ST Kinetics Unveils Bronco 3 Tracked Vehicle for Expanded Missions

Singapore’s ST Kinetics showcased its newest
version of its Bronco all-terrain tracked carrier vehicle designed to support a wide
variety of mission sets through easy reconfiguration. First fielded in 2001 to the Singapore Army
in 2001, ST Kinetics has produced several hundred of its first-version vehicles with
more than 20 variants. The second version of the vehicle was built
for the British Army — known in the U.K. as the Warthog — for operations in Afghanistan. The vehicle fleet was withdrawn from the country
in 2014. Bronco 3 is “the combination of the best
of the lessons that we have learned in Bronco 1 and 2,” Phillip Ou, an ST Kinetics executive,
said at a media briefing Wednesday at DSEI, a defense conference in London, England. The vehicle is “lighter, more mobile and
obviously more better protected,” Ou said. The chief marketing officer for ST Kinetics,
retired Brig. Gen. Winston Toh, said the Bronco 3 “has
been 17 years in the making” and is now positioned to be deployed in all facets of
a mission, from reconnaissance to troop carrying to combat support, as well as battlefield
extraction to resupply. A common chassis and some other design elements
allow the vehicle to be modularly reconfigured, and some systems can be swapped out to meet
different missions in about 20 minutes, according to Winston Vehicle capability can also be
expanded by added a trailer to the back with an identical tracked chassis equipped with
other sensors or weapons systems. The 16-ton vehicle — which would include
a full payload complement — is able to traverse difficult terrain including sand and snow,
which means it can creep up from unexpected directions and fire from locations that could
not be accessed by other vehicles. The vehicle unveiled at DSEI came equipped
with a Green Rock tactical counter rocket; an artillery and mortar radar system; an Othello
fire-source location system; a 120mm Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System; and a 12.7mm
remote weapon station. The radar was fixed to the roof of a vehicle
with the mortar system on the back of a trailer vehicle hitched to the first. While the configuration at the show does not
answer a specific requirement in the Singapore military or elsewhere, the company chose to
showcase what it anticipates could meet operational needs of a variety of militaries, according
to Winston. The company has yet to find a first customer
for Bronco 3, but Winston said ST Kinetics is hopeful the Singapore military would be
interested in the new variant in the future. As militaries around the world look for systems
that are versatile, highly mobile, well-protected and can expand mission sets as threats and
operational environments continue to change, ST Kinetics believes it has the answer in
its Bronco 3. The company noted its track record with survivability,
saying that the Afghanistan-deployed British Warthog encountered more than 30 improvised
explosive devices while in theater with no fatalities. Winston said in one particular catastrophic
encounter, an IED explosion threw the vehicle up into the air. While one soldier lost his legs in the incident,
Winston said the protection on the vehicle saved the soldier’s life. ST Kinetics has built three preproduction
versions of Bronco 3 and will demonstrate the vehicle’s capability in the U.K. next
week as it looks for a first customer.