Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2016 Contents The Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle will
replace the rest of the M113s left in service. Credit: Mindef
in their spending.
“The SAF sees technology as a critical force
multiplier. Accordingly, Singapore’s transformational
efforts emphasize the acquisition, development, and
integration of technologies for command and control
with ISR systems and precision-guided weapons.
Areas where the SAF is currently focusing much of
its efforts include advanced electronics and signal
processing, information systems security, advanced
guidance systems, communications, electronic
warfare, sensors, and unmanned vehicles,” said Mr
“Additionally, the SAF has either acquired or is
in the process of acquiring several new types of
systems for force projection, increased mobility, and
During the 2016 SAF Day address Defence
Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen said that foremost a modern
military must move ahead with technology.
As an example, he cited how the Singapore Army’s
artillery capability has moved with the times, not only
as a solution to cut down manpower needs but to
Conventional artillery like the ST Kinetics FH
88/ 2000 155mm howitzer requires eight men per
gun to operate, deploy, fire and dismount within a
couple of minutes.
“ But if you do that today, the counter-fire against
you will be less than half a minute. “
The Army has since moved on to more self-
propelled and automated solutions - in this case the
Primus Self Propelled Howitzer that only requires
four to operate. More recently, they have added
18 M-142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems
(HIMARS) to the stable which only require three to
operate and hits targets with greater accuracy and
can provide saturation fire The artillery formation
has also commissioned the ‘SAFARI’ weapon
locating radar, which the author believes is the
Lockheed Martin AN/TPQ-53 Counterfire Target
Acquisition Radar System.
“Does that mean they are more reliant on
technology? Obviously. If they are less reliant on
technology, does that mean they will survive better?
Not so, because the other side will use technology to
hit you. So that is the way modern militaries run,” he
said, when asked by the media if there are drawbacks
on over-relying on technology.
With 50 years of contribution to the SAF’s
technological edge Boey thinks the DTC will still play
a central role in the SAF’s next chapter.
“Every weapon system and platform fielded
by the SAF is a candidate for modification and
customisation to adapt it to the SAF's specific
operational requirements and to give it that extra
edge in battle. These systems that have been given
local modifications may look no different externally
from the ones from the weapons factory, but each
has had its technological edge sharpened to reduce
the effectiveness of counter measures that may be
used against it.”
Looking ahead, Boey sees uninhabited system
applications to complement SAF warfighters not just
in the proverbial "dull, dirty and dangerous" duties but
a multitude of roles across the three ser vices and in
“These drones will be capable of not just unmanned
operations but possibly autonomous ones too - which
is a step up the technological ladder. Autonomous
drones for detecting sea mines and drones that can
sur vey and persecute targets in the air and on land
are natural evolutions that DTC could be expected to
deliver in coming years,” he added.
SHRINKING THE BATTLEFIELD
In March 2016, the Singapore Army commissioned
the improved Army Battlefield Internet (ABI), topping
off its capabilities with the Thales FlexNet – One
Software Define Radios. The ABI in theory shrinks
the battlefield’s communication with the ability to
transmit simultaneous high bandwidth voice and
data communications at 21.6/kbs, from the for ward
forces to the HQ and vice versa. Previously, under
the Wide Area Communications commissioned in
2013, data communications were only available for
HQ radios at 4.8/kbs.
Virtually all combat vehicles, such as the ST Kinetics
Terrex, Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank and the recently
unveiled ST Kinetics Next Generation Armoured
Fighting Vehicle (AFV), are equipped with a Battlefield
Management System (an element under the ABI).
Said to replace the last of the remaining M113s, the
tracked AFVs will be able to carry eight dismounted
troops linked to the BMS and ABI. Operating alongside
the Bionix, it will also be armed with a 30mm cannon,
mounted on an unmanned stabilised turret.
Cameras around the vehicles give the crew and
embarked troops increased situational awareness
even with the hatch closed. According to Mindef, the
AFV will be commissioned by 2019.
There has also long been a rumour of a light tank
with a smaller calibre gun in development. However,
there has yet to be any news of a roll out of this said
vehicle any time soon.
During the 2016 SAF Day address Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen
said that foremost a modern military must move ahead
Asia Pacific Defence Reporter NOV 2016 31
25/10/2016 9:45 AM
Links Archive APDR October 2016 APDR Dec16/Jan17 Navigation Previous Page Next Page