SHAH ALAM: Guardians in Lebanon. The Malaysian contingent in Lebanon – Malbat 850-5 – has finally taken delivery of the nine IAG Guardian 4X4 APC ordered last year. The APCs were delivered to the Malbat 850-5 camp, near the port city of Tyre early on May 29 according to a tweet by the Joint Force headquarters.
The white coloured vehicles were transported to the Marakah UN camp on low loaders. As reported previously the Guardians had been shipped to Lebanon earlier this year but their release were pending clearance from the Lebanese authorities.
IAG Guardians of Malbatt 850-5
From the pictures released by Joint Force, the Guardians are fitted with turrets likely to be armed with GPMGs. Malbatt experience in Lebanon had shown that the local population were more comfortable with lightly armed APCs especially those not fitted with cameras or any types of recording system.
One of the Guardians on the low loaders. JF picture
According to IAG,
the Guardian armored personnel carrier that provides a high level of ballistic and blast resistance, superior handling and off-road capability and commercial part compatibility resulting in low maintenance costs. The Guardian features full vehicle armoring with certified ballistic material, including front, sides, rear, roof, and floor, designed to resist incoming ballistic threats from any angle. The special light weight armor package is designed to minimize the GVWR and maximize mobility and off-road capability.
The vehicle body is fully armored to defeat multiple hits from high power rifles and light machine guns. Key components such as the engine bay and fuel tank are also protected with armor enclosures. The rotating turret system can be mounted to the roof escape hatch for additional firepower, with custom mounting solutions for light and heavy machine guns available.
The mechanical components such as the suspension and braking systems have been tuned for off-road handling as well as to support the fully loaded armor weight. The high capacity wheel and tire assembly also features a built-in run-flat and bead lock system.
The interior of the Guardian is fully customizable with various options that include individual bucket seats, benches, and jump seats. In addition, a seat restraint system can be installed to keep personnel properly secured during high speed maneuvers.
As reported previously the Guardian was sourced from Weststar as part of the contract to purchase the Starstreak missiles.
Training of personnel assigned to the vehicles will be conducted first before they are used for operations, says Joint Force headquarters in a posting in its official Facebook page.
As whether or not more Guardians will be purchase in the future or whether the plan to start sending back the Condors operated by Malbat, for upgrades, will be followed through, I must admit I have no idea at the moment.
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