STEng – BT
ST Engg on track to deliver on £150m arms deal
Armoured Warthog vehicles to be delivered to UK army from year-end
ST KINETICS yesterday unveiled a new armoured car ordered last year in a breakthrough £150 million (S$337 million) deal by the British army and said the vehicles would be delivered on schedule from the end of the year.
The land systems arm of listed ST Engineering said the ‘Warthog’, a heavily armoured all-terrain vehicle for deployment in Afghanistan, would be delivered to the UK Ministry of Defence in four variants from the end of the year, with most of the deliveries in 2010.
Twelve UK Armed Forces staff are undergoing maintenance and operations training in Singapore.
The deal is seen as significant because it is the company’s first major contract with one of the world’s premier armed forces. ST Engineering had previously failed in a bid to supply armoured vehicles to the US Army and the successful delivery of the Warthog – and its performance in combat – is seen as vital to the company winning further major international orders.
The British army bought over a hundred of the vehicles in December last year. The Warthog is a modified version of the Bronco all-terrain tracked carriers supplied to the Singapore Armed Forces.
It will be powered by a 7.2-litre engine producing 350 bhp and will be able to move through water – all while carrying up to 14 troops. When not in water, the highly agile, all-terrain vehicle will be able to climb steep gradients, cling to severe side slopes, tackle vertical obstacles and roll across trenches.
ST Kinetics said that it had procured production materials and components ahead of the Warthog contract award. To ascertain the vehicle’s performance in extreme heat and dust conditions, it put a 19-tonne Warthog test vehicle through desert trials in United Arab Emirates this summer.
‘We are proud to roll out the first Warthog ATV within UK MOD’s demanding delivery schedule and rigorous requirements. This is possible because of the close and productive relationship we have forged with the UK MOD from day one,’ said Sew Chee Jhuen, president of ST Kinetics.
Brigadier Ian Simpson of the UK MOD said: ‘The Warthog itself has proven itself to be a very capable vehicle in tests and trials. I am impressed by the high standards of engineering applied to this vehicle and the quality of the support package; providing our deployed forces with the higher levels of protection and mobility.’