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Cendana Auto unveils Vextor 4x4 light tactical transporter for Malaysian Army.

At the DSA 2024 exhibition in Malaysia, the Malaysian company Cendana Auto unveiled its new Vextor 4×4 light tactical troop transporter, also referred to as Vex7or. Although the Vextor might initially appear to be an armored vehicle, it is designed as a light vehicle without military requirements for armoring, and will provide improved mobility to the Malaysian Army's light infantry battalions.
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Information indicates that the roof structure is designed to install a light remotely controlled weapon station, with the console positioned inside the vehicle as per customer requirements. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

According to the program's senior engineer, the serial production model will differ from the prototype showcased at DSA 2024. This prototype, the seventh to date, will be used to develop the vehicle, and several changes have already been identified, and will be incorporated into the following prototypes for testing. Named VEX7OR, or Vextor as the name is meant to be read (the number 7 is a graphic artifact), this new vehicle will probably serve a role similar to the original HMMWV (Humvee), essentially acting as a modern Jeep Willys MB. Like the Humvee, the payload capacity of 800 kg will probably allow to use some additional ballistic protection.

Cendana Auto, a Malaysian firm established in 2007, specializes in the production of military and tactical vehicles, particularly 4x4 models designed to meet various operational demands. The company's portfolio includes the Cendana Auto 4x4, which is comparable in function to the US-made Humvee and could be noted for its modular design. Recent years have seen Cendana Auto expanding its offerings, and the company has secured various contracts to supply the Malaysian Army with vehicles designed for different purposes including the SF-21X special operation vehicle (SOV) and the MT-815 mortar carrier, indicating the company's role as a regular supplier to national defense forces.

The Vextor's specifications include a length of 5,639 mm, a wheelbase of 3,085 mm, a width of 2,056 mm, and a height of 2,064 mm. Its curb weight is 2,500 kg, and the gross vehicle weight is 3,300 kg. Regarding mobility, its ground clearance of 300 mm allows it to ford a depth of up to 650 mm without preparation. Additionally, the approach angle is 28°, the departure angle is 31°, and the turning radius is 6.5 meters.

To transport its four passengers, the Vextor uses a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter VGT turbo intercooler diesel engine, provided by the Chinese company Jiangling Motors Corporation, delivering 139 hp at 3,600 rpm and 340 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,600 rpm. This results in a power-to-mass ratio of 42.1 hp per ton, which, combined with the vehicle's small size and 37-inch mud terrain tires, must provide some agility in off-road conditions. The chassis features a frame with axles, double wishbone front suspensions with coil springs, and leaf spring rear suspension, a simple and cost-effective solution.

The vehicle has a 68-liter fuel tank, although no performance data in terms of speed and range were provided. However, the high power-to-mass ratio combined with the vehicle's small size should ensure good mobility both on-road and cross-country. This is also supported by the mud-terrain 37×12.5R17 tires, a BorgWarner 4WD system, and an Eaton differential lock, which ensures maximum traction in muddy terrains. In case of necessity, the vehicle is equipped with a 13,000 lbs automatic winch.

The Vextor's braking system includes ventilated discs at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Braking assistance systems include an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD). Driving assistance features are Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control (HDC), and a Traction Control System (TCS). All windows and lighting are secured with netting. The vehicle is equipped with driving and braking assistance, while the steering uses a hydraulic rack and pinion system.

The windscreen and windows on the side doors are protected by a security steel net, and the same protection is provided for the lighting. The vehicle has four front-hinged side doors for crew access, and the top hatch access allows crew members to fire RPGs from the vehicle, according to the company. Information indicates that the roof structure is designed to install a light remotely controlled weapon station, with the console positioned inside the vehicle as per customer requirements.

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