(Polish’s Rosomak APC in action but is Malaysia getting the same battle-proven APC at the right price? Image source: Wikipedia)
Does it look like there is going to be another boo-boo in the national defence purchase (after the earlier over-priced helicopters and commission for submarine scandal)?
The Sun reports:-
“We would like to state upfront that we are disgusted by the transaction. The amount is shocking as each of these non-combat vehicles is priced at a ridiculous RM31.1 million,” said Tony Pua (DAP-PJ Utara).
“The Portuguese army bought 353 Pandur II 8×8 armoured vehicles for the amount of 364 million euros (RM1.56billion) or an average of 1.03 million euros or only RM4.41 million each.
“In 2009, the U.S Army has awarded a US$2.2 billion contract to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, one of the best military vehicle and equipment manufacturer in the world for 724 Light Armoured vehicles (LAV) equivalent of USD$3.04 million or only RM9.9 million each meant for Saudi Arabia.
“Even the best-in-class main battle tank produced in the United States, M1Abrams M1A2 deployed extensively in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Australia cost only US$6.1 million or approximately RM19.7 million.
“Despite the price-tag, Deftech admits that they are only at the stage of developing a prototype. The prototype hasn’t been tested but the contract is already out” Pua told reporters at Parliament lobby today.
SIBMAS 6×6 is our best wheel based armoured personal carrier to date but it is getting very old. Interestingly the Malaysian Armed Forces bought 186 units in the 1980s based on a prototype and without any battle-proven records. Image source: Wikipedia.
The above was in response to the government decision to award the contract to purchase 257 8×8 APC for an amount of RM8 billion. This amount to almost RM31 million per unit. Certainly, if we are buying something that cost more than the M1A2 Abrahams and that something is yet to be built, something is not right somewhere.
And why it is just a prototype where there are other battle-proven APCs that is in use by military units around the world.
I thought we are buying Rosomak 8X8 Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) and if it is so, isn’t that APC is already been built and proven in actual operations namely Poland who is already using it in Afghanistan?
In reality, it is high time for the Malaysian Armed Forces to replace its ageing Sibmas (6×6) purchased in 1983 and Condor (4×4) APCs ordered in 1981 but to purchase the new APCs that yet to pass the prototype stage at an exorbitant price makes one wonder with questions.
PR’s Tony Pua is kicking on the same door as well.
Note: The APC that Deftech developed was eventually named Gempita 8×8 which is based on the Turkish’s FNSS-designed Pars 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armoured vehicle. The whole deal includes technology transfer arrangements to Deftech and logistics support for the Malaysian army, positioning the vehicle and its 12 variants to become Malaysia’s first indigenous family of 8×8 armoured wheeled vehicles (Source)