In the coming days and weeks we’re going to be seeing Malaysian army personnel along our roads and in our town centres as they have been called in to assist with the restricted movement order enforced by the government. While we don’t encourage you to go and see them in person (because you should be staying at home), here are some of the vehicles you are likely to see if you encounter them.
Land Rover Defender
Ah yes, the classic Landy. These Land Rover Defenders are a favourite of armed forces around the world for their ability to take punishment even in adverse conditions and to traverse hostile terrain. They’re also really good workhorses and it’s no surprise that the Malaysian Army picks them for utility purposes.
This Hummer clone is actually made locally, and you’d be surprised to find that Malaysia has just over 80 of these bad boys for army use. There are different armament options available, from a full on gatling gun to surface to air missiles. Suffice to say you probably won’t see these out and about, least of all with weapons attached to them.
This is one of those rare moments when we can say that we’re seeing the G-Class being used for its intended purpose. Over time, the G-Class has been associated more with high end luxury than its military-ish roots, and the 80 or so units in our Malaysian army are kitted with M2 machine guns, Mk19 grenade launchers, or even anti-tank missile systems.
Who could forget one of the most significant vehicles in the Malaysian army’s fleet – the Condor. This amphibious machine functions as an armoured personnel carrier, with two men operating and up to 12 men transported in the back. Of the 460 units initially purchased way, way back in the 1980s, a little over 300 still remain in operation.
Even with all of that heavy machinery, it’s still good to have a simple fallback option that blends in a little better with urban environments. For the 21st Grup Gerak Khas (not to be confused with the local police series), that vehicle is the Ford Ranger – which they outfit with special equipment to allow quick storming of airplanes, buses, and other vehicles during counter-terrorism operations.