Commercial implications to seizure of SAF vehicles

The recent seizure of nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrex vehicles is an issue that has more than political, diplomatic and military implications ("Seizure of SAF vehicles not a strategic issue, says Vivian"; Nov 30).

The Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle is one of two finalists in the United States Marine Corps' Marine Personnel Carrier programme to select its next generation of wheeled armoured vehicles ("Made-in-S'pore Terrex a key addition to SAF"; Nov 29).

By holding the Terrex vehicles in Hong Kong for a prolonged duration, there are opportunities for trained military personnel such as scientists and engineers to inspect the fighting platform at length and look for weaknesses and flaws to design countermeasures.

The US Marine Corps is renowned for being stringent in the selection of its weaponry before committing to a purchase. The winner of the Marine Personnel Carrier programme will be picked in 2018 to build more than 200 vehicles.

Will the impounding of the SAF's Terrexes in Hong Kong lead to a disadvantage for ST Kinetics and its partners in the US Marine Corps contest?

There are commercial implications to this episode and China should be impartial and objective in its treatment of Singapore's defence hardware.

Hong Chou Hui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'Commercial implications to seizure of SAF vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe