Deftech MRAP/AV4 is Confirmed, Unofficially

Deftech AV4 as seen at the Deftech plant in Pekan late 2014. Malaysian Defence

SHAH ALAM: IN my post Five Things We Are Getting in RMK11, it was stated that the Deftech MRAP/AV4 would also likely to make the list. And unofficially it has been confirmed that the Army is getting the Thai-designed vehicle.

In my original report, I called the vehicle as Deftech MRAP but I was informed recently that Deftech had renamed as the AV4.

Janes is now reporting that “Thai firm Chaiseri Metal & Rubber has won a contract from the Malaysian government to supply 4×4 multipurpose armoured vehicles to the Malaysian Army, it has been confirmed to IHS Jane’s . The contract represents one of Thailand’s largest known military export programmes.

Deftech MRAP as seen at the Deftech plant in Pekan late 2014. Malaysian Defence
Deftech MRAP as seen at the Deftech plant in Pekan late 2014. Malaysian Defence

Karn Hirankul, general director of Chaiseri, said on 7 September that the on-order vehicles would be modified versions of Chaiseri’s 4×4 ‘First Win’ vehicle, which is in operation by the Royal Thai Army and Thailand’s Ministry of Justice’s Department of Special Investigation. In Malaysia the vehicles will be known as AV4.. The full story here.

Of course, Janes was following up on the story which first appeared back here, which originally came out in 2013 but was updated on Aug 27, 2015! Regular reader D.W posted that story in the comments section.

As everyone here remained tight-lipped about the contract, I guess we have to take the word of the Thai fellow for the time being. But since Janes is reporting about the contract, I guess I will not be accused of making up stories.

If confirmed, it will likely see the end of the effort Pindad to sell its Anoa 6X6 APC to the Army.

Deftech MRAP at DSA 2014. Malaysian Defence.
Deftech MRAP at DSA 2014. Malaysian Defence.

So what about the offset deal? As I had reported previously, Malaysian made M4 Carbines. But what about Colt LLC bankruptcy then? Not much really as the new company will of course backed the Malaysian-Thai deal.

The only fly in the ointment is the Malaysian ringgit slide…

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2222 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. First of 6 AV4 will be send to Malaysian Army from Chaiseri and the other will be manufactured at Deftech. The same as AV8 Gempita were manufactured at Deftech.

  2. Marhalim,

    I am confused.

    Many years ago (probably 10), Deftech reportedly developed its own 4×4. This apparently looked ‘like the Belgian Iguana vehicle’.

    What happened to that…..and why are we buying from the Thais, when we can buy our own?

    The answer is simple, they got no buyers for the AV4 but they got it for the MRAP

  3. I’ve been wet dreaming of MRAP for our boys, looks like its coming true!!!!! Though, I just hoped that there are no delays in the deliveries…

  4. What is the difference between IMV and MRAP?

    Just semantics?

    The Australian and Dutch Bushmasters are called IMV.

  5. ..and the plan to transform the 1st Infantry Brigade into an armored brigade? Is it still in the plan or has it been scapped as well now due to falling RM? Might be wrong but the current situation seems to dislodge the idea of any additional tank regiment..

  6. How many would be bought?

    Would this be a replacement for the condor, or additional buy not related to the condors? One capability that the mrap lack compared to the condors is the amphibious capability.

  7. Maybe the we can mix between first win and first win E which is smaller for special ops use.

    AFAIK there will be only one version of the Deftech MRAP to be produced

  8. Are the MRAPs meant to supplement the AV8 Gempita? I really love to know the planned makeup of the formations of both of them. Sure hope that we can fastrack it for our men in Lebanon and other peacekeping missions.

    Marhalim, do you know how many AV8s already in service?

    No idea yet to all of your questions.

  9. Does Deftech actually have a proper RnD activity? Up until now, are they still incapable of conducting a proper study to develop our own platform? They already have the experience in manufacturing the Adenan and Gempita, should they not already have the knowledge in ballistic sciences, tracked and AWD system? Seeing them do this kind of contract is sad. After a few years, they would need to replace these machines and a new platform would be chosen. It really shows lack of forward thinking and continuity in our Armed Forces.

    Of course, the usual excuse would be that it’s cheaper. But developing our own system is an investment for the future. Because it will only require minor upgrades later to suit the industry’s future needs. Of course, developing major platforms like a tank or an SPH is a rather long shot (but not impossible), but we should start small, like developing an IMV platform for the current need with the platform being able to cater the needs for the battlefield in the next 20 years (For example, the platform should be in concordance with the Armed Forces future acquisition plans like maybe an LHD, Long haul tactical airlifter etc.).

    But of course, it all comes down to our politics. If we want to be a developed country, we should start developing our own technology. The government is the biggest investor in a country, as shown by Keynesian economics, so they should consider investing into something like this as well.

    We are a developing nation, with limited resources. Even our national car is floundering.

  10. “We are a developing nation, with limited resources. Even our national car is floundering”

    ..then we will forever be a developing nation if this is the mentality of our leaders. We have brains in our universities as well as in our industries, they are given research grants but sadly most of the outputs never saw the light of commercialization. Also probably the main reasons why technology transfer never benefits us and they never bother to give it to us.

    Have you tried to get research grants for defence or national security related items? I have met several of the people who have tried such things in the past, they failed. However if you could direct me to the people who had managed to get these grants please emailed me their contact numbers so I can asked them about their research.

  11. Off topic. It might interest you to know that wikipedia lists Malaysia as operator of the M101 howitzer.

  12. I don’t think that is a good reason. Thailand is less developed than us in terms of economy, technology and infrastructure. Yet they are able to develop such project. Same thing applies to countries like South Africa, South Korea and even Singapore in the past.

    I think it all comes down to mentality. Nations like those I mentioned want to develop their human capital and so they invest. Us, we prefer to buy and make hasty decisions.

  13. Q,
    that’s exactly what I meant. Probably because we are so peaceful that complacency is clouding our politikus mind, never see the need for them. On the contrary these countries except SG of course, the needs for indigenous equipment are pressing.

    and I didn’t specifically refers to research grants for defense equipment, but in general. You can contact the relevant ministry to get the lists of researches that have won countless awards yet only a handful are taken. Well, one can only guess, if it is by Malaysian it is chokia product..only imported products are good..

  14. Mr. Marhalim,

    Sorry if I seem negative, or immature and I know, this is not a proper channel to voice this question. But I would just like to see your opinion on the matter, to see a different perspective.

    Just to add to your comment on the research grant, a friend of mine worked with a researcher, who conducted a research with the Armed Forces a few years back, but eventually got fired because the officials didn’t like him, saying that he thinks he’s too smart and the higher ranking officials felt like they were belittled by the guy. His system is not yet developed anywhere else at that period, and now, another nation took him in and continued developing his system. Frankly, this shows lack of forward thinking in those in charge of these matters. It seems sad, but that’s how it is in our country, and being one of the reason for the lack of RnD project.

    Thanks for your input anyway. Have a good day / night.

    I have encountered this on previous occasions but chose not to report as the parties had informed me that they will seek legal redress over their grievances with the ministry.

  15. Q

    Im not trying to belittle the maf but ive personaly met a few officer that cant tell the difference between b & c.. they got their history wrong. Their facts wrong and so on. I think thats why we got cartonish style camo 4 our combat vehicles and gatling gun 4 our loh. We are a nation of trend follower. Not trend setter.


    Sorry my man. U were right. Its the m102. My bad. Tq 4 the info.

  16. Q,
    Total F-up from planning to execution is the key.

    There is an “avionic integration” institute somewhere in Subang. Spent millions to send kids to France, Russia and some other Europe countries, nothing came out after almost a decade.

    Funny thing is, at the same time one of the agency has a project to create a “prospective” glass cockpit upgrade and this institute was not even invited. BTW, this particular agency wants a full 3rd party automation integrated on to a 40 years old antique. Guess Westar did not tell them whats the feel like to do the same on their 20 years old vintage. After spending some millions, they got a prototype and nothing else. I really don’t want to repeat what that Canadian told. The military wants the “best” but doesn’t even know what is “best” about. Wait till you see, this same agency will get half a dozen of classics and ding dong with some glass cockpit. Wish them luck.

    Then again, while everyone is complaining how less the budget was given, there is another agency cannibalizing almost 1/3 of their fleet while complaining the inconvenience to charter civil to the east and wants their own in house turboprop…

  17. Yeah, we use M102 as a salute… Double checked that…


    We’ve always been a trend follower. While the others develop their own, we follow their steps. Easy as an ABC and we’ll be able to move forward towards modernization lol…

  18. “H says:
    September 9, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    There is an “avionic integration” institute somewhere in Subang. Spent millions to send kids to France, Russia and some other Europe countries, nothing came out after almost a decade.”

    Back in the early 1980s’ I was attending a Technical College in Los Angeles, California USA. It was a College that had an A & P Maintenance School and was taught according to FAA regulations. It was a 58 week course, and a new class was started every month with 25 to 30 students.

    To my surprise, one day a bunch of Malaysians arrived at our college dorm. They were all in civilian dress, but I found out that they were actually ground crew still in service with the TUDM. They had chosen this school to send batches of TUDM ground crew for training. They came in batches every month for nearly 2 years. I believe this had something to do with the A-4 Skyhawks that were bought at the same time. And we all know how that turned out.

    It just seems that nothing is learnt from History. The same mistakes keep being repeated, and millions are wasted. These people that are trained, and educated, but don’t get the opportunities to use what they have learnt for the Service that paid for it. It’s a shameful waste.

  19. The skyhawk was a very capable and robust aircraft. What happened to tudm skyhawks was not the problem of the platform itself or caused the men that fly and maintain them. Singapore used an older version of the skyhawk than tudm for far longer without any major problems.

  20. “…happened to tudm skyhawks was not the problem of the platform itself or caused the men that fly and maintain them.”

    Three Pips, what do you mean the problem on TUDM Skyhawks? From your post, neither error of platform nor pilot nor ground crew, so what is it then?

    Rokuth, the Service had done a disservice to itself by sending ground crew to a wrong school learning a wrong thing which ultimately they come back doing the wrong task?

  21. Problems with the skyhawks (crashes etc) was caused by the lack of proper budgets for the spares and maintenance (periodic overhauls etc) of the fleet. The maintenance guys did a sterling job in maintaining them in spite of the constraints that they faced. But when a skyhawk crashes, it is put squarely on skyhawk is an “old used seconhand ex vietnam war airplane”, no mention on the little funding the government allocates to maintain the skyhawk fleet.

    The 40 operational A-4PTM (peculiar to malaysia, 34single seaters, 6twin seaters) were fully refurbished by grumman (in the same factory that builds f-14 tomcats none the less) in mid 1980s and were in great condition when received by tudm. There were another 48 other airframes that were also bought but not made operational, around 20 of these were bought back as spares sources.

    Singapore also used skyhawks (older variants than malaysia) from 1970s up till early 2000’s. And they did not have similar problems and the stigma that hit malaysian skyhawks.

  22. Haiya again it comes back to budget & management culture which reflected the quality of the asset. Thanks for clearing the “haze” on the Skyhawks PTM.

  23. “nimitz says:
    September 12, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Rokuth, the Service had done a disservice to itself by sending ground crew to a wrong school learning a wrong thing which ultimately they come back doing the wrong task?”

    ‘Wrong school?’ I would NEVER say that of my Alma Mater! It was the right school for the right costs and right length of course. All those that attended the A & P Course were given a sound foundation and would stand by those TUDM personnel in their civilian lives. (They had to sign a contract to be in the TUDM Service for an extended period. If I remember correctly it was for about 10 years)

    ‘Wrong Thing?’ Of course not! The Malaysian civil aviation field was more closely associated with the British CAA and their regulations. American FAA regulations, while similar have differences in procedures. Our College also had a lot of former US Military personnel attending right after they had gotten out of their service. It was a good fit with our TUDM personnel who would be servicing an American aircraft. It gave the personnel a good foundation for their aircraft maintenance work.

    ‘Wrong Task?’ I think “…” gave a good explanation on what happened with the A-4PTM in his reply on September 12, 2015 at 9:17 am.
    Personally, I am left with the impression that there were more people than needed with long term contracts to work on an insufficient number of aircraft that they were trained on. This, in turn, means that some of the personnel never got to work on what they were trained for. That is the “Waste” I am referring to.

    BTW, I read that the PTM designation was ‘Americanized’ to mean “Peculiar to Malaysia.” It was actually supposed to be “Persekutuan Tanah Melayu.”

  24. Rokuth, thanks for clarification.My apologies as I can’t understand your views in the first place.

  25. “nimitz says:
    September 14, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Rokuth, thanks for clarification.My apologies as I can’t understand your views in the first place.”

    nimitz, no apologies needed. I should actually be thanking you as the questions you asked help to bring my thoughts into focus and clarify my response. So… Thank you nimitz!

  26. Off topic.

    May 31st news.

    “Deftech select Kent Periscopes for Malaysian AV-8 programme

    DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) selected Kent Periscopes Limited as the provider of periscopes and reversionary sights for the new 8×8 Armoured Wheeled Vehicle (AV-8) programme for the Malaysian Armed Forces. The scope of supply covers all periscopes for installation in the vehicle hull, hatches and where applicable turrets, together with our popular Sabre Sight for the 2-Man turret vehicle variant.”

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