Monday, June 21, 2010

NDP 2010 Mobile Column Trivia

* The Pegasus and FH-2000 155mm heavy artillery guns that will be towed past City Hall can actually be driven by Singapore Artillery gunners. Each 155mm gun, designed and built in Singapore, has an auxiliary power unit (APU) that gunners use to get the guns in/out of action rapidly. In emergencies, the guns can also be driven some distance.

* Singapore-made tracked armoured vehicles outnumber foreign-made ones 7:2. The Singapore-made ones are the Bionix 2 with 30mm cannon (BX2MT), BX1 40/50, Bionix Launched Bridge (BLB), Bronco all-terrain tracked carrier, Primus 155mm Singapore self-propelled howitzer, Terrex infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), Trailblazer mine-clearing vehicle.
Foreign ones are the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank and the faithful M-113. This shows the amount of progress Singapore's land systems arm, Singapore Technologies Kinetics, has made in armoured fighting vehicle development.

* Crews aboard the Singapore Army's armoured vehicles can track the position of friendly vehicles using Blue Force Tracking and can talk to one another using SMS chat. They can send secure voice, data and text files in realtime. This is part of the 3rd Gen Army's Battlefield Management System.

* The Bionix Launched Bridge is a Bionix1 chassis in reverse.

* The Trailblazer crew can drive their vehicle in either direction.

* The Singapore Army has more Bronco variants than you have fingers and toes.

* The 40mm automatic grenade launcher aboard some of the Terrex IFVs can programme 40mm air burst munitions to explode at a specified distance from the gunner. This makes it lethal against enemy trench lines or troops taking cover behind windows or in bunkers.

* The V-200s and M-113s are older than the full-time National Servicemen who drive these vehicles.

* The RBS-70 laser-guided surface-to-air missiles aboard the V-200s is an old system but is considered effective as the laser beam-riding missile is difficult to jam. The mix of low-level air defence systems fielded by Singapore complicates countermeasures by hostile aerial intruders as enemy aircraft have to contend with a bewildering range of guidance systems from radar to laser beam to IR terminal homing - and of course the good old Mark 1 eyeball (see next trivia entry).

* The Republic of Singapore Air Force operates more types of low level air defence SAMs than many other air forces and armies. This is because of the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) specific operational requirements that calls for an air defence umbrella over urban and forested areas. :-)

* The industry name for one of the armoured vehicles is a girl's name.  :-)

* SAF vehicles can drive past City Hall in pitch darkness in review order and engage hostile forces accurately using night-fighting aids paired with their weapons and sensors.

* The first tanks to drive past City Hall were Imperial Japanese Army light tanks. The drivepast took place during the Japanese Occupation in 1942. The Japanese tanks were, incidentally, the only ones to follow the right traffic flow. All Mobile Columns since 1969 (when AMX-13 light tanks made a surprise appearance) have gone against the flow of traffic.

* Young men and women from the SAF and Home Team make up the Mobile Column. So do at least two Explosives Ordnance Detection Dogs with the Singapore Combat Engineers Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives (CBRE) Defence Group.

* The Singapore Civil Defence Force's Rescue Dog Tender has air-conditioned kennels.

* A Tempest is part of the Mobile Column for the first time. It's not what you think it is. The SCDF Tempest is a powerful fan that can be used to ventilate expressway tunnels. It gives a blow job to remember...


weasel1962 said...

These are interesting tidbits particularly reg the Jap light tanks.

The RBS-70 not being jam-able is no longer true. Can read about ATIRCM tech.

Ben Choong said...

Indeed, we do have a very strong emphasis on low-level air defense. We didn't buy Iglas just because of favorable exchange rates ;)

who said...

wah ur tempest comment nearly gave me heart attack as I tot I miss out the tempest from SAF

David Boey said...

Hi weasel,
Have amended the point about the RBS-70. :)

Anonymous said...

Although the picture is in the post below, this tidbit belongs to the trivia section ...

The rather scruffy look of the Leo 2A4 in the picture, along with some other in the column is because the boys have just finished an all nighter in the field, scrubbed their tanks down and hastened down for CR1.

Bravo boys!