Up To Mindef Now

The business end of the Caesar 155mm SPH. Picture used for illustration only. Malaysian Defence picture.

SHAH ALAM: Out-going Army chief Gen TS Mohammad Ab Rahman said today that the decision to purchase to 136 4X4 and wheeled SPH has been passed to the Defence Ministry for further action. He said this after his farewell parade at the Sungai Besi camp.

Mohammad is scheduled to be appointed as the 22nd Armed Forces Chief on September 6 (tomorrow) replacing retiring General TS Affendi Buang. Mohammad was appointed as the Army chief last March.

Maj Genera Khairul Azmizal Ahmad Natal, the CO of 10th Para Brigade simulating putting on the Para wing on Army Chief General Mohammad Ab Rahman at the presentation of the honourary maroon beret and jump wings at the ceremony at the 17th RMR Camp at Kem Terendak on April 17 2023. Tentera Darat.

Deputy Army chief Lt General Hafizuddeain Jantan will be promoted to a four star and appointed as the 30th Army chief. He took over the deputy chief post last April. The deputy post will be taken over by Lt Gen Tengku Muhammad Fauzi Tengku Ibrahim. Fauzi is currently the Western Field Command commander. He will be replaced by Second Division commander Maj General Muhammad Huzaimi Sabri who will get the third star for the post.
Lt General Muhammad Hafizuddeian Jantan handing the authority cane of the Western Field Command to his successor Lt General Tengku Muhammad Fauzi Tengku Ibrahim. Tentera Darat

Both the 4X4 and SPH procurement is expected to be completed by this December, according to Muhammad. He said the procurement of the 4X4 vehicles also include new infrastructure for the R0yal Armoured Corps. The leased Black Hawk helicopters are also set to be delivered by year end, Mohammad added.

The number of 4X4 to be procured is certainly much lower as mentioned by Malaysian Defence previously.

Despite the positive tone of the statement from the outgoing Army chief as Malaysian Defence previously wrote that the procurement will depend on the appointment of a new secretary-general or KSU of the Defence Ministry.

The current acting KSU do not have the legal authority to sign off both procurement project or any other major ones for that matter.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. We should go big-small like the french army. Get a regiment of tanks paired to those 4×4 for the Medan Timur. Upgraded T72s will do.

    Of course the infantry should also be supplied with MR-atgms

  2. I kinda confused now..so many requirement..That said 134 4×4 is for light tactical vehicle requirement right?..Right now we can assume that this 4×4 LTV is THE so called condor replacement? no? without 6×6 at all ( or the army doesnt want 6×6 from the beginning )?

  3. CMIIW

    Even Army dubbed this program as Light Tactical Vehicle but Nimr Ajban 4×4 (if choosen) is not the same type as existing light tactical vehicle in army’s inventory such as Uro Vamtac, Cendana Auto and Weststar GK-M1 right?
    This because Nimr Ajban 4×4 is ‘Kenderaan Jenis A’ which is armoured type vehicle compared to soft skin Vamtac, Cendana and Weststar.

    Is this this Light Tactical Vehicle program different with Tarantula 4×4 program?

  4. I am now confused. The Tarantula is a 4×4 infantry mobility vehicle just like the Bushmaster. The Ajban is a light tactical vehicle only. They are different and each has a different role, so why not both?

  5. Mentioned before, the 4×4 requirement is a Ferret type replacement but we have MRAP type vehicles in the mix which makes the requirements more like Condor replacements one day and Ferret replacements another day. Is it a HMMVV type vehicle, or a MRAP type vehicle for the 4×4 requirement? The HMMVV is lighter, lower profile, cheaper, primarily meant for general mobility – can be configured easily, including for reconnaissance. The MRAP is a lighter version of a standard APC/IFV, hence it is higher visibility, heavier, more survivable and heavier armed than a HMMVV type vehicle – more suited to patrols and combat operations. Or no one really knows anymore what the actual requirement is.

  6. Twitter: marhalimabas
    5 SEPTEMBER 2023 AT 6:16 PM
    The requirement is for a light tactical vehicle for recce.

    Oh, that’s bad news for the Tarantula then, maybe the Rentaka is a possibility as well as the Ajban?

  7. If you read my DSA posts, you will remember that initially I wrote that the Rentaka was the one that was being offered for the NMLTV requirement instead of the Tarantula. In subsequent posts, I wrote that the Tarantula was back in the mix. I am aware of the reason but cannot say it here for reasons.

  8. In layman terms

    Rentaka is the ideal size, but wrong protection level (it is actually designed to civilian/police protection spec)

    Tarantula has the wanted protection level, but is the wrong size.

    Original MRAP is huge due to the want for maximum protection from mines and IED when fighting insurgents and non-state actors. Latest armor tech like honeycomb floors and metal foam armor has given same amount of mine protection as old tall and heavy V-floor MRAP.

    Mines and IED are usually problems for an invading force fighting long term on foreign land. We actually need to be a defending force, fighting on our own territory. Instead of having armored vehicles that have high level of mine and IED protection, actually we need to be the force that will use and be an expert in mine and IED to defend our territory from invading IFV and MBT.

  9. “the decision to purchase has been passed to the Defence Ministry for further action”
    Basically he has washed his hands from any trouble might come now that he has retired.

    But wow, a double promotion in less than 6 months. Even in private sector is quite unheard of.

  10. @kel

    It’s likely the one they wanted is a JLTV type thing. But there’s likely no political will to acquire either the JLTV or hawkei.

    Rentaka does fit the bills but it’s likely a prototype of a prototype & would require lots of bags of money to turn it into a final product.

    So likely the army would have to settled for a MRAP type of vehicle.

  11. Yes, I remember the posts a while back. Now I know what you meant when you said the Tarantula was too big..

  12. >upgraded T-72

    Our PT-91M1Z pendekar has so little parts that it shared with regular T-72 that you might as well either get a brand new tank and move the Pendekar to S&S or get light tank for S&S and keep Pendekar for peninsula

  13. @dundun

    To me…
    1. We don’t have big budget for fancy MBT. Rather than spend for another set of expensive IFV. Same same easy meat for tank hunting atgm infantry.
    2. Upgraded T72s are cheap and easy to maintain. Can get spareparts from many sources. Good enough for armoured formation. Rare for tank vs tank battle anyway.

  14. @ Hasnan

    Yes, as a fire support vehicle, supporting infantry IFV formations, the 45ton PT-91M is a better deal than a brand new light tank, which is tall and weighs 35-40ton but can be cut through with the 30mm gun from the gempita.

    One thing about our procurement is that we don’t buy extra to compensate for attrition lossses. It is impossible to assume that all of our armor, howitzers etc. will not be destroyed by the enemy in event of a war.

    If a 60 vehicle cavalry regiment take on 5 vehicle losses a day, how many days would it be able to be an effective operational unit without having any replacement?

  15. >bug budget for fancy MBT
    All big ticket item is funded through 5 year plan the army will get theirs. Gempita is also expensive (even more expensive than Leopard 2A6) and yet the army got like 200++ Gempita

    >Upgraded T72s are cheap and easy to maintain

    Taking out T-72 powerpack took days instead of 1-2 hours in western tanks. Only reason why T72 is cheap is because you’re getting clapped T72 from God knows who. Fresh T72 is about as expensive as any other brand new tanks

    >rare for tank to tank battle anyway
    You wanna bet?

  16. The evaluation done by TD had Caesar as the number one and the Turkish one last. However, during the last administration it was the Turkish one that was selected.

  17. I know. That’s why I already said that Pendekar has so much little in common with T-72 that the notion of getting upgraded T72 with the assumption that they’re similar enough is ridiculous.

    Also not only that older T72 tank with their original soviet engine is finicky to service, they’re also less powerful which translate to poorer performance. That paired with shit transmission (with ridiculous reverse speed) makes them really poor choice especially for a country that didn’t operate T72 beforehand

  18. The 4×4 issue. It is interesting that the requirement changed from an troop carrying MRAP to a small recce vehicle, which is which now, will it be the KJA MRAP troop carrying vehicle for similar role as APC or a 4×4 recce vehicle. A week or two earlier I read that a milder representative made a statement that TDM has agreed to procure or lease 176 units of tarantula for troop carrying purpose but now we’re looking at recce vehicle type KJA or both. Recce vehicle as what I know is not to get involved in a major fight die to it’s role as a recon vehicle.
    Therefore out of curiosity for recon purposes, would it be advisable to procure a standard 4×4 such as the full cab cendana auto ffr but with modifications to suit the recon role instead of buying the more expensive similar KJA ?

  19. The requirement did not change. It was that the industry offered something else. The recon role has always been done by a KJA, in the past it was the Ferret. When the Condor was bought, it was used as a recon vehicle as well though the Ferret were still used in some instances until all of them were retired. Of course, now they also want a KJA to do the same role. The thing that changed was that the Condor was supposed to be replaced by the Gempita which is of course too expensive to replace the former one for one.

    The Gempita size preclude it to be used as a recon vehicle ala the Ferret/Condor. They thought the recon variant could replace the close recon/road clearing work, but it could not. Since we cannot buy enough Gempita (for various reasons, which I will not go into) to replace the Condor, the industry thought a troop-carrying role would be the next best thing.

  20. @ Marhalim

    Great explanation by your good self to add to what has been written on this.

    Many observers (including a lot of other defence writers) does not fully understand the nuances of what the current “condor replacement” meant for the army.

    Many still talks about “condor replacement” today as something that still has to do with mechanized infantry, when actually for quite sometime now all the mechanized infantry battalions once gone into battle with the Condor, has replaced them with MIFV, Adnan and Gempita IFV25.

    Add that to the army that did not officially communicated its requirement for what is actually replacements of the few remaining condors in the KAD Cavalry Regiment, has local industries assume what the army actually wants and created prototypes accordingly. Or probably the army itself was not sure on what capability it wants with its cavalry regiments, looking at the multiple decision changes and vehicle reshuffling of the cavalry regiments.

    The industry could also be lead to wrong conclusions by the Army buy of the Lipanbara MRAP, which was a “wahyu” project, in that era where rebuilding the Condors was seriously considered. The Tarantula, in a way is a good answer by someone who thinks that what the army actually want is a better version of the Lipanbara.

    If and when the army gets its armored 4×4 recce/escort vehicle, I would prefer the VINGTAQ II mast, EO and radar system to be transferred to the new vehicle. Those 24 Gempitas could be transformed into extra command vehicles.

    The VINGTAQ II system has been installed on vehicles as small as the G-Wagen before, so it can be done.

    What the ideal vehicle for the army requirement would look something like this

    Personally I would prefer JLTV for it, due to the low cost, and the ease of getting extra vehicles in the future from US stocks. Also the multi role capability of the platform, enabling something like an ambulance variant to be acquired, and not needing to get expensive Gempita ambulance variant for example.

  21. ferret size would be too small nowadays. Bigger recon vehicle can accommodate UAV teams and their equipment.

  22. And what is d status of d following :
    Tarantula 176/136 units
    Other variants of cendana auto ffr (75 units)/mortar carrier +/-70 units.
    C.auto artac limited to 18 units ?
    C.auto s.o.v 22 units status?
    I think it’s high time the end user to clarify what it actually needs instead of allowing our local companies to specify their very own specs so that d our local companies so they can prepare what d army needa ( buy Malaysian first), a small recon vehicle similar to France vbl or otokar cobra or nimr abjan n if we proceed with a new LTV of another type, would there b similarities in terms of part against d gkm, vamtac or even cendana auto.
    N lastly n hopefully d MRSAM launcher ia sufficient to cover whole of Malaysia, both penisular sabah n Sarawak

  23. As the PTD had himself said the procurement process for the 136 4X4 is on-going, there is no Tarantula contract to speak off. There is an Army plan, but they have not put it out officially. Yes, I know someone has posted on social media of the plan, but it has not been made public by the Army itself. And I have been told THAT is not the Army plan. Moreover, I am sure the plan will evolve further as a new PTD has been appointed.

    The 4X4 requirement is called the New Malaysian Light Tactical Vehicle, which means it will supersede any 4X4 in service. This will continue forward as the project has been forwarded to the ministry.

  24. @ marhalim

    ” Yes, I know someone has posted on social media of the plan”

    Which plan? The Army4NextG? or specifically about the 4×4?

  25. >ferret size would be too small nowadays

    Who would’ve thought a vehicle designed after WW2 is wholly ill suited for military operations in 2023(and beyond)?

  26. I think whatever vehicle they buy must be equipped with a remote weapon system (RWS). The electro-optical sensors on the RWS can double up as a scout sensor. There’s no need for the vehicle to carry a separate sensor package for scouting purposes.

    As for as weapons are concerned, a heavy machine gun or automatic grenade launcher for self-defence should suffice.

    There should be enough space inside the vehicle to carry a UAV team and their equipment.

  27. Taiwan’s answer to the same 4×4 armored recce question

    Tactical Scout Wheeled Vehicle.


    The vehicle weighs 7.5 tons, can reach 100kph, and receives all-around 7.62mm ammunition protection. It is equipped with a remote-controlled M2 machine gun and an electro-optical mast with a range of 12km

  28. Hasnan – ”Upgraded T72s will do.”

    No growth potential; bad ergonomics; the placement unprotected of rounds and charges in the hull and sides of turret to feet the auto loader; based on Soviet operational philosophies/requirements; etc. If you had to serve in a T-72 you wouldn’t come up with the ”will do” claim… Have you noticed how Ukrainian crew losses for crews in Western MBTs have been far lower compared to Soviet designed equivalents? Have you actually seen the inside of a T-72?

    In a few years if we do get upgraded T-72s [we won’t] it will be a daft retrograde move…

    Dundun – ”That’s why I already said that Pendekar has so much little in common with T-72 ”

    What? Same design; same carousell loader; same level of baseline protection; etc, etc

  29. Dundun – ”Our PT-91M1Z pendekar has so little parts that it shared with regular T-72 that you might as well either get a brand new tank and move the Pendekar to S&S or get light tank for S&S and keep Pendekar for peninsula”

    Don’t be mesmorised with all the non Russian gear we added – it still has a lot of parts/components which are common to the T-72 and the PT-91 is nothing more than an upgraded T-72.

    Dundun – ”get light tank for S&S ”

    Light tanks are only great if they meet other light tanks and a lot of what light tanks do can be performed by IFVs.

  30. T72 costs like USD250k only….cheap and good enough for fire support. Requires an expensive atgm to take out as compared to an expensive IFV that can be taken out by an RPG7.

    Parts readily available because of the huge numbers produced. Not much electronics. For the gempita we have only Turkiye as supplier.

  31. kamal – ”N lastly n hopefully d MRSAM launcher ia sufficient to cover whole of Malaysia, both penisular sabah n Sarawak”

    Must as well hope for Cinderella or Rumpelstiltskin. It will be a single Regiment not more than that and it will be sent where it’s needed.

    Hasnan – ” We don’t have big budget for fancy MBT. Rather than spend for another set of expensive IFV. Same same easy meat for tank hunting atgm infantry.”

    We don’t have the budget for many things and if we go on this basis then we won’t have much to talk about here would we. Also what’s a ”fancy MBT”? It’s 2023 not 1986 and in this day and age there is no cheap MBT if one desires a certain capability and the need to ensure crews are protected. MBTs are becoming better protected and heavier and are fitted with various kit; including FCSs, thermals.

    The days when cheap MBTs with modest capabilities were offered are long over.

    Hasnan – ” Can get spareparts from many sources.”

    Yes but given the war in Ukraine and other factors there will be less and less parts as the years go by.

    Hasnan – ”Good enough for armoured formation.”

    What is ”good enough” in your book? A MBT has to have a certain level of protection; a decent weapon and electronics fit and other things in order to do what it does best : deliver protected and mobile firepower as part of combined arms formations.

    Hasnan – ”Rare for tank vs tank battle anyway.”

    You have a crystal ball or are you assuming that because MBTs in the Ukraine are largely employed as mobile artillery rather than as breakthrough assets; that it’s ”rare for tank vs tank battle”?

    Hasnan – ”Same same easy meat for tank hunting atgm infantry.”

    Which is why AFVs need the support of infantry…

    dundun – ”finicky to service”

    How on earth did you get this impression? Russian tanks – as seen in Africa and other places – will continue operating with minimal or little maintenance long after Western equivalents have broken down – if anything it’s Western tanks which are highly complex and ”finicky”. They require much better quality manpower because of that.

  32. Hasnan – ”T72 costs like USD250k only….cheap and good enough for fire support. ”

    The AV-8s with it various direct and indirect fire weapons can’t provide fire support?

    Hasnan – ”Requires an expensive atgm to take out ”

    Incorrect…. Depends on what type of T-72 and in what circumstances.

    The T-72 is a dated [from the late 1960’s] design based on Soviet operating philosophies [simple to operate; can be build in numbers; easy to maintain; of a certain weight and height, etc]; has no growth potential; has bad ergonomics; is vulnerable because of the unprotected rounds and charges in the hull and turret sides stored to feed the auto loader; etc, etc. It’s a functional design and has served its purpose in various places but it’s 2023 now; it’s time has passed. Also, all MBTs are cramped but a T-72/T-90/PT-91 is especially cramped.

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