PEKAN: DRB-Hicom Defence Technology Sdn Bhd (Deftech) is eyeing more military vehicle contracts from the Government besides wanting to penetrate the regional market, chairman Tan Sri Mohd Saleh Sulong said.
We have proven ourselves by commencing operations of the first locally-assembled armoured track vehicle to be delivered to the army, he told reporters in Pekan, Pahang, yesterday.
Saleh said the occasion was a significant one for Deftech, a DRB-Hicoms wholly-owned subsidiary, as it showed that the company was capable in producing advanced military hardware.
To complement the manufacturing facility, Deftech has invested RM10mil to set up the first Nato standard test track facility in the region.
All the facilities here in Pekan, which include assembly and testing facilities, were designed to produce tanks, armoured personal carriers (APC) and other wheeled military vehicles, Saleh said after a royal reception in conjunction with the visit by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.
At the ceremony, 48 armoured carrier vehicles the ACV300 Adnan were handed over to the army.
Deftech had earlier secured a RM1.1bil contract to supply 211 armoured carrier vehicle units the ACV300 Adnan - to the army by August 2004.
The contract comes in two packages, one of which involves 146 units imported direct from Turkey on a completely built up basis.
The second involves the delivery of 65 units, to be fully assembled locally by Deftech.
Saleh said Deftech accounted for less than 10% of DRB-Hicoms total group profit, but added that the unit was expected to become a major income earner in the future.
Deftech operations had been gradually expanding since it started business in 1996, he said.
Saleh also said that Japanese car manufacturer Honda was impressed with the performance of Malaysian workers at its assembly plant in Malacca who could pick up skills fast despite not having the technical background.
There were about 500 of them at the assembly plant and many of them did not have the required experience, he said.
They are an easy lot to train. The training is part of the steps taken to ensure that locals are provided with the right knowledge as we have to have our own strength in this field, he said.
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