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Singapore Army replaces SAW Ultimax 100 with new light machine gun

Singapore Army replaces SAW Ultimax 100 with new light machine gun
Private Kee Yu Heng Ryley said that the Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle is "easy to learn and handle".
PHOTO: Facebook/The Singapore Army

Singaporeans who are enlisting for national service might be getting a new 'baby' to take care of.

Taking to Facebook on Monday (May 21), the Singapore Army introduced the Colt Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), a light machine gun that has been progressively introduced since April 24.

It replaces the Section Automatic Weapon (SAW) Ultimax 100, which is made by homegrown company ST Engineering and has been in service since 1982.

The IAR was evaluated and procured in partnership with DSTA Defence Science and Technology Agency, the Singapore Army said.

In a series of photos shared on social media, it highlighted what soldiers can expect from the Colt IAR and how it is different from its predecessor.

"It is a closed-bolt rifle with many features that provide enhanced lethality, improved ergonomics and customisation to better suit the needs of our soldiers."

The fire controls, accessible from both sides of the weapon, also makes it ambidextrous, the Singapore Army said. This means that both left and right-handed soldiers can now operate the weapon with greater ease.

Other features include the pairing of a red dot sight with a three-times magnifier scope, a customisable foregrip and adjustable buttstock, as well as four modes of Laser Aiming Device for different combat scenarios.

The weapon's length — 17 per cent shorter than the SAW Ultimax 100 —  makes it more manoeuvrable in tight spaces. It is suitable for close quarter combat in an urban environment, the Singapore Army added.

The Facebook post has since garnered over 1,300 reactions.

Several netizens gushed over the features of the new weapon, which they said is an improvement from the SAW Ultimax 100.

"An exciting change from the SAW that has been around for so long," one of them said.

"About time. The SAW was such an unreliable weapon for me," another added.

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chingshijie@asiaone.com

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