Monday, November 22, 2010

AV4 MRAP Rethink?

A comment in my previous posting made me do a quick research on the unloved Deftech AV4 that todate has been unsuccessfully marketed even to the local security apparatuses. The question was why the AV4 is not being considered to be delivered to our servicemen in Lebanon instead of foreign makes like the Pindad Anoa, and I commented back that the requirement was for a 6x6 vehicle and maybe the AV4 should be marketed as a MRAP vehicle instead to supplement the Nyala RG-31 MRAPs already in use, if they are actually owned by the United Nations. And during the quick research on the AV4, the posting of the JDW article on the Sabiex Iguana by military forumer spiderweb6969 made me realise that the AV4 can be more properly marketed after some redesign as a MRAP vehicle.

The reasoning can be made as such based on the fact that the rebranded Iguana or RG-34 will have a mine protected variant or MRAP, so I see no reason why the AV4 could also not be re-designed as a MRAP vehicle as even Jane's considers it probably a larger development of the Iguana FV4. In such a case, the Malaysian Armed Forces should seriously consider it to equip a MRAP company at least as what the Singaporeans has done with the Maxxpro MPTV, in order to face the latest military environments. Our Unifil mission has already proven there is a niche to be filled here by using the RG-34's BAE family member RG-31, and an uparmoured AV4 should fit the bill.

It is enough that the AV4 had already lost out to equip the police peacekeeping force in an armoured role in East Timor to South Korea's relatively unknown Shinjeong S5 AWV for the stated reason that it could not meet United Nation's delivery requirements. Acceptedly that the AV4 was still considered a prototype then and thus supposedly cannot meet the delivery deadline. In addition the Army Chief gave the reason that no vehicle was offered for evaluation as why the Army has not considered the AV4. If Deftech has not thought of this as part of their marketing efforts, it is high time they start the redevelopment and remarketing efforts to make the AV4 into a MRAP unit. It would be such a waste to own the intellectual property rights to the design and only be defeated by not having a product that would meet a potential customer's requirement. Deftech already have the AV8 order almost in the bag, and it would be wise to reinvest some of the earnings to make the AV4 more marketable by tweaking the design, and being a MRAP might just be the ticket to winning an order. Deftech's aim should be to become as credible as regional heavyweights like Doosan and PT Pindad, and not lose out to lightweights.

No comments: