SHAH ALAM: Going, going, gone? Last January 19, the Defence Ministry announced it had cancelled five contracts for “supply, services, and infrastructure projects”. It did not identify the contracts though but stated that it will implement the projects via a tender process.
Checks with industry sources only revealed one of the five cancelled contracts, the one for 18 155mm SPH. No one could confirm whether the deal for 136 Type A 4X4 (armoured) vehicles and various Type B (unarmoured) vehicles worth RM2.046 billion were also cancelled. The procurement of the armoured vehicles – the so-called HMAV – was announced by the-then Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein shortly after the budget was announced by the previous government last October.
Interestingly, at a press conference after officiating the Army’s 90th anniversary parade on March 1, the top soldier, TS General Zamrose Mohd Zain seemed to indicate that the armoured 4X4 deal was not going to proceed.
Commenting on Budget 2023 announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last Friday, Zamrose said the army was allocated RM6.5bil out of the total RM17.7bil channelled to the Defence Ministry.”It is insufficient. We understand the country’s financial situation so we will make full use of existing assets such as the armoured personnel carriers (APC) that are stationed with the 5th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (KAD).
“Then, at the 1st and 2nd KAD, we have the Gempita, while at the 3rd and 4th KAD, before this, we had the Condor. But last January, we had listed the more than 30-year-old Condor as obsolete.
“So, our alternative is to move the APC at 1st and 2nd KAD to 3rd and 4th KAD so that they are not so empty,” he said while hoping that the army would be able to acquire new assets.
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The 4 KAD story. Yes, the general did not say anything about the armoured 4X4 deal but one can assumed that it is no longer funded by reading between the lines. The HMAV was supposed to go to units not equipped or partially equipped with Gempita.
As for moving the Gempita to the other Armoured Regiments without them, this will mean that the units will have around three, two or even one squadrons of them each.
Again, it would have been better for the Army to transfer one of the armoured/mechanised regiments to Sabah instead of standing up a completely new unit there. This was the plan after the Lahad Datu incident, but it was modified after the Army decided to stand up the Fifth Division, which was also the result of that incident (some 10 years ago). The new plan was subsequently affirmed by the DWP 2019 which unfortunately was silent on the funding to achieve its goals.
— Malaysian Defence
You have written even back in 2019, that 3 KAD already had their Gempita’s
Right now in total there are 5 armored cavalry regiments
1 KAD – Gempita
2 KAD – Gempita
3 KAD – Gempita + Condor
4 KAD – Condor
5 KAD – Lipanbara
For the AV8 Gempita for cavalry regiments, we have
54x LCT30 (Ingwe)
If we divide the gempita’s into 4 units (5 KAD remain all lipanbara unit, even with less than 20 units available), each unit would have around
Either we need additional Gempita’s, or get cheap off the shelf armored vehicles like the J-LTV. Something with the cost like the RM 7 million ringgit Lipanbara is too much. J-LTV costs about RM 1.5 – 2 million each only.
For the price we bought the 20 units of Lipanbara, we could get 70-90 units of J-LTV.
It would seem 3KAD already had some AV8s so probably just parceling out a couple more to them. 4KAD is more dire situation as they have none, so likely a few more units will have to go to them.
The Ejder Yalcin for Lebanon should be proceeding as normal, yes its nearly finished for delivery but because of that it could also be cancelled, in which luckily that deal had went thru a tender process.
5 Armor got several Gempita which was handed down to them by 19th RMR which also operates the Gempita. 19th RMR was the unit which was supposed to move to Sabah, main camp Kota Belud and Tawau (one company strong). Now 5 Armor have the same gig. Most of the Lipan Bara are based Kota Belud with a few in Tawau together with the Gempita
”each unit would have around”
They are not distributed in a uniform manner; same with other units including arty. On paper each regiment would have ‘x’ Squadrons and ‘x’ Troops with ‘x’ number of vehicle and personnel as per authorised tables but in actuality it differs.
I have not seen any pictures of 5 Armor with Gempita. Only Lipanbara’s
5 Armor has a very active FB page that anyone can follow.
Armor units I have seen with Gempita (with clear unit emblem on the IFVs)
So again, why does the Army not want more Gempita or spend to develop the platform after spending so much for the program? Too expensive, too big, not actually good, too difficult to run, can’t be developed any more, all 5 reasons?
The more the merrier really
The manpower strength is the same if you checked the budget documents. It is just they more billets now
Yes, they have. Just because the pictures are not published, it doesn’t mean that it is not there.
As “hulubalang” says, the cost of the Lipanbara is excessive
kel – ”So again, why does the Army not want more Gempita”
Refer to an article Dzirhan did months ago on why the army at present doesn’t want follow on AV-8s.
kel – ”spend to develop the platform after spending so much for the program? ”
It was the government and Deftech who were convinced there were benefits to be gained from the whole exercise; spending what they did. There were also hopes we would export it. just like the case with the M-4s; why anyone would buy a AV-8/Pars from us rather than direct from the OEM is a mystery.
That’s what you get when you buy things to help the industry
“why does the Army not want more Gempita”
I recalled Marhalim alluded to the issue of not having enough money, so to fill the numbers we had decided to go with a mix of 6×6 and 4×4 in the last procurement plan. As stated above that has since gone back to the drawing board, & probably out the drain.
Deftech screwed themselves when they go for first win as a patner for the 4×4 rather than FNSS parents produced elder yalcin or NMS even though it got commonality with gempita. (Probably why they don’t as R&D & Intergration is a money maker for them rather than just a contact manufacturing) while Army screwed themselves by wanting to go shopping for something else rather than more lipanbara. Now both get an empty factory & empty warehouse. They can choose to work together and both get with some of what they wanted but not all. But instead they both try luck to get their cake & eat it too & play zero sum games with one another and now both got nothing to show for it. Wasting away rakyat money while doing it.
Guess that’s why it a lot of countries their equivalents of STRIDE become a one stop agency for procurement. Rather than army/MMEA/AF/PGA etc procured it themselves which would due to bureaucracy find it hard to harmonize all competing requirements each agencies have to choose a single common platform even if it’s for the sake of commonalities, the STrIDE equivalent would choose it for them.
Rather then deftech/BNS choose it own partner & design. The STRIDE equivalent would choose the design, choose who get to do system integration, who get to do the manufacturing.
Yes Marhalim no doubt but there are some here still convinced we should do things for national interests.
To me it’s a joke. We spend millions going through all the expense to produce less than 300; than years late are in a position where it’s too expensive to bought in a subsequent batch. Anywhere where else this would be a national disgrace and an indication of how well and thoroughly screwed up things are. On another matter I’ve been hearing various things about SME which I won’t mention here but I’m really curious as to how they’ll survive. Then again some here are also convinced we should pay more to support the local industry rather than get something cheaper and faster from abroad.
Chua – ”the cost of the Lipanbara is excessive”
Which I believe nobody here is disputing but unfortunately the JLTV which he has a penchant for and which I think is a great piece of kit; is not being considered; that puts paid to it.
If money is a problem, why can’t Gempita purchases be done in small blocks? For example 10 per year? It will be more expensive overall, but small annual buys fits better into a small and uncertain budget army. If on average each Gempita costs RM30 million, 10 costs RM300 million per year. RM300 million a year is an easier sell than a RM2.4b multi-year commitment. This should keep Deftech’s production line running, thereby maintaining the industrial base, and have development funds left to buy other assets (like the 4×4). Otherwise, each time a new project involves Deftech doing local assembly, the costs will come with a hefty “mobilisation” fee to build new production lines instead of retooling an existing line.
How much gempita & tanks do people actually think the country going to get When OZ with 1000% the money only have 50 tank, 400ish m113, 200ish wheel iFV, 36 SPH? And as expected for someone who only have 1/10 the money but still want 50 tank,400 m113 & 200 wheel iFV they ain’t gonna money left in the piggy bank for a attacks helo, GBAD, heck they can’t even afford cheapo light tactical vehicle nor UAV.
JFK once said We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
The 1% of GDP per annum is NOT MAF birth right. MAF are free to take the easy way out & go back to their safe space but doing so come at the cost of probably even lower funding in the future maybe to 0.7% & the country would never escape the middle income traps which mean even lower funding against regional piers.
If they wanted 1.5% or even 2% of GDP then they need to do the hard thing. Thankfully it does seem newer generation of MAF leader seem to get it.
MY local defence industries should never enter manufacturing level. They should focus on MRO only.
Did we not learn why SG or ID can? Can we copy paste how both of them running their industries? If not why we want to have defence industries like theirs?
National interest? National pride? Or just somebody agenda where national interest/pride just a cover.
Zaft – ”How much gempita & tanks do people actually think the country going to get When OZ with 1000%”
Yes you are fond of mentioning Australia and to give numbers but put things in context and understand what you’re on about. What if I say something as silly as why we do we have 48 MBTs when Tonga has none?
The army has a paper requirement for ‘X’ AV-8s to equip ‘X’ units and to really break even and generate profit Deftech has to sell ‘x’ number – period/full stop. Not hard to fathom.
zaft – ”Thankfully it does seem newer generation of MAF leader seem to get it.”
The question really is do you get it; based on things you perpetually come up with? Also, who are you or anyone for that matter to decide what the ‘newer generation of MAF leader ” gets or doesn’t get? They may not be graduates of the German General Staff; the Frunze Military Academy or the U.S. Army School of Advances Military Studies buy they aren’t thick. They know the system.
zaft – ”JFK once said ”
Someone once said : ”rubbish in; rubbish out”. Explains the rut we’re in.
Even MRO is a big stretch as things don’t need much maintenance when they are new.
Romeo – “They should focus on MRO only”
BNS started out as a refit facility.
ATSC did a fairly decent job but according to a former Fulcrum pilot charged 100K just to remove canopies. Then there’s AIROD which we won’t get into.
Romeo – “Did we not learn why SG or ID can?”
Singapore has the money and takes defence seriously. Having said that we have no firm idea as to how much of the various stuff they produced locally actually costs and the stuff they sell is known to be expensive. Singapore has a population which has long been indoctrinated on the need for a strong defence to prevent larger neighbours from bullying it and a strong defence makes the PAP; which always reminds the population of the island’s vulnerabilities; look good.
South Korea and Turkey face existential threats; have a history of strife and have economics of scale. They also have a clear idea as to what they can realistically achieve and have the money.
Over here we don’t face an existential threat: have long lived in benign neighborhood; have a population largely indifferent to defence due to historical and social factors and have a political leadership of the view that diplomacy and engagement will prevent conflicts and that national interests come first before the actual needs of the armed services. Defence like other sectors is also part of the patronage system and hubris is more important than substance.
“For example 10 per year?”
It would take even more money to buy in small batches unless this round we buy direct from FNSS. Buying piecemeals mean pricier per unit and this won’t wear it with the beancounters. Even if they relent, Deftech might not want to do it simply because they will run a loss just to make 10 units a year. Their factory overheads and operational expenses are catered for the dozen units in the 1st batch to roll off the production. The high expense they will incur either has to be passed into unit cost for 2nd batch or written off by DRB, which won’t to do. It boils down to economic of scale and 10 units is just too little of scaling.
“each time a new project involves Deftech”
Deftech would prefer that as setting up cost would be included into the project costing and not from their pockets, the taxpayers will pay for that.
ATSC belongs to Airod
Apart from 1st,2nd,3rd and 4th Cavalry Regiments and 19 RMR which other [if any] units operate the AV-8?
What Cavalry Regiments formerly operated Sibmas?
In addition to 3rd Cavalry Regiment were 1st, 2nd and 4th also Condor operators?
Am I correct in saying that no AV-8 Bushmaster equipped variant went to a Cavalry unit?
Azlan-“Singapore has the money and takes defence seriously”
While ID (as India and China) view themselves as regional power which can not rely on ceritain supplier, unlike SG who can rely on top notch hardwares from US.
Malaysia obviously has different situation and perspective compare to SG and ID which makes building manufacturing defence industries will be a waste of money.
We want to be in a place (in defence industries) that is not ours.
“Did we not learn why SG or ID can? Can we copy paste”
Both carries out defence matters differently. For SG, they parleyed it to their rakyat as a matter of national survival, plus majority of their citizen had went thru NS so their more appreciative of having a strong defence hence why they could have a 3-5% GDP defence budget compared to our 1% or so. Furthermore their strong economy and currency allowed them to absorb the inefficiencies of local manufacturing. Each of their indigenous stuff whether its Bionix, Hunter APC, Primus SPH, Pegasus arty, are per unit far more expensive than equivalent more off the shelfs in the market but yet they willing spend that money and persevere to get them from drawing board to production units simply because they could afford it; as comparison 2023 SG budget is $17.04Billion, while MY budget is RM 17.7Billion but when convert to USD$ terms it is; USD$12.7Billion vs USD$4Billion.
Most often military that are well funded do not ‘sell’ themselves as an insurance but rather as insurance + investment. Because the military is seen as money maker the gov is not hesitant to throw money their way unlike an insurance only approach who no one like paying.
Never get it wrong, SK,SG,US & France military are economics generator. They are a profitable venture not a financial black hole which suck rakyat money but never throw it back.
As for localisation, There’s plenty of level of localisation. MRO in itself a form of localisation. Transport cost are so low that building a parallel retrofit centre in house cost lots of money. But in exchange we get to reduce downtime & increase asset availability.
If one can perform MRO then they can perform CKD assembly where the OEM sends parts on existing assembly line for final assembly & check facilities. Afterall retrofit do involved disassembly & reassembly of those assets. This is what we do with VW,AuDI,Benz. Most often CKD are cheaper than import because our labor cost is low.
If we have enough volumes then we can do license manufacturing. In average it going to cost at max 30% more. In this we just used the IP that the OEM provide to task local SME to produce the parts. This is most often the most important as TOT to makes parts are transferred from the OEM to the SME allowing them to make dual use parts increasing the nation export prowess. This is what we done with honda,Toyota etc etc. But this is a mass produced item thus the profit ain’t that great for individual company but for the gov, all of it add up & they get more cash in the coffers. This is why despite MAF allegedly disinterest/neutral in atlas, gov go bought it anyway.
Then you have the cream de la top. Building a brand new things on existing IP. Line the SK build exenos chip on top of Nvidia & Qualcomm IP or SK building FA50 on top of LM IP. Or we who foolishly build gempita & gowind on top of FNSS & DCNS IP. Building a brand new things would typically cost double the off the shelf item but SG do it not because they brainwashed their citizen so they are ok with wealth transfer from the state to ST engineering but because the state & the people realise doing so would create a steady pool of knowledge workers which then would attract high value added FDI making them richer.
If we look at type 218SG, its cost is likely double that of the off the shelf type 212. So when you go around ordering custom made item it doesn’t matter if its built locally or in foreign factory. It still going to cost more then off the shelf. Thus blaming localisation for high cost is thus pointless. They are not responsible for the high cost in the first place.
As for MY, the cream de la top approach unlike in SG or SK is less useful for us because our economy is not complicated enough to absorbed all these trained workers But we do need some. The problems here lies because it’s too profitable (compared to license manufacturing & CKD) thus BNS & deftech just wanted to do special varient, MAF meanwhile are not committed enough to be a value added to the country socioeconomic wellbeing. They hired deftech for 2 decades for Adnan & gempita then they stop. just like RMN who bought then stop buying from BNS Then they bought again and currently they wanted to stop again.
Basically we now got 2 side, the military & industry which in other countries work together to bring value to the rakyat buy over here they are for lack of a better word dick to one another & thus both got screwed & got nothing to show for it.
zaft – ”The 1% of GDP per annum is NOT MAF birth right.”
More nonsense. You make it sound like the long neglected MAF is asking for the moon in order to do its job.
Duty of care of the politicians to adequately fund the MAF and there’s a reason why the MAF has asked for more funding; not for fun or because service chiefs got off the wrong side of bed for 10 consecutive mornings.
If I’m not mistaken some months ago you came up with the nonsense that the RMN must first prove itself before asking for more funding?
zaft – ”Army screwed themselves by wanting to go shopping for something else rather than more lipanbara. Now both get an empty factory & empty warehouse.”
Did the army select it per see and was Lipanbara ready when The First Win was selected? Instead of providing an interesting but inaccurate narrative check your facts before declaring the ”army screwed itself”…
Zaft – “MAF meanwhile are not committed enough to be a value added to the country socioeconomic wellbeing. They hired deftech for 2 decades for Adnan & gempita”
What do you know about the MAF being ”commited” or not? As for the MAF
“committed enough to be a value added to the country socioeconomic well-being” you sound like a typical pen pushing bureaucrat unable to bite anything beyond your horizon. The type who comes up with the national interests self sufficiency local production BS which has led us to where we are now.
BTW check your facts. Wasn’t the MAF who “hired” Deftech. Not hard to engage in objective research before hitting the keypad.
Zaft – “Basically we now got 2 side, the military & industry which in other countries work together”
You make it sound like the problem is unique to us. Even in Britain and the U.S. the industry welds a lot of influence and at times priority is not placed on the end user.
Also, it may surprise you but at times the end user has successfully cooperated with the industry in enabling the desired result. Not only that but the industry does what it does in terms of local production; off sets and other things because that’s exactly what the government wants.
Romeo -”While ID (as India and China) view themselves as regional power”
China views itself as a ”world” not ”regional” power. To Xi; he is returning China to its rightful place after years of being backwards and centuries of humiliation by outside powers.
Romeo – ” unlike SG who can rely on top notch hardwares from US.”
India for a few years now is in position where it can buy a lot of kit from the U.S.[and has been]; part of moves by the U.S. to contain China but for geo-strategic/political reasons India will still source stuff from elsewhere. India’s present greatest challenge or dilemma is the fact that a lot of what it has is Russian. You will also note that since the 1960’s as non aligned country India spreads out its purchases.
Indonesia sees itself as a rising power and from the days of Sukarno this has not changed. The ‘leader’ of ASEAN; largest country in the region; most populous country and a rapidly growing economy.
Romeo – ”ID which makes”
Things are not all rosy. They have a long shopping list; funding is often still an issue and there remains a lot of political meddling. Look at what they’re getting and have gotten; a huge logistical nightmare.
Note also that despite recent changes the TNI is still an entity with great influence and is imbedded in the national psyche as a national institution in a way the MAF isn’t.
Romeo – ”We want to be in a place (in defence industries) that is not ours.”
As I’ve said; we need a clear idea to what we want to achieve and what we realistically can based on the resources we have. We also have to draw a line between national interests and doing what’s right for the armed services and taxpayer; both are not automatically similar. The good news is we turned down the KAI offer for local assembly.
Zaft – ”here they are for lack of a better word dick to one another & thus both got screwed & got nothing to show for it.”
You acquainted with the art of ”dicking” and ”screwing” around?
This is like I was in a lecture again or listening to a Power Point brief. Ultimately despite your blanket claims; preposterous statements; misreading of the situation and apples to oranges comparisons we can’t afford to do what others do because of various factors which have been done to death with.
As for the ”dicking” around perhaps write to the decision makers or your MP and correct their ways; as well as acquaint them with the ”facts” as you see it. Your narrative is totally incorrect. The MAF doesn’t have the power to select/choose various things you are under the illusion it did [the army never selected First Win or Deftech; neither did it insist on local production or any integration] and it’s certainly not in collusion with the local industry which you’d know if you’d ask around or do some basic objective research.
Joe “Furthermore their strong economy and currency allowed them to absorb the inefficiencies of local manufacturing. Each of their indigenous stuff whether its Bionix, Hunter APC, Primus SPH, Pegasus arty, are per unit far more expensive than equivalent more off the shelfs in the market but yet they willing spend that money and persevere to get them from drawing board to production units simply because they could afford it;”
Singapore gov selling points is that they are efficient. If they are doing something then its a safe bet that whatever they are doing is the most efficient way there is.
There’s a reason why they bought some things directly overseas but built some at home mostly ship & ground vehicle but not plane. Because fighter jet, missiles, ammo all comes out of a mass produced production lines.
Unless one want to buy American, there’s are no such things production line for ship nor IFV. These 2 things are mostly custom made to order. So even if you bought it overseas they are still going to charge you setup cost. Worst you going to incurred higher wages, even worse paid for in foreign currencies, extra worse the benefits of such expenditure & knowledge goes to that country and not yours. Which is why SG don’t do that. Thus the idea that everything come from foreign factory must be good and cheap are nothing more then just delusional thinking.
Korean ship & iFV sure are cheap but they are cheap not because mass produced or efficiency but rather mostly because their gov provide subsidies to their industry. You could take advantage of such subsidies but the price is like buying apple product you get stuck in their ‘walled garden’. It’s a stereotypical marketing strategy of introductory offers. as once you get stuck in their walled garden they would lose any incentive to be nice to you anymore wouldn’t they?
As said b4, SG is an advanced economies which need a lot of K-workers. Thus they created special one of a kind varient rather than off the shelf not just to get qualitative advantage but also to train workers & industry. It’s a political decision on their part to charge what essentially an education & industrial expenses be charged under defense spending.
Technically speaking if we just go bought stuff off the shelf & increase the defense budget to 1.5% of GDP then we can in general get spending parity with SAF.
zaft – ”Singapore gov selling points is that they are efficient.”
”Selling point” is it has a clear idea as to what is desired to be achieved; has continuity; allocates enough resources and makes it a priority to equip the SAF in line with policy.
zaft – ”Unless one want to buy American, there’s are no such things production line for ship nor IFV. These 2 things are mostly custom made to order.”
Strange that; your statement. I can think of quite a few who didn’t buy American but had production lines for ships and IFVs…
zaft – ”Technically speaking if we just go bought stuff off the shelf & increase the defense budget to 1.5% of GDP then we can in general get spending parity with SAF.”
”Technically speaking” if we follow your line of reasoning the Steyr, Kedah, LCS and other programmes would have been a resounding success [all the resources being put to good use]; it would be cheaper and faster to buy from SME rather than abroad and the MAF would have been happy with the Fulcrums, Flankers, PT-91s and other things we bought based not on suitability [as you said we should do]. … Oh last but not least; the MAF would have capabilities which reflect all the cash we’ve spent on it.
Joe- Singapore spends at least 2.5% of GDP on defence and for the majority of the past 25 years, their GDP has been bigger than Malaysia, so no, 1.5% in Malaysia would not be parity even against 1.5% in Singapore. Most people know why Singapore is efficient and why they have the strongest military in ASEAN. Most people know a lot of what makes Singapore efficient and having the strongest military in AsEAN can not be curently implemented in Malaysia. So what exactly are your points in using Singapore as an example?
“Singapore gov selling points is that they are efficient”
You can’t make efficient something that is inherently inefficient. Reinventing the wheel is inefficient. Doing local design & manufacturing of something that’s existing is inefficient. Which is why SG weapons are so expensive when compared to those already in the market and they could hardly find anyone interested.
Its only thru perseverance and throwing lotsa money to make it work that made them not like failures. But their people & Govt are aware that they have to make such sacrifices and keep their expectations in check (as in it will realistically be for local use and highly unlikely to get any export orders).
“There’s a reason why… but not plane”
Simply because they kept their expectations in check. They knew inefficiencies in local manufacturing could be crippling to their budget if they have to spend multi billion $$$ to develop a new fighter plane and they also did not have the background for such development themselves. Mind you even their high tech ships, ie Formidables, comes from foreign design.
As for building K workers, they don’t need the defence industry to do that. Their high tech civvie manufacturing and IT industry churns out far more K workers yearly at a lower cost to SG Govt.
“increase the defense budget to 1.5%”
We will need to significantly increase our defence budget if we even want parity spending with SG. As I pointed out, their USD $12bil budget dwarfs our USD $ 4bil so our budget needs to TRIPLE or 3% GDP as what’s today.
“what exactly are your points in using Singapore as an example?”
Quantity has a quality of its own, and having a budget that you can spend far more that others can give you that quality; just ask Chelsea, Man City & PSG.
I would like to know how the 8×8 Gempita compares with other 8x8s like the Patria or Boxer equivalents.What type of add-on armor do they use?I have read that they are an improvement over the FNS Pars 8×8.Looking forward to any thoughts!
I have checked the “I am not a spam bot” box but this computer keeps saying I have not.:(
The AV-8 contains many improvements over the baseline Pars and that’s one problem: together with associated factors related with locsl production; various modifications drove prices up. We can’t afford to buy anymore at present. The Boxer is a better protected and heavier vehicle; more expensive platform; intended to be operated in a much more challenging operational environment in line with the requirements of other armies which place more emphasis on survivability and networking .
I’m not into direct comparisons of anything as it provides a misleading picture but the AV-8 is a decent vehicle. It compares favourably to others but for various reasons would not be selected by certain other armies.
Ultimately how effective or capable any IFV is depends not on the actual platform per see but whether it’s operating as part of a combined arms unit with effective infantry and other types of support.