Upgrades Conundrum

A Condor in service with the UNIFIL mission. This was the basic configuration of the Condor when it was in Somalia. Joint Force picture

SHAH ALAM: Upgrades Conundrum. JANES is reporting that Malaysia is considering upgrading the Army’s fleet of Scorpion light tanks and the Condor 4X4 APCs. The report datelined from London stated that the upgrade programme was mooted despite its getting delivery of 257 of the Deftech Gempita.

The upgrade plans was revealed by an official from STRIDE, Dr Yazid Ahmad, the director of Mechanical and Aerospace Technology Division at a conference in London. The fact that this programme was made public by a Stride official is interesting. Does this mean that the funding if approved will come under Stride budget? And will they be able to choose the contractors?

I have dont much answers at the moment. Actually I was hoping to get some answers on the various Army programmes including upgrades at the upcoming interview with the chief ahead of its annual anniversary on March 1. AFAIK the Army has several other important programmes and the upgrading of its light armour and APCs are not it’s priorities in the current Malaysian plan.

A RAD Condor in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration in Gemas, last year.
A Condor in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration in Gemas, last year.

The Janes story

“Speaking at the IQPC International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2016 conference held in London, in late January, Dr Yazid Ahmad, director Mechanical & Aerospace Technology Division of the Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE), revealed that Malaysia is planning to upgrade some of its Alvis Vehicles Scorpion 90 light AFVs and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Condor 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

Malaysia received a total of 186 SIBMAS 6×6 AFVs between 1983 and 1984 and 459 Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Condor 4×4 APC and variants. It also acquired 26 Alvis Scorpion 90 light armoured vehicles (LAVs) from 1983, which were fitted with a two-person turret armed with a 90 mm Cockerill gun and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG). They were originally fitted with a flotation screen for amphibious operations, but these have now been removed.

An export Scorpion fitted with a 90mm gun, a co-axial 7.62mmmachine gun and roof mounted 50 caliber turret gun. KAD Scorpions are normally fitted with roof mounted 7.62mm gun. BAE Systems via Janes turret gun.
An export Scorpion fitted with a 90mm gun, a co-axial 7.62mmmachine gun and roof mounted 50 caliber turret gun. KAD Scorpions are normally fitted with roof mounted 7.62mm gun. BAE Systems via Janes.

After looking at a number of options a decision was taken to refurbish the current Perkins diesel engine and upgrade the TN15 transmission to the more reliable TN15DE standard, and also to go with a new single pin track.

KAD Scorpion and Sibmas in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration last year.
KAD Scorpion and Sibmas in action at the Army Firepower Demonstration last year.

The aluminium hull will be refurbished and seven of the remaining 14 Scorpion 90 LAVs will have their turrets removed and replaced by the Thales UK FVT900 one-person turret armed with a 20 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm co-axial MG.

These FVT900 turrets are being taken from the Alvis Stormer tracked APC, of which 25 were delivered from the United Kingdom. Of the 25 Stormer APCs, 12 had the FVT900 turret and the remainder had a Rheinmetall TH-1 one-person turret armed with two 7.62 mm MGs.”

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Sorry to be pedantic, but the Scorpions were acquired in 1978, not 1983. I specifically remember they were in the Merdeka Parade that year.

  2. I think this the only solution to solve Army lack of APC issues… we do not have extra $ to get more AV8

    we can upgrade number of Condor and permanent relocate them at Sabah and Sarawak.

  3. A good decision. In fact we can buy some dirt cheap scorpions n scimitars from great britain who had retired these vehicles but still in storage.
    Cheap n good decidion. Gives employment too since these can all be carried out in country.
    Dismantle every unit , sand blast the whole body n restore them like how america restores its M1

  4. Something I’ve always wanted; removal of the Cockerill – which makes the Scorpion slow and unable to fire on uneven ground – with an auto cannon. Back then the requirement was for a fire support vehicle; the Scorpion and the Sibmas was a compromise as we didn’t want to spend on a 105mm armed vehicle. That was then but for now the Scorpion is better utilised as a recce/scout vehicle that has no need for a 90mm gun that makes a nimble vehicle into a slow and overweight one.

    The Scorpions were ordered with the Stormers (we were the first export customer for the Stormer) under PERISTA: as were the Condors and Sibmas. I believe the Scorpions were ordered in 1981 or 1983 – PERISTA was launched in 1979.

    For the Condors I believe the term “life extension” or “refurbishment” would be a more apt term to use rather than “upgrade”; which anyhow will not change the fact that most of fleet is simply worn out from heavy useage over the years. Another problem is that the Condor – like the Scorpion – has a very low baseline armour protection level – adding applique armour (as some might suggest) will strain the engine and gear box. In short, any work done will enable the Condors to remain operational for a few more years but will not improve anything else. As for the “numbers”, quite a few have ended up in junkyards.

  5. Great. The Condor are unimog machines and should be easy to refurbish. They could also be sold or transferred to another country once Malaysia decides to phase them out.

  6. Good enough to fight them mundus. I think it’s better than purchasing those non military AFV that isn’t much of an improvement compared to Condor

    Not really as the Jaws and AV4 have better seating and air-condition compared to the Condor. I nearly puke due to inhaling the diesel fumes the last time I ride in the Condor. I was also almost thrown about in the cabin as the seats are very rudimentary. No seats belts, one just have to hold on to anything you can grab on.

  7. If the details are ever released and the programme implemented; will be interesting to see what STRIDE does to the condors that MMC hasn’t previously done. Past refurbishments conducted by MMC have included replacing the batteries and eletricals; overhauling the gear box, work on the AC, etc.

    After the Condors are retired, doubt anyone will want them as there will be other pre-owned vehicles on the market that will have less mileage than our close to 3 1/2 decade old Condors.

  8. Please, treat the Condors with respect.

    A bit of anecdotal information you may not know…

    The Condor and the Sibmas were ordered by Dr. M in 1981-2 after the biggest loss the Malaysian Army ever suffered. Do any of you remember the CPM ambush in 1981 in Pahang that resulted in 12-14 fatalities. Apparently an RPG or mortar hit a trunk..I still remember reading about it in the NST.

    I do not disrespect the Condor, its just that I feel that it time had passed. The Condor was ordered under Perista programme – Azlan will chip in about this – but the ambush you are talking about is the one that happened in Gerik in 1979. One Commando V150 was hit and all three crew died. The Commando is displayed at the the Army museum in PD, I believe. BTW the article from Janes I quoted was written by Christopher Foss, the doyen of armoured vehicles. I am pretty sure he is correct about the time when we bought the Scorpion.

  9. Condors uses truck components so upgrades and spares shouldn’t be a problem. So why junk them? Let Stride play with it and see what they can come up with within a specific budget.

    As long it is not used as a troop carrier, I have no problem with upgrading them.

  10. No, I definitely remember 1981 because I was in the morning class (remember we used to have 2 schools in one building in Malaysia back in those days?. Morning went from 0730 to 1315 and afternoon 1330 to 1830).

    This was definitely a big loss. It was definitely more than 10.

    After a Google search,the incident you were referring to, was an ambush involving the 10th Malay at Ulu Legong in Baling, Kedah. 10 were killed, six who were traveling in a truck while the other four were killed at the tactical headquarters. There is a book called Serang Hendap Ulu Legong. I doubt it had anything to do with Condor as the RMR was and still mainly light infantry until today apart from several units which were mechanised as part of the Army plan to become a conventional army after the threat of the Communists were dealt with. I stand to be corrected of course.

  11. The decision to order Condors was not driven by any specific event but by the need to better ”conventionalise” the army; as part of PERISTA. To date, the only AFV we have lost – on Malaysian soil – to enemy action was the V-150 [90mm armed] which was hit in the side by an RPG-2. There was also an incident in the 1970’s when a Ferret on escort duties, suffered damage from an M-79. In fact, when it comes to baseline protection levels, the Ferret scores slightly higher than the Condor! From what I’ve been told, the presence of Molotov cocktails played a part in how the police deployed its V-100/50s during the ”Memali Incident”.

    Every source I’ve read, including a Janes AFV year book, mentions 1981 as the year we ordered the Scorpion. I’m quite fond of the Condor, it has provided the army with years of service and was ideal during a period when our operational requirements were different but it is what it is : a lightly armoured vehicle intended for low threat duties.

    When vehicles like the Condor and others in the same category are misused or faced with opponents armed with shoulder fired weapons; we have situations like what we faced in Bakara Market [for that matter even the Adnan can be penetrated by a shoulder fired weapon but at least it protects to 14.5mm].

  12. The bizzare thing about the announcement:

    Of the remaining 14 scorpions, 7 to be refitted with the condors 20mm 1 man turret. The current scorpion turret is a bigger 2 man turret. The ring mounts are definitely different and will mean major hull modifications needed. Imo it is easier to:

    A) remove the 90mm gun and replace it with a 30mm or 20mm cannon.

    B) just use the stormer apc already with the exact same 20mm cannon turret for operations that need a 20mm cannon armed scorpion. Both scorpion and stormer have the exact same armor protection.


    As the few remaining scorpion and stormer nowadays are essentially imbedded armor within the para brigade, why not replace them with something airborne/para specific, like maybe the Chinese ZBD-03, lightweight, paradrop able IFV armed with 30mm cannon. 24 of the ZBD-03 should be enough for the para brigade, not too many to trouble the logistics while giving some political points with the Chinese government (sikit usa, sikit china so everyone happy)


    As for the condors. A thorough reset, with more modern powertrain (more powerful, easier maintenance, with abs/ebd/etc) from the latest model unimogs. A better routed exhaust with better internal climate control should not be a big trouble to execute with our local engineers. These, while not useful for the frontline mechanized troops, would still be useful for support troops (engineering/logistics/signals etc) and also for the motorised battalions, as battle taxis (to and from operations, not fighting in them) in lieu of the perkasa lorries. One advantage of the condors over mrap like the av4 is that it is amphibious.

    Your points on the turret rings – if the Janes story is correct – is something I will take up with the Dr if I ran into him at DSA. As for buying Chinese made armour, it will be interesting to see whether I can locate their local agent at DSA.

  13. Thanks Marhalim,

    I always thought it was Pahang. I didn’t even know Baling is in Kedah!! See, I wasn’t dreaming it up.

    Now, the Scorpions were at the end of the 1978 Merdeka Parade. I remember counting 10-12 and jumping for joy. Pre-colour TV days. Janes is dead wrong.

  14. Regarding zbd-03, why not go for sprut-sd airborne capability, amphibious and 125 smoothbore cannon it will bring much more firepower to Para and pasukan atur cepat(PAC).

  15. Why the ZBD-03?

    Been thinking of possible upgrades/replacements for the scorpion within the para brigade.

    Some of the options that I thought of:

    A) replace the scorpions 90mm gun with 30mm denel cannon same as the av8

    B) full scorpion rebuild with new chassis (similar to stormer) and 30mm cannon. As per British army scimitar mk2 in Afghanistan.

    C) just purchase secondhand British army scimitar mk2 (if available)

    D) convert stormers with 30mm turret

    E) german MAK wiesels

    F) chinese ZBD-03 airborne Ifv

    Why I think the ZBD-03 would be an ideal fit with the para brigade?

    1) one of the latest airborne specific armoured vehicle designed.

    2) it could be directly airdropped from transport aircraft with its own parachutes. No need for additional parachute pallets to airdrop it

    3) able to carry 3 crew and 4 troops.

    4) self contained amphibious capability (scorpion amphibious fabric screens has all been discarded)

    4) 30mm cannon for fire support of para troops.

    For para brigades quick reaction capability. A force of 1 company (100troops) with the support of 4 ZBD-03 IFV and 10 Polaris DAGOR could be airdropped from 3 A400M’s

    1x a400m with 8x polaris DAGOR

    2x A400m each with – up to 52 paratroopers, 2x ZBD-03 and 1x polaris DAGOR.

    This would give the country a mobile quick reaction force that could be quickly deployed (ie within 48hrs) anywhere in malaysia or around the world.

  16. … “This would give the country a mobile quick reaction force that could be quickly deployed (ie within 48hrs) anywhere in malaysia or around the world”

    This is hilarious. The kind of employment of a large airborne assault to kick down the door in a high intensity conflict is not something Malaysia needs to do or is able to do. Or is even likely to happen anywhere in the world.

    It would probably lead to a military disaster by concentrating numerous expensive assets in a handful of vulnerable aircraft that we are unable to protect. Not to mention there are hundreds of better ways to spend the same money than an option that will never be used.

  17. I fail to see what the desired end-state for the upgrade is other than Malaysia Boleh!, providing some misleading feel good effects and making STRIDE look good. There are so many more cost-effective options our there. To give an example, the excellent German Marders are available at Proton Saga prices and you don’t event have to upgrade them. If more creature comforts is what you want, hundreds of free EDA uparmored Humvees are lying around in Afghanistan. You just need to send the A-400s there to pick them up. No use them just being hangar queens. Put them to use for some tangible benefit.

  18. @am

    A quick reaction force does not automatically mean a kick down the door high intensity conflict!!!

    A mechanized/motorised paradrop capable sperhead force (with the ZBD-03 and Polaris DAGOR combo, I don’t see that as expensive equipment at all) could be landed far from heavily protected airspace and proceed at high speed on the ground to secure the intended area (for example paradropped in perlis and procced on land to secure a location in penang). A parachute force on foot cannot be dropped far from the intended location, unlike a mechanized/motorised force.

    It could be used to:

    A) quickly help friendly country to quickly place stabilising forces and secure strategic places (for example preventing coup/anarchy by securing friendly government personnel)

    B) protecting/rescuing location overseas with many malaysian/friendly citizens

    C) quick reaction force to prevent lahad datu style conflict at remote locations

    The point is, we already have the para brigade as a quick reaction force, if that is pointless then why is it still around?. On this topic (scorpion upgrades) I don’t see the scorpion as something still relevant for the para brigade, and imo better replaced by ZBD-03/DAGOR combo for para operations ( and with aav7 for amphibious landings but that is another story)

    @ strikemaster

    I agree, upgrading something so few like the scorpion is questionable. But we still have hundreds of condors that use commercial off the shelf engines, and other parts. It is still doable. But something like new av4 mrap, Imo it is better for us to get nearly free surplus mraps/humvees from usa rather than buying new. Drb hicom already made it with the av8, no need to feed them with the av4 too. Balance national needs with buying good used hardware along with new ones.

  19. No money, no talk.
    I have seen Condors in action when I was a kid in 1983 especially when it crashed the Condor will be leaking like a water tank non-stopped.
    All upgrades will need $$$$ whether anyone will be getting a 30 million euro ‘service fee’ will be great.I wished I could.
    Many countries have retired the Scorpions except Malaysia and Indonesia.We should upgrade to 40 mm cannons not 20mm or 25mm ATK M242 Sharpshooter turret from Turkiye.

  20. The Scorpion and Stormer is more than adequate for 10 Para’s needs; for armed recce and fire support. It is light, nimble, has a low ground pressure and can be more easily sea or air lifted [compared to heavier vehicles] – more importantly, it still has life left and we have them in service. May not be the best option but we have Scorpions and Stormers.

    Whether the unit actually needs an AFV that can be air dropped depends on doctrine and operational requirements. No doubt, 10 Para trains for various contingencies but realistically, it likely role in times of conflict or tension would be to rapidly reinforce a certain area. Ideally, the DZ won’t be located too far or too near from those who intend on doing the unit harm. Whilst it has a clear need for a howitzer than can be air dropped – to support troops at a newly created air head – whether it actually has a need for an AFV that can also be air dropped is questionable. Given that half of the Scorpions will receive an auto cannon, the other half should at least get a 12.7mm/AGL combo. Anything is better than the Cockerill which makes a fast, nimble and low ground pressure vehicle into a slow and overweight one.

    The VDV had a need for AFVs that can be air dropped – the BMD and SU-85 – because the unit was intended to be air dropped deep behing enemy lines and to attack strategic targets; which called for some armoured mobile capability. Chinese airborne units have a requirement for a similar vehicle as it main operating area would be in Taiwan [over hostile territory] or on the Tibetian plateau, where a poor road network would make employment of heavier vehicles problematic. The fact remains that in today’s age, most countries have done away with the idea of a massed para drop over enemy lines – for obvious reasons. It is also telling that most various NATO airborne units do not have an air dropable AFV – tells us a bit about their doctrine. As far as 10 Para goes, we don’t really need 3 jump capable battalions; given how expensive and resource intensive such units are, plus the fact that we transporting the unit in bulk might be an issue – we can’t assume that our lift and sea assets will always be available for a tasking. Makes more sense to convert an existing battalion from the brigade into an amphibious unit or a fast reaction unit that can be deployed by other means other than parachute [itself a very injury prone option].

    Irrespective of whether Marders are available cheap; introducing into service when we already have the Adnan and MIFV makes little sense as it increases the army’s logistical footprint. I have nothing against buying pre-owned but there are practical issues at hand that need to be addressed first. Given that a fair number of Condors still have life left, refurbishing [I won’t use the word ”upgrade” as it’s misleading] them to enable service for a few more years, for duties that don’t call for an AV-8, makes sense.

  21. Can someone explain to me why we still need light tanks? Most countries no longer use light tanks (except for a few like China). That role is now taken by LAVs. Since we just recently developed the Gempita, shouldn’t it be enough to play that role? In terms of armour, it is better than the Scorpion as well as having a better situation awareness system.

    I personally think that upgrading is ok for a short term solution. But in the long run, both Condor and Scorpion need to be replaced. The Gempita is a good candidate. Open for discussion. Haha.

  22. This is my opinion only….not an academic one n have no grounds….no doubt these beast are old…but the main point that we miss is that STRIDE is showing to the nation that their existence are still relevent…let see what are all their engineers n designers are worth in modifying n fitting the not custom made armaments to the old beast…because so far if ever they are worth their weigh in gold it will be long time ago that what ever military items that are being brought green they are the one who should have their engineers n designers decide items that should fit into the military items or do minor modifications to suits the maf needs….source items n make it work….

  23. For the recce role, the Scorpion is more suitable than an AV-4 – it has a lower profile, is smaller and has lower ground pressure. Bear in mind that recce units are not intended to engage in serious combat. Only the anti-tank AV-4 variant has better SA thanks to the panoramic sight.

    Various armies go for light tanks for various reasons. If operating in an area with a bad road infrastructure, obviously a light tank would offer more flexibility. If intending to surf drop a tank, then obviously a light tank would do the job, rather than a Challenger or a Merkava.

    “Refurbish” is a better term to use rather than “upgrade”. At minimum, the Condor and Scorpion can be used (under present usage rates) for at least a decade more.

  24. Ahmad Zaki,

    What do you expect? The Condor was intended for users with a tight budget who had a requirement for an APC for low threat/counter insurgency type duties. It was never intended for anything more serious.

    I fail to see what the fuss is about the Condor “upgrade”. It’s aimed at enduring that the Condor can be operated for a few more years – full stop. Not everything calls for an Adnan or an AV-4. And MMC has been refurbishing Condors since the 1990’s. Also, we’ll never be in the position where we actually have enough AV-4s.

  25. If i may ask, why the need to upgrade/refurbish the condors considering that ATM have about 200+ adnans and another 200+ av8 coming..

  26. You don’t need an AV-8 or an Adnan to patrol the Thai border (to use that as an example). More practical and cheaper to use a Condor. Also, a tracked vehicle and a wheeled vehicle have their respective merits and are used for different purposes.

  27. Why the heck they want upgrade these old vehicle and not waiting the delivery of AV8 Gempita? It’s like they think that they are many people joined armed forces for this year. I went to wiki to see the active and reserve personnel size but it still the same. Nothing changed. Marhalim, if u there please tell me how many people joined the Malaysian Armed Forces from last year to this. Sure they (Government) have some reason why they want to upgrade the old vehicle…

    Its the same more less every year because the number of personnel they can hire depend on JPA. The Army take in about 2000 recruits a year (more or less) with some 50 officers a year, the air force and navy take in around 300 recruits year and about 30 officers. They replaced the same number of personnel that retire or quit in the same year. As for the reason for upgrading, its easier than buying new ones even second hand ones.

  28. …: “A quick reaction force does not automatically mean a kick down the door high intensity conflict!!!

    A mechanized/motorised paradrop capable sperhead force (with the ZBD-03 and Polaris DAGOR combo, I don’t see that as expensive equipment at all) could be landed far from heavily protected airspace and proceed at high speed on the ground to secure the intended area (for example paradropped in perlis and procced on land to secure a location in penang). A parachute force on foot cannot be dropped far from the intended location, unlike a mechanized/motorised force.”

    Aren’t you contradicting yourself? The type of maneuver you described in your second paragraph is precisely for gaining strategic access in a high intensity conflict. You yourself used the terms “mechanized spearhead” and “heavily defended airspace” so it appears you are confused.

    Even so, it is highly unlikely that anyone would invade us without ensuring air superiority over the invaded area and allow you to conveniently draw a line between contested and permissive airspace for your air assault to proceed smoothly.

    … : “The point is, we already have the para brigade as a quick reaction force, if that is pointless then why is it still around?”

    Ask yourself why it was created in the first place. The PAC fulfills our standing requirement for a quick reaction force. There is no requirement that this force be equipped for gaining strategic access, or for conducting sustained advances with mechanized elements. By definition, it is kept in high readiness and has a TOE that is conducive to air mobilility.

    There is simply no requirement that we intervene in other nations’ coups. You have been reading too much into stories that the PAC was created because we were unable to respond to the Maldivian coup. And even accepting this doubtful explanation, you cannot possibly say that mission required any mechanized elements.

  29. Govt is just considering to do something. Maybe nothing came out of it. Like so many upgrade projects.

  30. Radin – ”Why the heck they want upgrade these old vehicle and not waiting the delivery of AV8 Gempita?”

    1. We will never have enough AV-8s.

    2. Deliveries of the AV-4 will take time. By the time all the AV-8s are delivered, the condition of the already old and overworked Condors will deteriorate.

    3. There will be roles which do not require an AV-8.

    4. ”Refurbishing” a number of Condors makes sense given that they still have life left and can be used for a variety of low threat/secondary roles.

    I’m not sure what all the fuss about the Condors is as MMC has been ”refurbishing”the Condors since the 1990’s and it remains to be seen if STRIDE’s proposal includes anything different – anyhow there will be a limit as to how much we want to spend on the Condor. Priority will be in refurbishing it so it can operate for a few more years [new batteries, new electricals, overhauling gear box, dealing with corrosion issues, redoing the AC, etc], rather than an ”upgrade” of it’s mobility and protection levels [very limited scope here anyway] or its weapon systems.

  31. @am

    That type of manuver is not exclusive to high intensity conflict.

    Look at operation serval. It could easily be a spearhead force for a limited intervention/peacekeeping type of operation, where a spearhead force is quickly inserted as a prelude to bigger follow up force, to prevent a conflict from growing bigger, or in some case to prevent one from starting altogether.

    The PAC has to be a relevant paradrop force for the future. We can be a benchmark in paratroop operations, or we can just be a follower later (now even us airborne is transitioning into a motorised para force, just remember I spoke about this first here)

  32. Imho opinion as the threat of land armed invasion currently limited to the sulus,a refurbished condors would be sufficient untill we have a nbetter armed budget to replace it with more av8 and av4.

  33. Parachute assault is a secondary capability for the PAC. Firstly because there are safer alternatives to a parachute assault that are less vulnerable to injury, disorganization, attack while the force has not consolidated and that are easier to sustain logistically. These are inherent risks in any paratroop operation.

    Secondly because there is lack of need in a country with good strategic mobility by land, which favors movement in strength by large and coherent units. If parachute assaults had been a priority, we would have developed the structures for sustaining such operations (not easy) long ago at the expense of other areas.

    There may be need for deployment by parachute of small forces but not on the strategic level involving mechanized elements that are expected to meet heavy enemy forces. And even then, the use of helicopters is adequate and preferable.

    The PAC’s main purpose is as a force in readiness deployable by air or even by land and sea, since its equipment is light. As seen in their amphibious exercises with the USN and USMC and potential selection as a marine battalion,

  34. I don’t think installing better seat and air conditioning is beyond our expertise


    Did I say it was but it seemed to be the last things on previous upgrade so I guess it wont be a priority this time around.

  35. The Gempita is way much larger than the Scorpion. Many older roads are not big enough to allow the Gempita to get through. Try the back alleys of Sg Bakap or Parit Buntar and the Scorpion will easily maneuver itself around. The 25 mm calibre is good enough, horses for courses I say.

  36. AM,

    Yes, which is why we need to keep up with the times and convert one of 10 Para’s units into a non jump rapid reaction unit. Not only is it a huge drain on resources to maintain 3 jump qualified units but we are unlikely to ever find ourselves in a position where the jump capabilities of all 3 units are needed; even assuming the needed lift assets were available when needed.

    No doubt we need to have a jump capability but having 3 battalions is a huge drain on resources (people often overlooked this)u. There is a reason why most Top Tier armies are not expanding their airborne units.


    Off course not. MMC has been changing Condor seats and working on ACs since the 1990’s…. The army’s workshops also do it.

    At any one time, it is expected the certain things will not working – vehicle don’t always get to the workshop in time. In Iraq, there were times when 1/3 of the British army’s Warriors had non-functioning ACs.

  37. @azlan

    The PAC has 3 battalions not because it will be/needed to be deployed all at once, but because they need to rotate the battalions between on operation/strategic standby; on training; and on rest/return from operational duty.

    Currently we have the means to paradrop 1 whole battalion in one go (even with only the hercules). It is just that after landing on the drop zone, they are not mobile as they are on foot. That is one of the biggest disadvantage of a para force and there has been moves by many other countries to give their para force a motorised capability. My suggestion is for the PAC to have on standby just 1 company (about a quarter of a battalion, around 100 men. It is also what that could fit 3x a400m, as we only have 4 of those aircraft) equipped with parachute droppable vehicles (my suggestion 4x Zbd03 for fire support, 10x DAGOR for mobility) for a more mobile, faster rapid reaction force. That can be a spearhead for the rest of the battalion (to be paradropped or landed later) that is on foot.

    Although it is parachute capable, that force could still be landed on a friendly airport/airstrip and speed to a desired location on land.

    As for an amphibious capable rapid reaction force, there has been moves to train 1 of the PAC battalion to be adept with amphibious operations. This is not strange at all. Even France has para forces that is also in the same time amphibious capable. Next step is for PAC to have the means to be delivered through amphibious operations. There is still no amphibious ships and vehicles for malaysian forces.

  38. People keep saying the Condors and Scorpions will eventually have to be replaced but under normal useage rates they can still be operated for at least another decade. Eventually, the MKMs and Hornets will have to be replaced too! And before that the C-130s. The upgrade proposed by STRIDE contains nothing revolutionary or cutting edge : as long ago as the mid-2000’s the Jordanians had come up with an upgrade package and so did Alvis. In the 1990’s we upgraded our Ferrets with a diesel engine and auto transmission – no big deal. It’s not as if this is the first time a Malaysian company will refurbish an AFV. Apart from the Condors, the Stormers had also been worked on by MMC in the past and the company also converted a single vehicle into a command vehicle.

    STRIDE faces the same problem as Malaysian defence companies : even if they come up with something innovative and cost effective; the government can’t guarantee sufficient orders, on time, for the company to recoup it’s investment costs. What happened to STRIDE’s lightweight mortar and the “guided projectile” (involving a Chinese company) that the current DPM, when Defence Minister, said we can’t talk about as its a national secret ?

  39. ……,

    I’m aware that we have no need to drop all 3 battalions simultaneously (I’ve never indicated otherwise) but the fact remains that maintaining 3 jumps battalions is a drain of resources and is expensive. We have to reorganise/revamp and make do with what we have, rather continuing to maintain 3 battalions for the sake of doing so. BTW, original plans in the late 1980’s called for the 11th Strategic Division, reality set in and we settled on a brigade.

    The question of them being mobile depends entirely on the operational circumstances. If were going to drop elements of the unit on a DZ 15km away from an objective, then obviously they lack mobility. If we’re going to do drop elements to establish an air head to enable follow in forces to land by other means than the parachute, then the mobility issue is less if a concern – depends entirely on the circumstances.

  40. Radin, Strikemaster ,zaki
    Calm down, it is what it is, a successful lobby. Condor is just piggybacking the story, the main dish are the Scorpions. Anyways, STRIDE needs something to do right? The f*cked up is that the military has no interest nor have the capability to work with these gov led start up and these start up have never shown enough confidence they are capable of doing anything good. So there we go, something that seemingly makes everyone happy, but lets not trouble ourselves with long term benefits and what not.

    To those who are vigorously glorifying a nothing but lobbying effort, please state that it is your guess work if you have no idea what is really going on.

    AV4 cannot come in quickly enough is a nice way to say: fail planning.

    And why do we need to do anything about the condor when AV4 is the next big thing is beyond any reasonable excuse.

    Why bother refurbishing or even do anything more than maintenance at this point. What’s wrong with canabalising the rest of the fleet to keep them running when AV4 is the next big thing is beyond any reasonable excuse.

  41. H – ”Why bother refurbishing or even do anything more than maintenance at this point. ”

    To enable them to operate for a least a few more years; more than regular or preventive maintenance is needed. No big deal as such work has been going for decades.

    H – ”What’s wrong with canabalising the rest of the fleet to keep them running when AV4 is the next big thing is beyond any reasonable excuse.”

    Emm …. That’s already happening and has been for a while. Like the Sibmas fleet, quite a number of Condors have been taken out of service over the years; to be stripped of anything useful and the hull sold to junkyards.

    H – ”why do we need to do anything about the Condor when the AV4 is the next big thing”

    Simple. Because we’ll never have enough AV-8s, we’re not sure when deliveries will be completed and there will be secondary roles which do not call for anything heavier than a Condor.

    Again, it never ceases to amaze me, the kid of reaction demonstrated towards the Condor refurbishment. One would think that STRIDE has proposed something really cutting edge in which no local company, such as MMC, has ever performed before. BTW, work to ”upgrade” the Scorpion was proposed way back as the mid-1990’s but it was felt that the 90mm Cockerill was still needed as back then, the army was still short of firepower compared to now.

  42. Even the idea of removing the original scorpion 2 man turret to be replaced with the thales FVT900 1 man turret from the condor shows how much irrelevant STRIDE is (and surely to the sniggers and laughs of the mat sallehs at the UK armour conference)


    1. Totally different ring size of both turrets. To install the FVT900 means major modifications to the scorpion hull (probably a totally new roof). It is too much effort on a very minor gain (the FVT900 turret is manual, no electronic sight, no rangefinder etc etc)

    2. Right now 2 of scorpion’s 3 crew is seated in the turret. If the FVT900 1 man turret is installed on the scorpion, where will the commander sit? Didn’t STRIDE think about it?

    3. A totally waste of money conversion as the capability is already there with the stormer APC already installed with the FVT900 turret. If you want to use something small with a 20mm cannon, just use the stormer, no need to redesign the scorpion.

    But I really love to know more what STRIDE intend to do with the condor. Hopefully not as much a dimwit idea as for the scorpion.

  43. I really doubt of STRIDE is proposing to do anything on the Condor that hasn’t previously been done by MMC and army workshops. Going through my back issues of IDR to see what modifications were performed on Jordan’s Scorpions by the King Abdullah Design Bureau. One thing’s for sure, the Cockerills have to be binned as it makes the Scorpion slow and overweight. The Cockerills can’t be fired on uneven ground due to danger of the vehicle toppling over!

    In the past we had a need for a fire support vehicle but we now have MBTs and IFVs and infantry units have more shoulder fired weapons than before. The main value of the Scorpion would be in performing armed recce role and flank protection and for that it doesn’t need a 90mm gun (which places stress on the hull) but an auto cannon (in case it bumps into light AFVs) or a 12.7mm/AGL combo (for suppressive fire).

    BTW, does anyone know if 10 Para’s Supacats are ever air dropped by the unit? I still can get over the fact that Soviet BMDs were dropped with their crews in the vehicles, in rocket stabilised pallets!

    I have been to three para-drop in the past, only soldiers however.

  44. We might be getting ahead of ourselves.

    Removing the current Scorpion turret may make the tank suitable for the recce role, but we haven’t heard any indication that it will be given that role. Nor have we heard about any sensors or radios to be fitted.

    The 20mm cannon does not seem necessary for a recce vehicle. And while it packs a punch, it will not count for much as long as it cannot be fired accurately on the move.

  45. Bro 8.42 pm

    Dont worry bro. The stride guys are experts. Looking back to the glorious achievement by them i pretty sure that they can do the modernization. Among their list of home made goodies :

    Fighter jets
    Assault rifles

    Sureeee. Turret ring? Just cut the whole damn roof. Simple maaa. Im not supprise if the scorpions ends up as sph ala M 109s. Malaysia boleh.

  46. AM,

    It’s not a perfect solution but there you go. An auto cannon takes a lot of stress of the hull and allows the Scorpion to better perform the role it was intended to : recce and flank screening. For 10 Para; if not recce and flank screening, what else can we realistically expect to use the Scorpion for? With the Cockerills, it’s too slow and lumbering to do anything. That’s for sure.

    The auto cannon is not for the Scorpion to go out and look for trouble but in case it meets other light AFVs. Same reason why the Wiesals have a 20mm cannon and why other recce vehicles have them too. If we want to operate on the premise that a recce vehicle is only intended to perform recce and is to avoid combat at all costs, then yes, an HMG/AGL combo will do.

  47. Azlan “The auto cannon is not for the Scorpion to go out and look for trouble but in case it meets other light AFVs.”

    That’s my point. The Condor turret cannot shoot accurately on the move, or at night. It is a fire support weapon.

    So assuming the vehicle has to run, it can’t shoot. It can only stand and fight as in the original fire support role. But as a recce vehicle, why would it do that? If it meets all but the lightest armed AFVs (and assuming their occupants have no shoulder fired weapons), it’s quite dead.

    I am hence suggesting that maybe the Scorpion will remain as a fire support vehicle with some mobility returned to it.

    BTW Dr Kua wrote in his book that our customisation of the Scorpion with the Cockerill 90mm robbed the vehicle of its mobility and rate of fire. Considering the rest of his book shows a lack of military knowledge, I was reluctant to believe him. Now I am surprised to see one of his more complex points validated.

  48. AM,

    In this regard, Dr. Kua (and I hate to say this as I detest the man) got it right and the only reason he did so was because an ex army Colonel told him about it. It is no open secret the fitted with a 90mm, as fast, light and nimble vehicle has become a slow, over weight and lumbering one – I’m surprised we actually have to debate this. The hull was never designed to take such weight and a few of our Scorpions have hull damage from firings over the years.

    You are spot on in saying that the auto cannon turret can’t fire on the move but then; not only can the Scorpion not fire on the move (due to almost nil chance of hitting what it aims at) but it can’t fire in uneven ground or when moving “fast” due to the vehicle toppling over! The only way for mobility to be ‘returned” is for the 90mm to be binned.

    At DSA 2001/2002 (I forget) a British army demonstration team displayed an actual Scimitar. The Major in charge of the team had previous experience on the Scorpion family and told me that during the 1980’s feasibility studies were done in the British army on replacing the 76mm but it was found to be not practical. As mentioned before, to understand why we did what we did 3 decades ago; it was because we could not afford a 105mm armed vehicle, it was a compromise and the Scorpion was intended as a fire support vehicle with a secondary anti- armour capacity. It was not expected that we needed a fire on move capability or the need to engage heavy armour.

    The auto cannon in any recce or light vehicle is intended as a self defense measure to be used only as a last resort. Same reason why some operators slap on ATGWs on their recce/scout vehicles. If we still follow British doctrine then our recce vehicles are not supposed to engage in combat whilst conducting recce.

  49. This will not be the first time that the Scorpion has had its turret replaced with a smaller caliber weapon. The British Army in 1994 decided that the 76mm cannon was no longer needed (due to various factors) would retire the Scorpion from service. At the same time the CVR(W) Fox (with a 30mm RARDEN cannon) was also declared surplus to British Army requirements. Since there was still a need for vehicles to replace these two types in service, the solution was to take the turrets off the surplus Fox vehicles and mate it to refurbished Scorpion hulls. Since the turret ring on the Fox turret was smaller than the Scorpion, an adaptor ring was used in the mating of the turret to the hull. To avoid confusion, this version was called “Sabre” while it was in service.

    It should be noted that the guns on the Scorpion, Scimitar and Sabre CVR(T)s were not stabilized. As it was pointed out, the cannon is there mainly in a defensive capacity. As for the Sabre, well it was not considered a success and was retired from service with the British Army in 2004. The Scimitar (Mk1 & Mk2) still soldiers on with them.

    IMHO, I think the point of the conversion is being missed. Like everything else today in Malaysia, the weak exchange rate of the Ringgit has caused severe problems. To make use of equipment at hand to ensure that the Malaysian Army has sufficient firepower is a cost effective way of doing so without having to buy new equipment. It is after all a stopgap measure to maintain an adequate number of combat vehicles are in service until newer AFVs that have been ordered are finally delivered.

  50. The difference between the FVT900 and the fox turret is that the fox turret is still a 2 man turret (with minor differences in ring size) whilst the FVT900 turret is a 1 man turret. The low scorpion hull cannot accommodate a 3rd crew if it is mated to a 1 man turret like the FVT900.

    The question is would a 2 person scorpion 20mm vehicle be an effective weapon?

  51. The Raden on the Scimitar is also not fully auto – fires from 3 round clips. Before we debate on what the Scorpion can and can’t do : ask what it was originally designed to do ( by the British army – hint, CRV/T) and ask why we went down the 90mm route. It is also telling that only a handful of users went down the 90mm route and most that did didn’t have anything heavier when they acquired their 90mm armed Scorpions.

    No I haven’t missed any point as I’ve long hoped that the Cockerills would be binned and replaced with a lighter weapon. Not so much because the lighter weapon is more effective but because of reasons I’ve explained before.

    Whether a 20mm or 30nm cannon is “effective” really depends on the circumstances. Users tend to arm their recce/scout vehicles for self defense: in case they get into trouble and need the firepower to get out of trouble. No, arming the Scorpion with an auto cannon is not the perfect option but then there is never a perfect option. Another option – as mentioned before – would be a HMG or GPMG/AGL combo.

  52. Arming the scorpion with a 20/30mm auto cannon is a good option, but my specific question is, would a 1 man 20mm manual turret on a scorpion, which reduces the crew to only 2 (driver and gunner) is a viable option as an effective weapon? Would a 2 man crew be an effective recce/fire support element?

    If you want an effective recce light armor, something tracked an optronic mast (similar to the recce av8) equipped stormer would be good, or wheeled an armoured vamtac with similar optronic mast should be a good option.

  53. A 2 man Scorpion crew – in my opinion – poses no problems. The commander commands the vehicle, including maintaining overall SA. Contrast with the vehicle commander of an Adnan – who like the Scorpion commander not only has to command the vehicle and operate the main weapon – but also has to keep an eye on the section in the troop compartment.

    No doubt there are other vehicles which would make better recce/scout vehicles (despite its width, the Fennek comes to mind) than the Scorpion but the fact remains that we have the Scorpion. Not only that, the Scorpion was designed from Day One for this specific role. No it may not be the ideal option but we have it and it has lots of life yet. Fitted with a medium pressure Cockerill 90mm gun; it’s not very useful for anything.

  54. Azlan

    If i was not mistaken the adnan still uses a 3 man crew. A gunner (in the one man turret), commander who sit to his left (in the vehicle with own hatch) and the driver. Maybe Marhalim can shed a light on the issue.

    Yes the commander is also the section leader, he is supposed to go out with the troops

  55. Shed,

    Yes you’re right. The Sharpshooter variant has a crew of 3. If I’m not mistaken, the other variants are manned by 2.

  56. what model APC suitable to replace Condor ? Al-Masmak APC or Chaiseri APC suitable to army or not? personally i like Al-Masmak

    There are many APCs to choose from. But from the stand point of commonality, the Chaiseri/AV4 is the obvious candidate.

  57. Scorpion can replace by AV8 Gempita with Oto Merala HITFACT 105/120mm caliber install, remember Gempita have 12 variant, we pay so much Cost and RnD on Gempita should use it maximum.

    I dont think they can fit in the turret you mentioned, it is too heavy. They tried with the 30mm Hitfist already, it was too heavy.

  58. HI MA,

    Oto Merala HITFACT 105/120mm turret already fit in many 8×8 armoured vehicle world wide, you can have look in Oto Melara web site or search google image, current Gempita with LCT30 turret about 2.5 tons, HITFACT 105mm turret weight about 5.1t. no problem for 8×8 armoured vehicle.


  59. But the question – even if it was possible – is why would you want a 105/120mm gun on an AV-8? What targets do you envisage the 105/120mm guns will engage? Can’t those targets be dealt with by other means? If its field fortifications you’re thinking of; don’t need a 105/120mm gun for that – we have ATGWs, shoulder fire weapons and PT-91s. As an alternative to an MBT, Hagglunds by then British owned] offered us a 120mm armed CV-90 and Denel the Rooikat. The problem with putting a 105/120mm gun on anything other than an MBT is that the vehicle is lightly armoured and it might be misused as an MBT.

    Like I said before, we got the Scorpion and Sibmas to be fire support vehicles but times were different then. For one, we didn’t have other assets for the job but now we do.

    Personally I prefer both the CV90 and Rooikat. Nowdays perhaps the Centauro 105mm will fit the bill as a FSV though again I dont see the real need for it.

  60. I cv 90 based on finnish example cost 4 million usd. 1 brand new pt91m cost around usd4 to usd5 million. 1 ex polish t72m plus upgrades goes anything between usd1 mil to usd2 mil.

    My point? Why add new platform for fsv where existing platform i.e. the t72 or pt91 can offer similar or better firepower,more protection armour for similar or less price plus less logistical issue.

    I was just saying my preference not advocating a buy.

  61. Having a 105/120mm gun on the likes of a Rookat, Centauro and CV-90 is fine but it must not be misused as an MBT; that’s the danger. You can use it for long range recce [what the Rooikat was designed for in SADF service], for flank screening and for fire support but if it comes up against MBTs or even against other IFVs; it’s in trouble. The Indians have a requirement for a wheeled AFV [designated a tank destroyer] to be used in the northern regions bordering China. The idea is that this vehicle – despite it’s tank destroyer’ designation – will be used for fire support and against IFVs.

    Buying additional PT-91s or pre owned T-72s is a big no as the design has reached the end of its growth potential. What we should be doing is subjecting the existing fleet to an upgrade to rectify certain limitations that were overlooked when we modified the PT-91 to meet our requirements – perhaps the Armour Directorate has already done a feasibility study.

  62. There is still a requirement for a 2nd mbt regiment to create an armoured brigade. Even the armoured corps big brass is favoring additional pt-91 variants for the 2nd mbt regiment. If the pt-91, t-72 or its variants is not ideal, what is the other options? (considering malaysian context right now)

  63. Hmmm. Interesting discussions.
    Just for discussion sake. The indonesians have come up with a 6×6 vehicle armwd with ..yes a cockerill 90 mm low pressure gun fire support vehicle n the indonesians are buying this own design of theirs. There must be a reason why they want it.
    As for a second tank regiment , even if we want to look to Poland again, go for the modern new design by Buma Laberdy. Not the old PT 91 again. Always go for new designs unless we buy second hand. The Leapord modernised by Kraus Mafei would be cheaper.

  64. I think we should have sufficient number of tank killers for now and the immediate future..i mean currently we have about 8 bakhtar shikan armed ACV 300 and around 100 sibmas with 90mm cockeril. Soon we are going to get another 54 ingwe armed AV8.

    Interesting how the 2nd tank regiment will pan out…if budget ever permits

  65. FYI the indonesian badak 6×6 uses an upgraded version of the exact turret used by malaysian army sibmas.

    If we still need (that is a big if) the 90mm guns, both the av8 and the adnan/kifv could be a new platform for the sibmas turret. Doosan previously had prototypes of the kifv with a 90mm turret (if not mistaken the cadillac gage version). Personally I don’t see that is going to happen.

  66. Lee – ”There must be a reason why they want it.”

    Yes but then the TNI’s requirements and doctrine could be different to ours. There are users who still see the need for an IFV to be armed with a 105/120mm gun but also those who see no need for it.

    Lee – ” go for the modern new design by Buma Laberdy”

    The company isn’t in very good shape. It’s last orders were MTLBs to India and PT-91Ms to us. It remains to be seen who will order the new design and whether it will be actually completed.

    ……. – ”Even the armoured corps big brass is favoring additional pt-91 variants for the 2nd mbt regiment.”

    I’ve heard otherwise.

    Back in 2002 the preferred option was actually the T-84 but politics intervened. I’m not saying the T-84 was actually the ‘best’ option but the fact remains that the PT-91 wasn’t selected because it was technically superior or best suited our requirements. Whether one likes the PT-91 or not; the fact remains that it hasn’t much future growth potential left and it is a 40 odd year design that relies on a carousel auto loader that has its shortcomings. Back in the 1990’s we were actually interested in the K-1 but the FCS needed Uncle Sam export approval.

    We need something with lots of growth potential and something that has a higher baseline protection level than the T-72/PT-91. There are several promising designs we can look at in the coming years; including the Altay. Those designs may be heavier than the PT-91 but that’s the price to pay for greater survivability and anyhow, how well our tanks can operate [irrespective of weight] depends on the quality of engineering support they have.

    As I mentioned, what we really should be doing is upgrading our PT-91s [giving it a 24 hour hunter killer capability, replacing ERAWA with something that can better deal with KE penetrators, adding applique armour to the engine compartment, improving the power supply, etc] and getting a full fledged gunnery and driving simulator [which Ruag was supposed to have delivered had we placed an order].

  67. How about Mitsubishi’s Type 10? It’s a sub-50 tonnes, just like the Pendekar. Could be a little bit more expensive though..

  68. As much as our liking for Turkish brand when it comes to the armor, be it the Adnan or the Gempita, mightvas well we collaborate with them to produce yet another armor i.e. the Altay.

  69. Nanonano – ”mightvas well we collaborate with them to produce yet another armor i.e. the Altay.”

    Why on earth would we do this? Unlike the Turks, we have no economics of scale.

    Kamal – ”sufficient number of tank killers for now and the immediate future..i mean currently we have about 8 bakhtar shikan armed ACV 300 and around 100 sibmas with 90mm cockeril.”

    The 90mm round is not very useful – to put it mildly – against MBTs. Sure, the SADF used its 90mm guns against the Cubans with good results but that was at close range and against T-54/55s with no ERA. Even with a 105mm gun; one would be hard pressed to penetrate the frontal arc of any current generation Western MBT or even a T-72 with current gen ERA.

  70. As it stands, it is best for the armoured corps to consolidate and have both the current and proposed 2nd mbt regiment to have the same type of mbt.

    The choice of pt-91m were already water under the bridge. The 2nd mbt regiment could be equipped with further pt-91 or t-72 (just get used ones) with all of the existing and to be aquired fleet, upgraded to a common standard.

    All of them could be upgraded to pt-91 plus standard, or in the best case scenario, to the Russian t-90ms targil standard (which in current situation probably a no go)

    As is the pt-91m could benefit from a better gunner and commander sights, battlefield networking with similar equipment as the av8, an auxiliary on board generator for power during static guards, urban add on armorings, active protection system such as saab leds-150 and more training simulators.

    Any add on buy should also consider 20-30% extra tanks for maintenance rotation and attrition reserves.


  71. ……. – ”The 2nd mbt regiment could be equipped with further pt-91 or t-72 (just get used ones) with all of the existing and to be aquired fleet, upgraded to a common standard.”

    Why buy a 40 year old design that has reached the end of its growth potential? Instead of going forwards, we’d be going backwards. Also, how long more will Bumar Labedy continue to support the type?

    Irrespective of how intensive an upgrade is, the fact remains that a T-72/PT-91 still has a low baseline protection level and relies on a carousel auto loader that has serious short comings; as proven way before the Gulf War; in Sri Lanka in the 1980’s.

    ….. – ”The choice of pt-91m were already water under the bridge. ”

    Indeed. Like the Fulcrum, MKM and Jernas.

    …… – ”As is the pt-91m could benefit from a better gunner and commander sights, ”

    Nothing wrong with the existing sights – it’s quire accurate, which is why we went for a Slovak gun as the Pole one was not up to the job. What is needed is an overide function for the commander and a 24 hour hunter killer capability, which calls for both the commander and gunner to have a thermal. The ability of the PT-91 to defeat other MBTs frontally will also depend on the quality of 120mm we have. The best KE penetrators are made in Russia and Israel; which in our case leaves just Russia.

  72. So what do you suggest en azlan for the armoured corps to fill its 2nd mbt regiment?

    Scrap all pt-91(which is mostly less than 10years old) and buy 2 regiments worth of new mbt? Do they have a budget for something like that? What would the excuses be for scrapping perfectly usable mbt’s?

    Or have the headache of having just 2 mbt regiments both with totally different equipments and ammo?

  73. Btw what has my suggestion for a new gunner and commander sights has to do with the slovak gun?

    Firstly you said the current tank sights are perfectly fine (because of the slovak gun. What is that all about??). And in the end you talk about the gunner and commander to have thermal. Which requires the tank to have a new sights with thermal!

  74. If you’ve gone in the wrong direction before, why would you want to go further into it?

    Reality is that tanks like the Leopard 2 are displacing the PT-91 and T-72 in Finland and Poland. The Polish PT-91s are new, but the Poles will allow them to age out because they already have them.

    Perhaps we could join the Leopard 2 bargain of the century. Second hand Leopards armour is not the latest and greatest, but there is plenty of room and precedent for upgrades.

    We can keep the PT-91s, sell them or in an extreme case rerole them as APCs or recovery vehicles and so on.

  75. Its good for deftech to build 257 Altay as they build the AV8 n Adnan locally for our armored division needs. If they need more tanks and armored vehicles they can just build more as they like anytime, no more need to look from supplier outside the country. With DRB Hicom own university that capable of producing thousands of automotive engineers and experts, Malaysia will not have problems sourcing its land systems locally anymore. Hope they will come up with our own laser guns soon to be mounted on the local made tanks and armored vehicles.

  76. Encik ……..,

    When the fitted Savan they found during trials that the Pole gun wasn’t accurate enough; hence the Slovak gun and my mention of it……….

    Sorry but new thermals don’t equate to a requirement for a new sights!! Fitted to Savan the panoramic sight is very accurate. At the moment however, only the gunner has a thermal so in essence there is no essence there is no 24 hour hunter killer capability. Hence my mention of thermals for BOTH the gunner and commander to be used with existi.g sights and the existing FCS………

    There is a requirement for a 2nd MBT regiment but do you seriously expect this to be met soon? There is also a requirement for a 3rd MLRS regiment and a list of other stuff. And does the current threat environment justify spending on more MBTs when there is stuff with peacetime utility that we current need? Ideally, we’ll use the PT-91s for another decade or so before looking at a replacement. Sorry but don’t jump the gun – I wasn’t suggesting we bin the PT-91s in the near future or operate 2 types of MBTs. I’m all for commonality but buying additional 40 year old designs with zero growth potential and survivability issues from an OEM which has ceased production of it and is short of funding; for the sake of commonality is tomfoolery….


    Unfortunately, stocks for used Leopards are drying up. The Germans have reactivated quite a few due to events in the Ukraine and the Dutch don’t have many left. When the T-84 was offered, KDMB had a design with a,bustle mounted auto loader but it wasn’t offered to us.

  77. Why are we never consider excess M1 Abrams?

    Abrams are considered too heavy for our infrastructure, roads and bridges.

  78. “Abrams are considered too heavy for our infrastructure, roads and bridges.”

    This matter should be closely examined.

    It might be possible for a 60 tonne tank to enjoy mobility in enough of our geography, between bypassing certain bridges or providing adequate combat engineering support. As a defensive force, we have the luxury of being able to plan routes and position bridging units and service/fueling/arming points in advance of operations.

    When Singapore got their 190+ Leopards, they must have found the tank able to operate in enough terrain and comfortable leaving the rest of the geography to other platforms. Likewise with Thailand and every other MBT operator.

    “Why are we never consider excess M1 Abrams?”

    Specific to the Abrams, the turbine engine makes it a fuel guzzler. Why would you want that? Also excess M1A1s lack the Commanders Independent Thermal Viewer unless they have been upgraded to M1A2, which is the same problem with our PT91.

    And there’s the matter of why we should buy tanks and prepare for a massive ground invasion when we can’t even stop illegal immigrants or Chinese ships.

  79. As proven in numerous conflicts over the past few decades; with proper engineering support, there are few places where MBTs can’t operate effectively. No doubt there will be places where MBTs can’t operate but the same can be said of other vehicles and if MBTs can’t deploy in certain areas, then there is no reason for them to be there at all.

    Any future conflict involving a state actor will see operations taking place mainly in urban areas or in areas which although may be considered restrictive terrain; will not be covered in triple canopy jungle. I do NOT want to start a Malaysia vs Singapore threat as it’s pointless and I’m not suggesting Singapore is a threat [it’s not] but as I’ve mentioned previously : if MBTs could not be operated in our terrain, Singapore – which has a forward defence policy as insurance – would not have got Leopards.

  80. nawab nordin – ”Mbts n other vehicles survival is better when operating under jungle cover”

    Plus and minus. In restrictive terrain; mobility will be more ”restricted” and in such terrain; everything will also be dependent on the quality of infantry support. In such terrain engagements will also take place at shorter ranges.

  81. “I do NOT want to start a Malaysia vs Singapore threat as it’s pointless”

    As long as you don’t hint that the SAF is less.p than perfect, he won’t come in.

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