Rise Of The Guardians, Part II

Condors of Malbatt in Lebanon undergoing annual inspection. Note the wedge shaped front end of the Condor which made them less vulnerable to RPGs as shown in Somalia. The vehicle is more vulnerable from the side though as the cabin is not as sloping as the front end.

SHAH ALAM: Rise of the Guardians, Part II. In an earlier post, I quoted a Bernama report stating that nine Guardian armoured security vehicles (ASV) will be delivered to Malbatt 850-5 – the Malaysian contingent to UNIFIL – this December.

The report however did not identify which Guardian ASV had been selected nor the vehicles it was replacing. Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Johari Baharum when met today says that the Guardian that he was referring to was manufactured in the United Arab Emirates though he did not identify the company.

A Condor in service with the UNIFIL mission. Joint Force picture

As I had mentioned before, Weststar Defence had partnered with UAE-based IAG to offer the Guardian to the armed forces.

Guardian ASV. Weststar

Asked what vehicles the Guardians was replacing, Johari says “the Condors”. He said more units of the Guardians will be procured in batches though he did not mentioned numbers nor the timeline. He declined further comment.

Returning Malbatt 850-5 soldiers undergoing medical tests following their arrival. Joint Force picture

Johari was met upon arrival at the Subang airbase here Monday (Sept 25, 2017) with the last batch of soldiers from Malbat 850-4, the unit which had been stationed in Lebanon for the last 12 months. He had visited the Malaysian troops stationed there.

A standard Condor ZA 9487 which also took part in the 2017 Merdeka Day parade rehersal.

As I mentioned previously, the armed forces had sought to replace the Condors since these vehicles were deployed to Lebanon in 2007. Malaysian had deployed the Condors to UNIFIL after the world body accepted its participation following the end of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. Because of the war the UN wanted the number of peacekeepers to be increased to prevent a similar conflict in the country.

VAB. By AlfvanBeem – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18254540

Due to the fast track deployment to Lebanon – UN accepted our offer in August 2006 – the first Malaysian troops arrived on Jan. 20, 2007, the Condors were chosen for the mission simply because we had no other armoured vehicles. These were supposed to be there as an interim measure with a replacement to be fielded soon after.

Pindad Anoa.

However, due to various factors – a deal to replace them with refurbished VABs from France fell through as well as a supposed deal to buy PT Pindad Anoa, which looked very similar to the VABs. Malbatt also used a number of Nyala MRAP vehicles on loan from the UN but these were later returned.

Johari in the Bernama report quoted previously says that there were 46 Condors with Malbatt 850-5. The Condors are supplemented by an unknown number of Sibmas ARV. One was written off in a fatal accident in 2013.

The Condor APCs are the main transporters of Malbatt QRF units.

Based on the current numbers of Condors with Malbatt, we can assumed that the number of Guardians will likely increase to those figures though this cannot be confirmed. As for the reason the Guardian ASV was chosen in the first place, its beyond me at the moment.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. So it is really the IAG Guardian. I would like to know why this is choosen instead of the lipanbara, or even upgraded condors.

  2. Upgraded Condors would take time to be upgraded and delivered to Lebanon and even upgraded: probably have less mine resistant levels compared to the Guardian.

    Looking at the Guardian it’s for certain it has a higher baseline protection level (up to 12.7mm?) than the Condor, even probably upgraded ones. On why the Lipanbara wasn’t selected, who knows? Maybe one reason was that they couldn’t be delivered on time or due to bureaucratic reasons.

  3. What happened to the previous deftech AV4, I know they never received orders for it, but they at least produced a number of them and were tested by the PDRM and the army in 4×4 and 6×6 variants.

    It’s stored Deftech the last time I checked

  4. No indication that Lipanbara and Guardian were comparatively evaluated, or that either vehicle has been trialed in similar terrain to Tibnine.

  5. If i am not mistaken, UN will foot some of the bills if the asset is especially purchase for the peacekeeping needs.

    Maybe they have some say on decision of Guardian ASV.

  6. The UN will cover deployment bills and allowances to be troops. When it comes to buying gear it really depends on whether it meets the UN’s approval. Quite often the country concerned will pay for it first but will later get reimbursed by the UN. There will be instances when countries decide to buy something needed for the deployment but it does not gain UN approval. As to be expected, the UN is a body with more than its share of bureaucratic red tape.

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