DSA 2024 – Two new light vehicles from Malaysia Cendana Auto

At DSA 2024 Cendana Auto unveiled the first prototype of its VEX7OR 4×4 light tactical troop transporter, designed according to Malaysian Army requirements, and the new version of its Magatti light strike vehicle

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Although at first glance it might look like an armoured vehicle, in fact military requirements do not ask for this, hence the VEX7OR , in fact the name is Vextor the number being a graphic artefact, is a really light vehicle, with a gross vehicle mass of 3,500 kg and an 800 kg payload, capable to carry a four-man crew.

EDR On-Line understands it will have the role the original HMMWV had in the US Army, that of a modern jeep, although the payload may allow the addition of some sort of ballistic protection. The Vextor is 5,639 mm long, the wheelbase being 3,085 mm, 2,056 mm wide and 2,064 mm high, with a 300 mm ground clearance and angles of approach and departure of 28° and 31°.

The engine is a Ford 4-cylinder 2.0 litres turbo intercooler diesel provided by Jiangling Motors Corporation of China, which gives a 139 hp output with a 340 Nm torque, ensuring a power-to-mass ratio of over 42 hp/t. The chassis is based on a frame with axles, front suspensions being double wishbone with coil spring, while rear suspension is leaf spring, a simple and cost-effective solution allowing cost savings.

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The tank can carry 68 litres of fuel, no performance data being provided in terms of speed and range. The high power to mass ratio should ensure good mobility both on road and cross country, also thanks to mud-terrain 37×12 5R17 tires, a Eaton differential lock ensuring maximum traction in mud and boggy terrains. The Vextor is fitted with driving and braking assistance to reduce driver’s fatigue.

The windscreen as well as windows on side doors are protected a security steel net, the same being true for lighting. Four front-hinged side doors allow the crew to access the vehicle, a hatch in the roof allowing to fire RPGs from inside the vehicle, the company claims. According to information acquired, the roof structure allows to install a light remotely controlled weapon station, which console would be fitted inside the vehicle in a position selected by the customer.

According to the programme senior engineer the prototype seen at DSA will be different from serial production, as it will be used to develop the concept, a number of changing having been already identified, and will be incorporated in the following prototypes to be used for testing.

The VEX7OR is aimed at providing improved mobility to Malaysian Army light infantry battalions.

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Beside the VEX7OR, at DSA Cendana was also exhibiting the new version of its Magatti light strike vehicle in service with Commando units. Sixteen vehicles of the first version were produced, but a series of improvements have been incorporated in the vehicle shown at the exhibition.

Firstly, its dimensions allow it to be loaded on C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft; the Magatti is 5,513 mm long, with a 3,085 mm wheelbase, 2,007 mm wide and 2,582 mm high at the top of the pintle-mounted weapon. The gross vehicle mass is 4,860 kg, while kerb mass is 3,360 kg.

The Magatti is based on a Toyota chassis and is powered by a 2.8 litres turbodiesel engine of the same company providing 204 hp; compared to the previous model its fuel tank capacity has been brought from 80 to 140 litres, which ensures a 600 km range. During tests the vehicle reached a maximum speed around 150 km/h, however for military use this will be limited at 100 km/h.

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The considerable 1,500 kg payload allows the Magatti to carry up to 12 operators, two in the front seats, three in the rear seats, the machine gunner at the rear, and three per side seated on foldable seats on the side of the rear cargo area. Two general purpose machine guns can be installed, one front-left and one rear-right, plus the 12.7 mm machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher on the roof ring mount. Four light antitank rocket launchers of the M72 LAW type were installed on the roll-cage vertical elements on the side of the vehicle.

The over 28 hp/t power-to-mass ratio, the automatic disconnecting differential lock, and the same 37×12 5R17 tires of the Vextor should provide good cross country mobility, approach and departure angles being here of 39° and 41° respectively, the turning radius being 8 metres.

According to local sources, beside commando units the new version of the Magatti might also fits the requirements of the Malaysian Army for an air transportable vehicle to provide mobility to the 10th Parachute Brigade.

Beside the local market, Cendana is targeting export markets in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in Africa.

Photos by P. Valpolini