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The Indonesian Military Is Getting A New Lightweight 4×4

January 18, 2021
Via PT Pindad.

A batch of Maung light tactical vehicles were officially handed over by state-owned PT Pindad to the armed forces last week. The 4×4 was first revealed in 2020 performing driving tests on unpaved roads. On January 13 the defense minister and the heads of the TNI’s branches were present to receive the new vehicle. With its minimal armor protection and removable doors the Maung is meant to fulfill the TNI’s need for a dependable transport that suits Indonesia’s climate and geography.

As of this writing, the Maung is still not found among PT Pindad’s “land systems” catalog that includes the fully armored Komodo tactical 4×4 and a wheeled 6×6 APC based on the French VAB. PT Pindad is also responsible for mass-producing small arms and ammunition needed by the TNI and its other verticals in the civil sector are even larger in scale. The Maung is unique as an automotive project under PT Pindad’s management. Its layout subscribes to an SUV tailored for off-road mobility and PT Pindad’s own marketing reveals a very short development period that began in 2018. At the time it was envisioned for the Maung to have a combat role although its present variant remains unarmed. These characteristics make it similar in purpose and usage to the General Dynamics Flyer 72.

It seems inevitable the TNI’s special forces will deploy the Maung since these types of units now prefer unarmored light trucks that are easy to disembark from and have enough space for carrying supplies. A locally made all-terrain 4×4 is already in limited use along with a small batch of General Dynamics Flyer’s. The Maung does have a small cargo bed behind the cab that’s covered in canvass fabric. A spare tire is also hung from the back of the vehicle. According to PT Pindad the Maung has fully independent suspension and even a towing winch on the bumper in case it must pull another vehicle after a breakdown. Being un-armored, the Maung is air transportable too and fits inside either a medium transport like the air force’s C-130’s or is lifted by helicopters such as the Mi-17.

Since Indonesia’s military has an active role in counter-terrorism and suppressing insurgencies when these arise a homegrown mine-resistant truck should be in the works. While Indonesia’s military does possess some MRAPs their weight, being 15 tons heavy in most cases, is a huge drawback in a large country with poor or questionable roads. This is evident elsewhere in Southeast Asia where armored cars are acquired when needed but older and less cumbersome APCs are preferred. As for the Maung, the vehicle’s emergence and potential mass-production is another sign of Indonesia’s growing military industrial sector.

As early as last year when the Maung came to light PT Pindad’s marketing efforts emphasized the future role of other local manufacturers in the program. It was also hinted the Maung is being groomed for exports in the near future. When the Maung is further improved with additional protective features and even weapons it’s not hard to imagine reinforced doors enclosing its cab and a roof turret for either a heavy machine gun or automatic grenade launcher. There will be enough space left for smoke grenades and maybe an external camera or two.

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