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INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLES
The Bushmaster 4x4 is produced by Thales Australia (formerly ADI
Ltd), and has been in service with the Army since 2004. It has since been
exported to the Netherlands, and is being marketed in North America
under a contract with Oshkosh. The vehicle is armour-protected against
anti-tank mines, mortars, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), as well
as a wide range of armour-piercing ammunition. They carry Raven R-400
remote weapon station (RWS) and sensors including thermal imager, CCD
TV and eyesafe laser rangefinder. In addition, the Bushmaster is fitted with a
weapon mount for 5.56 mm or 7.62 mm machine gun.
Australia’s IFV capabilities are rounded out by the Land 112 Australian
Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) project. Under this project, the Army’s
fleet of 8x8 wheeled light armoured vehicles underwent upgrades to
enhance offensive, defensive and communication capabilities, giving land
forces a more capable and survivable range of combat vehicles.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Technologies
Engineering (ST Engineering) have carried out a number of successful
indigenous production projects. These have gone a long way towards
positioning the country as a future hot-spot for defence export.
Arguably the most impressive design to emerge from Singapore is the
Bionix Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV). Developed jointly by MINDEF, ST,
and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) in response to a
requirement to replace the Army’s ageing M113 APCs, the Bionix was the
first indigenous AFV to be developed in the region. The Army required a
vehicle with high mobility and agility, low weight and high fire power; and
with no off-the-shelf foreign technology available at the time to fill the gap,
the Bionix IFV, and since then, the improved Bionix II, was developed to
meet MINDEF’s specific requirements.
The Bionix II, which has been in service with the Army since 2006, is a
network capable platform designed to combine operational readiness and
flexibility. In particular it was developed to meet the changing requirements of
the Army as it makes the transition into a ‘3rd generation force’, which would
see the integration of enhanced technologies into existing infrastructure.
The Bionix II is a highly advanced IFV with enhanced survivability for
troops. It is fitted with an ATK mk44 Bushmaster 30mm dual-feed canon
and modular armour package, two-man turret, and armament including one
7.62mm coaxial machine gun and one 7.62mm general-purpose machine
gun, giving improved lethality. The improved fire control system consists
of Day / Night Thermal Sightseeing System (DNTSS) with integrated
eye-safe laser range finder and dual-axis stabilising system for enhanced
tracking of targets and improved first round hit probability. Even before
a consideration of its C41 (Command, Control, Communication and
Computers & Intelligence) assets, the Bionix II is a highly capable IFV. Being
fully-networked, the onboard Battlefield Management System (BMS) allows
the crew to share information with commanders who, in turn, are able to
coordinate the deployment of other sensor and strike assets in the battlefield.
Over the past few years the Bionix family has grown to include a number
of vehicles for the Singapore armed forces, including the Bionix 25; the
twin-weapon mounted 40/50; the Bionix Recovery Vehicle; and the Bionix
Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge for strategic movement of ground forces.
Developed for the Singapore Army in the late 1990s, the Bronco ATTC
provides operators with a robust articulated platform, capable of exceptional
mobility across a wide range of terrain and climate, with extensive armour
and high survivability. It has been in service with the Singapore armed
forces since 2001.
The vehicle’s advantage over other units currently in production is
its superior range, payload, internal capacity; and its proven increased
protection against roadside Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which
has led to its growing popularity with armed forces currently engaged in
Afghanistan. In 2008 ST Engineering announced a £150 million contract
with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for supply of over 100 ATTCs as
part of an urgent operational requirement (UOR) issued by the UK MOD.
Designated ‘Warthog’, the deliveries are due for completion this year, and
will give UK forces a significant increase in all terrain rapid deployment of
troops, combat support, logistics and maintenance. Additional features on
the Warthog include Platt MR50 shielded ring mount, external fuel tanks,
and UK theatre-entry specific equipment including additional armour,
specialist electronic countermeasures equipment and communication
systems, to be installed under contract with Thales UK.
Singapore has taken great strides towards self-
sufficiency in the defence arena, and is leading
the Asia-Pacific region in indigenous armoured
While the Bionix family has yet to see export
to foreign armed forces, ST Engineering’s
subsidiary, Singapore Technologies Kinetics
(STK), along with the DTSA, has been successfully
producing and exporting the Bronco All Terrain
Tracked Carrier (ATTC) for some time.
Singapore’s Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Wikimedia
Australia is has updated its ASLAV fleet under project LAND 112
(Defence Materiel Organisation)
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