Deja Vu

SHAH ALAM:The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the Deftech AV4 was “Hey, I have seen that armoured car before”. Try as I might I cannot shake the feeling of déjà vu. When I surfed the web, I finally found what I was looking for.

It was the British Saxon armoured car, introduced in the 60s. In Malaysia, the Saxon was in abundant during the Emergency, mostly pressed into service by the police. One pristine example is displayed at the PDRM Museum behind the Masjid Negara.

Deftech old AV4
Deftech old AV4

The thing that made me think of the Saxon and the AV4 was the driver cabin. Like the Saxon, the driver’s cab on the AV4 is located on the right hand side of the front end where the engine is located. Unlike the Saxon, the AV4 driver’s cab is more prominent, a tear-drop style which was probably inspired by the design on the Sibmas. The sloping armoured engine hood is certainly more aero-dynamic than the boxy Saxon.

It uses an MTU turbo-diesel engine. The back cabin of the AV4 differs from the Saxon as small vision slots are provided on the sides. The AV4 maker should do away with the vision slots as other armoured car operators have shown that no one can make use of those small slots whenever on the move. A re-design of the AV4 cabin is also necessary as it is not sloped at all.

The inside of the old AV4
The inside of the old AV4

Such un-sloped armour does not deflect bullets and other nasty objects very well even it is made out of thick metal slabs. Another thing Deftech need to change are the seats. Those nasty seats in the trial vehicle are a joke. Check out those seats in the Pandur 8×8. They even got seat belts!

The impression here were based on what I have seen when the AV4 was displayed at DSA 2006. The vehicle is believed to be undergoing trials at the moment. In its present form, I don’t believe it is ready yet for service, It is certainly better than the modified Ferrets still in service.

The Army need to make sure that it suits its requirement and no strings should be used to influence it to purchase these armoured cars without proper trials in the field.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2225 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I think the AV is a perfect replacement for the Condor fleet. In the long run, equipping a motorised battalion in each brigade with the AV would be a good idea. According to the designer, who also worked on the South African Oliphant technology demonstrater, the AV4 was designed from scratch. As for the M4, its interesting that the MOD hasn’t provided a reason for the replacement of the Steyrs. Only 2 years ago, 25,000 were ordered from SME. Perhaps the money would be better spent on body armour and night vision gear.

  2. i like to give some comments on AV4 which has been claimed as the real malaysian model.
    actually, the AV4 is very similar with one model of the same kind known as Iguana-Sabiex. this Iguana model was a product of Belgium.the model had been shown up during the IDEX 2005 last year.for further details, you can have a short visit to the website:
    hope this info would give some ideas about the current situation of AV4 and in comparing both of the models.
    anyway, i support malaysian defence industry especially in strengthening our military capabilities.Malaysia Boleh!

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