Notes:  This is a 6-wheeled armored recovery vehicle built by Belgium for recovery of light armored vehicles.  Malaysia is the sole user of the SIBMAS ARV, and the primary vehicle it services is the Condor APC, built by Germany.  The Malaysians only had one SIBMAS ARV in 2000, but now have a full company of 22. Production of the SIBMAS ARV is considered complete except for spare parts and it is no longer being actively marketed.

     The SIBMAS is a large vehicle, giving the crew the ability to carry a wide variety of spare parts as well as plenty of room for personal gear and other such stuff.  It can also carry an engine atop the vehicle. The hull is essentially identical to the SIBMAS on the outside and inside walls, but has a very different layout inside and on the roof (the roof has a flat space for the carrying of a powerpack or other large cargoes).

     Spades are normally lowered during recovery efforts or lifting heavy items with the crane to brace the vehicle, and a crane with a capacity of 3 tons (10.5 tons when braced) is used to replace major automotive components.  The crane may reach outwards up to 3.5 meter, and can rotate 224 degrees. A winch with a capacity of 20 tons is used in recovery efforts, and there is also an auxiliary winch with a capacity of 1.5 tons, that is primarily used to unwind the main winch cable.  The winches lead out of the front if the SIBMAS ARV. The SIBMAS ARV is also equipped with a towing bar, a spotlight, a wheeled vehicle tool kit, a tracked vehicle tool kit, a coil of rope, excavating tools, two hydraulic jacks with lifting capacities of 8 tons and 10 tons, an air compressor, and a welding kit.  The vehicle is equipped with air conditioning.  Only the driver and commander are issued headsets for intercom and radio use, but my experience is that most crews quickly figure out how to connect extra headsets directly to the radio so those in the hull can listen. (A little piece of trivia: a civilian compact radio, cassette player, or CD player can usually be hooked into the intercom of most radios, and it will not be heard over radio communications).

     The hull is all-welded steel and watertight; this makes the SIBMAS ARV able to swim with minimum preparation.  However, armor protection is a little lacking -- the rear of the SIBMAS ARV can withstand only 7.62mm machinegun rounds. The turret is removed; it is replaced by room for cargo and a manually operated rotating cupola on the center of the roof behind the driver's position.  This cupola is used by the vehicle commander and has a pintle mount for a GPMG (I haven't been able to find if alternate, heavier weapons can be mounted on the pintle).  He also has a spotlight mounted on his cupola, and this may be removed and used as a hand spotlight. The driver is on the front center of the vehicle, behind three large bullet-resistant windows. Other crewmembers are in the hull of the vehicle; alternately, the crew may be reduced to as little as two and the crew of the stricken vehicle can be carried in the hull. On the hull front, on either side of the bottom of the driver's front windshield, is a cluster of six smoke grenade launchers. No night vision equipment is provided for the commander, though the commander is usually issued NODs and the driver has a drop-down IR viewer.  The vehicle has an air conditioner and heater.  The driver and commander can switch their headsets to loudspeakers on the outside of the vehicle.

     Power is provided by a MAN D 2566 MK turbocharged diesel engine developing 320 horsepower with considerable torque.  This is coupled to an automatic transmission, with conventional driver's controls and a very efficient torque converter.  The transmission has a hydropneumatic torque converter, normally engaged when the SIBMAS ARV is using its engine power to supplement the winch's pulling power (this increases the weight of the vehicle it may recover to 30 tons). The SIBMAS ARV is equipped with GPS and a viewer for the commander.


Fuel Type


Veh Wt



Night Vision



D, A

3 tons

12 tons



Headlights, WL Spotlight (C), Passive IR (D)



Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons










HF5  HS4  HR2


Fire Control