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.
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