Mildef Tarantula 4x4 high mobility armoured vehicle is being offered for the Malaysian Army. Image courtesy of Surijeal.
Mildef unveiled the Tarantula 4x4 high mobility armoured vehicle in February 2021. Image courtesy of MILDEF/STRIDE/Malaysian army.
The Tarantula 4x4 armoured vehicle is powered by a Caterpillar turbo-charged diesel engine. Image courtesy of Ruth Hartnup.

Mildef Tarantula 4×4 high mobility armoured vehicle (HMAV) is being offered by Malaysian defence company Mildef International Technologies for the Malaysian Army.

A prototype of the 4×4 HMAV was unveiled to the public in February 2021 and work on the first production vehicle is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2022.

Mildef plans to offer the Tarantula 4×4 HMAV to the Malaysian Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) upcoming programme for replacing the RPZ Condor 4×4 wheeled armoured personnel carrier fleet that has been in service with the Malaysian Army since 1981.

Development and testing of Mildef Tarantula 4×4 HMAV

Mildef invested RM16m ($4m) in the design and development of the armoured vehicle. The company partnered with the Malaysian Army and the Defence Science and Technology Research Institute (STRIDE) to validate the vehicle’s design.

Designed according to the existing United Nations standards and specifications, the HMAV is intended for both domestic and international markets. Mildef with a manufacturing team of 140 local experts including eight engineers can produce up to 40 armoured vehicles annually based on the market demand.

In March 2021, the Malaysian Army, STRIDE, and Mildef conducted the first round of evaluation tests for nine days throughout Malaysia. The testing, which involved 700km of road testing and 300km off-road testing, demonstrated the vehicle’s highway endurance, mounting and dismounting, fuel efficiency, load, winching, slope, climbing and braking capabilities.

Design and features of Mildef HMAV

The Mildef Tarantula 4×4 measures 5.6m long and 2.5m wide. The maximum gross vehicle weight of the HMAV is 14,000kg while the unladen weight is 11,000kg. The vehicle’s wheelbase and ground clearance are 3.2m and 430mm, respectively.

The vehicle can accommodate up to ten personnel. A hydraulic ramp is fitted near the rear door to enable the entry and exit of the crew members.

The armoured vehicle can operate in cold conditions with temperatures ranging between -21°C and -31°C as well as in hot dry conditions with temperatures between 32°C and 49°C.

The HMAV’s modular design can be customised with different specifications based on customer requirements.

Armament and self-protection

The high mobility armoured vehicle is armed with a remote control weapon station (RCWS) offering 360° protection. The RCWS is mounted with 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns or automatic grenade launchers.

Equipped with composite armour, the HMAV offers NATO Stanag 4569 level 2 military standard ballistic protection for its occupants. The underbelly protection of the vehicle is compatible with Stanag 4569 level 2B, while the hull protection is compatible with Stanag 4569 level 2A.

The vehicle is also equipped with mine-blasts attenuating seats to minimise the risk of injury in the event of explosions.

Engine and mobility of Mildef Tarantula

The Mildef Tarantula 4×4 HMAV is powered by a 7.2l Caterpillar turbo-charged diesel engine which generates a power output of 330hp and torque of 1,116Nm.

The armoured vehicle has a maximum speed of 110km/h and its power to weight ratio is 25hp/t. Approach and departure angles of the vehicle are 40° and 35° respectively.

The HMAV can negotiate a 60% grade and a 40% side slope. The vehicle can climb vertical obstacles of 500mm and can cross a trench of 1m. Turning radius of the vehicle is approximately 8m.

Mildef product offerings

Founded by Kembara Suci in 2005, Mildef is involved in the research and development of armoured vehicles. In addition to 4×4 HMAV, the company also manufactures military vehicles such as 6×6 medium recovery vehicle (MRV) and special operation vehicle (SOV) used for rapid response and deployment.

The company also offers a range of services including manufacturing and fabrication, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), integration and installation, and military parts supply.