ST Kinetics unveils next-generation Terrex 2 amphibious armoured vehicle

4:49:00 AM
SINGAPORE, -- Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics, the land systems arm of government-linked defence prime ST Engineering, has taken the wraps off its latest indigenous 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle development in an exclusive briefing with IHS Jane's .

Designated the Terrex 2, the new vehicle leverages the company's experience with the Terrex infantry carrier vehicle (ICV) - which has found domestic success with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) - as well as the ongoing US Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle Phase 1 Increment 1 (ACV 1.1) programme that the company is pursuing in partnership with the Virginia-based Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

ST Kinetics chief marketing officer Winston Toh told IHS Jane's that the Terrex 2 represents the company's intent to increase its international presence, incorporating a larger, newly designed hull that focuses on troop survivability, increased payload capacity, as well as a high level of amphibious swimming capability.

"Our latest design is the culmination of decades of vehicle design that has seen the successful development of protected mobility platforms such as the [tracked] Bionix infantry fighting vehicle and the [wheeled] Terrex infantry carrier vehicle," said Toh. "As a result of this experience, we understand that we are not designing just a single platform, but one that can operate as part of a larger, networked force."

According to technical specifications supplied to IHS Jane's , the Terrex 2 has a 30-tonne gross vehicle weight compared to the current 24-tonne Terrex, offering increased payload capacity for weapons, armour, and expendables. The vehicle accommodates two crewmembers - the driver and commander - as well as 12 fully equipped troops in specially designed blast-attenuating seats that can be detached for quick access to hull storage spaces or to facilitate maintenance.

According to ST Kinetics, crew survivability is further enhanced with a proprietary hull design that it calls "V-over-V" (VoV), comprising two V-shaped hull sections: a lower section that is given over to the drivetrain and suspension systems; and an upper section that contains the protected crew and troop compartments. The lower section is designed absorb the initial blast from a mine or improvised explosive device (IED), with the second V-shaped hull further reducing the likelihood of troop casualties.

ST Kinetics also highlighted that amphibious operations are one of the key design drivers of the Terrex 2 programme, with the vehicle's final hull form determined through extensive testing in simulations, tank testing, as well as actual sea trials. The company asserted that its hydrodynamic hull design, combined with a raised snorkel system and a refined propulsion system, has enabled the vehicle to achieve swimming speeds of up to 6 kt in water conditions as high as Sea State 4 in actual sea trials.

The new vehicle is about 8.5 m in length and 3-4 m wide in its standard and amphibious configuration respectively, and is under 3 m in height with a ground clearance of 400 mm. Powered by an uprated six-cylinder Caterpillar C9 turbocharged diesel engine that generates 600 hp (447 kW) coupled to a reinforced Allison 4500SP six-speed, wide-ratio automatic transmission, the Terrex 2 is capable of accelerating from 0-50 km/h in less than 15 seconds and attaining a maximum speed in excess of 90 km/h.

The Terrex 2 is also equipped with the same suite of driving and situational awareness aids that feature on the current vehicle, including a camera array comprising 11 low-lux daylight and thermal imaging (TI) cameras mounted around its hull that supports closed hatch driving manoeuvres and an omnidirectional surveillance system. However, ST Kinetics has developed a new hybrid imager - called the TI fusion camera - that combines the capabilities of the daylight and thermal imaging camera to present thermal signatures that are visible even on daylight colour feeds.

In terms of armaments, current options include a roof-mounted remote weapon station armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machinegun or a co-axial 7.62 mm machine gun and 40 mm automatic grenade launcher with airbursting capability, as well as a larger remote turret with a 30 mm automatic cannon. IHS Jane's understands that other weapon systems such as anti-tank guided missile launchers as well as crew-served turrets can be mounted depending on customer requirements.

"The Terrex 2 will not replace the current vehicle, which is still in production, but will instead complement it on our vehicle portfolio," Toh said. "So we are now able to offer a wider range of platforms to address specific customer requirements."

Besides the USMC's ACV 1.1 programme IHS Jane's understands that ST Kinetics has teamed up with Elbit Systems of Australia to participate in the Australian Department of Defence's (DoD's) Project Land 400 Phase 2 acquisition programme, which is seeking up to 225 new-built combat reconnaissance vehicles to replace the army's ageing ASLAV light armoured vehicles and M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers from 2020 to 2025. While the company declined to comment directly on its participation in the Australian requirement due to contractual obligations, it is likely that the Elbit Systems-ST Kinetics entry will be based on the Terrex 2 platform.

The new vehicle is expected to make its public debut at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition in London from 15-18 September, as well as the Modern Day Marine exposition at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, later in the month.

The Terrex 2 incorporates the best features of the current Terrex infantry carrier vehicle and the prototype vehicle that was developed to participate in the US Marine Corps' ongoing Amphibious Combat Vehicle programme. The vehicle is seen here undergoing mobility trials at its test facility in Singapore, with its raised snorkel and specially designed radiator system on the forward section of the roof.

The driver's console features increased digitisation, with two touch screen consoles facilitating speedy access to information and settings on the vehicle's health, driving configuration, and other critical functions. Instead of physical gauges located out of the driver's immediate visibility, dashboard information is overlaid on the LCD display immediately underneath the viewports to improve usability and driving safety.

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