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The Fighting Edge in Tomorrow's Battles
The Fighting Edge in Tomorrow's Battles


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From The Straits Times
DEFENCE 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
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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.
At stake is a US$6.86-billion (S$11.87-billion) contract to build new troop carriers for the US. This is one level of the dramatic army transformation that is now taking place to produce a more responsive, dominant force. Singapore Technologies Kinetics and Teledyne Brown Engineering, an Alabama-based firm, have teamed up to compete for this contract through their joint venture, Vision Technologies Kinetics. Their three rivals are big American names -- General Dynamics, which joined forces with General Motors of Canada; United Defence; and AV Technology.

Brigadier-General (Retired) 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.''
The vehicle now used by the US Army, the M-2 Bradley, was designed in the late 1970s and entered service in 1983. During last year's Kosovo conflict, the US Army found that it was too unwieldy to navigate narrow streets and bridges smoothly. BG Choy highlighted other aspects of the Bionix, including the steel armour, the thickest in its class. This improves survivability.

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.
By Lee Siew Hua - US Correspondent
The Straits Times / Saturday, July 29, 2000

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Courtesy of Dennis Liew (?)

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