AV8 Developments

3 Armor crews with their AV8s.

SHAH ALAM: AV8 Developments. Like Destini it appears that Deftech has managed to exorcise its ties to the past regime. This was likely the reason as Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu made an official visit to the Deftech plant in Pekan on Feb. 15, though it was a closed door affair without any media.

It is likely that Deftech and its parent company DRB HICOM was already in the good books of the government as you are probably aware the owner is quite close to the current Prime Minister. The delay in visiting the plant is likely due to its location.

A screenshot of Mat Sabu tweet on his visit to the Deftech plant.

Anyhow not much is revealed during the visit apart from Mat Sabu saying that the AV8 is also integrated with an UAV. He did not mentioned the type though I was told that it was the locally developed Aludra UAV which Deftech was part of the consortium contracted to run the drone under the jurisdiction of Joint Force Headquarters (ATB) II based in Tawau, Sabah. Deftech became part of the consortium after it took over CTRM. The Aludra contract has lapsed and it is likely that ATB II is relying on the Schiebel Camcopter vertol UAVs operated by the military intelligence. The Scaneagle drone contract managed by Deftech has also lapsed and with the US gifting us a number of these drones for free it is unlikely that Deftech will get into that business as well.

Condors of 4 Armor during an exercise in February, 2019. Facebook

ATBI II has a requirement for a contractor managed and operated tactical UAV though it remained on hold for the moment.

2 Armor with their Gempita vehicles.

It is likely that Deftech could integrate another UAV into the AV8 – especially for use in the ATB II AOR – if the Armed Forces got around to add that requirement but I am told that so far nothing is going forward on that front.

3 Armor crews and their trainers posed with their AV8.

Anyhow, it appears that 3 Armor is also getting a number of Gempita AV8, likely to replace its Sibmas FSV. It is likely 2 and 3 Armor will have Gempitas in their fire support companies with Condors as their main armoured vehicles, until these are replaced as well. The Army I am told is keen to get new 6X6 to replace the Condors which means the upgrade programme is as good as dead.

3 Armor crews with their AV8s.

4 Armor, the Kuching based Kor Armor unit, is still operating the Condors as well and so far there is no indication that it is also getting the Gempita for their fire support company. Perhaps this will happen this year. For the record, the main users of the AV8 are 1 Armor and 19 RAMD.

— Malausian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. From 4 armor FB page, it seems that they still have SIBMAS in their inventory, although only the recovery version is seen on operations in the past few months.

    As for the Gempitas and Kor Armor cavalry regiments, IMO there could be a Hi-Low mix like the SIBMAS-Condor, but not with expensive 6×6 versions. I am thinking of moving using the cheaper J-LTVs ( cost around USD500K each) and moving some of the functions like VINTAQs recce version to the smaller more nimbler platform.


    Im thinking of something like this:

    1 Mechanized Gempita (70 gempita + 28 J-LTV)
    48+6 IFV25
    6 Command
    4 120mm mortar
    2 Ambulances
    2 ARV
    2 Maintenance
    28 J-LTV (6 HWC, 6 ATGM, 12 GP, 4 ambulance)

    1 CAVALRY RGT Kor Armor Diraja (44 gempita + 34 J-LTV)
    24 IFV30
    12 LCT30
    4 Command
    2 ARV
    2 Maintenance
    34 J-LTV (12 HWC, 6 VINTAQS, 12 GP, 4 ambulance)

    With such allocations, to have 3 Gempita Mechanized Battalions and 4 Gempita Cavalry Regiments would need to have at least 386 Gempitas, so a 2nd batch of around 150-180 (including additional reserves) should be bought, of course at a more reasonable price than the 1st batch.

    and it would be good to have something like this by 2030

    1st Armour Brigade (Rasah Camp, Seremban, N. Sembilan)
    11th Royal Armour Corps (Syed Sirajuddin Camp, Gemas, Negeri Sembilan) 48 PT-91M 30 MIFV
    12th Royal Armour Corps (Sunggala Camp, Port Dickson) 48 PT-91M 30 MIFV
    14th Royal Malay Regiment (Rasah Camp, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan) 100 Adnan
    15th Royal Malay Regiment (Rasah Camp, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan) 100 Adnan

    4th Mechanised Brigade (Batu 10 Camp, Kuantan, Pahang)
    19th Royal Malay Regiment (Mech) (Lapangan Terbang Camp, Sungai Petani, Kedah) 70 AV8 28 J-LTV
    7th Royal Ranger Regiment (Mech) (Batu 5 Camp, Mentakab, Pahang) 70 AV8 28 J-LTV
    12th Royal Malay Regiment (Mech) (Daralockwood Camp, Kuantan,
    Pahang) 70 AV8 28 J-LTV
    505th Territorial Army Regiment (Mech) (Teluk Sisik Camp, Kuantan,
    1st Royal Armour Corps (Batu 10 Camp, Kuantan, Pahang) 44 AV8 34 J-LTV

  2. Will there ever be a Gempita 105 mm FSV?

    So far there is no indication for such a thing or even money for it

  3. @ tom tom

    In the great scheme of things, i don’t think a 105mm direct fire gun is sorely needed. It is a new ammo size for us (it is differrent from 105mm howitzer shells). Right now for direct fire we have the 30mm gun of the gempita, and also the Ingwe missiles. Not to mention the amount of RPG-7s that are distributed to the infantries.

  4. Malaysia army should only opted AV Deftech family for the next additional 8×8, 6×6 or 4×4 armour vehicle as the product’s quality seems very convincing. Besides to support our local industry (to achieve economy scale after huge amount of investment), it can also reduce the spare part and maintenance issue in the long term. No more trying to bring in 6×6 black fox or others !

  5. BTW

    Sample cost of J-LTV

    Slovenia has signed an Intergovernmental Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. Government for the purchase of 38 Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV).

    The agreement was signed by Minister of Defense Karl Erjavec representing the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia on Oct. 12, 2018.

    The value of the contract for the purchase of 38 JLTV vehicles, taking into account administrative costs, tools, spare parts and training, is EUR 15,688,704 excluding VAT.

  6. Military_Observer “Malaysia army should only opted AV Deftech family for the next additional 8×8, 6×6 or 4×4 armour vehicle as the product’s quality seems very convincing. ”

    Nice try, Deftech.

    1. How come Deftech’s AV8 has not been exported to a single country?

    2. Why shouldn’t we buy straight from FNSS and save some serious money?

    3. Has Deftech ever managed to sell an original AFV product? Note that the current AV4 Libanbara is a rebadged Chaiseri MRAP. Even Deftech’s Hicom Handalan trucks are rebadged Isuzu’s.

  7. @ AM

    Please dont scare away the deftech reader LoL!


    IMO the Gempita 8×8 is a good platform, and to extract the best potential out of it, the 4th Mech Brigade needs to be converted into an all wheeled formation, and with that all the KAD cavalry regiments too. That calls for additional Gempitas. But there is some missions that a Gempita is an overkill. Like the Recce with the VINTAQs mast. A smaller more nimbler vehicle like the J-LTV is a better fit for recce mission, not the huge Gempita.

    Follow on Gempitas IMO should not cost more than USD3 million each, and at that price should still give Deftech some profit.

    The J-LTV costs less than USD0.5 mil each, and it was extensively tested before being accepted by US Army.

    For APC/MRAP to equip our motorized battalions (to replace the Condors), I am looking at something like the singaporean Belrex concept. Each should not cost more than USD1 mil each (the Lipanbara BTW costs USD1.6 mil each).


  8. “IMO the Gempita 8×8 is a good platform”

    It’s an adequate but unremarkable platform. Our budget doesn’t give us the luxury of choice (on second thought, considering what we paid…).

    The Pars is not a popular vehicle because the position of the engine reduces the size of the rear compartment. The 6×6 variant is more cramped.

    “But there is some missions that a Gempita is an overkill. Like the Recce with the VINTAQs mast. A smaller more nimbler vehicle like the J-LTV is a better fit for recce mission, not the huge Gempita.”

    True that the recce variant is less exposed to direct fire, but the idea is to have the same protection and mobility levels of the unit that it is supporting. The J-LTV can carry the mast and sensor operator but I’m not sure if we assigned additional crew in our case.

  9. The Gempita is one of the earliest highly protected 8×8 available, and now that high level of protection is the norm. The internal configuration puts the vehicle commander beside the driver with panoramic periscopes (it looks like windscreens but it is not, those are periscopes and the driver and commander sits much more lower than that). unique steering design lets the driver sits on left or right, depending on where we will operate.

    The J-LTV has an equivalent of MRAP type of protection level without the heavy weight. Its mobility level is probably better than the Gempita. If additional recce crew is needed, the General Purpose J-LTVs can be paired to the VINGTAQs equipped ones, and it would still cost less than 1 Gempita.

    Sample of VINGTAQS on gwagen


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