Made-in-Singapore Terrex a key addition to SAF

Nine Singapore-bound Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles were seized by Hong Kong Customs at a port last Wednesday.
Nine Singapore-bound Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles were seized by Hong Kong Customs at a port last Wednesday. PHOTO: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Dubbed King of the Terrain, the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle is a key addition to the Singapore Armed Forces arsenal.

Designed and made in Singapore, the vehicle, which can carry 13 soldiers, is a milestone in the army's motorisation efforts. It takes foot soldiers away from being moved in lumbering, canvas-topped three-tonners, which are less mobile and still require troops to hotfoot it, sometimes for hours, to get to their destinations.

The eight-wheeler can roar across rugged terrain at a top speed of 105kmh and is also at home in water.

At the heart of the Terrex is its battlefield management system. It links ground troops to their commanders at headquarters and to the SAF's other fighting machines, such as Leopard tanks, artillery guns, Apache attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The souped-up battlefield taxis also provide added firepower. Its remote-controlled machine guns can take down targets 800m away and spit out bullets at 350 rounds a minute.

This means troops can pinpoint and strike enemy locations with precision, and friendly forces would not come under fire, so the men are quicker to react compared with their counterparts in non-motorised infantry battalions.

All this mobility and precision firepower comes wrapped in a multi-layered armour that gives soldiers better protection from anti-tank weapons and enemy attacks.

Introduced in 2009, the vehicle is jointly developed by the army, defence company Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics and the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Currently, Singapore is the only user of the 24-tonne Terrex.

Elsewhere, the vehicle has drawn interest from Australia, Britain, the United States and even Mexico.

ST Kinetics joined hands with a US-based partner to become one of two contenders shortlisted to provide the Terrex 2 to the US Marine Corps in November last year, beating industry heavyweights such as Lockheed Martin.

ST Engineering is now looking to build bigger variants of the Terrex vehicles in a bid to replace ageing armoured vehicles in the Australian and British armies.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline Made-in-Singapore Terrex a key addition to SAF. Subscribe