Gempita As Tank Destroyers


The Malaysian Army is currently operating 54 DEFTECH/FNSS AV8 Gempita equipped with Denel GI30 30mm gun and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun as well as four ZT3 Ingwe 127mm anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) incorporated into the LCT30 ATGM turret. These anti tank Gempitas are currently equipping the armoured regiments within the Royal Armoured Corps (Kor Armor Diraja -KAD).

At the same time, four out of five armoured regiments (with the exception of the 5th Armoured Regiment), had previously being equipped with SIBMAS 6×6 Armoured Fire Support Vehicle (AFSV) with Cockerill 90mm gun. As has been explained earlier elsewhere in this blog, when the SIBMAS was introduce back in the 1980’s, these were seen as sufficient enough to counter the armoured threats in the region considering that most of the countries operating tanks at the time were of Soviet made light tanks or Western made examples like the AMX-13 (with 75mm gun) and Alvis Scorpion (with 76mm gun) tanks.

The introduction of Main Battle Tank (MBT) however has resulted a need for a more effective anti tank platform as evident through procurement of various anti tank weapons, anti tank missile carriers (ACV-300 Adnan and AV8 Gempita), MD Helicopters MD-530G Cayuse Warrior (Fitted for But Not With AGM-114 Hellfire) Light Scout/Attack Helicopter (LSAH) as well as PT-91M Pendekar MBT.

Having said that, the Army is yet to replace its ageing SIBMAS with a worthy successor. Perhaps it is worth to consider the Gempita as platform to accommodate Cockerill 105mm gun which does not only served as fire support vehicle but also as tank destroyer. These Gempita Tank Destroyers would operate in tandem with the LCT30 ATGM Gempitas already in service with KAD, making them a formidable tip of the spear while operating together with the Pendekar MBT currently in service with the 11th Armoured Regiment (11KAD).

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