Singapore’s military has commissioned a mortar-equipped variant of its Belrex (Marauder) armoured vehicle as part of its military transformation project.
At the end of June, the Singaporean Ministry of Defence announced that it had reached the apex of its 17-year long ‘3rd Generation’ transformation programme, which aims to develop an advanced and highly integrated fighting force capable of responding to a wide spectrum of threats.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen visited Headquarters of the 6th Singapore Division/Headquarters Sense and Strike (HQ 6 Div/HQ SS) at Mandai Hill Camp on 28 June and viewed a static display of some of the newly commissioned platforms of HQ SS.
The minister commissioned the Army’s latest suite of sense and strike capabilities, namely the Lockheed Martin AN/TPQ-53 Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) and the Belrex Protected Combat Service Vehicle (PCSV) with the 120 mm Advanced Mortar System. In addition, he also unveiled the V15 mini-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (mUAV).
The mortar variant of the Belrex features an ST Engineering Super Rapid Advanced Mortar (SRAM) Mk II mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
Commenting that it is important for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) not to lose focus even during COVID-19, Ng said, “Even as we deal with COVID-19, we want to make sure that the SAF continues to develop … In March this year, the Army fully operationalised the third generation Combined Arms Division. I have just seen the commissioning of some of the assets of HQ SS – the TPQ-53 WLR, as well as the BELREX Advanced Mortar System and the unveiling of the V15 mini-UAV. Overall we are going to use more artificial intelligence, robotics, data analytics.”
Singapore first commissioned the Belrex vehicle in November 2016. It is based on Paramount’s Marauder and is produced by of Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) using the Marauder as a base. Paramount delivered twelve vehicles to Singapore between 2013 and 2014.
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.
The Belrex family comprises ten variants including security, engineering, reconnaissance, logistics, fuel, mortar, medical, signal, maintenance and mortar ammunition carrier.