DRB HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (DEFTECH) is a Malaysian defence contractor involved in the development, manufacture and supply of armoured and logistic vehicles for the military and homeland security. Deftech is also a supplier of specialised vehicles and commercial buses. On 17 October 1996, DefTech, a wholly owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM was incorporated to contribute towards Malaysia’s industrialisation and self-reliant defence aspirations. In 2001, DefTech established its armoured vehicle production in Pekan, Pahang at a cost of RM70 million to prepare for the collaboration with FNSS of Turkey to manufacture and supply the ACV-300 Adnan family of vehicles to the Ministry of Defence. The successful partnership translated into additional order for the vehicles. Between 2011 and 2014, DefTech spent 500 million ringgit to upgrade its infrastructure, equipment and manpower to prepare for the development and production of the AV8 Gempita.
The DefTech AV8 Gempita is DefTech’s most significant project, with 257 orders to date. The AV8 vehicle selected by the Malaysian military was based on the FNSS-designed Pars 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armoured vehicle. The DefTech AV4 Lipan Bara is a four-wheeled light armoured wheeled vehicle manufactured by DefTech in compliance with NATO standards under license from Chaiseri of Thailand. As Malaysia’s sole armoured vehicle manufacturing company, DefTech was involved in the production of 200 South African-designed RG-34 MRAPs under licence. In 2001, DefTech collaborated with FNSS to produce the ACV-300 Adnan for the Malaysian Army. DefTech was nominated by the government as the recipient of the Transfer of Technology package. The successful partnership translated into additional orders for the vehicle. A total of 267 units were produced by DefTech.
DefTech’s Defence & Security Manufacturing Division plant is located at Pekan, Pahang, which was established at a cost of approximately RM70 million in 2001. The Plant is situated on a 25.6 acre site and has a covered work area of approximately 180,000 sq feet. The plant is responsible for the manufacture of all armoured vehicles and was given a RM100 million upgrade in 2014 to prepare for the production of the DefTech AV8. The Plant is fitted with required resources and facilities and has the flexibility to undertake a variety of different jobs at once. It is also fully equipped with facilities which are capable of generating most of its requirements in house. DefTech’s corporate headquarters are located in a purpose built office complex in Section 15 Shah Alam, Selangor. DSSB is a fully owned subsidiary of DefTech and is located in Nilai Industrial Estate, Negeri Sembilan where it has a dedicated plant equipped to cater for the 3rd and 4th Line Maintenance of the Army’s fleet of armoured vehicles. The workshop is responsible for producing the turrets for the DefTech AV8.