Improved helmet and vest-belt system for SAF
Changes and enhancements boost soldiers' combat effectiveness
Soldiers in the Singapore Army are now using improved helmets and better-fitting load-bearing systems (LBS) made up of a vest and belt to carry their military gear.
For the first time, two variants of the vest-belt system - enhanced and standard - were developed to replace the previous integrated load-bearing vest, which has been in use since 2009.
Since January this year, full-time national servicemen or NSFs in combat units like the commandos, guards and infantry have been issued with the enhanced version of the vest-belt system that is more customisable and ergonomic.
It is also made to allow better heat dissipation, with the aim of boosting soldiers' combat effectiveness.
All other NSFs, such as those in combat support or combat service support vocations, will be issued the standard version from next year.
The announcement comes as the army marks its 55th anniversary this month since the passing of the Singapore Army Bill in Parliament in December 1965.
The new helmet and vest-belt system were shown to the press at Selarang Camp in Loyang recently. (See graphic above.)
The Defence Ministry said the new vest-belt systems are made from a strong yet lightweight material, which provides soldiers with better comfort and improves heat dissipation by about 30 per cent.
The new helmet, which was rolled out from October last year, is about 10 per cent lighter than the previous one.
Its high-cut design allows better compatibility with other equipment worn on the head, such as ear mufflers, communication headsets and night-vision devices. It also has an adjustable padding system for a more comfortable fit.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ho Chee Leong, head of the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance, said the new equipment provides soldiers with better comfort and fit, and more importantly, makes them more effective in combat.
The modular design of the equipment also allows soldiers to customise what they want based on their mission profiles, so they do not have to wear the full configuration all the time, which helps reduce heat strain, he added.
At the moment, there are no plans to equip operationally ready national servicemen with the new helmets or vest-belt systems.