SHAH ALAM: In the article entitled More Stuff Delivered for the Army, October 2023, Malaysian Defence reported that the Army took delivery of field ambulances. The contract for the field ambulances was awarded to AVP Engineering Sdn Bhd for an LOA of RM10.08 million.
The tender to supply and deliver 18 field ambulances for the Army was published in 2020. Even though I checked the tender website, it was a silly oversight for me not to open AVP Engineering website to determine the model of the field ambulance that they supplied to the Army.
Based on the company’s website, the field ambulance supplied by AVP Engineering is based on the Ford F550 XL chassis. AVP Engineering did not disclose the engine fitted on the field ambulances but I think, it is 6.7 liter V8 Turbo Diesel as the company stated it is the DRW 4X4 version.
Checks on the Ford website revealed that the DRW is the dual-diesel tank version. With a 6.7L turbo diesel engine, of course it needs the dual fuel tanks! Anyhow it appears that the AVP Engineering bought the Ford chassis and placed an ambulance cabin on the rear as the solution for the tender. Of course, there were more to it but since AVP Engineering has not detailed them, we leave it at that.
AVP Engineering states that the field ambulance can carry four patients (laying down) with a single attendant in the back. The field ambulance can carry three crew members. The company has also been conducting trials with the F550 field ambulance since 2016 based on the pictures posted on its website.
The field ambulances used six 19-inch tyres – two at the front and four in the rear axles- which look very tiny on the vehicle. AVP Engineering could have added an extra axle to the rear one which could improve off-road performance (picture above). However, this might breach the RM600,000 price limit for the tender. The Ford website shows that a starting price for F550 XL chassis starts from US$53,845 or RM250,443.
Meanwhile, it appears also that AVP Engineering had supplied MAN 3-tonne GS cargo trucks in the standard digital camo to the Army. As previously reported, DRB-Hicom Defence Techonologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) signed the contract the supply and delivery of 150 Malaysian Army three-tonne General Services trucks to the Army. The contract – RM59.7 million – was publicly signed at DSA 2022.
It is likely that AVP Engineering won the 2019 tender to supply 32 3-tonne GS cargo trucks to the Joint Force Headquarters as it had delivered them earlier this year. Even though the tender specified 32 trucks, only around six vehicles painted in UN colours have been seen so far.
Two MAN 3-tonne GS cargo trucks were seen operated by 3 KAD for an exercise as published by its official Facebook page recently. It is likely the unit – which had retired its Condors late last year- had received the trucks to supplement its fleet of Deftech Handalan 3 tonne GS cargo trucks.
I stand to be corrected of course.
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