PARS Alpha 8X8, the Next Gen Gempita

An overhead view of the Pars Alpha 8X8. Note the engine compartment and the driver vision blocks.

SHAH ALAM: FNSS – the OEM and sub-contractor of the Gempita – earlier this week unveiled the new Pars Alpha 8X8 at a defence show in Saudi Arabia. Alpha -is the next generation Gempita – which the Malaysian Army will not be getting for next five years or so as it will be getting the HMAV Tarantula 4X4.

Pars Alpha 8X8. Note the driver vision blocks just ahead of the turret. On the Gempita, the turret sits farther back to accommodate for the engine’s compartment. FNSS

The biggest difference between the Alpha and the Gempita is the placement of the engine and transmission. Yes, there are others -like the hull design – but I am not going to list it here, see the infographic at the bottom. Technically, FNSS could call the vehicle Alpha without mentioning the Pars and it would be correct.
Gempita AFV30 variant of 1 Kor Armor Di Raja seen at the Kuantan airbase at the PAT first order on Jan 24, 2017. Malaysian Defence

On the Gempita, the engine sits behind the back of the commander, the right hand side of the vehicle, blocking the view of the rear cabin. There is a small tunnel linking the cabin into driver’s compartment.
Army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain (right) inside a Gempita AENCBRNV of the 12 Skn Rejimen Jurutera Di Raja (CBRNE) during a demonstration at Gemas on Nov. 23. BTDM

On the Alpha, the engine and transmission is placed forward of the hull, pushing the driver and commanders compartment further into the cabin just beside the gunner’s station and the dismounts seats.
The driver and commander on Pars Alpha 8X8. FNSS

By placing the engine in the front of the hull, it also allows more type of turrets to be fitted on the Alpha including one with a low pressure 120mm cannon, if so desired. The new engine and transmission configuration also affect the balance of the Alpha, one aspect stated by FNSS CEO during the defence show although he did not specify exactly why.
The view from the drivers compartment into Pars Alpha 8X8 cabin. FNSS.

I had heard rumblings on the balance of the Gempita when I met soldiers manning them in the past though again no one told me if it really a big issue. Clearly it is something important enough for FNSS that the fifth generation of Pars has a new hull configuration.
Pars Alpha 8X8. FNSS

Can it be retrofitted on the Gempita? Unlikely, as it involved the hull. It is better to get new hulls for the Gempita if its that the case.
The driver and commander compartment. FNSS

It must be noted that FNSS is pitching the Alpha for both the Turkish and Saudi armies. The previous generation Pars is already in service with Turkey and Oman armies apart from Malaysia, of course.

It is interesting to note that Deftech had pitched the Gempita in Saudi Arabia a few years back but nothing came out of it.
AFV30 Gempita in desert camouflage during trials in Saudi Arabia. Social media

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Is the PARS 8×8 family expensive to operate, or just the Gempita variant that is expensive? Or the PARS 8×8 family and Gempita operating costs are comparable to other 8×8 models, but is expensive given Malaysia Army’s small budget?

  2. “Deftech had pitched the Gempita in Saudi Arabia a few years”. Ain’t the reason because Turkey said we can’t export it?

  3. Usually maintenance cost will be around 15% pf the purchase price. So the more expensive the item like the Gempita, the maintenance is also expensive.

    Since its a captured market, Deftech can charge any amount they like.

  4. Basically Alpha is like the Merkava of wheeled IFV, engine & transmission at front and everyone else at back. Works well for APC if a mine or IED detonate at the front it will take out the engine but spare the humans sitting behind.

    As for balance, Alpha has most of the weight bias towards front prow while Gempitas config meant the engine & transmission weight are above the first 2 axles. Not sure how the new APC is better in that sense but perhaps its front bias is balanced out by fully loaded with fully armed troops in the back?

    Perhaps more interesting is if we can drop in that new turret with a commanders viewer to existing Gempita when time for their SLEP.

  5. kel – ”Or the PARS 8×8 family and Gempita operating costs are comparable to other 8×8 models, but is expensive given Malaysia Army’s small budget?”

    The AV-8 and other contemporary designs are more ”expensive” to operate compared to older gen types for obvious reasons. ”Expensive” not so much because of fuel or spares parts but because of the various things they’re fitted with; all needed to be maintained/supported.

  6. No lah, the maintenance contract they got at LIMA 23 was just RM99 million. And must be noted that the amount RM99 million is not fixed, the amount is the ceiling price of the contract. And the Army need to send the vehicles to Deftech to get the work done before they can charge them.

    I know of a company which received a three year contract to fix an equipment but the company never got the equipment to fix them, for the whole period. So they never got any money from it. After the contract ended, the same company also got the same three year contract to maintain and fix the same equipment but again they never got the equipment to be fixed. Now there is talk the equipment will be retired and new ones will be bought….

  7. Haiqal – ” Ain’t the reason because Turkey said we can’t export it?”

    Defetech courtesy of the Malaysian taxpayer paid in order to be able to ”own” the rights and to export it. The question is why would anyone want to buy it from Deftech when they can source it direct from Turkey?

    Hasnan – ”Usually maintenance cost will be around 15% pf the purchase price. ”

    Sure about that? It’s definitely much higher than than the Condor and Sibmas; the only ”high tech” component on both were the Thales radios. The AV-8 in contrast has various hh tech stuff that needs servicing/upkeep.

  8. It must be noted that during that time period, Saudi and Turkiye relations were at the low end due to disputes between some Arab countries with Qatar. Whether or not Saudi will buy what is essentially a Turkish product at that point in time, is beyond me.

  9. Good point Marhalim. From my perspective however; if the Saudis had bought the AV-8 [for SANG] it would have largely been driven by the intent to maintain/cultivate good ties with us [they have various ways of dispensing largesse]; rather than the technical merits of the AV-8 per see.

  10. @Azlan

    I don’t think Mindef signed a comprehensive maintenance contract since the Gempitas are still new. Otherwise that 19 RAMD Gempita that was involved in an accident would have been repaired.

    Just some sort of scheduled service maintenance like we do for our cars I presume.

  11. Ok…now we know why the army don’t want the Gempitas. Capex expensive, opex also expensive.

  12. The previous contract also not delivered as schedule but was accepted with various problems. What a big waste and problematic vehicle

  13. @Hasnan
    TDM actually wanted more Gempitas but there is no enough budget for the numbers they wanted.

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