The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) unveiled the latest addition to its fleet yesterday: A fast-moving amphibious vehicle which can reach speeds of 100 kmh on land and up to 25 knots in water. A four-men crew from SCDF's elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart) will operate the Dart Amphibious Vehicle (DAV), which can be used for coastal firefighting and water rescues. It makes the transition from land to water in about 15 seconds, using hydraulic wheel-retracting technology. It has been customised to include a portable water pump that can draw water from bodies of water and fire hydrants, as well as a remote-controlled monitor for firefighting.
Lieutenant-Colonel Chew Keng Tok, who is the Dart Commander, said its deployment would save about 30 or 40 minutes for operations that currently use inflatable boats with motors. The DAV is expected to be operational by next March, while a "swimming robot that goes underwater" will be added to it later in the year, he added. The robot will use sonar-imaging equipment for underwater search operations, reducing the risks to divers. The DAV was unveiled during an SCDF parade and exhibition at Singapore Expo.