Singapore Defence Industry Has put itself on high gear in the last five years. Not only proving themselves as the best industry powerhouse in the South East Asian and even in the Asian level, ST Kinetics as the holding company of all the Singapore Defence Company has established themselves world-wide, from Singapore, South Americas, and then United States. Now the Singapore company is eyeing prospective market in Australia, as the Kangaroos are planning to replace their cavalry asset throught the LAND 400 Programme. Australian Army are seeking the replacement for some of the ol’ but gold M113 and ASLAV (The LAV-25 built to the Australian Army Standard).
The LAND 400 itself are divided into four Phases, and currently it’s on Phase 2 – Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability, primarily enabled by the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) mission system to replace the ASLAV. The replacement vehicle must fulfill 7 roles, namely Reconnaissance and Counter Reconnaissance, Command and control, Joint Fires, Surveillance, Ambulance, Repair, and Recovery. There will be total 225 vehicles to be ordered for Phase 2, and by no means this is a major order for any defense company in the world.
Basking from their glory in winning the first phase of USMC ACV 1.1 Program with 16 firm order for Terrex 2, ST Kinetics teams up with Timoney corporation once more as the original designer of the Terrex for the Australian requirements. Although Terrex was never promoted as a modular vehicle, in reality ST Kinetics and Timoney could customize the Terrex in short time, not more than two months. This time ST Kinetics choose the different approach in offering the best specification that matches the Australian Army specification for LAND 400. That means the variant submitted for trials in Australia will be different from the Terrex 2 solutions that won the ACV 1.1.
At Eurosatory 2016, ST Kinetics unveils what they dubbed as Terrex 3 (previously the company called it Terrex 1+ or Sentinel) : the most specced up, beefier, and the heaviest variant. Terrex 1 gross weight is at 22 tons, Terrex 2 for the USMC is 28 tons, and Terrex 3 tops that with 35 ton gross weights. That means armor, armor, and armor. The additional weight is evident from all the bolt on armor that are put on the front and side, offering protection up to Level IV STANAG or effective against 14,5x114mm from all sides. The protection crawls down into the belly with the V hull design to deflect IED and land mine blast to the side of the vehicle. To counter the increase in weight, ST Kinetics is installing Caterpillar C13 engine with 711hp output, better than the 600hp Caterpillar C9 engine installed in Terrex 1 and 2. With power to weight ratio about 20hp/ ton, Terrex 3 will have enough horsepower to traverse the rough and wild Northern Territory and proves itself worthy in fulfilling LAND 400 requirements. Terrex 3 will also retains fording capability to cross streams and rivers in Australia.
One of the features that carried over from Terrex 2 is the TI (Thermal Imager) Fusion Camera which superimposes thermal imaging result with normal day camera so that user could have a better situational awareness both in day or adverse weather. To increase situational awareness even further, Terrex 3 is also installed with 11 wide angle camera so that there will be 360o coverage and no blind spots around the vehicle. For the weapon subsystem, Terrex 3 is coupled with Elbit MT30, a crewless turret that incorporates a 30mm Orbital ATK Mk44 Bushmaster II autocannon, which utilize NATO standard 30x173mm cartridge. MT30 also able to integrated with Spike LR box launcher so that the Terrex 3 will have baseline anti tank capability and survive on its own in an mechanized war scenario.
Currently undergoing trials in Tasmania for the next 12 months, ST Kinetics already has plans to put their industrial expertise in Australia if they won the LAND 400 program. A local manufacturing plant operated by Elphinstone and Elbit Australia will witness as much as 70% local content of Terrex 3 manufactured in country while 30% will be imported from elsewhere. This plan will suffice the requirement from the Australian government to source from locally available materials and to support local industry.