KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — United States-based defence industry giant Oshkosh Defense (Oshkosh) have signed teaming agreements with Malaysian defence company Sovereign Strategic (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (Sovereign Strategic) to jointly participate in the upcoming tender for new Armoured Wheeled Vehicles (AWV) by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).
Malay Mail understands that Mindef is expected to initiate a multi-billion-ringgit tender for the procurement of AWVs to replace the Malaysian Army’s current fleet of vehicles that are over 40 years old.
The Malaysian Army is also said to have recently concluded a comprehensive, mandatory technical evaluation of the AWVs in the US to ensure their combat-worthiness and eligibility for the tender.
In a statement, Ezra Effendi, group managing director of Sovereign Strategic, a Sarawak Bumiputera joint venture with one of South Africa’s largest defence companies, Sandock Austral Group (Sandock), said this “rare opportunity” would greatly benefit the country.
“Malaysian companies are making real progress, but we have a long way to go and much to learn. Such a large procurement is a rare opportunity to bring as much advanced technology and manufacturing science as possible back here to Malaysia. What can bring the greatest benefit to Malaysia, and where to find the most advanced Defence Technology in the world, is without a doubt, the US,” Ezra said.
Responding to how the Malaysian Army would benefit from the Oshkosh JLTV offer, Oshkosh vice-president (International) John M. Lazar stated: “The US Military concept ensures that its Warfighters have every advantage in terms of quality and technology whenever or wherever they are called onto the Battlefield. There is no finer example of that than the JLTV 4×4 in terms of proven combat capability, technology, and engineering. We’d like to offer the Malaysian Warfighter the same proven capability”.
Sovereign Strategic and its joint venture partner Sandock previously manufactured and delivered over 1,300 units of one of the most successful combat-proven AWV 6×6 vehicles in the world — the “Ratel” — to 13 different countries.
Sandock is also the largest naval shipyard in South Africa, and the continent of Africa.
According to Ezra, Sovereign Strategic, as the prime bidder, together with Oshkosh will propose a ToT and local industrialisation development boasting multi-billion-ringgit ICV (ICP Credit Value) to benefit not just Sovereign Strategic and its partners but many other local defence industry players.
ICV is a mandatory requirement imposed on all contractors through “Industrial Collaboration Programmes” (ICP) such as “offset” and “counter-trade”.
“Typically, all the benefits of a procurement have gone to a single prime bidder, but in this case, there will be many opportunities for other small and medium sized Defence industry players to participate in the Sovereign and Oshkosh ToT and Industrialisation offer,” Ezra said.
The Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) 4×4 is widely considered the best light AWV in the world, having been selected to replace the ‘Humvee’ vehicle for the US Army through a US$6.7 billion (RM26.4 billion) contract awarded in 2015 to Oshkosh and who have delivered over 18,500 vehicles to date.
*A previous version of this story titled “Sovereign Strategic calls for more transparency in future defence contracts, especially with new AWV tender” contained errors that are regretted.
Oshkosh Defense sign teaming agreements with Malaysia’s Sovereign Strategic for upcoming Mindef AMV tender – Malay Mail