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From The Straits Times
David Boey

By David Boey - Defense Correspondent-November 25th 2003
High tech artillery gun is unveiled
Design to suit local conditions, the self propelled gun is SAF's most technologically complex product. The SAF unveiled the latest addition to its arsenal - a 155mm artillery gun that move like a tank. Call the Singapore Self Propelled Howitzer 1 (SSPH1) or Primus, the locally developed guns will give the army's combined arms divisions more fire power, speed and accuracy. This has been achieved by combining the armor and mobility of a tracked vehicle, like a tank, with the firepower of a 155mm gun, the largest calibre artillery piece in the SAF. 
The decision to develop the Primus was made after a survey of some of the world's best self propelled guns from the United States, Britain, Japan and Russia found them either too heavy or too wide for local terrain, a market survey in 1995 and 1996 and considered the operational guns around the world. They had a lot of fire power, were highly mobile and very survivable but they were also very heavy, mostly around 50 tons, and we need something lighter. The SAF need the Primus to weigh less than 30 tons and be no wider than 3m, for it to move across bridges and through vegetation here.
By April 2000, the first working prototype was rolled out, using a vehicle chassis adapted from the US Army's Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and M109 chassis. After another three years of testing, the guns were unveiled by Defense Minister. The result, is the creation of arguably the lightest and most responsive self propelled howitzer in its class.
Beneath its tough armor plated exterior is a host of sophisticated on board computers that control navigation and automate the handling of ammunition.

Read the Primus Specification here.

Primus
Courtesy of ST Kinetics


From The Straits Times
By David Boey - Defense Correspondent-24th January 2004
Primus gun can't be tested here as they are designed to hit targets 30km away, like from Changi to Jurong. Six of the Singapore Armed Forces' newest artillery guns are now traveling aboard a cargo ship to New Zealand for a live firing exercise called Thunder Warrior. This will marked the first time that full time national servicemen will fire the locally developed Primus heavy artillery guns. Six Primus guns were shipped out early this month. Once they reach the New Zealand Army's huge live firing range in Waiouru, on the North Island, they will be prepared for the mid February exercise. Looking like a tank, the Primus is a 155mm gun mounted in an armored turret on a tracked vehicle. It's designed to blast the enemy with heavy artillery, then scoot off to a safe location before enemy guns can respond. 
Being self propelled and immune to small arms fire and shell splinters, Primus offer better mobility and cover compared to guns towed behind trucks. NSF gunners from the 21st Battalion Singapore Artillery were the first to used the Primus. They trained with these weapons for more than a year before the MOD unveiled them last November. As these guns can hit targets some 30km away, which is about the distance from Changi to Jurong, gunners from the battalion have never had the chance to fire these weapons here. Traveling to New Zealand allows battalion gunners to use the guns to full effect. Captain John Tucker, Defence Adviser at the New Zealand High Commission, said the upcoming live firing exercise underscored long standing ties between the two countries' armies. He noted that Singapore is the only country that test fires heavy artillery on New Zealand soil. The history of the relationship between our armies goes back a long way. New Zealand had an infantry battalion at Dieppe Barracks in Singapore until 1989 - Captain Tucker said.
more Primus Photo Gallery

From Janes Defence Weekly - 26th November 2003 issue
By Christopher FOSS JDW Land Force Editor - London
Singapore develops new self-propelled gun
Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technologies Kinetics ( ST Kinetics) have developed a new 155mm/39 cal self propelled gun (SPG), called the SSPH1 Primus, to meet the operational requirements of the nation's armed forces.
Developed over six years, the system is now operational with the Singapore Armed Forces as its first tracked SPG.
The Primus leverages off ST Kinetics' experience in designing, developing and producing towed artillery system for SAF and export customers. These include the 155mm/39-cal FH-88, of which 52 were built for the SAF, and the more recent 155mm/52-cal FH 2000. The FH-88 and FH-2000 are both fitted with an auxiliary power unit (APU). The SAF was the first army in the world to deploy a towed 155mm/52-cal artillery system when it took delivery of 18 systems. According to Janes Defence Weekly sources, Primus is a complete artillery system that includes the weapon and associated ammunition support vehicle (ASV) and a command post vehicle. The ASV feeds projectiles and charges directly into the weapon under full armor protection.
The chassis is based on the proven United Defense M109 155mm self propelled howitzer, which is the most widely used system of its type in the world. This has been upgraded in a number of key areas and has a new power pack similar to that  fitted to ST Kinetic' Bionix infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which already in SAF service. The use of common subsystems for the Primus and Bionix IFV offers several advantages, including easier training and reduced logistics.
The Ptimus power pack consists of a Detroit Diesel Model 6V-92TIA diesel developing 550 hp coupled to a General Dynamics Land Systems HMPT-500-3EC fully automatic transmission. This is more compact and powerful than that fitted in the most recent US M109A6 SPG.
The maximum road speed of the Primus is 50km/hr, with an operating range of 350km, its combat weight is of 28.3 tons allows it to be used by the SAF 's current military bridging systems. The Primus could be deployed by the future A400M Transport aircraft.
A new all welded steel armor fully enclosed power operated turret developed by ST Kinetics has been fitted to the vehicle's aluminum chassis. The turret is fitted with a locally developed 155mm/39-cal barrel with a muzzle brake and fume extractor. This meet the NATO Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding. The range of the Primus' gun would depend on the type of projectile and charge combination used, but is probably about 19km with the old M107 high explosive (HE) projectile and 30km with an extended range full bore base bleed projectile. In addition to smoke, He and illumination projectiles, the locally developed 155mm cargo round can also be fired. This is already in service with the SAF carries 64 top attack bomb lets each fitted with a self destruct mechanism.
A semi-automatic loading system is provided to increase the rate of fire and reduce crew fatigue. The fused projectiles is loaded and rammed automatically; the module charges are loaded manually. The Primus has a burst rate of fire of three rounds in 20 seconds and a maximum rate of fire or 6 rounds / min. The bustle mounted magazine holds up to 22 155mm projectiles.
The digital control system automates the complete projectile loading process and gun laying operation. An ammunition inventory management system keeps track of all on board ammunition as well as ammunition expenditure during firing. The weapon is laid to the target using an automatic fire control system, which includes an on board positioning and navigation system. This can receive target information from the battery or regimental command post. It takes less than 60 seconds to come into action and open fire and 40 seconds to re deploy.
The Primus has a crew of four, including the commander and driver. A number of enhancements are under way, including an automatic fuse setter. A 7.62mm machine gun is fitted on the turret roof for air defense and local protection.
Military World Pictorial
From Military World Pictorial
Issue 1 2004
Primus

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