Bionix AFV


Bionix AFV

Infobox Weapon
name= Bionix IFV


caption= Bionix 25 IFV
origin= SGP
type= Infantry fighting vehicle
service= 1997 - present
used_by= Singapore Armed Forces
is_ranged= no
is_artillery= no
is_vehicle= yes
designer= ST Kinetics
design_date= 1988
manufacturer= ST Kinetics
production_date= 1996 - present
number=
variants= See "Production models"cite web |title= Specifications: BIONIX family of armoured fighting vehicles |url= http://www.stengg.com/upload/1803IbIDCl33nB3PEaR.pdf |publisher= ST Kinetics |format= PDF |accessdate =2008-09-29]
length= 5.9 m
width= 2.7 m
height= 2.6 m
weight= 23 tonnes combat loaded
suspension= Hydropneumatic
speed= 70 km/h
vehicle_range= 400 km
primary_armament= Bionix 25: M242 Bushmaster 25mm Cannon
Bionix II: Bushmaster II 30mm Cannon
secondary_armament= 7.62 mm Commander's MG
7.62mm Coaxial MG
76mm SGL (SDS-93)
armour= Classified
engine= Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) 6V 92TA
crew= 3 (Commander, Gunner, Driver)
plus 7 combat troops
engine_power= 475 hp (550 hp with Turbo-charge)
pw_ratio= 20 hp/tonne

The Bionix AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) was commissioned by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1997. Designed and developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics (formally ST Automotive), it is a medium-weight tracked vehicle weighing between twenty-two to twenty-eight tonnes. The Bionix was the replacement for the ageing M-113A2 armoured personnel carriers in the Singapore Armoured Regiments (SAR).

The Bionix has been succeeded by the Bionix II, which was "jointly developed by the Singapore Armed Forces, the Defence Science and Technology Agency, and Singapore Technologies Engineering". [*cite web |title= About Bionix II |url= http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef_websites/topics/Weapons/bx2/about.html |publisher= MINDEF|date= 2006-11-30 |accessdate= 2008-09-29]

Production History and Development

Along with the growth and development of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) during the mid 80's, came a need to bolster (and eventually replace) the ageing fleet of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). This prompted the Ministry of Defence to source for a fleet of armored vehicles to operate in tandem with the current fleet of AMX-13 SM1 light tanks.

With Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) being the systems acquisition house, and the participation of the SAF, DMO was appointed to conduct a technology study and recommend the direction ahead for this project. A market survey was conducted in which various armored vehicles including the Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle, the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the Schützenpanzer Marder were evaluated. The findings from the market survey showed that none of the off-the-shelf vehicles met the unique requirements of the SAF.

Therefore, the decision was made to develop the AFV locally. Local development was necessary not only because of a lack of suitable off-the-shelf designs, but also this would also serve as a good opportunity to build up the capability of the local defense industries.

Development of the Bionix began in 1988. It took several years before leaving the prototyping phase in 1995 and finally being commissioned in 26 March 1997.

Design

;EngineThe Bionix is a compact design produced to meet the conditions of Pacific rim countries where small size is a great asset when it comes to travelling among rubber plantations and over roads and bridges not designed for heavy vehicles. The power provided by the 475 hp Detroit Diesel engine to drive its 23 tonnes, ensures the Bionix is able to overcome the most difficult terrain. Future upgrades in horsepower ratings can be developed according to needs.

The integrated power pack is mounted to the right of the vehicle and can be removed from the Bionix as a complete unit in under 15 minutes. The engine is coupled to the General Dynamics Defense Systems HMPT-500EC fully hydro mechanical transmission, with the final drives being provided by David Brown Defence Systems.

;InteriorThe layout of the Bionix is conventional with the driver at the front left, the power pack situated at the front right and the turret in the center with the troop compartment at the rear. The driver enters via a roof hatch that opens to the left rear. When driving closed-down, observation is via three day periscopes, while the center periscope can be rapidly replaced by an image-intensification periscope for driving at night. The driver guides the vehicle using a small steering wheel rather than tillers and, as an automatic transmission is fitted, there are just two pedals - accelerator and brake. The instrument panel is mounted on the left, with the transmission selection box on the right.

The basic production models lacks an in-built NBC protection and air conditioning system, but can be fitted if/when needed.

;AimingThe gunner has a twin-control handles and a day/thermal sight, with a magnification of x8 and two fields of view (high and low), with stadias for the 25mm cannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The commander has an optical relay from the gunner's sight and a single control handle. The vehicle commander has a further five day periscopes to give observation to the turret front, left side and rear; the gunner has three periscopes (1 x M17 and 2 x L794D) to give observation to the right and rear. the gunner has the turret control box mounted to the right of his position and both turret-crew members have an adjustable seat. The communications equipment is installed in the turret bustle.

Prototypes

;XV1 and XV2In the experimental phase, two experimental vehicles were made. The first experimental vehicle, XV1, was conceptualized in August 1989 and rolled out in Jan 1990 while the second vehicle, XV2 was based on a new design. They were used to test the new running gear and power pack systems as well to firm up the IFV specifications. 3 test-beds were built in 1991. A total of 9 trial platforms were built in the years up to 1997.

;Bionix Main Battle TankStemming from a need to replace/augment the current fleet of AMX-13 SM1 light tanks, MINDEF and United Defense conducted a series of studies to mount the Thunderbolt Armoured Gun System's 120mm cannon turret (and alternatively, 105mm) on a variety of chassis, namely an extended Bionix chassis, the Universal Combat Vehicle Platform (which the SSPH Primus was based on) and a variant of the Thunderbolt's chassis. Early extensive attempts to mount an |date= 2004-04-05 |accessdate= 2008-09-29]

MINDEF has since procured refurbished Leopard 2A4 MBTs. [cite news |title= Singapore To Buy Refurbished Leopard Tanks From Germany |url= http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2416170&C=asiapac |publisher = Agence France-Presse |date= 2006-11-12 |accessdate= 2008-09-29]

Production models

;Bionix 25
*First production model. Armed with 25mm Bushmaster cannon turret and 2 x 7.62 GPMG. The first Bionix 25 production vehicles were completed in September 1997 and, under the phase 1 production contract awarded to Singapore Technologies Automotive, production continued until 2001. A total of 300 were built for the SAF.

;Bionix 40/50 IFV
*Variant with Cupola mounted 40mm AGL/0.5-inch HMG twin weapon station, approx. 300 were built.

;Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV)
*Variant equipped with a 25 tonne winch and a 30 tonne crane.

;Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB)
*Variant in use by the Singapore Combat Engineers (SCE).

;Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV)
*The ICV variant was designed as an entry for the US Army's operational requirements for an Interim Armoured Vehicle for its Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) concept in 2001. The original turret was replaced with a US-designed and built Recon/Optical stabilised Remote Weapon Station armed with either a 12.7mm M2 Browning machine gun, a 7.62mm machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The replacement of the original turret decreases the overall weight to 17 tonnes, light enough to be air-lifted by a C-130 Hercules plane. It eventually lost the competition to the Stryker and never went into production.

;Bionix II
*At the turn of the century, the Bionix design received an upgrade. What resulted was the creation of the Bionix II; which was jointly developed by Defence Science and Technology Agency, and Singapore Technologies Engineering. The main turret was upgraded to the 30mm Bushmaster II cannon and armour was improved. Air-conditioning is also now standard. The new cannon has 50% greater armor penetration, while the upgraded armour has 50% greater protection against kinetic or shaped charge warheads. With the incorporation of a digital Battlefield Management System, this has allowed the Bionix II to maintain a higher competency in functionality and survivability by interfacing in real time and sharing information with other linked assets such other army units of the Singapore Army with those of the Air Force and Navy, thereby giving a better all round tactical and situation awareness [cite journal |title= SAF Unveils Battlefield Management System |journal= ST Electronics Review |volume= 19 |issue= 3 |url= http://www.stee.stengg.com/newsrm/Vol19No3/IndustryNews10.pdf |accessdate= 2008-09-29] . Upgrades also include improved laser range finder, minefield protection and enhancements to the 30mm cannon.

Photo Gallery

Nickname

The Bionix AFV is often referred to as the "B.X." in the SAF, with "BX" being the acronym for "Bionix".

ee also

*ST Kinetics

Comparable AFV/IFVs

*Austrian/Spanish ASCOD AFV
*French AMX-10P
*German Schützenpanzer Marder
*German Schützenpanzer Puma
*Italian Dardo IFV
*Soviet BMP-2 IFV
*Swedish CV90 IFV
*United Kingdom Warrior tracked armoured vehicle
*United States M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

References

Notes

Bibliography

*cite journal |last= C |first= Foss |authorlink= |title= Equipment Profile of Bionix |journal= Jane's Defence Weekly |publisher= Jane's Information Group |year= 1999-01-10 |accessdate= 2008-09-29

External links

* [http://www.stengg.com/CoyCapPro/detail.aspx?pdid=14 Bionix page @ ST Engineering]
* [http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/news_and_events/nr/1999/jul/30jul99_nr/30jul99_fs.html MINDEF Factsheet - Bionix IFV]
* [http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/news_and_events/nr/1999/jul/30jul99_nr.html SAF’s First Infantry Fighting Vehicle Armoured Battle Group is Operational]
* [http://www.janes.com/defence/land_forces/supplement/lav/lav_bionix.shtml Jane's: Bionix]
* [http://www.one35th.com/bionix/bi_spec.htm Bionix IFV specifications at one35th.com]

Video link

*YouTube|iB68p6fz3Wc|SAF Defence Watch - Bionix II


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