Singaporeans are well aware of STK's capabilities in designing and manufacturing armored vehicles with the introduction of the Bionix in the SAF. However at the International arms sales stage, Singapore was seen in the past as a "bit part' player. This sort of perception has been slowly changing over time.LONDON - 4 Dec 2008 - Singapore Technologies Kinetics has secured a deal to supply its Bronco armored all-terrain vehicle to the British military.
Negotiations on the sale of just over 100 vehicles have been completed in the last 48 hours, government sources said. The contract is expected to be announced officially by the MoD within the week.
The Ministry of Defence denied the deal had been completed.
In a statement it said, "Discussions are still ongoing as to the vehicle type to fulfill the Warthog requirement for operations in Afghanistan. We will procure over 100 new vehicles with deliveries starting at the end of next year."
A spokeswomen for STK declined to comment.
The selection is a major setback for armored vehicle supplier BAE Systems. The company's Viking all-terrain vehicle has been in service with the Royal Marines for several years. It's also been in use in Afghanistan by the British Army.
BAE's Swedish subsidiary, Hägglunds, bid a Mark 2 version of the Viking but failed to overcome its Singaporean rival who offered a higher payload and more capacity to transport troops. Bronco deliveries are expected to start next year.
The vehicles, to be known as Warthogs in British service, will replace Vikings currently being operated in southern Afghanistan by the British military.
Bronco is already in service with the Singaporean armed forces, but the British deal will be the first export win for STK. Thales UK is expected to be the vehicle integrator for the British Broncos.
As the Singaporeans prepare to conclude the deal, it emerged earlier this week that BAE had secured an urgent operational requirement to upgrade the Viking fleet in Afghanistan with increased protection against mines and roadside bombs. About 120 vehicles are having armored belly plates and other measures fitted.
In fact, STK displayed the Bronco All Terrain Tracked Carrier (ATTC) with the AMAP-ADS active protection system at EUROSATORY 2008 (click on link for IBD news). You can also see a video of the Bronco on the STK website.