17 April 2012
AV-8 8x8 armoured vehicle (photo : N.S. Shah)
Thales has revealed that it has completed the factory acceptance test for the open vehicle electronic architecture system that it is providing for the Malaysian AV8 armoured vehicle.
Thales was selected to provide the suite last year, and now that the test was passed 'last week', the company is 'ready to take it into the vehicle', Jean-Francois Lopez, AV8 project director at Thales told Shephard at the DSA 2012 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 16 April.
'We are working closely with the army,' Lopez explained. 'We are offering one database with all services available, and users can exchange information with other vehicles using a single digital share.'
Thales is also providing the optronics for the platform, including the Catherine XP, DNGS TI and Sophie TAS/C.
'Thales is really local in this programme,' Lopex explained. 'It is very important that we do a lot of things locally, and from the beginning of the programme it was a requirement to be local.'
The AV8X8 is being manufactured by Malaysian company Deftech, and 257 platforms were ordered by the Malaysian Army last year.
'90% of the vehicle is completed, and by July the vehicle will be fully running,' Haji Nor Azman Saparon, AV8 programme manager for Deftech told Shephard.
He said that by September the platform will be undergoing testing by the army, and between July and then it will begin factory testing.
Production is set to begin in 2013, and twelve variants of the vehicle are to be manufactured, and one prototype of each is due to be developed for the testing.
The vehicle is based on an FNSS design, and other companies involved include: Kent Periscopes; Denel; Vinghog Optronics Systems; and Hutchinson.