Dong Feng Prime Movers For The Army?

An Army Iveco prime mover.

SHAH ALAM: Dong Feng prime movers for the the Army. In the last two quarters of 2019, the Defence Ministry published a slew of request for bids for various equipment and weapons as part of the Army’s Recapitalisation Programme. The numbers are small I must admit but according to my sources that it was the biggest procurement exercise for the Army for a decade or so.

Anyhow its already about six months since of all the tenders were published, it is likely that some of the request for bids have been decided and the winning bidders selected. Unfortunately, although the RFB were openly published the results are nowhere to be seen. I appreciate that all government tenders are open for competition nowdays but it is striking that the results – the ones that really matter the most – equipment and weapons – are not made public. Of course the less sexy ones – mostly services – are made public. Please note that this is not limited to the Defence Ministry only as the results of some important tenders for other ministries have also not made public, leading to this one .

An Army Iveco prime mover.

I am guessing at least for the Defence Ministry that most of them – equipment and weapons – will only made public when the contracts are signed at DSA 2018 this April. The ministry and the minister himself probably want the publicity generated for the contract signings at the show itself. Lets hope the full details of the contracts signed will be published as well and not like in the past where I had to corner the emcee to get anything worthwhile to write about it (this happened a few times at DSA and LIMA shows)

Volvo Heavy Recovery Vehicle from 1 Workshop. The unit is now with Fourth Mechanised Brigade.

Anyhow I was told that the three Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) tender was won by a company offering a Dong Feng prime mover. I was not told the exact model but checks on the Dong Feng Malaysia showed there were three models of prime movers that could have been offered for the contract. Before anyone says why China made trucks, it must be noted that the Army had previously bought trucks and prime movers from Romania though it was through a Malaysian company, Pesaka Astana. Most of these vehicles, however, have been replaced by Iveco, MAN and other trucks within the last 10 years.


Iveco 5 tonne GS trucks of the Depo Simpanan Pertahanan (Defence Storage Depot) being readied for deployment at the height of the 2014 floods. Internet.

Does this mean Dong Feng was also selected for the other vehicle tenders? I have no idea at the moment but hopefully I will find out more in the near future. Anyhow the new 4X4 anti-tank guided weapon carriers being sought by the Army – will also have new weapons on them. The Defence Ministry published the RFB for the medium range ATGW on Jan. 24. The tender which is restricted will closed on February 18. I have no idea whether these will be replacing the Metis-M in service. It is likely though as those in service are already some 20 years old already.

Metis-M ATGM on the way at the 2017 Firepower exercise.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. With Made in China defence equipment being acceptable now would MINDEF be ok to consider the J10 for the LCA too. J10 has become a surprise attendee in the Singapore air show n would be doing flying displays

  2. Prolly more Baktar shikan from pakistan. what’s a couple of ATGM for millions of tons of palm oil anyway?

    While we’re at it, Deftech prolly should send people to see how they made Al Khalid tank as well

  3. I will just say they are going to regret it sooner rather than later. The only reason logistic companies are still using them is cuz they are cheap to buy more as spare and easily replace when expended. Typical China trucks don’t last > 5 years of constant use. Can ATM afford for such option? They shouldn’t just look at the pricing and pick the lowest bidder. What I was afraid will happen has came true.

  4. Michael,

    Bakhtar Shikan is a copy of Red Arrow which in turn is a copy of TOW 1. Why on earth would we buy a SACLOS bulky system designed in the 1970’s when there are are newer and better performing systems in the market?

  5. @ joe

    In the army, lorries (trucks are for americans) are sparingly used, unlike civilian owned lorries. Army lorries would be more likely to broke down with broken oil seals due to infrequent use rather than parts being worn out by daily hard use.

    On pakistan…

    There are items other than the bakhtar shikan for us to get. For example
    – more RPG-7 rounds
    – RPG-7 training rounds
    – Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) assembled SH-15 155mm wheeled SPH

  6. @…
    Vehicles will deteriorate quicker if left out in open and only used sparingly. Unsurprisingly, China truck parts (ie seals, rubber lining, weatherstrips, etc, ECUs, other electronic equipment) do wear out faster compared to Japanese & Conti trucks even when left alone.

    @Lee Yoke Meng
    Not so bad if we have spare trucks to replace with, otherwise ATM will suffer downtime when they are needed. In logistics, it only concerns goods late delivery, in Armed Forces it could be life and death.

  7. Off topic

    Rare photos of royal thai air force radpanzer condors in a parade 18 january 2020

  8. …, – lIn the army, lorries (trucks are for americans) are sparingly used”

    Actually; that are not all “sparingly” used ..
    Some see heavy day to day usage; necessitating effective and timely maintenance. Depends on the type of vehicle.

    “Lorry” as opposed to “truck”. The distinction has become increasingly blurred; even in the U.K. the term “truck” is commonly used now. Of course there are certain types of vehicles in which one would never call as a lorry; irrespective of whether in the moors of Yorkshire or plains of Montana: i.e. Hilux and Ranger.

  9. Joe is right on this. It’s a saying in Malaysia that if you have a logistics business, you get a long lasting continental truck. If you have a construction project, you get China trucks because they only last the life of the project.


    Why would we get another aircraft that has no commonality in parts and weapons with our Russian and American fighters, except for the same Russian engines with the same awkward maintenance requirements?

  10. Dundun,

    Better off sending people to China. Al Khalid is a Chinese tank but like various things; given a Pakistani name ……Also, why buy MBTs from a country which doesn’t have an active, indigenous MBT development programme?

    This is the danger I pointed out previously; us getting stuff we normally wouldn’t buy merely because certain OEMs are receptive to palm oil …


    Exactly. We would also have to set up a separate training/support to train people to fly and maintain the jets; as well as ground equipment and parts with zero commonality – on top of that; certain integration would have to be performed to enable the jet to operate alongside the MKMs and Hornets.

  11. AM – “the same awkward maintenance requirements

    Not “awkward” for air arms that don’t operate along Western lines and who don’t rely on Western operating standards. The only silver lining is that dealing with the Chinese; even if not on a state to state level; can be less problematic than with the Russians with regards to product support. Our reliance on local companies to provide use certain services can also be a major issue.

  12. Off topic

    An amazing sight at the 2020 singapore air show.

    Just look at the loadout of M52-13

    Knirti SAP-518 DRFM self protection jammer pods on the wingtips

    Probably 4x RVV-AE medium range air to air missiles, 2x on the wings, 2x between the engines.

    4x Kh-31 supersonic anti-ship/anti-radiation missile.

  13. Chinese truck is best to be avoided right now. The local trucking and haulage experience with them shows that the downtime is high, sometimes half of the supposedly operating time. we cannot afford this level of reliability in conflict. We have multiple service centre for EU trucks such as Volvo Scania MAN (Mercedes to be avoided due to parts issues also) the parts are usually available.

  14. Actually not so bad. Use 5 years n replace .I agree with Lee,these type of vehicle n truck should be the ” pakai buang type ” after 10 years all these vehicle need to be changed,except the afv,apc,,etc its best to buy dirt cheap vehicles and in bulk.

  15. Off topic

    Philiphines army ready to order Atmos Sph from israel..meanwhile in Malaysia,ATM trying Caesar from 90s but…

  16. Firdaus,

    Instead of Caesar the army got G-5s. The requirement for a self propelled gun only arose after the raising of 11th Tank Regiment in the late 2000’s …
    Zero comparisons between us not getting Caesar and them getting Atmos.

    If you want to make comparisons of that nature; they have been seeking a full fledged fighter since the 1990’s and still haven’t got one and decades after others had been operating SSMs they only recently got theirs; in the form of short range Spikes.

  17. Years ago I came across a picture of a Ural truck at Gong Kedak. It was in a Russian monotone colour and had a snorkel. I’m not sure if it had RMAF plates or if it belonged to us.

  18. For those who look down on asian products and worship “white” people products. Look at news report on crypto ag. Malaysia paid for this to be spied on. Not surprisingly singapore is not one of the customer.

  19. Anon – “For those who look down on asian products and worship “white” people products”

    It’s not a question of “looking down” on anything; whether made by blue or brown eyed people but being extra careful when procuring stuff used for comms. Also, just because a cipher machine can be listened in to doesn’t necessarily mean one can actual decipher the messages which do have added levels of encryption; requiring codes which are changed regularly and have combinations that run in the tens of millions. In addition to top line equipment; operational discipline is also essential.

    There is also the matter of ‘Asian” products being just a vulnerable as “white or blue eyed” products; especially if it has been compromised with the help of the OEM itself. BTW Crypto has been here on various occasions at DSA and the one time EW exhibition that was held. About 12/13 years ago it was publicly announced that a U.S. company had bought a majority share.

  20. Firdaus – “So our army doesnt need anything””

    Stick to the topic at hand instead of resorting to sarcasm.

    In the 1990’s we evaluated Caesar during a period when we were undecided on whether to get a towed gun or a SPH. The requirement was fulfilled when we ordered the G-5s in 2002 and a requirement for SPHs only arose a few years later. Thus it’s silly to make a comparison between us not ordering Caesar – despite evaluating it as far back as the 1990’s – and the Philippines getting Atmos.

    Firdaus – “Already good enough? Do enlighten me””

    Did anything I say indicate that what we have is “already good enough” it are you forming your own conclusions? My post was in reference to you making a direct comparison in the delay in us getting Caesar and the Philippines getting Atmos – 2 totally unconnected/unrelated events; driven by varying factors. If you want to make such comparisons; also mentioned the fact that we’ve bought some things that the Philippines had planned to get decades ago but still hasn’t.


    Something I’ve been wondering myself

  21. All the hooha by USA with the 5G Huawei is basically because of CIA pending loss of spying superiority it currently enjoys. Using chinese infrastructure makes it easier for the chinese to spy on us while making it difficult for USA.

    As for our own 155mm SPH capability, i have no issue if we are going for chinese 155mm SPH and lightweight towed howitzers. IMO norinco SH15 155mm SPH and AH4/AHS4 155mm lightweight towed howitzer would be a great addition to RAD. If they are good enough for PLA Army, they should be good for our army too.

  22. …. – “If they are good enough for PLA Army, they should be good for our army too.”

    No doubt; as long as certain criteria’s are met; i.e. barrels that last as long as those we already operate or those we’re looking at from other doubles. As I keep saying : they’re certain things we should consider from China and some things we shouldn’t.

    At the end of the day what makes the difference is not where the gun’s from but our ability to have an effective fire control ability, to have a ISR ability to work in tandem with those guns and for use to fully synchronise and integrate our arty with other combat arms.

  23. @Anon
    Nobody is looking down on Asian products and Chinese made are cheap no doubt. But they are cheap for a reason: Lower product quality, reliability and technology. China certainly can make a good product but you will be paying near parity prices, just take a look at Proton X70 and how much it cost.

    In manufacturing, you get what you paid for. If you intend to pay peanuts…

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