Malaysian defense company Mildef International Technologies has secured a contract to supply 178 units of the advanced Tarantula 4×4 High Mobility Armoured Vehicles (HMAVs) to the Malaysian Armed Forces. An official from Mildef revealed to Janes on August 7th that the delivery of these vehicles is set to commence in 2024. The unveiling of the Tarantula HMAV took place at the esteemed DSA 2022 defense exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur. During this event, Mildef officials informed open-source intelligence company Janes that the Malaysian Armed Forces were actively considering the deployment of Tarantula vehicles under a leasing arrangement. The contract for this initiative is slated for approval in 2023.
The Mildef Tarantula High Mobility Armoured Vehicle (HMAV) is a Malaysian 4×4 V-hull mine-resistant infantry mobility vehicle that provides high level protection against a variety of battlefield threats such as mines and improvised explosive devices. The vehicle was designed and manufactured by Mildef International Technologies alongside Science Technology Research Institute for Defense (STRIDE) and the Malaysian Armed Forces. It was first launched on 11 February 2021. The vehicle was developed as a wheeled armoured personnel carrier with mine-resistance capability and also to have good agility in the battlefield. It was made to reduce dependence on foreign-made armored vehicles.
The Tarantula 4×4 has a length of 5.6 metres, width of 2.5 metres and height of 2.5 metres. The weight of the vehicle is 14 tonnes. It is powered by a Caterpillar engine with a capacity of 7.2 liters of turbocharged diesel with a horsepower of 330 and 1116 Nm of torque and capable of reaching speeds up to 110 kilometres/hour. The Tarantula has been qualified with NATO’s STANAG 4569 standard where their ballistic protection is compatible with STANAG 4569 Level 2 for ballistic and artillery. The vehicle is compatible with STANAG 4569 level 2B and the hull protection is compatible with STANAG 4569 level 2A. The main armament consists of a Reutech remotely operated 12.7 mm machine gun. It’s equipped with smoke grenade dischargers for self defence protection.
After the Tarantula was first announced in February 2021, the vehicle was tested for nine days through 700 km of road testing and 300 km off-road, followed by highway endurance, fuel efficiency, load, winching, slope, mounting and dismounting, climbing and braking, including a one-metre fording test. The construction of the Tarantula consists of 70% local content (chassis, body and engine system) and 30% (axle, six-speed transmission and engine) foreign content. The new version of the Tarantula High Mobility Armoured Vehicle (HMAV) is also being designed, which will feature “heavier” weaponry and is expected to be unveiled in two years. The Mildef official has not confirmed whether the order for the 178 Tarantulas is for lease or purchase.