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S’pore Army to replace section automatic weapon after 42 years in service

Singapore Army replacing section automatic weapon with Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle

Singapore guys looking to enlist for national service (NS) soon might be getting totally new weapons for training.

The Singapore Army is replacing its section automatic weapon (SAW) with a new light machine gun (LMG).

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

This comes about 42 years after the SAW first came into service.

Army Section Automatic Weapon in service since 1982

The change of weapon was announced by The Singapore Army in a Facebook post on Monday (20 May).

It said the current SAW Ultimax 100 has been in service since 1982.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

Thus, generations of NSmen and regulars would be intimately familiar with it.

Army replacing Section Automatic Weapon with Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle

The Army is replacing the SAW Ultimax 100 with the Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) 6940E-SG, it said.

Evaluated and procured in partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the IAR has been progressively introduced since April.

The closed-bolt rifle has many features that provide enhanced lethality, improved ergonomics and customisation to better suit the needs of our soldiers, the Army added.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

Two sighting systems for more accurate shooting

For example, the new LMG has a Red Dot Sight paired with a 3x Magnifier Scope.

 

Combined, these two sighting systems will help soldiers acquire targets more rapidly and accurately.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

To enable soldiers to operate more effectively in various combat scenarios, its Multi-Purpose Laser Aiming Device (LAD) has 4 modes: visible or infrared laser, infrared illuminator or white-light torch.

New weapon has improved ergonomics

The new weapon is also designed to improve ergonomics with several adjustable features, like fire controls that can be accessed from both sides.

This allows both left-handed and right-handed soldiers to operate it with greater ease.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

The foregrip position and length of the buttstock can also be adjusted for a more personalised fit.

When the buttstock is retracted, the LMG has a length of only 85cm — 17% shorter than the SAW Ultimax 100. This makes it more manoeuvrable in tight spaces and suitable for combat in close quarters that takes place in urban environments.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

The LMG additionally comes equipped with a Picatinny Rail — a mounting platform for firearm accessories that provides the flexibility to add new modules to meet future needs.

IAR earns praises from soldiers

Private Kee Yu Heng Ryley, from the 5th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment said the new LMG is “easy to learn and handle”.

That’s because he’s able to customise the position of its various parts to use it with much more comfort and precision.

Thus, he described his experience with it as “very positive”.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

Third Warrant Officer Muhammad Noh Bin Muti, a platoon trainer with the Motorised Infantry Training Institute, said the LMG had “surpassed the SAW in terms of its accuracy and reliability”.

He pointed to its ability to switch magnification from 1X to 3X, enabling soldiers to acquire targets at multiple ranges and varying terrain.

Source: The Singapore Army on Facebook

The weapon is also “very ideal” for urban operations due to its increased manoeuvrability of the weapon.

This allows the gunner to be nimble in tight spaces, he added.

Army conducted extensive trials before choosing IAR

A year ago in May 2023, defence and security news media outlet Janes reported that Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) had selected the IAR 6940, manufactured by American firm Colt, to replace the SAW Ultimax 100.

In a reply to media queries in April 2023, MINDEF said the Singapore Army had conducted “extensive trials and evaluations” of various models as part of efforts to modernise.

Arriving at the conclusion, it said:

The Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle 6940 has been assessed to be a suitable replacement for the Section Automatic Weapon.

Also read: Final S’pore Navy custom-built submarine to be launched in Germany by Teo Chee Hean

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from The Singapore Army on Facebook.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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