Ford F550 4X4 Field Ambulances

AVP Engineering Ford F550 Field Ambulance. AVP Enigneering.

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.

Army chief Gen Hafizzudaein Jantan briefed on the AVP Engineering Ford F550 field ambulance in November 2023. 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.
AVP Engineering Ford F550 Field Ambulance. AVP Engineering.

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 Ford F550 Field Ambulance. AVP Enigneering.

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.
British vehicle specialist Ricardo developed a 6X6 conversion of the Ford Ranger HEX. Ricardo.

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.

Apart from the three-tonne Iveco GS Cargo trucks for the Army, the ceremony also saw the delivery of the MAN three tonne GS Cargo truck meant for the Unifil mission. TD picture

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.
An Isuzu 4X4 GS cargo vehicle leading the 3-tonne trucks of 3 KAD. The lead 3 tonne truck is a MAN based on the design of the cab. 3 KAD.

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.
Two MAN 3 tonne trucks are placed on the extreme left and right of the vehicles clusters in the back of the 3 KAD parade.

I stand to be corrected of course.

— Malaysian Defence

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17 Comments

  1. Should get some 2nd hand M113s, refurbish and repower them. More effective as frontline ambulances…at least some protection against small arms fire and shrapnels.

    Am sure it can be done cheaply

  2. the hell would you want clapped out M113 for?

    We already have ACV300 and AV8 in battlefield ambulance config this is for a different role

  3. “US453,845 or RM250,443.”
    Oh I wish so much 🙂

    Can it be deduced that TDM has decided to replace the Condors with these 3 tonne trucks?

    @Hasnan
    “get some 2nd hand M113s, refurbish and repower them”
    We could achieve the same at cheaper price by refurbing the existing Condors as rear battle taxis.

  4. The M113 is the most ubiquitous APC in the world and still in service in most armies. I am sure spare parts are readily available aand cheap. Turkiye and Pakistan have refurbished them. In a prolonged war we need platforms that are easily repaired and parts easily sourced.

    Our Condor is a one off creation just for the Malaysian army. Our rent seekers quoted quite a hefty sum to refurbish them.

  5. Haha. I knew that, just want to have some fun je. Rilek bro.

    @dundun
    “ACV300 and AV8 in battlefield ambulance”
    Indeed but we also need the same support vehicles for rear echelon and these not necessary to be as heavily protected as frontline APC yet still better than softskin trucks if having to encounter enemy forward elements/ recce/ scouts that might take a chance to inflict more damage on the wounded. IMHO a lightly protected vehicle still better than none thus reusing the Condors for such roles are still usable.

  6. If looking on the surface only these TDM 4×4 ambulance is no much different to the previous article APM 4×4 ambulance. But when compare the vehicle chassis for APM (Hilux) & TDM (Ford 550) there is a sizeable difference. However without knowing the specs further it cannot be said whether they are equipped differently as ambulance are also segmented into Type A, or B, or C categories.

    OTOH judging by the AVP pics, it seems their Ford ambulance is much smaller than the regular USA ambulances (many of these uses the same Ford 550 chassis).

  7. Sorry for a dumb question. Why an ambulance needs to be in a jungle camo? Why can’t it be painted in white with big medical-cross sign in red

  8. @Hasnan
    “Our Condor is a one off creation just for the Malaysian army. Our rent seekers quoted quite a hefty sum to refurbish them.”
    Incorrect. Radpanzer Condors are used by Kuwaiti, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Turk & Uruguay services. We are just the largest user, thats all. And based on Mercedes Unimog chassis, brand new OEM parts can still be sourced unlike M113 which depends on 3rd party suppliers, General Dynamics no longer care about it.
    And unlike having to buy M113 chassis, we already have hundreds of Condors available, they are basically free.

    As for rent seeker, that was due to only 1 company that bided. Now the environment is different and there are many other companies that supplies heavy vehicles for the Armed Forces. An open tender with fair selection will give opportunity to a competitive bidder rather than previously a foregone conclusion it will go to ‘that’ supplier. Look at how much lower the price of ammo bought when we diversified the supply chain instead of sticking to just that 1 company no more.

  9. “Sorry for a dumb question. Why an ambulance needs to be in a jungle?”

    You should see putd heli

  10. What would the maintenance and sustainment cost of a vehicle like that?

    I would prefer a platform that has many spare parts here in malaysia, such as this hino 300 4×4 pictured below. It also has a smaller engine, which would be more economical to fuel.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GATwppFaYAA2qWY.jpg

    Joe is in the trucking business, so what do you think about the Hino 300 small truck?

  11. @Hulubalang
    Sorry for the wait. While HINO is aplenty in Msia, and spares are easily available, this 4×4 HINO 300 is unique to our market tho, we dont have ice nor slippery roads so 4WD commercial trucks isnt necessary. Smaller engine meant lesser performance so its likely TDM wanted something that could go more places and haul a heavier cargo.

    “Gone from service not to long after that”
    Indeed, buy but did not consider the long term cost of maintenance. Not only is Ford a rare brand even back then, but something that is exclusively North America will have to source spares & consumables from there, a very expensive proposition. For TDM that has a bigger OE budget and has experience with off brand vehicles, they know what their into when getting the F550 platform.

  12. “For TDM that has a bigger OE budget”

    Or maybe its simply that nobody offered the Hino in the tender, and the tender specifications did not specify needing a platform that is common commercially in Malaysia.

  13. Marhalim,

    Sorry. So in addition to these 18 Fords from AVP Engineering there are also 50 ambulances based on the Hilux supplied by 5Tech Service Engineering Sdn Bhd correct?

    Hasnan – “Our Condor is a one off creation just for the Malaysian army”

    No it wasn’t. Was a private venture by Thyssen and initially was targeted at paramilitary users.

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