Text: Zyed Ahmad Hassan
With threat from IS, ISIS or DAESH, whatever terms used, in insurgent activities, the Armed Forces and the Police have spurred the requirements for reliable vehicles which can be deployed anywhere, anytime quickly across the whole country. Our country topography more of tropical rain forest is such that the armed forces and the police and other defense and security agencies need a reliable, hard-wearing , quick deployment light 4×4 vehicles. Under present circumstances , 6×6 and 8×8 are only suitable for specific applications.
We have suitable Special Operation Vehicle (SOV) model with LSFV design concept. Basic open top version has been tested. With further improvement under development, it may become the icon for LSFV usage in the future. Our concept goes in making it simple in design, available in short time period, plenty of spares and easily available, quick repairs by any tradesman, little or no special tools and can be driven without complex training.
Advantages of the vehicle include the use of standard commercial engine, top speed 120km/hr, high torque for Malaysia’s terrain and also suitable for counter insurgency duties locally and abroad UN mission, equipped with facilities for light, medium and heavy machine guns, cable cutter and payload up to 1500 kg. The design is air transportable by Chinook helicopter or equivalent. The country requirement does not spell out armoring and ballistic protection,though.
There are many competitive models of heavy duty versions but only few light duty in production. France has Renault Trucks Defense LSFV and ACMAT. More interesting Open Top Vehicle come from Austria Valentin Tusch Hunter Open Tactical Vehicle which use Mitsubishi Pajero Sport commercial platform. With fitting and weapon capability facilities the same, this vehicle has extra like NATO/STANAG Level 1 ballistic protection, floating chambers for amphibious operation, anti-spall and anti -blast seat. These are options, anyway.
Countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and other Asean nations may have their specific needs. US is popular with Polaris MRZR –D4 4×4. This light tactical vehicles has versatile design and I guess the most suitable of all light 4×4 . In US Polaris MRZR D4 is mostly used by the US Marine Corps. In terms of after sales , as I mentioned above, the authority has to look into the economic aspect. Although it is right to say that ‘you pay the price to get quality’, if it is a one off purchase and you then not able to maintain them economically, it become a lifetime liability. There is a need to change for a better defense and security assets within context of our own capability.