SHAH ALAM: Walk Like A Duck. It was reported recently that German manufacturer, Rheinmetall is close to signing a deal to jointly develop and supply the new Agilis 8X8 armored vehicle to Romania. The Agilis will incorporate Romanian technologies from the local-made SAUR prototypes and German Boxer 8X8 armoured vehicles.
So what is got to do with Malaysia then? To me at least the Agilis looked as if its a pimped up version of our own Condor, especially with the cockpit-like driver position. The Condor was originally manufactured by Thyssen-Henschel of Germany, which was later taken over Rheinmetall. Compared the C-pattern Condor displayed in Bangkok earlier this month to the CGI of the Agilis.
I admit I may have an over imaginative mind though.The Agilis is bigger than the Condor as its an 8X8 and actually more comparable to the Gempita. They however does not look the same.
It would have been nice if we had developed a new 8X8 or 6X6 based on our long experience with the Condor, Sibmas, Commando and the Ferret armoured cars instead of relying on others. Nice but I also realised its prohibitively expensive to develop an indigenous armoured vehicle as even licensing one – as per the Gempita – is a big money sandpit.
Only countries like the UAE, Singapore and Saudi Arabia can afford to go down that route actually. This is demonstrated by their defence budget! Ours is not big enough to sustain a local defence industry especially those involved manufacturing.
Anyhow, I believed the Jais MRAP (pictured above) is a likely candidate for the 6X6 vehicle being looked at the Army as a replacement for the Condor if there’s fund to do it of course. Deftech signed an MOU with NIMR at the Bangkok show to serve as the Malaysian representative for its range of products. So actually, there is no telling what will be bought, if any.
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