Preview Day DSA 2016

Gempita with LCT30 turret with 30mm gun and ATGM launchers.

SHAH ALAM: WITHIN the next 16 hours or so, DSA 2016 will be opening its doors to visitors. Here are some of the latest updates.

The contracts and MOU signing ceremony will be held on the second day (thank goodness). The latest word is that the amount of contracts will probably not top RM3 billion. Again most of the contracts are for the provision of spare parts, support and maintenance.

It is likely that the upgrade contracts for RMAF – Hawks and Nuri – will also be signed at the show though the Hercules remained uncertain. However as I mentioned earlier if these contracts are not signed at the show, it will be done later.

Other contracts expected to be signed include the deal for the procurement of six MD530G light attack scout helicopters and 20 AV4 MRAPs. One new deal that may hit the podium is a contract for undetermined number of 5-tonne MAN trucks.

Gempita with 30mm LCT turret with ATGM launchers.
Gempita with 30mm LCT turret with ATGM launchers.

And although the contract to upgrade the Army’s fleet of Condor APCs and Scorpion light tanks remained uncertain, both prototype upgraded vehicles are displayed at the show.

The Condor upgrade is conducted by Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) – the manufacturer of the Gempita.

The prototype upgraded Condor.
The prototype upgraded Condor.

Upgrades to the Condor include installing a new 215hp Deutz diesel engine, new drop box, independent axle, and an automatic transmission. Other changes include new hydraulic, air conditioning, steering and vision systems. A new military standard digital system will allow for the installation of new driving and navigational aids. To complete the upgrade, the vehicle will be fitted with new wiring.

The new suspension of the upgraded Condor
The new suspension of the upgraded Condor

The old turret will be replaced with open top ACAV-style electrically powered turret. The Dillon Aero M134 mini-gun is the likely gun for the Condor. Some 300 Condors are expected to be upgraded under the project, which was first made public, in the UK earlier in the year.

The prototype Scorpion upgrade with the 20mm Oerlikon, fitted for the display.
The prototype Scorpion upgrade with the 20mm Oerlikon, fitted for the display.

Meanwhile, Kembara Suci Sdn Bhd, together with the Army is conducting the Scorpion upgrade. Like the upgraded Condor, it will be fitted with the same Deutz diesel engine, replacing the Perkins diesel engines.

The Scorpion turret will be maintained though it will now be an electrically powered one. The 90mm Cockerill gun is replaced with the 20mm Oerlikon gun, probably those retired from the Condors. The double pin track will also be replaced with a single pin one.

The prototype Scorpion upgrade.
The prototype Scorpion upgrade.

Only the Scorpions in service will be upgraded, from the 26 originally procured back in the 80s.

The Command and Control variant of the Gempita, armed with 50 cal on a RWS.
The Command and Control variant of the Gempita, armed with 50 cal on a RWS.

Meanwhile, Deftech – the industrial partner of Saab – offer to the RMAF for the MRCA and AEW requirements have been updated with the new Saab Global Eye AEW aircraft. The GlobalEye, combined its new Erieye ER active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with Bombardier’s Global 6000 business jet.

It is the same configuration as ordered by the United Arab Emirates under a $1.27 billion two-aircraft deal signed during Dubai air show in November.

For the MRCA, they are offering the Saab NG, one of the four contenders shortlisted.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Binning the Cockerill on the Scorpions is something I’ve been hoping we’d do since the 1990’s; glad we’re finally doing it. With a lighter main armament – even if it can’t fire on the move – the Scorpion can better perform roles like recce and flank screening; roles it did perform – along with fire support – when it had the Cockerill which made a light, agile vehicle, one with excellent ground pressure, into a slow, lumbering one.

    I was right with my hunch regarding the Condor. Priority will be in replacing time expired stuff and other improvements – in order to prolong its service life – rather than improving its survivability and ”firepower”. This makes sense given the limitations of upgrades that can be practically performed on a vehicle based on a lorry chassis and one that that is not – in the first place – intended to be placed in situations which would require a PT-91 or an Adnan.

  2. If have enuf money and related resources, divert some upgraded condor scorpion to wataniah formations that are attached to Mech/Armoured units.

    The upgrade proposals looks ok to me, only that it looks more comprehensive for condor compared to scorpion. I think those scorpion need new rewiring and navigation aid too.

    Hope that the upgrade will include not only condor APC version but others like command, ambulance,ARV. Can this upgrade project (if approved) be the signal for any surviving version of AFSV sibmas and APC stormer to fade away?

  3. So the role of the Condor will not change, but what is the role in the first place? It can’t survive in all but the most benign environments.

    Why put a minigun on the vehicle, that was intended to dismount its passengers some way off and never intended to join the battle?

    That’s a very costly and ammo hungry weapon in the first place. I doubt many miniguns will be fitted, if any.

  4. Now I only notice Turkey also operate a small number of Condor. Not sure this Condor upgrade is it share by Turkey side.

  5. Upgrading these condors would be cheaper than buying non-military armored vehicle like Barracuda

  6. Regarding the condor
    1) any pictures of the rear axle? Is the new multilink rear axle includes a PTO propeller like the old unimog portal axles?
    2) any pictures of the interior? any upgraded seats for the dismounts?
    3) upgrading 300 of the condors would be a good idea. As a secondary APC for infantry (motorised) regiments, peacekeeping operations and equipping engineering, medic and other support units operating alongside mechanized and armoured units. For the army’s plan to have motorised infantry regiments, probably an apc company of 15 condors for each battalion (for about 10 battalions) would be a nice addition?
    4) how does the AV4 compares operationally with the unmodernised condor? Would this modernised condor be a better value than the AV4 (both by deftech)
    5) ballistic protection comparison. IMO base level protection of the condor is no differrent to other APC’s out there.

    About the scorpion.
    1) thank god they still kept the original 2man turret unlike what the stride guy said in the UK conference!! Downsizing to a 20mm gun is probably utilising what guns that is available for no cost but I would have preferred a 30mm one.
    2) I believe the original double pin track is to be replaced with a single pin track from chaiseri (which has a patent for that design), not the other way round.
    3) how many are they planning to modernise? Would it include hulls previously taken out of service? I believe those that are still in service is only a little bit more than a dozen (14) vehicles.

    Regarding the SAAB globaleye
    I believe combining AEW&C and MPA systems in 1 airframe with that kind of pricetag is not worthwhile. Probably ideal for UAE with just a small area of sea to look at, but for malaysia it is best to go for 2 seperate aircraft for AEW&C and MPA, for commonality probably based on the same aircraft platform. IMO a seperate erieye-ng AEW&C and swordfish MPA based on bombardier global 6000 would be a good combination for malaysia, and this should be a higher priority compared to a MRCA wet dream.

    No the seats remained the same.
    The Scorpions to be upgraded only involved those in service, I guess if its 14 it will be 14.

  7. AM – ”but what is the role in the first place? ”

    Static defence, convoy escort, routine patrolling along borders areas : in short, anything that calls for a lightly armed and protected armoured vehicle to perform in a low threat environment that does not call for anything better armed or protected.

    Michael – ”Not sure this Condor upgrade is it share by Turkey side.”

    Why would it be ”shared” when Turkey can proceed with its own upgrade without our help…… BTW, Uruguay also operated Condors and have deployed them to Africa under the UN. Also, the upgrade offered by this company is nothing to short about as MMC Engineering has been refurbishing Condors for ages. A lot preventive maintenance is also performed at army workshop level.

    AM – ”Why put a minigun on the vehicle, that was intended to dismount its passengers some way off and never intended to join the battle?”

    The idea being that if caught in an ambush, the sheer volume of fire will suppress any hostile fire. Personally I’d prefer a GPMG or a GPMG/AGL combo but to be objective, the mini gun – apart from it’s ”firepower’, which some here are so enamored – the minigun does have an advantage in that its many barrels precludes the possibility of overheating and for short engagements requiring sheer volume of fire.

    …… – ” how does the AV4 compares operationally with the unmodernised condor? ”

    The AV-4 would almost certainly be better protected against mines by virtue of its hull design [off course it depends what type of mine as a 150 kilo mine will also destroy a Merkava!]. I also suspect that certain parts of theAV-4 have better baseline protection – compared to the Condor – against types of small arms fire.

  8. The offer of globaleye I would say a good choice given that we patrol the south china sea most of the time and there always the radar surveillance gap especially between east and west malaysia.

    The one thing it lacking however, it maritime strike capability like the P8 or P3 orion. I dont see any hardpoints to even mount an anti-ship missile. Then again, it based on a business jet, no matter how much you try to jam in a full maritime and awe system in. You still constricted by the sardine can.

  9. Alex – ” I dont see any hardpoints to even mount an anti-ship missile.”

    Yes but do we need that capability? Arming an MPA with sexy stuff like MAD and hard points for torps and ASMs gives many wet dreams but we really should focus on getting MPAs to perform basic tasks like SAR and surveillance before getting to the sexy stuff. Getting into the MPA ASW and ASuW game is expensive; not only to buy the gear but to train the people and to maintain the gear : extra costs.

    Priority should be first on getting adequate numbers of MPAs, fitted with a decent sensor and comms suite [radar, FLIR, SATCOM, etc]. AND we should also ensure those MPAs can effectively operate with the navy and air force. By right, the RMAF should own the MPAs but operational control should be under the RMN; with crews from both services operating the aircraft. Off course under this arrangement the RMAF will argue that funding should come from the RMN.

  10. Get the globaleye. Then both awescs and mpa role in one. . 50% 50%

    But another issue will rise up is rmaf want go one side while rmn want go another side but in a single plane

  11. About the saab gripen offer to malaysia.

    The latest offer is for newbuild gripen c/d on leasing basis. Not the NG.

    Rather than leasing c/d variants, personally I would prefer the fa-50, cheaper and not much differences in performance to the gripen c/d.

    Regarding the globaleye

    You could buy a seperate erieye-ng and swordfish mpa aircraft with the common global 6000 aircraft platform for around the same money as a single globaleye. So why get 1 when you could have 2?

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