SHAH ALAM: Tell me why. A couple of months back, a South Korean newspaper got everyone excited that there will be a tender for 6X6 vehicles for the Army. I ignored the story as I had already been told that no tender for 6X6 vehicles is expected in the near future by a very credible source.
It was a good story of course for those promoting defence exhibitions, those looking for free trips overseas and copy and paste artists but nothing else really. A check on the Kementerian Pertahanan 2020 annual report suggested that a locally design 6X6 vehicle will be built from the ground up, instead.
Stride ( the R&D arm of the ministry) had on May 5, 2020, signed an MOU with Mildef International Technologies Sdn Bhd, for the design, development, integration and manufacturing of a 6X6 high mobility protected wheeled vehicles. Mildef is of course the company that promoted what it called the locally developed MRAP, the Tarantula
With some RM40 million allocated for STRIDE this year, it is likely that the MRAP 6X6 will go much further than the Tarantula. Whether or not it will enter production, is of course another thing all together. Of course this is not the first 6X6 vehicle that was supposed to be developed by a local company. Another local company was given the go-ahead to develop a 6X6 in 2019 by the then Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, which floundered when the company – which is an automotive design house- failed to develop the vehicle beyond conceptual drawings.
Not all of the RM40 million allocation will be used to develop the 6X6 vehicle though as Stride also signed MOUs with two local companies to develop a drone and a degaussing system in June and September, 2020, respectively. The drone is being developed with Sky Rich Holding Sdn Bhd while the degaussing system is with Dayatech Merin Sdn Bhd.
As with the MOU with Mildef, no details were released on the agreements with Sky Rich and Dayatech. A model of a single person drone was used as a background for the Stride/Sky Rich MOU signing ceremony though. Could it be that the ministry is planning for Op Benteng patrols be conducted in this drone in the future? Your guess is as good as mine.
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Hopefully it won’t cost near the Gempita’s 8×8 RM30 million a piece even though its slightly smaller than Gempita.
That single person drone looks exactly the same as the one from the Chinese company Ehang, Inc which displayed it in 2016. Just built a damn UAV.
Allow me to laugh when Mat Sabu’s name is mentioned.
Hopefully also those in charge will make provision for the 6×6 to be uparmoured as far as possible against shoulder fired weapons. Each 6×6 will cost a few million and will carry a whole section but can be easily penetrated by a shape round charge costing a few thousands.
By the looks of it they’re looking for a VBMR-style of generalized APC instead of making a smaller wheeled IFVs
Seed funding STRIDE to develop a 6*6 is a good thing imo.
This “single person” drone is to me a case of reinventing the wheel.What added value does it provide over existing short range UAVs? Also if it’s going to be manned by a person, then it’s not a “drone”.
On the locally developed 6×6 the harsh reality is that the engine, weapons, NBC filtration, optics, etc, will not be “local”. No doubt news of a locally produced 6×6 will excite those who buy into the self sufficuency illusion but in reality it’s cheaper and far more practical to buy an existing foreign design.
Not as if we’re going to buy this locally produced 6×6 in numbers or have a hope of exporting it, plus if the army rejects it will it be forced to accept it because it’s “local”?
There is no way a 6×6 can be armoured to take hits from ATGMs.
Also those 6×6 is not meant for infantry mechanised units, but the cavalry. So carrying a whole section is not a priority.
As our near future defence priority is to do with our EEZ, 6×6 should not be something that we really need to have.
ISR capability, Electronic Warfare, Infantry section level anti UAV systems (like the Dronegun Mk3 pistol) and coastal anti ship missiles should be pursued instead by the army.
Gonggok – ” no way a 6×6 can be armoured to take hits from ATGMs.”
“Shoulder fired weapons”…. not “ATGMs” Stuff like chicken wire, bar armiur, etc, can significantly negate the effects.
Gonggok – ” So carrying a whole section is not a priority.”
Irrelevent. Whether it’s carrying a section or 3 men it is a national asset which needs to be protected. Unless we can safely predict that we are only going to face very low intensity threats, we have to be serious about better protecting our vehicles …
Gonggok – “coastal anti ship missiles should be pursued instead by the army”
It should be a RMN operated asset for a number of reasons and if we ever get them the trick will be to acquire some level of strike recce capability – networked to MPAs, UAVs, etc.
“single person drone”
That is no drone, but one of those ‘flying car’ projects. See:
Seed funding to STRIDE just to rebadge an existing product? That is no more than paying over the top car prices just to keep Perodua afloat when all they do is rebadge Daihatsu & Toyota cars. Do we really want that to happen for the defence sector? Its already bad enough we’re paying for local assembly of mere 18units light arty.