The Defence Minister has announced in the latest Committee of Supply debate that the Singapore Armed Forces will be acquiring various new equipment to replace the current ageing ones. I did not manage to sit in the actual Parliament seating, but announcements that caught my eyes are:
The venerable V-200 has been in service since the early years of the SAF’s establishment, variants in service included the turret version, which houses the Oerlikon 20mm cannon, and the mounted RBS-70 version, which is currently utilised by the RSAF. DM today revealed that the V-200 will be replaced the the Protected Response Vehicles, which are essentially French Renault HIGUARD 6×6 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The SAF have experience with the MRAP before, in the case of the International MaxxPro 4×4 MRAP which was used in their Afghanistan operations and displayed in the 2010 National Day Parade. The HiGUARD will have capacity for 12 passengers and capable of speed up to 90km/h.
Super Puma Replacement
Another pioneer generation aircraft would be the RSAF’s Super Puma helicopters, which is currently operated by 125 Squadron. Not to be mixed with the Cougars which started operations in the late 1990s, the Super Pumas were introduced in 1985, and this year would be their 30th anniversary. Rumours has been on-going for years and this would be the first official announcement of the SP’s replacement. The next generation of helicopters will be beyond me, but looking at the limited items on the shelf, one can easily shortlist a few in no time.
Although this year’s budget debate is not as exciting as last year’s, the focus is clearly on the Jubilee celebration. All household, yes, ALL 1.2million household will receive fun packs and it seems fireworks will be massive this year at both the Marina Bay and by the F1 pit.
I will continue to bring you more updates/info as news develops.