Singapore Army artillery forces operating the Lockheed Martin M142 227 mm High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) have been given a boost with the fielding of a new and more capable mobile battery command post (CP) as well as the introduction of the company’s Universal Fire Control System (UFCS).
The new capabilities are being trialled outside of Singapore for the first time as part of Exercise ‘Forging Sabre’ 2017, a biennial air-land integration and live-fire exercise being conducted by the Singapore Army and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) in Phoenix, Arizona from 28 November to 13 December. The latest exercise is the sixth instalment in the series that began in 2005.
Jane’s understands from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) that the new HIMARS battery CP is indigenous development by the Singapore Army and state-owned defence science agencies. The battery CP is housed within a CETRON 20 ft mobile command and communication container module developed by Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics’ Info-Comm Systems division and carried by a customised MAN 4×4 truck chassis, with an overall length of 7.2 m and width and height of 2.6 m and 4.2 m respectively, with a gross vehicle weight of 14.5 tonnes.
The fully air-conditioned battery CP is typically operated by an eight-person crew with three personnel seated in the front cab and a five-person team – comprising the fire direction officer, gunnery specialist, gunnery assistant, signals specialist, and signaller situated in the fully command cabin.
Unlike previous CP that relied solely on radio communications, the new battery CP is equipped with a suite of software-defined radios as well as an L-band satellite communication (SATCOM) system that is networked to platoon-level CPs their respective launcher units via the service’s secure Army Battlefield Internet. It is understood that its Battlefield Management System is also expected to be incorporated in 2018, which will further increase its ability to perform blue- and red-force tracking as well as its ability to receive real-time situational awareness and targeting updates from reconnaissance assets.
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