Made in Singapore Equipment

Lone Ranger

Member
@OPSSG , agrees with you. There is no need for the SAF to rush and jump into the APS pie, but it is definitely a nice assurance from ST Eng, knowing that Hunter is ready for the future capability upgrade if need arises.

Potential Terrex 4 - interesting. I am also been thinking about this. We have this gap to be filled for a long time. It will be nice to see what they can bring on board with their experience gained from Terrex 2.

For the SMART PROTech, can you share more on the reserve you have? I am keen to hear your opinion on it. Many thanks in advance.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The SAF has many capability gaps that we are not spending money on yet. Given a choice, I would rather:
  • speed up and complete the development of the Advanced Mobile Gun System to enable the timely phase out the 155mm/52calibre FH-2000 (introduced in 1993);
  • increase the size of the all professional Army Deployment Force (ADF) that provides specialised capabilities for the SAF in peace-time contingency operations (from 1 battalion to 2 before the SAF commissions the 1st JMMS);
  • upgrade the ADF and commando formation rifle to the ambidextrous and Picatinny rail equipped BR18 series and move away from the dated SAR-21 (with its 18.5” barrel). The first production batch of SAR21s in 1998. It is essential to develop and modify TTPs for the BR18 series of rifles, as part of military experimentation and testing, prior to the launch of the Next Gen Infantry Battalion.
The BR18 AR is 64 cm / 25” long, sporting a 14.5” barrel, weighing 2.9 kg is much lighter than the SAR-21. The BR18 Sharpshooter Rifle with a longer 20" barrel, at 80 cm long (just short of 30") and weighing 3.2 kg has a maximum effective range of 800 meters, which is superior to the SAR-21 sharpshooter.​
  • upgrade and change all Ultimax 100 mk.3 in all infantry units to the mk. 8; and
  • lastly, phase out the 25 lb / 11.4 kg GPMG and upgrade to something like the Sig Sauer, SLMG (that weighs in at under 20 lb / 9 kg including bipod);
For the SMART PROTech, can you share more on the reserve you have? I am keen to hear your opinion on it. Many thanks in advance.
Tactically, infantry on dismount will use their vehicles to shield them from small arms fire (esp. in urban warfare, street movement).

Similar to ERAs with a kill zone around the vehicle, this visibly distinctive protection system will trigger an action, reaction cycle by the enemy.

SMART PROTech is more expensive solution than passive armour and may be small arms resistant but once the enemy knows our troops are dismounted, they would want to fire a low-end RPG from a blind side (with no intention of trying to penetrate the vehicle), so that the jet from SMART PROTech will rain down on our troop dismounts or into the surrounding buildings containing civilians. Or worse still trigger an EFP chain to do the same at predicable choke points. IRCG have shared their tactics with insurgent groups and the solution is found in MRAPs in service with the SAF, which includes the 17,500kg Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle (PRV). The 6x6 PRV entered service with 2PDF, in July 2015, is a derivative of the Higuard MRAP made by Arquus (formerly known as Renault Trucks Defense).

With APS systems, the Hunter crew can elect to turn the system off, for a few minutes — during critical periods of dismounted support. And rely on passive armour to soak up damage. The AI trooper of a Hunter IFV equipped battalion have to understand safety distances from the vehicle when the APS is active. This changes our dismount tactics.

At this time, there is no simple substitute for passive armour. See this DSTA article on Passive Armour.
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
The Japanese Type 10, which you referenced earlier, can stand as an example - the Japanese know they're not going to be exporting it because of (to my knowledge) existing laws prohibiting arms sales.
Japan has no laws prohibiting arms sales. It has a long-standing law which requires permits for arms exports. For many years Japanese government policy was very restrictive, pretty much issuing permits only for transfer to the USA of weapons, components & technology which were part of joint ventures with the USA. But that policy was relaxed some years ago. Since then, Japan has tried, for example, to sell submarines to Australia.
 

Lone Ranger

Member
@OPSSG, again thanks for your sharing. Agrees that the ability to temporary shut down the APS does provides more flexibility for both armoured vehicle and troops deployment. If not mistaken, SMART PROTech is run by electric current and is triggered by incoming impact. If its power source is centralized, we may be able to cutoff its power supply and temporary shut the system when troops are deployed? I guess this is not an issue for IBD, possibility is there.

As SMART PROTech is action triggered, it does seem like this system is designed to answer the concern on one of the IBD's ASEAN customers - the reliability of ADS's trigger mode (despite its very low failure rate). Luckily there is no rush for the SAF to apply system similar to this and we can give it more time & room for development as you pointed out.

Given SMART PROTech is simpler, cheaper and required smaller safety zone compared to other APS, it is good to occupy the space between ERA and APS (in the AFV protection protocol) . However it cannot provide 100% coverage,. Nevertheless we can apply it to the sides of an AFV (on top of the passive armour) which collateral damage is a potential concern. Sector where collateral damage is of limited concern, we can apply APS to protect the AFV, especially from top attack munition, like smart arty rounds, top attack ATGM, loitering munition and etc. This creates a layered defence system for an AFV - just an idea for discussion.

Protection aside, I also noted the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of Hunter is 1/2 a ton shy of 30. This is relatively low when compared to similar AFVs (by size and capability) like Ajax (38 ton), Lynx KF41 (est 44 ton) and Hanwha's Redback (42 ton). Although Hunter's 29.5 ton GVW might not be the final or combat GVW, but this does implied that Hunter's protection or survival kits will go beyond passive armour protection (which is usually weight intensive), like via the design of hull, distribution of ammunition, and non-passive protection system/s.

Traditionally, AFV's armour structure and lay out is sensitive information, and closely guarded by Armour Formation due to its inflexibility to reconfigure. Once it is compromised, the cost to rectify can be high in term of time and monetary. With DSTA sharing their passive armour study (and much of it is still applied to current vehicles), I believe this reflects that SAF's passive armour protection system is no longer a crucial part of the AFV's survival system but as you rightly pointed out, there is still no simple substitute-just not as crucial as before.

The above is just my opinion and for what it may worth.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The above is just my opinion and for what it may worth.
My assumption is that you know more about the defence industry than me; I hope to learn more from you. Please bear with me.

If not mistaken, SMART PROTech is run by electric current and is triggered by incoming impact. If its power source is centralized, we may be able to cutoff its power supply and temporary shut the system when troops are deployed?
I read your link and it just says "sensor." Therefore, I suspect the senor is an electro-mechanical chip (similar in concept the sensor in air bags - which can be toggled on and off), which would give the sensor a high reliability or high MTBF. If the chip or system design is purely electrical, if the electrical circuit is cut mechanically, SMART PROTech will fail to activate because of a loose wire.

With your new info, I suspect it is more workable than I initially thought. But no one else has bought it, right?
As SMART PROTech is action triggered, it does seem like this system is designed to answer the concern on one of the IBD's ASEAN customers - the reliability of ADS's trigger mode (despite its very low failure rate). Luckily there is no rush for the SAF to apply system similar to this and we can give it more time & room for development as you pointed out.
IBD is a supplier and understands the SAF's requirements. I suspect that the concept is so new, they may lack actual data on likely MBTF that Singapore's defence science will accept (as they need to do aging studies).

Given SMART PROTech is simpler, cheaper and required smaller safety zone compared to other APS, it is good to occupy the space between ERA and APS (in the AFV protection protocol). However it cannot provide 100% coverage.
Conceptually, yes. But the Trophy APS radar does more than trigger a hard kill response to a projectile. It also calculates the point of origin of launcher and shares this over the ARTEMIS BMS.

Sector where collateral damage is of limited concern, we can apply APS to protect the AFV, especially from top attack munition, like smart arty rounds, top attack ATGM, loitering munition and etc. This creates a layered defence system for an AFV - just an idea for discussion.
Let me think a bit more on this top attack point but thanks for explaining.

Protection aside, I also noted the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of Hunter is 1/2 a ton shy of 30. This is relatively low when compared to similar AFVs (by size and capability) like Ajax (38 ton), Lynx KF41 (est 44 ton) and Hanwha's Redback (42 ton). Although Hunter's 29.5 ton GVW might not be the final or combat GVW, but this does implied that Hunter's protection or survival kits will go beyond passive armour protection (which is usually weight intensive), like via the design of hull, distribution of ammunition, and non-passive protection system/s.
Over time, the weight will increase but this also means bridging engineers and associated support to the Hunter IFV battalion will have to be upgraded to beyond MLC-30. Which is why the Bionix AVLB will need to be eventually replaced and there are plans for a Hunter AVLB.

Traditionally, AFV's armour structure and lay out is sensitive information, and closely guarded by Armour Formation due to its inflexibility to reconfigure. Once it is compromised, the cost to rectify can be high in term of time and monetary. With DSTA sharing their passive armour study (and much of it is still applied to current vehicles), I believe this reflects that SAF's passive armour protection system is no longer a crucial part of the AFV's survival system but as you rightly pointed out, there is still no simple substitute-just not as crucial as before.
Agreed but I would say that passive armour is just one of the survivability onion layers.
 
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Lone Ranger

Member
My assumption is that you know more about the defence industry than me; I hope to learn more from you. Please bear with me.
Oh please don't say that. I am here to learnt from you guys and to verify some of my understanding and thinking about the SAF (mainly) with all your kind input. :)

I read your link and it just says "sensor." Therefore, I suspect the senor is an electro-mechanical chip (similar in concept the sensor in air bags - which can be toggled on and off), which would give it high reliability or high MTBF. If the system design is purely electrical, if the electrical circuit is cut mechanically, SMART PROTech will fail to activate because of a loose wire.
I think you are right to say that it has a sensor unit similar to air bags system. Sorry I have limited knowledge in this area. Do you think there can be a centralized system to active/deactivate the senors?

But no one else has bought it, right?
IBD is a supplier and understands the SAF's requirements. I suspect that the concept is so new, they may lack actual data on likely MBTF that Singapore's defence science will accept (as they need to do aging studies).
So far have not heard of any sale on ADS nor SMART PROTech. Not sure if you have came across this article. Rheinmetall involvement in ADS was motivated by "an Asian nation has decided to protect its military vehicles in future with the "Active Defence System". ADS can now move from the development and trials phase to full-scale serial production, which is to commence in 2011." Together with other ADS related article, it isn't difficult to link up who this Asian nation is.

I believe Rheinmetall/ IBD has done lot of works for this low profile Asian/ASEAN client in the field of protection and survivability.

Conceptually, yes. But the Trophy APS radar does more than trigger a hard kill response to a projectile. It also calculates the point of origin of launcher and shares this over the ARTEMIS BMS.
Yes. And that is also the main reason I believed SAF will not give up the idea on APS, mainly due to the ability to autonomously detect and locate target for "double-quick" respond in both closed and urban terrain. This capability is crucial for close hatch operation going forward due to the lost of situation awareness by the commander as compared to open hatch ops.

Let me think a bit more on this top attack point but thanks for explaining.
Hope to hear more from you on your thought for this idea.

Over time, the weight will increase but this also means bridging engineers and associated support to the Hunter IFV battalion will have to be upgraded to beyond MLC-30. Which is why the Bionix AVLB will need to be eventually replaced and there are plans for a Hunter AVLB.
Agreed but I would say that passive armour is just one of the survivability onion layers.
Sorry, Maybe I wasn't clear on my explanation. From the GVW of Hunter, we can see that the thinking of SAF's Armour survival concept has moved away from "armour plate" concept of the cold war. Now they are looking at shape and space of hull design, moving explosive away from (or even outside of) crew compartment and etc. Ie their focus are now less on "penetration" but more on "survival". And much of these comes from the survivability onion layers concept which also very commonly seem on Rheinmetall's site .

Lastly, thanks for your quick respond. :)
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Do you think there can be a centralized system to active/deactivate the senors?
Yes and it can even be sector specific deactivation. But that is not the issue. The bigger issue is reliability for toggling on/off and battle damage to the wiring.
Not sure if you have came across this article. Rheinmetall involvement in ADS was motivated by "an Asian nation has decided to protect its military vehicles in future with the "Active Defence System". ADS can now move from the development and trials phase to full-scale serial production, which is to commence in 2011." Together with other ADS related article, it isn't difficult to link up who this Asian nation is.

I believe Rheinmetall/ IBD has done lot of works for this low profile Asian/ASEAN client
I was not aware of the sale of the company to Rheinmetall until you told me. Lost track of this acquisition by Rheinmetall. Below is a 2017 Jane’s video on AMAP-ADS.

I have also assumed that Singapore is the buyer of a modular German APS System, since I saw a picture of a Bronco with a German APS system at an European trade show a few years ago — AMAP-ADS with a reaction time of approximately 560 microseconds is one of the fastest active protection systems, while having low power requirements. The prior Breaking Defense link you provided had a particularly telling quote:
“You have to have imagine different ways to confuse the system,” said Ronald Meixner, Rheinmetall’s lead engineer on the project, an electronic warfare expert and a former German naval officer. The company drove the system (disarmed) through a car wash to see if the system would mistake a deluge of water droplets for an attack: It didn’t. (This was a major concern for an unidentified Southeast Asia customer who has to deal with monsoons). They took a leafblower and blasted the sensors with dead leaves. They attacked the system with phosphorous grenades. They mounted the system’s radar on the outside of a building and left it running for three years to see if it ever got fooled by a false positive, say mistaking a bird for an incoming missile: It didn’t.”​

Below is a Rheinmetall video explaining how it works and it’s low electromagnetic signature compared to other APS systems, which explains Singapore’s interest in integrating such systems to protect our vehicle fleet.
Yes. And that is also the main reason I believed SAF will not give up the idea on APS, mainly due to the ability to autonomously detect and locate target for "double-quick" respond in both closed and urban terrain. This capability is crucial for close hatch operation going forward due to the lost of situation awareness by the commander as compared to open hatch ops.
Targeting by radar and sound triangulation, at medium range is the latest trend.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
More important than the front-line fighting vehicles, the progressive upgrading and customisation of SAF's vehicle fleet holds important clues of actual defence science and operational capability — including the weight, space and power reserves on the platform to add the SAF’s selected APS system (choice made in 2011) — the use of DSO’s locally developed transparent armour (at a materials science level) in the windows and windshield to provide multi-hit resistance capability.

Paramount Group's Marauder design (and manufactured as Belrex in Singapore) was first launched in February 2007, with 50 sold to Jordan in 2008 and 30 delivered to Azerbaijani in 2012. Singapore's customisation and order of 10 variants of the Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV) in 2016, has resulted in a vehicle that is heavier and better protected.
  • The PCSV comes in three basic crew compartment sizes: 4, 8, and 10, ensures that there is local testing, qualification and integration capability to meet the various STANAG 4569 protection levels. "Fitted for but not with" may be applicable to the PCSV for its APS system.
  • Beyond local usage, ST has an agreement to market these 10 variants with their customised protection levels due to trusted testing rigour. The ten variants are: (1) combat engineer, (2) fuel, (3) logistics, (4) maintenance, (5) medical, (6) mortar, (7) mortar ammunition carrier, (8) security, (9) signal, and (10) reconnaissance. For instance, the logistics variants are equipped with shelves to carry stores to resupply the combat forces and as a result, have smaller cabins to accommodate the larger rear cargo area; the signal variants are equipped with antenna mast to establish communication links.
Sorry, Maybe I wasn't clear on my explanation. From the GVW of Hunter, we can see that the thinking of SAF's Armour survival concept has moved away from "armour plate" concept of the cold war. Now they are looking at shape and space of hull design, moving explosive away from (or even outside of) crew compartment and etc. Ie their focus are now less on "penetration" but more on "survival". And much of these comes from the survivability onion layers concept which also very commonly seem on Rheinmetall's site
Yes, distance from blast matters — it is like dropping an uncooked egg in Tupperware analogy with regard to IED blasts. The Tupperware is fine but the egg inside cracks. The Bronco 2/Warthog UOR sale to UK (with 17 blown up by IEDs in Afghanistan but no deaths), gave ST a lot of data that led to the design of the Bronco 3.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Do you have any information about the planned introduction of the BR18? And potential sales?
None actually. But ST is trying hard to flog-off old stocks of SAR-21 (which is not ambidextrous) to the North America market. If they can sell old war reserve stocks, transition to new would be good.
 
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CheeZe

Active Member
So, this isn't technically a "Made in Singapore" thing but I was looking for a model kit closest to the Leopard 2SG. I think this fits the general outline pretty well, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a better kit or what changes I might need to make so as to make it as accurate as possible. TIA!

 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. A JV, named Proteus Advanced Systems Pte Ltd, was formed to leverage the track record of its parent companies to sell naval missile systems, including an anti-ship missile system called ‘Blue Spear’ — which will enable the factory space for the booster engine to be allocated and built in Singapore.

2. According to sources associated with the new JV, Blue Spear (5G SSM) introduces an advanced and novel approach that addresses the challenges of the modern naval arena for years to come. The Blue Spear anti-ship missile is co-developed by ST Engineering and IAI under a development agreement signed between the two countries a few years ago. Based on this work-sharing agreement ST Engineering’s role includes design, development, and production of major sub-systems like the booster motor and warhead.

3. As early as 1966, Singapore began developing an armament industry with the establishment of the Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS). Its first products were manufacturing 5.56 mm ammunition. In 1989, the Singapore Technologies (ST) group was formed as the holding company for local defence companies including CIS. By 1997, Singapore was building solid-propellant rocket motors locally (but in very limited production). The main components of the SPIKE anti-tank missile system — rocket motors and warheads are also being produced locally.

4. This means components of the new 5.5 metre long Gabriel V anti-ship missile (that weights around 1,250 kg) will be built in Singapore, namely, the booster motor and warhead. The Gabriel V is to be fitted aboard the existing Hamina-class fast attack craft (as part of the Finnish mid-life update). Deliveries to Finland will start in 2019 and continue through 2025. The Finnish Navy is expected to maintain the new Gabriel V missile in service for a period of 30 years.

5. The long ranged 5G SSM or ‘Advanced Surface Attack Missile’ (ASAM) is said to be optimized with more advanced seeker technology to operate in cluttered or congested littoral environments. As missile deliveries are expected in the second half of this decade, ST Engineering said the setup of the JV is not expected to have a material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.

6. This is a logical development of the Israel-Singapore defence relationship, given that RSS Sea Wolf was the first ASEAN Navy ship to fire anti-ship missiles for a naval exercise in Mar 1974 — where two prior generation Gabriel missiles were launched and hit a target barge.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
1. Test firing of a new anti-ship missile by IAI and the Israeli Navy, likely to be the Blue Spear or ‘Advanced Surface Attack Missile’ (ASAM).

2. The Singapore Navy is a long time user of the Mark II Gabriel missile, with the ASAM (aka Blue Spear) likely targeted for operationalisation on the six Multi-Role Combat Vessels to be retired by 2030 (to replace the RGM-84Cs on Victory Class, which will be retired) and to replace the AGM-84Cs on the five Fokker 50 MPAs, on Singapore’s F-15SGs and F-16Vs. In addition, both the Israeli and Singapore Navies may also be keen to develop a submarine launched version of the ASAM (or Blue Spear) like the UGM-84, by the 2030s. With Finland’s interest for it to replace the MTO 85M, this will ensure missile commonality on land, in air launched platforms and in the surface and underwater navy platforms.

3. The SAF is aiming to develop a coordinated anti-ship and land attack capability via tactical data links between the Singapore Navy’s ships and submarines, the Republic Singapore Air Force’s aircraft and any assets of other ad hoc coalition forces, especially with other FPDA members, like Australia or the UK. When the ASAM (or Blue Spear) is delivered to the SAF, Singapore will be able make key components missiles locally and give the tiny nation state an assured standoff over-the-horizon land or sea attack capability, against capable opposition.
 
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Joe Black

Active Member
1. Test firing of a new anti-ship missile by IAI and the Israeli Navy, likely to be the Blue Spear or ‘Advanced Surface Attack Missile’ (ASAM).
I wonder what's new with the Gabriel V AShM / ASAM (don't really like the SAM acryomn as SAM is typically used for Surface to Air Missiles) and what's its advantage over the latest gen Harpoon.

I noticed it is in a box launcher, meaning that the wings on the missile body are not foldable. Perhaps a slightly different variant with folderable wings will have to be developed if it were to launch from a sub's 533mm torp tube.

Singapore being able to build some parts locally could be a game changer for Singapore in that it will help ST to develop its guided munition capability further. Perhaps one day ST could build different kind of missiles and guided munitions locally for SAF, RSAF and RSN?
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
what's its advantage over the latest gen Harpoon.
There are at least 3 advantages: longer range, local content, and lower price. But I suspect it also has sophisticated waypoint navigation and advanced terminal maneuvers.
I noticed it is in a box launcher, meaning that the wings on the missile body are not foldable. Perhaps a slightly different variant with folderable wings will have to be developed if it were to launch from a sub's 533mm torp tube.
They don’t show the full launch sequence, so I am not sure if the wings unfold.
Singapore being able to build some parts locally could be a game changer for Singapore in that it will help ST to develop its guided munition capability further. Perhaps one day ST could build different kind of missiles and guided munitions locally for SAF, RSAF and RSN?
I am not sure if this is game changing; but it is good to see the defence industrial base grow.
 

Big_Zucchini

Active Member
Gabriel V sold to the Israeli Navy is likely in its "pure" version, developed by IAI over the years.
The Blue Spear, which has input from ST, is likely a variant still in development and more oriented for export.

Not so sure about the price, but the Gabriel V is supposed to give the users all the latest and greatest pieces of tech, like plug and play integration, networked operation, advanced terminal attack sequences blah blah blah, but also targets a market of nations who need to operate in littoral waters (navies operating primarily in blue waters may find the added discrimination capabilities to be an unnecessary expense, and use other weapons with inherent excellent discrimination in littoral combat).

I'd also take the weight claim with a grain of salt. The Gabriel V missile was said, at first, to be designed with the Harpoon's form factor. It is possible the Finnish MoD simply wrote kg instead of lbs.

Regarding AMAP-ADS, now renamed RAP, Rheinmetall's claim that it was the quietest system in the world is only half true.
They achieve that by using an EO sensor, which is inherently passive.
Competing systems use RF sensors, which are inherently active.
But there are 2 factors to consider:

1)The two competing systems, Iron Fist and Trophy, already had EO sensors integrated and even fielded by the time of the video. It was just not public knowledge back then.

2)EO is great for detecting a launch, but its resolution for in-flight tracking isn't so great.
RF is the exact opposite.
Therefore the best (but most expensive and difficult) practice is to use both methods with a fusion of sensors.

What systems with combined sensors do, is keep the radar off while the EO sensors scans, and then switch it on when a launch is detected.
Avoiding detection on the strategic level is no longer relevant when you're already under fire and pinpointed on the tactical level.
 
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