Friday, November 26, 2010

Worth A Pretty Penny

While checking up on a few facts on MRAP vehicles, I came across a couple of interesting facts on Singapore's purchase of their Navistar Maxxpro Dash MPTVs. It seems only 15 units was purchased in 2009 but at a total price of USD30,067,798.08 based on this US Department of Defence report, including spares.

"NAVISTAR IL M67854-09-C-1091 13,349,400.33 Singapore MAXXPRO DASH
NAVISTAR IL M67854-09-C-1091 16,673,397.75 Singapore Spares and Support"

That makes a per unit cost of about USD2 million per MPTV, but you will not find any objection from the Singaporeans methinks. However for a similar Malaysian purchase, I would think the following dialogue would be put forward in our august chambers by some brightspark;

" I want to ask why was these lorries bought by our Army at a price of US 2 million dollars each, cannot buy some lori from (insert preffered country) at very cheap price ka? Who we want to go to war with with these super expensive lori, can dive one ma? We only need to carry soldiers, no need expensive-expensive one."

Well enough with the jokes, but the point is that looking at the Singaporean purchase it really strengthens my argument that we should be thinking of producing our own MRAPs, as they cost quite a pretty penny. The time will come when we will need these sort of vehicles in order to enhance protection of our servicemen against direct fire anti tank munitions and IEDs. Even as a niche unit in a BIS regiment as I expect that our armoured and mechanised regiments would be suffficiently protected, the volume should be sufficient enough for these sort of vehicles to be seriously considered for production. We cannot depend on soft-skin vehicles to forever provide logistics support without any protective role whatever. Our servicemen deserves all the investment required to protect them in order for them to carry out their duties in defending our country.

(Edited : For a good primer on MRAPs, please read the MRAP Vehicle article in the November 2010 issue of Asian Military Review)


Hazwan said...

With that price, we are better of with more tanks or IFV. The indonesian marines and the thai army are getting the BMP-3F from russia. it is basically a light tank with 100m gun, 30mm autocannon, 7.62mm coaxis mg, and AT missiles. We will need something to counter those....More PT91M is needed anyway to make an armoured brigade....

Len Light said...

MRAPs provide ballistic protection but are designed primarily for protection from road side bombs and IED's. They are used in combat as armored personnel carriers. The price of $2 Mil each seems excessive, as typically these vehicles run in the $600K-$1 Mil range, depending on electonics.

It would seem the more desirable vehicle would be a Lenco BearCat which are widely used to replace Up-armored Humvees on military bases. Lenco BearCats are also used by US State Dept in Iraq & Afghanistan as APC's as well as Police SWAT Teams in the US, Canada, Australia and Morocco. The price of a Lenco BearCat is in the $250K-300K range. For more info visit

garda said...

Just to add some other perspective with regard to the importance of MRAP. One could not forget how much life have been lost among Spanish's UNIFIL peacekeepers during a road site attack that happenned sometime in 2007.

What amazes me is that at the time of the attack, they are using VAB APC. These are the same APC that heavily considered for usage by our MALCON-UNIFIL guys are heavily.

In other parts of the world, I notice from our local daily report that the MALCON-ISAF force protection team is using an up-armoured version of Toyota Hilux during convoy. I wonder whether this kind of 4WD is suitable for such high risk sector like Bamyan.