The Fighting Edge in Tomorrow's Battles
|From The Straits Times|
equipment group ST Engg is bidding for a giant US military contract worth up to US$10
billion, The US Army is looking to buy medium-sized armoured vehicles, and we will be
making a push for the contract, said CEO of ST Kinetics.
The five year deal to supply about 1,000 vehicles is expected to be worth between US$5 - US$10 billion. ST Kinetics would be offering its Bionix armoured vehicle for consideration. Given the specifications desired by the US Army, modifications would have to be made to the basic Bionix vehicle to fit the demands of the US Army. The US Army wants an off-the-shelf product and something that has been used in at least one armed forces, an operational vehicle.
|The Bionix has already
been fielded by Armed Forces armour battalions and has been tested in Australia and the
Czech Republic. However, the company had already flown two Bionix vehicles to the US for
'show and tell' sometime back, two more Bionix vehicles would be sent to the US Army in
the next few weeks for trials.
By Denesh Divyanathan -
The Straits Times / Saturday, April 15, 2000
Singapore shows its mettle in US
The armoured vehicle, Bionix, is the only foreign finalist in the US Army's search for new troop carriers
WASHINGTON -- Singapore's Bionix -- the
only foreign finalist in the US Army's search for a faster, lighter armoured vehicle --
rolled out here this week to show the Pentagon and Washingtonians what the Republic has on
offer and that it has technology that is viable.
Patrick Choy, the chief marketing officer for the Bionix, described the vehicle as
""the most modern and most recent development in its class''. "It was
fielded only three years ago in Singapore and is in hot production. This contrasts with
other vehicles in the competition that are of Vietnam-war vintage.''
A Pentagon official told The Straits Times that Singapore made a ""very bold move'' in fielding the Bionix, and said competitors were sitting up and taking notice. Another official wondered if ""politics'' would favour an American contractor ultimately. The US has not shied from foreign vendors, including Israel and European countries, though Asians are not very well known.
|The Bionix has
been used in Singapore for three years, but is totally new here, so the Singaporeans have
made marketing and lobbying moves to get it onto the ""radar screen'' of the US.
This includes forming a pool of supporters in Congress to champion the Bionix, BG Choy
said. Vital lessons are being learned in the process. For instance, Singaporeans had to
understand US regulations and meet technical challenges like lightening the machine by 2
or 3 tonnes. He recalled how the team learned much in writing a 5,000-page proposal which
was augmented by nearly 12,000 spreadsheets. A truck was rented to send the 25-volume
proposal from their office in Alabama to Detroit.
The US Army will announce the winner of the contract in
September. If it is awarded the deal, the Bionix project will bring new jobs to US
communities, but it must be built speedily -- 300 vehicles in six months.
|Bionix APC / IFV - Crew of two and a dismount squad of eight|
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