The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will soon gain a new protected logistics capability with the planned introduction of the 20-tonne 4x4 Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV) by 2017.
Based on the South African Paramount Marauder mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) platform, the PCSV has been specifically designed to enable logistics units to support the army's motorised infantry combat vehicles in high threat environments.
According to official specifications released by Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in late June, the PCSV is operated by a crew of two seated in a protected cabin and features a payload capacity of 4,000 kg or up to eight dismounts. The modular design of the rear compartment enables the vehicle to be configured for a range of missions, with mortar, battlefield casualty evacuation, and resupply variants being planned.
Unlike the present soft-skinned 5-tonne 4x4 MAN military utility trucks that are employed for logistics operations, the PCSV features passive protection against ballistic and mine threats, although the specifics were not revealed by MINDEF. Vehicle self-protection has also been enhanced with a roof-mounted remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm FN MAG machine gun, as well as six smoke grenade launchers.
According to MINDEF the vehicle is also equipped with an on-board command and control suite that provides the crew direct access to voice and data communications offered by the SAF's Army Battlefield Internet (ABI) network. This feature enables the PCSV to manoeuvre closely with the army's 8x8 Terrex infantry carrier vehicles for integrated operations.
It is believed that 12 PCSVs were transferred to Singapore between 2013 and 2014 for local trials, although MINDEF declined to reveal details on further deliveries.
The PCSV programme can be traced back to June 2012, when Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) - the land systems division of defence prime ST Engineering - and Paramount agreed to jointly promote their respective armoured vehicle products in Singapore and the wider region, including its Terrex and Paramount's 4x4 Maverick security vehicle, 4x4 Matador and Marauder mine-protected vehicles, and 6x6 Mbombe armoured fighting vehicle.
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Reprinted from IHS Jane's 360, Jul 2016 with permission of IHS Jane's 360. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.