In the mid-1970s, Belgium's BN Constructions Ferroviaries et Metalliques (BNCFM) emerged as the export-oriented SIBMAS, a multipurpose battlefield 6x6 wheeled armoured vehicle. The base model became an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), and soon Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) and Armored Fire Support Vehicle (AFSV) joined the lineup. Other types sold include mortar transporters, general cargo transporters, armoured ambulances and armoured command post vehicles, as well as various possible turret types. The design of the SIBMAS is very traditional and has only been adopted by the Malaysian Army since its introduction in 1983.
Development began in 1975, a pilot vehicle was produced the following year, and deliveries to the Malaysian Army ended in 1985 with a total of 186 vehicles (including 24 of the ARV variety, mostly of the AFSV-90 brand).
The base IFV variant has 3 standard operators and can accommodate up to 11 passengers in the rear fighting compartment. Propulsion power comes from a MAN D2566 MK turbo diesel engine, which provides 320 hp and is housed in a compartment on the left rear of the fuselage. The entire 6x6 wheel arrangement is suspended for reasonable off-road capability. On ideal surfaces, road speeds can reach up to 100 km/h and a range of up to 1,000 km.
As an inherently amphibious armoured vehicle, the SIBMAS can traverse water sources as needed, albeit at a speed of only 11 km/h for this action - powered by a twin-propeller assembly mounted on the lower stern of the hull.
The standard hull design is state of the art with angled faceted panels along the front and sides of the vehicle. The Glacis panel itself slopes nicely against the fuselage roofline, and the cab is centered in front of and behind the thick bulletproof screen.
Flip-up armored sun visors with three-panel window assemblies in the cockpit provide additional protection. Access doors for the crew and passengers are mounted on the side of the vehicle (between the first and second axles).
Viewports of thick glass are also on the side, as are launch windows - the latter's role is to allow occupants to shoot at enemies with small arms, personal weapons usually carried by infantry. Road wheels are large, have rubber tires, are run-flats, provide excellent ground clearance when avoiding obstacles, and keep the belly of the vehicle as far as possible from detonating mines or IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
Additional crew members are also allowed access at the rear of the hull.
ARV model has a standard three operators and loses troop transport capability and all turret armament options. However, it does have the necessary heavy duty cranes and traction winches to complete the ARV role.
The AFSV mentioned above - SIBMAS AFSV-90 - is armed with a 90mm Cockerill Mk III series gun mounted in a two-person movable turret on top of the hull. The main gun is equipped with a 7.62mm FN MAG Coaxial General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) mount.
In addition, a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun is located on top of the turret. The main gun is combined with an advanced Fire Control System (FCS) to aid combat and increase the probability of first shots. The turret also houses a large platoon of self-controlled smoke grenade launchers.
Trunnion mounts on the rear fuselage allow passengers to mount and operate additional machine guns through an available top fuselage hatch.
Year of Service
BN Construcions Ferroviaries et Metalliques (BNCFM) Belgium
Cross open water under your own power with or without preparation.
Air Defense/Airspace Blockade
The base model or variants can be used to search, track and neutralize aerial elements at a distance.
In-vehicle systems provide solutions for various technical tasks on the battlefield.
Support allied ground forces using weapons, inherent capabilities, and/or shipborne systems.
Tanks vs. Tanks
Fight with armored vehicles of similar form and function.
Can perform reconnaissance/reconnaissance missions to assess threat levels, enemy strength, etc. - usually due to lightweight construction.
Generally user-centered design to perform various battlefield missions, usually in an indirect combat manner.
Designed to play an equally special role on the battlefield.
24. 0 feet
8. 2 feet
1 x MAN D2566 MK 6-cylinder in-line turbo diesel engine, 320 hp driving 6x6 four-wheel drive.
62. 1 km/h
621. 4 miles
APC (base): 1 x 7.62mm general purpose machine gun on top of hull.
AFSV: 1 x 90mm Cockerill Mk III main gun. 1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. 1 x 7.62mm Anti-Aircraft (AA) machine gun. 16 x Smoke Grenade Launchers.
(listed): 2 x 7.62mm machine guns in the turret. 1 or 2 x 20mm guns in the turret.
Depends on weapon configuration.
SIBMAS - APC base model; three crew, eleven seats; 1 7.62mm GPMG.
SIBMAS AFSV-90 - Light Tank/Armored Fire Support Vehicle; 90mm main gun in a two-person turret; three-person crew; AA machine gun and coaxial machine gun.
SIBMAS ARV - Armored Rescue Vehicle; with powered winch and hoisting crane; without turret and weapons.
SIBMAS CAR - CARgo Transponder Transmission
SIBMAS AMB - Armoured Ambulance
SIBMAS COM - Command Post Vehicles
SIBMAS MOR - Mortar Carrier
Infantry fighting vehicle SIBMAS - 20mm gun in the turret
SIBMAS AA - 2 x 20mm guns in turrets for anti-aircraft services.