SHAH ALAM: Transforming the army, sort off. It appears that Weststar Defence is continuing delivery of the latest variants of its GK-MK1 tactical vehicles to the Army. This was revealed following a visit by Army chief Jen Zulkiple Kassim to the headquarters of 4 Divisyen in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 23, 2017.
As part of the visit, Zulkiple was photographed with the GK-MK1, likely the Fitted for Radio 4X4 vehicle variant. The vehicle was not identified in the photographs carried by the Army’s online news service, BTDM, on its website or Facebook page.
However as another picture showed the vehicle is fitted with a side ladder indicating that it is the Fitted for Radio variant. Based on its registration plate of ZC 4113, we can assumed that the vehicle was probably only recently delivered to the Army. In contrast, the Lipanbara MRAP delivered within the last two years carried the 3000 series numbers.
The GK-MK1 ZC 4113 looked different from the other GK-M1 vehicles already delivered to the Army. It has much sharper chin, bigger grille and small round headlights fitted to sides compared to the older vehicles.
The delivery of the latest variants of the GK-MK1s were first revealed at the inspection of the Army’s alert battalion in February this year. It must be noted that Weststar has not designated the newer variant as the MK2.
As you are aware the GK-MK1s are derived from the Thairung Transformer 4X4 vehicle manufactured by Thai Union Car Company, which itself was based on the Toyota Hilux.
The new GK-MK1 appears to be the Transformer II which was displayed at the Bangkok Motor Show last year. From PaulTan.org
Say hello to the most bizarre car at the 2016 Bangkok Motor Show, the Thairung Transformer II. Made by decades-old local company Thairung Union Car – which traditionally fashions utility vehicles from truck underpinnings – the Thairung Transformer II is a replacement for the original Transformer, which was based on the previous-gen Toyota Hilux Vigo (the current, outgoing Hilux in Malaysia).
But with the Vigo replaced by the latest Hilux Revo, Thairung’s “Hilux SUV” had to transform as well, and the company’s Transformer II is based on the new Hilux, which will be launching soon in Malaysia.
Anyhow, apart from the GK-MK1 variants, Weststar Defence is also supplying the Cargo 4X4 to the Army as part of the program to replace the various types of Land Rovers previously in service. It is also supplying the Guardian ASV to replace the Condors operating in Lebanon.
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