Production delay for Malaysia’s AV8 Gempita

South Africa’s Denel Land Systems has announced that its biggest ever export contract, worth €257.5m, has been delayed by two years “due to the economic situation” in the customer country, Malaysia. Denel was to deliver turrets by 2018 for the south-east Asian nation’s fleet of AV8 Gempita 8×8 multirole armoured vehicles developed by DefTech in Pahang, Malaysia and this has now been pushed back to 2020.

Denel won the €257.5m (R3.7bn) contract in 2011 to develop, manufacture, supply, deliver and commission the turrets with industrial participation by Malaysia where the turrets are being produced and assembled.


The DefTech AV8 Gempita on parade during the National Day Parade of 2013 at National Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


In its recently released 2015/16 annual report, Denel noted that “the contract execution has been extended by two years to nine years due to the economic situation” in Malaysia. But it adds that “the required industrial participation activities have been implemented and the first systems have been successfully manufactured, assembled and tested” in Malaysia, although it never refers to the customer by name but by terms such as “that country” “end-user country” and “South East Asian country” but we all understand that its capital is Kuala Lumpur! “The base value of the programme is R3.7bn [€257.5m] and revenue of R1.193bn [€83m] (2014/15: R590m [€41m]) was recognised during the 2015/16 financial year,” the report adds.

The Malaysian contract sees Denel Land Systems responsible for 69 two-man LCT30 light combat turrets fitted with a Denel GI30 30mm main gun; 54 LCT30 AGW missile turrets each equipped with the GI30 30mm gun, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and four Denel Dynamics ZT3 Ingwe anti-tank guided missiles (with a supply of 216 laser-guided Ingwe missiles); and 54 remote control weapons systems.

The annual report said key highlights and achievements over the last financial year included the completion of the AV8’s LCT30 product baseline and the assembly of 20 LCT30 systems for Malaysia.

Denial's LCT30 turret

Denial’s LCT30 turret


The Gempita is based on the Pars 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission wheeled armoured vehicle designed by Turkish company FNSS. The first prototype was revealed to the public in March 2013. The first 12 vehicles were inducted into service with the Malaysian Army in December 2014.

There are 12 variants of the vehicle, the most numerous being the IFV30 equipped with the LCT30 turret.