SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will commission the next generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) by 2019.
It will replace the Ultra M113 Armoured Fighting Vehicle, the army's staple AFV which has been in service since the early 1970s and is a key component of its mechanised forces. The new vehicle, with its bigger calibre gun, will provide enhanced firepower and protection.
It also has a laser rangefinder. The soldier firing can use the laser to pinpoint the target. A digital control system will automatically adjust the direction of the gun so that the shot will hit the target.
In the Ultra M113 AFV, soldiers who are not on the vehicle can only communicate with those on board by talking, gesturing or through voice communication systems. However, as the next generation AFV is connected to the Army Battlefield Internet, they can exchange data and information through it.
The new AFV also offers better protection. In the Ultra M113, part of the vehicle commander's body is exposed. In the new AFV, he is seated within the vehicle, which can hold between three and 11 people. It weighs 29 tonnes and can travel up to 70 kmh.
The vehicle, which began development in 2006, is designed here. The SAF worked with the Defence Science Technology Agency and Singapore Technologies to develop the vehicle.
The army has also acquired the Protected Combat Support Vehicle. The new vehicles will give the SAF's motorised infantry improved firepower and protection. It will be commissioned by 2017.