Singapore’s military has commissioned into service its new Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV), based on Paramount’s Marauder armoured vehicle.
Singapore’s Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung officiated at the commissioning ceremony on 25 November. Ong said the PCSV is a significant milestone in the Army’s motorisation efforts and the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s) transformation into an integrated third generation fighting force.
“The Belrex PCSV is more agile, versatile, offers stronger fire power, better protection, and greater situational awareness. With the Belrex platform, our infantry forces will be more effective, and can better adapt to the changing nature of the modern battlefield,” he said.
According to the Singapore Ministry of Defence, the Belrex PCSV is equipped with a C4 (command, control, communications and computer) suite of systems to facilitate efficient information exchange via the Army Battlefield Internet (ABI), and enables the SAF’s motorised infantry forces to fight together in an integrated manner.
The Army Battlefield Internet network is able to support data communications between all land forces primarily through a vehicle-mounted Software Defined Radio that allows for voice and data communication. The Singapore Armed Forces said the ABI will link the Terrex armoured vehicle to the network, allowing motorised infantry to fight as an integrated force.
The Belrex platform is a product of Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) Ltd using the Paramount Marauder as a base. Paramount delivered twelve vehicles to Singapore between 2013 and 2014. According to Shephard Media, the vehicles were transferred to Singapore for trials and system integration by ST Kinetics.
The PCSV is fitted with a single FN MAG 7.62mm machine gun in a remote-controlled weapon station. The vehicles can be configured to carry modular loads weighing up to 4 tons such as mortars, battalion casualty stations or combat supplies.
Singapore’s acquisition of the Marauder comes as a result of a 2012 agreement with Paramount. In June that year Paramount and ST Kinetics announced a strategic collaboration to jointly market, manufacture and support a range of armoured wheeled vehicles, including ST Kinetics’ Terrex 8×8 armoured personnel carrier, and Paramount Group’s Mbombe 6×6 armoured fighting vehicle, Maverick 4×4 Internal Security Vehicle, Marauder 4×4 wheeled troop carrier and Matador 4×4 multi-role mine protected vehicle.
In addition to the Belrex PCSV, Singapore’s military has introduced the Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle and Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle into service, as part of the Army’s ongoing transformation efforts.