Procurement: March 31, 2002


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced on 23 March that Kuala Lumpur would purchase Poland's PT-91 Main Battle Tank (an upgraded T-72M). For the proposed tank brigade, an initial batch of 78 would go to the 10th Para Brigade (RDF). Over the last seven years, a number of tanks were offered and rejected; Ukrainian T-80s, Russian T-90S, Slovakian T-72S Moderna, Vickers Mk3M, South Korea's K1(K1A1), Leopard 1A5, Hagglunds CV 90/120 and Rooikat 105 LAV.

The deal had been described as 4 PT-91s and several WZ-3 recovery vehicles for $250-300 million, but obviously the parameters haven't been set in stone. Specific configurations and contract terms remain to be finalized, but PM Mahathir was quoted saying that Malaysia may pay for the purchase with palm oil, an arrangement regularly used in trade with countries needing both hard currency and food. The Malaysian partners for Poland's ZTS Bumar Labedy are MMC Engineering Sdn. Bhd. - Adam Geibel


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