[singlepic id=27 w=320 h=240 float=left]KUALA LUMPUR: Since we are already talking about APCs, let me share something which I found out recently. Its a rather unique Malaysian phenomenon that things that failed to make the grade years ago somehow managed to return to our procurement pipeline.
Twenty-years ago, the M16A2 was beaten to the punch by the Steyr AUGA1 but fast forward to 2009, the Black Rifle is back in the hands of the Malaysian Army.
About 30 years or so, the French VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé “Armoured Vanguard Vehicle” in French) was passed over in favour of the German’s Condor when the Army chose a new APC to replace the Commandos. Fast forward to 2009, its the VAB that is replacing the Condors!
Well, not all of the Condors. The Army is expected to get a dozen or so VABs, in the 6X6 version, within the next few months to replace the Condors assigned to the Malaysian battalion in Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL contingent. I am told the Condors deployed to Lebanon are almost at their breaking point and need to be replaced ASAP.
As part of the Urgent Operation Requirement, the VABs is expected to be deployed to Lebanon directly from France. These VABs are not new, they are re-manufactured stocks most probably from the French army. But with our luck they will cost as expensive as brand new ones especially when kitted out with government-furnished equipment such as radios and guns!
Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin