Source: Army Recognition
Front view of the Pegasus 155mm Light Weight Howitzer. Image courtesy of Luhai Wong.
The Singapore Light Weight Howitzer (SLWH) Pegasus is a self-propelled, 155mm howitzer in service with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Pegasus is the first such self-propelled and heli-portable howitzer in the world. It replaced the GIAT LG1 105mm howitzer previously operated by the Singapore Artillery.
Pegasus was jointly developed by the SAF, the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) and Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics).
It is a highly automated system delivering superior range and firepower in comparison with heavier systems such as the Primus and the FH88 howitzers.
The Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF), ordered Pegasus howitzers in 1996 under a confidential agreement signed with ST Kinetics. The first unit was commissioned into the SAF in October 2005. Pegasus has been put through a number of domestic and overseas live fire tests to ensure safety and operability in the battlefield.
The first live firing of SLWH Pegasus was conducted at the Waiouru Training Area in New Zealand during Exercise Thunder Warrior in January 2006. SLWH Pegasus was also offered for the ultra light howitzer programme of the Indian Army.
The introduction of the Pegasus allowed the SAF to improve overall logistical efficiency and replace its artillery systems of different calibre to standard 155mm units.
Pegasus design features
Pegasus is equipped with an automatic ammunition loading system. Image courtesy of Luhai Wong.
Pegasus is made of lightweight materials including titanium and high alloy aluminium. The materials used in the structure provide the strength and stability to resist the recoil force of a 155mm system.
The design incorporates several sub-systems such as an auxiliary power unit (APU), ammunition loading system, mechanical sight and recoil management system.
The 5.4t howitzer has an overall length of 10m, a width of 2.75m and a height of 2.4m. It can be operated by a crew of six to eight members.
Fire control, weaponry and ammunition on the Singapore Light Weight Howitzer Pegasus
The gun can fire at a burst rate of three rounds in 24 seconds. The maximum rate of fire of the gun is four rounds a minute for three minutes and sustained rate is two rounds a minute for 30 minutes. Pegasus can fire extended range munitions up to a range of 30km.
It can be quickly prepared for deployment in less than 2.5 minutes. The advanced mechanical sight fitted on the gun can survive firing shocks of up to 90Gs.
The ammunition loading system powered by the APU automatically loads ammunition in to gun. This will reduce crew fatigue and enable the gun crew to operate the howitzer for long durations at a burst rate of three rounds in 24 seconds.
The innovative recoil management used in the howitzer reduces the recoil force of the gun by one-third. The howitzer delivers better range and firepower over the 105mm light howitzers.
Engine onboard the SLWH Pegasus light weight howitzer
Pegasus is powered by an independent Lombardini 9LD625-2 air cooled diesel engine delivering a power output of 21kW.
The engine provides self-propelled capability at a speed of up to 12km/h for short-range. This feature gives the howitzer shoot and scoot ability to survive from the vehicles and artillery units equipped with fire-finder tracking radars.
Pegasus requires lifting support in the field and can be easily configured for the deployment. The howitzer manoeuvres over terrain with the help of APU.
The howitzer can be towed by 5t to 7t vehicles such as BAE Hagglunds Bv-206 and ATTC Bronco variant all-terrain light armoured vehicles for long-range transport.
SLWH Pegasus can be transported internally by a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and carried underslung by the CH-47D Chinook helicopter.
The howitzer is equipped with hydrostatic drive train, in-hub radial piston motor, power steering and hydro-pneumatic suspension system. Pegasus has maximum turning radius of 22m (wall to wall) when self-propelled.