A new army combat support vehicle that provides motorised infantry with improved firepower, protection and communication abilities was launched yesterday as part of the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) ongoing transformation into a third-generation fighting force.
The Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV) features a 7.62mm remote machine gun, which is operated from within the cabin to shield soldiers from hostile fire, and can support a payload of up to 4,000kg.
It is also equipped with systems that are connected to the Army Battlefield Internet, which facilitates communication among land forces.
The Belrex PCSV suite of armoured vehicles, which can protect against small arms fire and mines, will replace the unarmoured five-tonne trucks and MB290 vehicles used by the army’s combat support and combat service support soldiers in the motorised force.
It features 10 variants configured to suit different combat support functions, including a medical variant with an attached Battalion Casualty Station to treat injured soldiers in the field, and a fuel variant that can refuel two vehicles at a time.
The Belrex platform was developed for the SAF by the Defence Science and Technology Agency and ST Kinetics.
Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the Belrex PCSV at the Safti Military Institute yesterday, where he viewed a demonstration of the vehicle’s capabilities, drove the vehicle and fired its remote machine gun.
Mr Ong, who is also Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills), described the commissioning of the Belrex PCSV as a milestone in the army’s motorisation efforts. “With the Belrex platform, our infantry forces will be more effective and can better adapt to the changing nature of the modern battlefield,” he said.
The introduction of the Belrex armoured vehicles will take the SAF another step forward in modernising its hardware.
The SAF will commission the next-generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle by 2019. It will replace the Ultra M113 Armoured Fighting Vehicle, a staple since the early 1970s.