ST Engineering awarded contract for new Armoured Fighting Vehicle
The Singaporean Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) for the production and supply of a new Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV), replacing ageing ULTRA M113 AFVs, which have been in service since the early 1970s, starting 2019.
According to the MoD, the development of the new AFV started in 2006, a project undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) together with the local defence industry.
In 2016, the Singapore Armed Forces have received the final prototype of this new vehicle, which will weigh 29t with a maximum speed of 70kmh, and is supposed to operate alongside the BIONIX Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
The vehicle, operated by a three-man team, can also carry eight soldiers and has a range of 500km (in comparison, the ULTRA M113, which can also carry 11 personnel, is slower at 64kmh, with a shorter range of 320 kilometres). According to news sources, the new AFV will have a larger calibre gun with a laser range-finder and a digital control system.
Better protection is also provided, especially for the vehicle commander who is seated within the vehicle (having been partially exposed in the ULTRA M113). The baseline hull of the AFV is all welded steel armour to which an appliqué layer of passive armour has been added. This armour package (ballistic protection) is a modular design so it can be removed and replaced as new technology emerges, or tailored to meet the appropriate threat.
Earlier this year, at IQPC’s International Armoured Vehicles Conference 2017 in London, Winston Toh, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of ST Kinetics revealed the company’s Next Gen AFV (NG AFV). This vehicle has similarities with ST Kinetics’ (NG AFV) to the US Army for the service’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). See article here.
According to news sources, three types of light combat vehicles will be used by the Singapore Armed Forces including the TERREX 8×8 armoured vehicle personnel carrier, the BIONIX tracked armoured IFV, and the NG AFV, which is bigger than the current BIONIX 2 in services with the Singapore Armed Forcesto offer more comfort the crew and for additional electronics in the future. According to further news findings, “the NG AFV is fitted with a Remote Controlled Weapon System armed with a BUSHMASTER automatic cannon. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted to the left of the main armament. The gunner is equipped with stabilized weapon sight, laser rangefinder, day and thermal camera. The commander has its own panoramic sight which can turn independently from the turret.”