Saturday, June 18, 2011

Singapore National Day Parade 2011, Combined Rehearsal 1: First look at SAF HIMARS rocket artillery launcher

Heavy hitter: HIMARS launcher 1/1 from 23 SA takes part in the first Combined Rehearsal for the National Day Parade 2011 at Marina Bay. The rocket launcher is based on the 5-ton Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles made by US truck maker, Stewart & Stevenson. The Singapore Armed Forces HIMARS vehicles come with the Improved Crew Protection cab.

The Singapore Artillery's Lockheed Martin M142 HIMARS rocket launchers took part in the first Combined Rehearsal (CR1) for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) this afternoon.

HIMARS launchers 1/1 and 1/6 from the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery (23 SA), are part of the Dynamic Defence Display (D3) of the parade. The D3 showcases how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team personnel from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) deal with security threats to the Lion City.

Singapore's 46th National Day takes place on 9 August.

During the D3 show, the HIMARS launchers will elevate their six-rocket pod to simulate how 23SA gunners bombard hostile forces as far as 70 km away. The name of the American-made war machines is an acronym for HIgh Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The M142 rocket launchers are part of a force of 18 HIMARS launchers that serve 23 SA. The former 155mm gun battalion is based at Khatib Camp in Sembawang.

Weapons such as the HIMARS and other 155mm heavy artillery guns are termed as shooters as these war machines delivery ordnance against targets detected, identified, prioritised and assigned by SAF battle managers who rely on sensors to cue their battle sense. These sensors include everything from satellite imagery to UAVs and reconnaissance troopers.

In the Third Generation SAF, battle managers rely heavily on sensors and battle management tools to reduce the time taken to detect, kill and assess damage inflicted on hostile forces. This kill chain is known as the sensor-to-shooter loop.

The team of three gunners in the M142 deploy, elevate and target their rockets from an armoured cab based on a Stewart & Stevenson truck. Local defence appeared absent - no GPMG mount or smoke dischargers were fitted to the vehicles.

The launchers also did not display the MLC tonnage symbol typically seen on SAF vehicles. This symbol indicates the vehicle's tonnage and is essential as a guide during amphibious, bridging and airlift operations.

Here are more views of 23 SA's HIMARS.

Top shot: This overhead view of a Lockheed Martin M142 HIMARS launcher, based on a Stewart & Stevenson 5-ton truck, shows the size of the top hatch which serves as an observation/escape hatch. The width of the hatch allows a gunner wearing LBV and body armour to exit the vehicle's armoured Improved Crew Protection cab rapidly. Note the slanted sides of the armoured cab immediately over the front wheel arches. This is designed to deflect the pressure wave from a landmine or IED blast upwards and away from the cab, thereby enhancing the survivability of the gunners riding inside. The stubs on the cab are believed to be applique armour mounting points.

Shooter: The M142 HIMARS is the weapon with the longest reach in the Singapore Artillery. Each rocket can hit targets some 70km away. Accuracy is enhanced with satellite guidance, reducing the CEP of each projectile during long-range engagements. 


Spotter@Milnuts said...

Nice write-up on the HIMARS

FinalFive said...

How does ours compare with a certain country's Astros 120km rocket system?

Anthony said...

SAF's Himar rockets are GPS guided

Timothy said...

David, I take it that looking at the HiMARS you are aware of the weakness of such a system in our peninsular terrain.