I guess everyone would have heard that DEFTECH finally managed to obtain the LOA for the AV8 project. But I feel that the announcement may be truncated in details as something just does not feel right and does not add up. This is especially if you take into consideration this article in the foreign press that did not make it into the local papers regarding the purchase price between Deftech and FNSS that will deliver the base platform.
By Lale Sariibrahimoglu
25 February 2011
Turkey's FNSS Savunma Sistemleri has signed an export agreement with Malaysian manufacturer DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) for the design, development, production and logistical support of 257 8x8 wheeled armoured combat vehicles (ACVs) for the Malaysian armed forces.
The project, which is worth about USD600 million and is the largest single arms export for the Turkish defence industry, was one of several accords signed in Ankara on 22 February during a visit by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The Malaysian ACVs, of which 12 variants will be delivered, will be based on the Pars (Leopard) family of multirole armoured fighting vehicles.
As it is, some have already started taking potshots at the project by saying that by simple cost division by the number of units that comes to around RM30 million per piece, basically justifies their claims that the AV8 is overpriced. They make the claim that this is even more expensive than the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. After checking the price the Saudi paid in 1989 of USD1.148 Billion for 315 units of M1A2 Abrams, I believe that this makes it easier for them to make the claims even taking into consideration the inflation factor.
All I can say is that there may be a storm if more details are not forthcoming, and I wish that such defence purchases should not draw such uncomplimentary attention by being forthright with all publishable facts from the beginning.