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Malaysian company Mildef presents its new Tarantula 4X4 armored vehicle at DSA 2024.

| Defense News Army 2024

At DSA 2024, the defense exhibition in Malaysia, the Malaysian company Mildef showcased its new 4x4 armored vehicle in an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) configuration named Tarantula.

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Mildef Tarantula 4X4 armored vehicle (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Mildef Tarantula HMAV is a mine-resistant infantry mobility vehicle with a V-hull design, engineered to provide high-level protection for its 10 crew members and passengers against various battlefield threats such as mines and improvised explosive devices. The vehicle was designed and manufactured by Mildef International Technologies in collaboration with the Science Technology Research Institute for Defense (STRIDE) and the Malaysian Armed Forces. It was launched on February 11, 2021.

The Tarantula 4x4 weighs 14 tonnes and is powered by a 7.2-liter turbocharged Caterpillar engine producing 330 horsepower, with a torque of 1,116 Nm. It can reach speeds up to 110 km/h. The vehicle meets NATO STANAG 4569 standards, with ballistic protection compatible with STANAG 4569 Level 2 for ballistic and artillery threats. The vehicle is also compatible with STANAG 4569 level 2B for chassis protection, and level 2A for hull protection. Its primary armament is a 12.7mm heavy machine gun. It is equipped with smoke grenade launchers for self-defense.

After the Tarantula was announced in February 2021, the vehicle underwent testing for nine days over 700 km on-road and 300 km off-road, followed by highway endurance tests, fuel efficiency tests, load testing, winching, slope handling, and braking tests, including a one-meter fording test.

The armored protection is rated at STANAG Level 2, while the bottom protection is rated at STANAG Level 2B, and the hull at STANAG Level 2A. The vehicle is also fitted with mine blast attenuating seats to protect its passengers.

The design of the Tarantula is standard for this category of 4x4 armored vehicles, with the engine at the front, crew in the middle, and troop compartment at the rear. The body of the vehicle provides ballistic protection STANAG 4569 Level against the firing of small arms 7.62×39mm API caliber and mine protection Level 2a/b against the blast of 6 kg of TNT under the wheels and under the body. The vehicle was produced using 70% local components including the chassis, body, and engine while 30% uses foreign components including the axle, transmission, and parts of the engine.

In APC configuration, the vehicle has a crew of two and can accommodate up to 8 military personnel. Each side of the vehicle includes two doors, and the seating arrangement consists of four seats facing the front and three seats along each side of the hull. The rear part of the vehicle is fitted with a hydraulic ramp. The roof of the vehicle can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with one machine gun up to 12.7mm caliber.

In August 2023, Mildef delivered 178 units of their domestically-produced Tarantula 4x4 high mobility armored vehicles to the Malaysian Army, replacing the aging fleet of Condor 4x4 armored personnel carriers.

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