Despite a worldwide popularity for low-cost, amphibious wheeled armored vehicles, the Belgian SIBMAS only found one taker in the Malaysian Army.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Emerging from BN Constructions Ferroviaries et Metalliques (BNCFM) of Belgium during the mid-1970s was the export-minded SIBMAS, a 6x6 wheeled armored vehicle with multi-role battlefield intentions. The base model became an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and an Armored Recovery Vehicle (ARV) and Armored Fire Support Vehicle (AFSV) were soon added to the line. Other marketed types included a mortar carrier, general cargo hauler, armored ambulance, and an armored command post vehicle as well as a variety of possible turret types. Highly traditional in its design, the SIBMAS was only adopted by the Army of Malaysia since its introduction in 1983. Development work began in 1975 producing a pilot vehicle the following year and deliveries to the Malaysian Army ended in 1985, totaling 186 units (including 24 of the ARV variety with the majority being the AFSV-90 mark).
The base IFV variant featured a standard operating crew of three with seating for up to eleven passengers in the rear fighting compartment. Drive power was from a MAN D2566 MK diesel-fueled turbocharged engine delivering 320 horsepower output and installed in a compartment at rear-left in the hull. The entire 6x6 wheeled arrangement was suspended for appropriate cross county capabilities. Road speeds can reach up to 100 kmh on ideal surfaces with operational ranges out to 1,000 kilometers. As an inherently amphibious armored vehicle, the SIBMAS could traverse water sources as required though speeds in such actions reached only 11 kmh - propulsion provided for by a twin propeller arrangement fitted at the lower rear of the hull.
The standard hull design was an all-modern offering with angled, faceted panels along the front and sides of the vehicle. The glacis plate itself was well sloped towards the hull roof line with the driver's compartment centered at front and behind thick bulletproof screens. Additional protection was provided through the flip-up armored visors along the three-panel window arrangement at the cockpit. Access doors for the crew and passengers were fitted along the sides of the vehicle (between the first and second axles). Thick glass vision ports were also found along the sides as were firing ports - the latter serving to allow the occupants to engage enemies with small arms fire from personal weapons typically carried by infantry elements. Road wheels were large, rubber-tired, and of the run-flat variety, giving excellent ground clearance in avoiding obstacles and keeping the belly of the vehicle as far away as possible from detonating mines or IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). Additional crew entry was granted at the rear of the vehicle hull as well.
The ARV model featured a standard operating crew of three and lost its troop-carrying capabilities as well as any turreted armament options. It did, however, feature the requisite heavy-lift crane and towing winch for the ARV role.
The aforementioned AFSV - the SIBMAS AFSV-90 - was outfitted with a 90mm Cockerill Mk III series gun in a traversing two-man turret seated atop the hull roof. The main gun armament was complemented by a 7.62mm FN MAG coaxial General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) installation. Additionally there was a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun on the turret roof. The main gun was coupled to a modern Fire Control System (FCS) for assisted operation and improved first-hit probability. The turret also carried large banks of smoke grenade dischargers for self-screening. A pintle mounting at the rear hull allowed for an additional machine gun to be installed and operated by a passenger through one of the available hull roof hatches.
Manufacturing BN Construcions Ferroviaries et Metalliques (BNCFM) - Belgium
Production 186 Units
- Anti-Aircraft / Airspace Denial
- Anti-Tank / Anti-Armor
- Infantry Support
- Tank vs Tank
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
- Support / Special Purpose |
24.02 ft (7.32 m)
8.20 ft (2.5 m)
9.09 ft (2.77 m)
18 tons (16,000 kg; 35,274 lb)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the BNCFM SIBMAS production model)
1 x MAN D2566 MK 6-cylinder inline diesel turbocharged engine developing 320 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the BNCFM SIBMAS production model)
62 mph (100 kph)
621 miles (1,000 km)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the BNCFM SIBMAS production model; Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun on hull roof.
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 Dischargers
OPTIONAL TURRETS/ARMAMENT (Marketed):
2 x 7.62mm Machine Guns in turret
1 OR 2 x 20mm Cannons in turret
Ammunition: Dependent upon armament configuration.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the BNCFM SIBMAS production model)
SIBMAS - Base APC Model; crew of three with seating for eleven; 1 x 7.62mm GPMG.
SIBMAS AFSV-90 - Light Tank / Armored Fire Support Vehicle; armed with 90mm main gun in two-man turret; crew of three; AA machine gun and coaxial machine gun.
SIBMAS ARV - Armored Recovery Vehicle; with powered winch and lift crane; sans turret and armament.
SIBMAS CAR - CARgo Hauler Transport
SIBMAS AMB - Armored AMBulance
SIBMAS COM - COMmand Post Vehicle
SIBMAS MOR - MORtar Carrier
SIBMAS IFV - 20mm cannon in turret
SIBMAS AA - 2 x 20mm cannon in turret for air defense service.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.