31 Mei 2012

SAF Takes Delivery of Buffel ARVs

31 Mei 2012

Baffel Armoured Recovery Vehicles (all photos : xtemujin)

The- Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have received two batches of Rheinmetall Buffel (Buffalo) Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs). IHS Jane's can reveal.

The ARV will be used to support the 66 Krauss Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) already in service with the SAF. Final deliveries of the ARVs were made in 2011.

Germany supplied 96 Leopard 2A4 MBTs to Singapore : the remaining 30 were used for spares. The Leopards have replaced obsolete AMX-1 3 light tanks that are being phased out.

The SAF Buffel ARVs are based on refurbished Leopard 2 hulls, with work carried out at Rheinmetall facilities at Kassel and Kiel. They have the same capabilities a new production ARVs and are fully equipped with winches, a hydraulic crane on the right side of the hull and a dozer/stabilizer blade at the front.

While the Buffel ARV has been sold to Germany (75), Greece (12), the Netherlands (25), Spain (16), Sweden (14) and Switzerland (25), this is the first sale of refurbished platforms.

Canada, which is following Singapore by ordering eight Buffel ARVs based on rebuilt Leopard 2 hulls, leased two Buffels from the German Army to support its Leopard 2 MBT deployment to Afghanistan. A Rheinmetall upgrade to these ARVs prior to their deploymentn included an enhance protection package and air conditioning.

The SAF are also looking to replace their M60 based Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLBs) and M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles (CEVs).

It is understood that Singapore is the first customer for the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann developed Leopard 2 Leguan AVLB, which has full armour protection and can launch one 26 m or two 14 m bridges horizontally over the front of the hull. By comparison, the M60 AVLB is fitted with a 19.2 m long scissors bridge that can span a gap of up to 18.2 m.

Singapore is also believed to be planning to replace the M728 CEV with a platform based on a modified Leopard 2 hull. One such contender could be the Kodiak Armoured Engineer Vehicle (AEV), which is in production in Switzerland after being developed as a private venture y RUAG Defence and Rheinmetall. The Kodiak has been sold to the Netherlands (10), Switzerland (12) and Sweden (six).

Another contender could be the Wisent 2 Leopard Support Vehicle, which was developed by German company FFG and is also based on the chassis Leopard 2. The AEV version of the Wisent has been sold to Canada.


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