Sunday, January 12, 2020

Six Singapore Armed Forces and ST Engineeringg project to ponder at the Singapore Airshow 2020



The biennial Singapore Airshow, held every even-numbered year, offers a fascinating shop window for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) watchers keen to know what platforms the SAF might acquire. Exhibits at the pavilion for homegrown defence company, Singapore Technologies Engineering, have traditionally proven a crowd magnet for military nuts.

With the Singapore Airshow 2020 a month away (11 to 16  Feb 2020), here's a list of projects (not in order of importance) you might want to have in mind as you walk through ST Engg's exhibits. Happy crystal ball gazing.

1. Endurance 160
ST Engg's LHD proposal, the Endurance 160, was unveiled 10 years ago at the Sing Airshow 2010. Yes, it's been in the works for more than a decade! The 14,500 tonne warship is the first one designed by ST Engineering Marine with a full length flight deck. Specifications for the 2010 version gave the ship an overall length of 163.7m, with the flight deck estimated at around 146m long by 25.6m wide with five helicopter deck landing spots. 

Following the US announcement this week that Singapore wants to buy four F-35B STOVL fighters with another eight options, people naturally want to know what's going on with the Joint Multi-Mission Ship (see image below, SEA assets, top row right). We look forward to seeing if the Endurance 160 design will be updated or will ST Engineering simply blow the dust off the decade-old Endurance 160 model for public display yet again? 



2. Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV)
A new class of Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) warship called the Multi-Role Combat Vessel (MRCV, see top image, SEA assets, bottom row right ) is due to be delivered by ST Engg Marine from 2025 with full delivery around 2030. The MRCVs are due to replace sixVictory-class Missile Corvettes (MCVs), which entered service in 1989 and are the oldest RSN surface combatants (the oldest RSN boats are the former Royal Swedish Navy Sj√∂ormen-class SSKs). We've yet to see definitive specifications on the MRCV and eagerly await her vital statistics. Ship models on display may provide telling signs of the MRCV's design evolution.

3. MBT-capable landing craft
To many people, landing craft aren't sexy. But a naval asset that doesn't grab people's attention is still worth tracking. There's been a requirement for a fast landing craft that can ferry MBT-type assets for some time. A water-jet propelled, enlarged Fast Craft Utility with a drive-thru design and offset wheelhouse said to be based on ST Engg Marine's Brave series, could fit this requirement. Scale models on display are worth checking out.

4. Self-propelled 155mm gun
The Singapore Artillery is due to unveil a replacement for its FH-2000 52-cal 155mm howitzers this year. Dubbed the Next Generation Howtizer (please see SAF 2030 graphic, LAND assets, second row second from left), this mobile gun is said to consist of a fully automated, unmanned 155mm turret mated with a self-propelled chassis, quite possibly from the German-made MAN 8x8 High Mobility Truck System family.

5. Hunter Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV)
This edition of the Singapore Airshow will be the first since the Hunter AFV was officially named and commissioned by Singapore's Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, last June. At previous air shows, the AFV was simply called the Next Generation AFV. It will be nice to see if the Hunter will be shown with all the bells and whistles, or will it remain in the "fitted for but not with" configuration?  Hrmmm....


6. Singapore-made 5.56mm assault rifle
Every edition of the Singapore Airshow has seen ST Engineering Land Systems (previously ST Kinetics) unveil a new 5.56mm assault rifle. In 2018, we saw the BR18 bullpup rifle - Bullpup Rifle 2018 - make its public debut. This weapon was developed from STK's Bullpup Multirole Combat Rifle (BMCR), which first appeared at the 2014 airshow. Will there be a "BR20"? Stay tuned for more.

You may also like:
Singapore's BR18 5.56mm bullpup assault rifle.[From the Sing Airshow 2018] Click here
A look at the world's shortest bullpup rifle. [From the Sing Airshow 2014] Click here

4 comments:

D-Boy said...

No posts for the last 3.5 months of 2019 and now 6 posts in first 13 days of 2020. Welcome back, David!

Wonder what's the story on the SAR-21 replacement? Judging by the wide spread circulation of the weapon system even with reservist units, it can be suggested that those used by active units should be aging.

Bullpup or conventional configuration? Interesting that the the NZDF & PLA has gone back to conventional...

David Boey said...

=) Perhaps I should have posted a "Business As Usual" note while work was going on behind the scenes.

Malaysia also ditched the Steyr AUG.

Btw some of Singapore's NS units are still using the M-16 with iron sights.

sepecatgr1a said...

France's FAMAS bullpup will also be replaced with the conventional HK416 rifle.

D-Boy said...

The French just went on a major shopping spree...

French Government Unit orders the FN SCAR-SC: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2020/01/10/french-government-unit-orders-the-fn-scar-sc/

France’s New Sniper Rifle: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2020/01/09/potd-frances-new-sniper-rifle/

France’s New Glock: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2020/01/09/update-frances-new-glock/

Not one single French designed & manufactured firearm appears to have submitted or selected.