The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and its defence industry partners have achieved a breakthrough with a shoulder-fired rocket that can destroy tanks or bust through brick walls with a single warhead.
The SAF's new single-shot, light anti-tank weapon, called Matador, does a job that normally requires two different types of rocket. Matador's dual-purpose warhead helps the SAF streamline the types of weapon soldiers carry into combat.
Colonel Mark Tan, head of plans at the 9th Singapore Division/Infantry Formation, said Matador's ability to destroy a wider range of battlefield targets means the army can 'choose to give every soldier this weapon in a special environment'.
The public will get a chance to handle Matador - its name stands for 'man-portable anti-tank anti-door and wall' - for the first time after it is unveiled at the Army Open House this morning by Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean.
The short-range weapon was developed by weapons officers from the army, the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Germany-based weapons maker Dynamit Nobel Defence.
Col Tan said Matador is due to replace the Armbrust range of light anti-tank weapons in about two years, when existing stocks are used up.
Matador is the result of the army's worldwide survey of light anti-tank weapons, carried out in 1999, to find a replacement for the Armbrust, or 'crossbow' in German.
On its wish list was a disposable lightweight weapon which can destroy armoured vehicles and penetrate walls, and have a high chance of hitting its target.
No less important was the need for simplicity, so soldiers can be trained to fire one with minimal fuss.
The army also wanted a weapon that can be fired in an enclosed space - a key requirement for urban combat.
Col Tan said the SAF's experience with the Armbrust - developed in Germany and made in Singapore since 1988 - demonstrated the value of arming soldiers with an anti-armour weapon that can be fired in an enclosed space.
However, the warhead in Armbrust rockets is designed to kill only lightly armoured vehicles.