On Wednesday, Singapore announced that it had awarded a contract to Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd for the production and supply of its Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV), thereby moving the city-state closer to realizing a capability it views as a key part of its mechanized forces in the future.
The Next Generation AFV, which has been developed jointly by the Singapore’s Defense Science and Technology Agency along with local defense industry since 2006, is designed to replace the aging ULTRA M113 AFV, which has been in service since the early 1970s. It is just one of a range of ways that Singapore is upgrading its military across all three services.
Singapore’s defense ministry (MINDEF) has said that it would provide the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with more firepower, protection, mobility, and situational awareness. While details about the new, yet-to-be-named vehicle are still forthcoming, it will reportedly feature capabilities such as a digitized fire control system that enables stabilized firing while on the move and data and voice capabilities to enhance networked communication with other mechanized units deployed in the battlefield. Ahead of last year’s SAF Day on July 1, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the prototypes he had seen suggested that it would constitute a “robust replacement.”
According to a MINDEF factsheet, the Next Generation AFV measures 22.6 feet long, 10.8 feet wide, and 10.5 feet high, and weighs 29 tons. It has a maximum speed of 44 miles per hour, a range of 311 miles, and can support a crew of three with the possibility of a further eight dismounted personnel as well in the troop compartment.
Though MINDEF did not disclose specifics on the value of the contract awarded this week, the Next Generation AFV is set for delivery in 2019. MINDEF has characterized it as being a mainstay of the SAF mechanized forces, operating alongside the Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle.