Thursday, May 14, 2020

Circuit breaker Day 38 pix: Virtual tour of old Singapore Artillery mortars and guns at Khatib Camp

Many Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) units maintain their own heritage gallery, which is a sort of private museum that aims to preserve, inform and educate people on the unit's legacy and achievements.

The Singapore Artillery displays its old mortars and guns in a "gun park" at Khatib Camp, Home of the Artillery. Mortars bigger than 120mm are found there along with tube artillery that used to serve Singapore Artillery battalions. I guess we'll eventually find the FH-88 and FH-2000 there too. Scroll down for your virtual tour of this unique outdoor display.

Someday, when the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker is over and we can visit one another again, I would love to visit the Singapore Combat Engineers heritage gallery if given the chance to see the old bridges and ferries.
Soltam 160mm Heavy Mortar
Country of origin: Israel
Crew: 8 gunners
Max range: 9,601m
Rate of fire: 4 rounds per minute
Ordnance Development & Engineering 120mm Standard Mortar
Country of origin: Singapore
Crew: 6 gunners
Max range: 6,500m (Charge 9 at elevation 800 mils)
Rate of fire: 6 rounds per minute
Soltam 120mm Light Mortar (can be man-packed)
Country of origin: Israel
Crew: 6 gunners
Max range: 6,350m (Charge 8 at elevation 800 mils)
Rate of fire: 6 rounds per minute
Rock Island Arsenal M-114 155mm Gun Howitzer
Country of origin: United States
Crew: 12 gunners
Max range: 14,600m
Rate of fire: 4 rounds per minute
Note: The M-114s were bought at scrap metal value and refurbished in Singapore to return them to operational service. The guns served the SAF's first artillery battalions. It was a stop-gap weapon that met the requirement for a 155mm gun while delays in the delivery of the Soltam M-68 were being addressed.
Soltam M-68 155mm Gun Howitzer
Country of origin: Israel
Crew: 12 gunners
Max range: 23,000m
Rate of fire: 4 rounds per minute
Soltam M-71S 155mm Gun Howitzer
Country of origin: Israel; upgraded by ODE in 1992 to M-71S standard with a smaller gun crew, APU and some automated gun laying features.
Crew: 7 gunners
Max range: 23,500m (Standard projectile), 30,000m (Base Bleed projectile*)
Rate of fire: 4 rounds per minute
GIAT Industries LG-1 105mm Light Gun (gunshield removed)
Country of origin: France
Crew: 6 gunners
Max range: 15,000m (Hollow Base), 17,500m (Base Bleed Projectile*)
Rate of fire: 12 rounds per minute

* Base Bleed shells have a gas generator at the base of the projectile. This device vents (or bleeds) combustion gases from burning powder through ports in the projectile base plate (hence its name). The gases fill the vacuum behind the shell to reduce or eliminate drag and turbulence, thereby giving the shell a longer range.


hujan_batu said...

Have they changed the naming conventions? When I was in Artillery, mortar units had mortarmen while gun units had gunners.

David Boey said...

The naming convention is the same. The info signs at Khabib used the term "men" for the crew size. I wanted a gender neutral word, so I used "gunners" which applies to all in the Artillery formation whether the personnel serve mortars, tube arty or WLRs.

Best regards,


Unknown said...

Tks DB. Haven't seen our mortar for a long time

Unknown said...

Hey, I'm one of the last light infantry mortarmen trained on the 120mm. When did our army use the Israeli Soltam? i always imagined the Soltam to be lighter and easier to handle.

David Boey said...

According to the info plate, the first two Artillery officers were trained to use the Soltam 120mm Light Mortar in 1967. An Artillery NCO course for 42 trainees was conducted in February 1968.

PG said...

i'm assuming 81mm is under infantry support that's why not here (or rather there in Katib)? i converted to 81mm during my reservist

hujan_batu said...

Hi David,

Thanks for explaining and I agree with your reasoning.

For PG, yes, when I was at School of Artillery, 81mm was considered an infantry weapon, not an artillery weapon.

Sameloneman said...

81 mm mortars phase out since late 1980s. Artillery "gave" 120 mm mortars to infantry and armour units as battalion support weapons. Now all artillery units use guns, howitzers and rockets.

During my 4JFAOC, we are trained on 120 mm mortar (Soltam), M114 and M68 gun in 1977.

Standard 120 mm mortars were used during 1978-79. My unit 22SA was one of the unit using these.

Edwin said...

Thanks for the post. Is it possible to arrange for a private visit to the SCE heritage gallery please?