Have Gun Will Travel

Rheinmetal Skyranger system

SHAH ALAM: Have Gun Will Travel. Whenever Malaysian Defence posted anything on the Deftech Gempita AV8 variants somehow or rather the conversation in the comments will touch on the lack of a dedicated anti-aircraft variant in the lineup. Recently I also wrote that the lack of the AA variant could be solved if we chose a generic RWS for the next batch of Gempitas.

A CGI of the US Amry Initial Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense system. The RIWP turret is fitted with Stinger and Hellfire missiles as well as 12.7mm guns. The discs on the front and sides are the radar antennas.

I admit that so far there is no plan by the government to buy another batch of Gempita to meet the Army’s future armoured vehicle needs though the industry was hoping that a different vehicle will be bought of course.
Gempita AFV30s firing on the move.

There is also the plan to relife and upgrade the Condors which are still in service. Anyhow at DSA 2018, a colleague and me were told that Grup Artileri Pertahanan Udara (GAPU) was concern on the threat of unmanned, civilian drones to the military. This was of course in response to the use of such drones by ISIS in Syria. GAPU had already trained infantry units on how to effectively used their firearms – machineguns and carbines – against drones.
Spent cartridges flies out from the Sharshooter turret on the IFV 25 Gempita variant.

Of course GAPU would love to get the funding specifically for counter-air operations from drones to fast flying fighter jets but as the allocation remained on the wish list, they have to make do with what is already with the Army. Anyhow I was informed that in the GAPU-led Eks Panah Jaguh exercise a Gempita AFV30 variant had taken part shooting down a target drone in the exercise.
A Starstreak on its way to its target during the Eks Panah Jaguh 2018. Note the Rapid Ranger vehicle on the far right.

It is likely that the test firing was conducted as part of GAPU effort to develop counter UAS and low level anti aircraft capabilities across the whole Army. The Denel Gi-30mm gun on the AFV30 is already potent weapon, capable of firing 60 rounds per minute up to 4000 meters.
Three AFV30 Gempita from 1 Armor demonstrating their fire on the move capability at the 2017 Firepower exercise in May.

Of course it is not as capable as specialized anti-aircraft weapon like the Rheimental Skyranger which have been integrated on the Boxer MRAV and a Piranha 8X8. The gun is the 35mm Oerlikon designed originally as a CIWS for naval vessels and fires the Ahead air burst round.
Rheinmetal Skyranger system

Note that the Skyranger system and MOOG turret are featured for illustration purposes only and I am not advocating them for any future Army requirements.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2141 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Water under the bridge but I always thought a Starstreak variant should have been included in the AV-8 order. Guns are useful in that they have no minimum range limitations, unlike missiles. Like missiles however they must be paired with an alerting device in order for the crew to have prior warning. So I guess the best or most ideal option would be a gun/missile combo on a stabilised turret.

    Apart from the costs involved, would the seeker of a IR guided MANPADs/V-SHORADS be able to home in onto a mini UAS/drone? Do mini UASs/drones emit enough heat? Even with certain target drones MANPADs/V-SHORADS can have problems homing in on account of the low heat signature if a thermal is not used.

  2. I hope we can buy Pantsir from the ruskie. That thing manage to shoot down any flying object be it drones, cruise missile or helicopters.

  3. While it would be nice, it’s not strictly necessary to have a wheeled under-armour turreted MANPAD system.

    MANPAD teams can dismount from a standard AV8 or any other APC and setup on their own.

    Besides that there are the Rapidranger VAMTACs, I know, not the same chassis therefore not the same mobility, but again, not 100% important. Save the money for MR-SAMs, or mortars, or ATGMs.


    slightly off topic,

    Hmm. India license-builds the Konkurs-M. Do you think we could buy from them instead of the Russkies?

  4. Sadly our land forces do not emphasize on anti air warfare weapons to counter drones threats etc. We for a start are not serious in using drones technology, especially armed and recce drones. Our first line of defence for any intruders into our airspace which are the front line fighter jets in TUDM which we lack in numbers, which is a sorry state.

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