Adnan)

    1 mech brigade (all wheeled, similar to Stryker Brigade) consisting of
    – 1x Cavalry regt (Gempita + armored 4×4) (1 KAD)
    – 2-3x wheeled IFV battalions (Gempita)

    For Medan Timur, the target in Army4NextG plan is 1 mech brigade.
    But practically what can be done is
    1 Div Sarawak
    – 1x Cavalry regt (Gempita + armored 4×4) (4 KAD)
    – 1x tracked IFV battalion (used KIFV)
    5 Div Sabah
    – 1x Cavalry regt (Gempita + armored 4×4) (5 KAD)
    – 1x tracked IFV battalion (used KIFV)

    2 KAD probably operationally transferred under 4 Div (central), with 3 KAD maintained under 2 Div (north)

  16. @Hasnan
    “Weird that MAF rather have nothing instead of maybe good second hand stuff”
    Indeed a question I posed here many rounds w/r to SPH. The answer I get is “we prefer nothing”.

  17. Is the Army’s 6×6 requirements based on the old “light tank” doctrine (i.e., the Sibmas and Scorpion direct fire “light tanks”)? Or are they looking at ATGM type armour in the 6×6 requirement – a lighter (and maybe cheaper) Gempita ATGM. Illustratively, is the Army’s 6×6 meant to be a vehicle like the retired Stryker MGS, or the Stryker ATGM / Gempita ATGM? Given the Army seems to be doing nothing to reinforce their MBTs – a direct fire “heavy tank”. Is the plan still to have light and heavy direct fire tanks?

  18. @ Kel

    I believe their previous 6×6 requirement is to have an equivalent of Gempita IFV30 and LCT30 “lite”, probably during the (b) period i wrote above. So there will be some cavalry regiment with full gempita, and some with 6×6 + 4×4.

    Seems that the plan now is to have similarly equipped cavalry regiments, all with a mix of Gempita + 4×4.

    Looks like the army armor doctrine is to have its IFVs hunt other IFVs with 30mm gun and Ingwe ATGM. Direct fire support is now mainly with RPG-7, carl gustaf, and ATGMs.

    @ marhalim

    I don’t see that the army having enough budget to have armored formations on both East and West Malaysia as stated in Army4NextG plan by only getting brand new KJA armored vehicles.

  19. @kel
    No, as Marhalim said before, 6×6 came because there wasn’t enough money to get more Gempita in the numbers required. Many of us thought it was a tactical requirement for urban/semi-urban combat maneuverability but seems like not.

    @hulubalang
    “IFVs hunt other IFVs with 30mm gun and Ingwe ATGM”
    I doubt the Gempita IFV are for hunter killer roles. Likely as anti-IFV support when encountering enemy IFV but not hunt them per se.

    “army having enough budget to have armored formations”
    Generals proposes, politicians disposes.
    It is Govt duties to find the budget to meet that planned need. But its the generals’ duty to convince the politicians & beancounters on their plan and what they needed to achieve it.

    Their fallacy is probably their penchant for only new stuff, such as their disdain for the used M109s. Indonesia will have these by the dozens arrayed in Kalimantan capital while we have nothing. I guess if the Army can wait til kingdom come until they get their shiny new toys there is nothing to be worried about, right? Right?

  20. But to the benefit of whom? Not to TDM nor the generals, am I right, cause it means insisting all new with a tight budget meant either not being approved, or being specced down to get something else that might not fulfill all the requirements, or cut down in numbers that would make it significantly insufficient for operational usage, or like Gempitas that is shared amongst each other like a well used toy.

  21. I believe the number TD is looking for is 400 KJAs….264 6×6 and 136 4×4

    The previous CoA said they did not get funded…before his retirement.

  22. Marhalim:”As you are aware, buying second hand stuff meant that no big pay day…”

    Well said tuan…
    Do we pay attention how we bought hardwares with terms such as “gold plated” or “unique’ or “different to the neighbours” or “tot-whatever what it means because there is no follow up” always hyped?

    OOT….
    ID moves a step closer to get F15EX.

  23. @ joe

    “Likely as anti-IFV support”
    Yes, your description of it is probably better than mine.

    @ marhalim

    “no big pay day”
    I hear that the current government is pushing hard to eliminate “big pay day” in the government system, to the annoyance of many that depends on such “big pay day”. Getting (some) secondhand stuff is probably a good move. We can start with FMS EDA Blackhawks…
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    Anyway…

    Looks like what is discussed here just a little over a year ago, is actually being implemented by Tentera Darat and KAD (to have every KAD Cavalry Regiment a mixture of Gempita & armored 4×4. Unlike previous plan of 1 KAD and 2 KAD fully Gempita and 3, 4 & 5 KAD a mix of 88x 6×6 & 136x 4×4 armored vehicles)

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/more-on-the-4×4-6×6-requirements/

  24. @Hulubalang
    “hear that the current government is pushing hard to eliminate “big pay day”
    What they say they want to do is one thing, what they actually do is another, and whether what they did is what they said is totally another. I prefer to wait & see the end results than what they promised, in the civvie realm, I will say that to date what I see is ‘cakap tak serupa bikin’, where Govt car fleet management has direct negoed back to a crony rather than thru open tenders.

  25. kel – ”Is the Army’s 6×6 requirements based on the old “light tank” doctrine (i.e., the Sibmas and Scorpion direct fire “light tanks”)? ”

    No it was neve a ”light tank” doctrine”…. [I knew the General who was on the evaluation committee]. The Cockerills were during a period when we wanted a fire support vehicle to deal with low intensity threats and could not afford a 105mm armed platform which we looked at. Prior to PERISTA we had 90mm armed V-100/50s.

    kel – ” Or are they looking at ATGM type armour in the 6×6 requirement – a lighter (and maybe cheaper) Gempita ATGM.”

    The 6×6 was intended to be a cheaper alternative to the AV-8 and a smaller more nimble platform to perform certain roles.

    kel – ” Illustratively, is the Army’s 6×6 meant to be a vehicle like the retired Stryker MGS, or the Stryker ATGM / Gempita ATGM?

    You’re overthinking it….

    ”I doubt the Gempita IFV are for hunter killer roles. ”

    Well it doesn’t have a panoramic sight [which was offered] so it can’t perform the hunter-killer role can it? It’s intended to provide an organic AT capability to units it’s attached to; not to perform as an independent AT platform or a hunter killer.

    Hasnan – ”Weird that MAF rather have nothing instead of maybe good second hand stuff. The indonesians and thais can make do quite regularly.”

    Does the Malaysian army have the same level of manpower and other resources as the TNI-AD? You aren’t the first and certainly won’t be the last to make direct comparisons without looking at various factors.

  26. … – ”The 4×4 needs to be agile, if possible equipped with the same 30mm calibre of the Gempita, and to be equipped with ATGMs.”

    An ”agile” 4×4 armed with a 30mm auto cannon [heavy as an ox and with shells as large as Thor’s hammer with handle] and maybe ATGWs? An oxymoron …

  27. @Azlan

    What I am getting at, is that there is a plan for a second mechanised brigade in Sarawak but we keep asking for new assets. So we rather wait and “plan” with whatever little funds that we get. So its not the plan that derive the budget but the budget that derive the plan. Kinda oxymoronic.

  28. Thats why they send the Gempita there (for 1 Div the 4 KAD) and the 5 Div (the 19 RMR Gempita) that the current plan. Whether or not this will change depends on the budget. Of course the budget derives the plans.

  29. .. – ”Something you don’t know does not mean it does not exist”

    Touchy, …. You took my comment as if it was directed cynically at you?

    Thanks for the perpetual links [I’m gratified] but nothing in those links show that a 4×4 fitted ”with a 30mm auto cannon [heavy as an ox and with shells as large as Thor’s hammer with handle] and maybe ATGWs” is ”agile” …. I won’t take a page out of your book and give you links to show how heavy a GI30 autocannon [or others] is but you get my drift.

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