New SAF armoured carrier by 2019

It will give soldiers increased firepower, protection, mobility and awareness of battlefield

The Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) new armoured troop carrier will be made by Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering and delivered in 2019.

The vehicle will give soldiers increased firepower, protection, mobility and enhanced awareness of the battlefield, the Defence Ministry said yesterday, when announcing that it had given the contract to the Singapore company.

The tracked vehicle is dubbed the next-generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) and will replace the Ultra M113 AFV, which has been in service since the 1970s.

Mindef told The Straits Times that the new AFV was selected after a rigorous evaluation process that showed it was the most cost-effective solution.

Mindef declined to disclose the cost owing to contract confidentiality.

Development of the new AFV started in 2006, with the SAF unveiling the final prototype last June.

The vehicle, to be operated by a three-man team, can carry eight soldiers and reach speeds of up to 70kmh. In comparison, the Ultra M113 is operated by a two-man team and can carry nine soldiers, but has a slower maximum speed of 64kmh.

The new AFV also has a remotely controlled weapons system with a bigger calibre 30mm cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun. A laser rangefinder can be used by soldiers to pinpoint targets, and a digital control system will point the gun in the right direction to destroy targets.

The vehicle commander will also be better protected as he is seated in the vehicle. On the Ultra M113, his body is partially exposed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'New SAF armoured carrier by 2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe