Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Something That Does Not Meet The Eye

PARS IFV With 25mm Sharpshooter Turret

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.

Turkey's FNSS to produce 257 ACVs for Malaysian Army (Jane's)

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.

I understand the need for secrecy but to those who has a good inkling about the project will take 2 and 2 together and will not be able to come up with 4. This is because he platform cost of USD600 million or around RM1.9 Billion should have been a major portion of the project cost, instead is only about a third of the overall cost. So many would be thinking what constitutes the cost of the remaining RM5.65 billion.

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.


bob villa said...

i remember earlier they mention about 20 years life cycle support and spares counted in the overall cost , but can't remember who gave info but remember reading it somewhere local. If there is any undisclosed (classified ) info i don't know. May be it put out",so that tony pua has something scream and to "TO ASK FOR MORE INFO "like he ask for about the LCS.
But Dirzhan ,couple a month ago also wrote an article on his view about the cost the news that the total cost was expected to be at Rm 8.0 Billion. now where is that article?

Ahmad H Al-Qadah said...

mmc... let the Minister of Defence explains. The public needs to know, indeed. Is it cost of purchase (on the shelf) only or including development and maintenance for 2 decades (meaning no need to allocate maintenance cost fro 4 Malaysian Plan??).. Wassalam.