DefTech AV8

The DefTech AV8 Gempita (Thunder) is an amphibious multirole armoured vehicle developed by Malaysian defence vehicle company DefTech based on the FNSS Pars. The vehicle has a modular design which allows the fitting of different turrets, weapons, sensors, and communications systems on the same vehicle. The vehicle has 12 variants, including the armoured personnel carrier, infantry fighting vehicle, tank destroyer, signals intelligence vehicle and recovery vehicles. It is manufactured by DefTech in Pahang, Malaysia.

DefTech AV8
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer DefTech
Origin Turkey (Ottoman Empire)
Country Name Origin Year
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) 2014
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Malaysia 2014 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
FNSS Defence Systems View
DefTech 157 View

In June 2011, the Turkish Company FNSS signed a ‘letter of offer and acceptance’ by DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies (DefTech) for the design, development and manufacture of the vehicles. 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 contract included technology transfer arrangements to Deftech and logistics support for the Malaysian army, positioning the vehicle and its 12 variants to become Malaysia’s first indigenous family of 8×8 armoured wheeled vehicle.

In April 2012, DefTech and FNSS presented the first scale model of the AV8 at the international defence exhibition, Defence Services Asia 2012 in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s DefTech will be the principal assembly agent, and its engineers will work with Nurol holding subsidiary FNSS to customise the vehicles for Malaysian requirements and equipment. South Africa’s Denel will reportedly build a 2-man turret for the APC, while Sapura-Thales was expected to become the systems integrator. The first prototype of the AV8 was presented in March 2013 to the public during the 80th Army Day anniversary celebration in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

In April 2014, DefTech announced that the first 12 vehicles would start production in June 2014 and be delivered to the Malaysian Army by end of 2014. DefTech CEO Amril Samsudin also said that DefTech has received contracts from regional countries, like the purchase of nine units of armoured vehicles the previous year by Timor Leste's armed forces.

In December 2014, the AV8 was officially inducted into service with the Malaysian Army in a ceremony at the DefTech plant in Pekan. This delivery of the first 12 units represents a significant milestone in the AV8 programme.


The driver and the commander seats are located at the front of the vehicle, the turret in the middle and the troop's compartment at the rear. There is three large day periscopes at the front position of driver and commander and one on each side that provide excellent visibility. Eleven infantrymen can be seated at the rear of the hull on individual seats down each side of the hull facing inwards. All shock-absorbing seats are fitted with five-point seatbelts as standard. Back of the driver and commander position, there is an access passage to the troop compartment at the right side of the hull. The troops leave and enter the vehicle via a large hydraulic ramp mounted at the rear of the hull.

Type Armoured combat vehicle
Place of origin Malaysia
Service history
In service 2014 onwards
Used by Malaysian Army
Production history
Designer DefTech
FNSS Defence Systems
Manufacturer DefTech
Number built 257 ordered
Variants See variants
Weight ± 28,000 kg
Length 8 m
Width 2.7 m (not incl. side armour)
Height 2.17 m
Crew 3 + 11 soldiers
Armor Composite aluminium and steel armour, add-on armour at front and sides of the hull up to STANAG 4569Level 4
30mm Denel LCT30 turret or 25mmSharpshooter Turret
FN Herstal MAG 58M coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun
Engine Deutz
550 hp
Suspension Independent air suspension system
700 km (430 mi)
Speed 100 km/h on road
30 km/h in water

End notes