Armour brings the characteristics of Firepower, Mobility, Flexibility, Armour Protection and Shock Effect to the battlefield. Ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice, Armour’s rapid manoeuvres punch through all defences, seizing ground to secure a swift and decisive victory. Armour's assets include the upgraded LEOPARD 2SG Main Battle Tanks, the BIONIX Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and most importantly, our People. Highly trained and motivated, they are our most potent assets. We maintain a high state of operational readiness through the use of advanced manoeuvre simulation systems, alongside the latest progressive and realistic training. The epitome of man and machine working together in one spirit, Armour is the decisive force of Our Army.
The Black Beret
Through the years, Armour has been distinguished by our exceptionally strong esprit de corps. This closely knitted formation of today is the result of decades spent practising a people-oriented leadership style, giving rise to our nickname of the "Armour Family". This familial spirit of Armour is summed up in our iconic black beret. The history of the black beret as a symbol of Armour dates back to 1917 when it was first used by the French tankmen of World War I. Later, the black beret was also chosen independently as the official headdress by the British and German armoured foces. Today, the black beret is a unifying headdress given to all soldiers serving in the Armour Formation.
We as Tank commanders are the masters of mounted warfare and are skilled in precision gunnery. We pack the lethal punch with speed and massive firepower.
We are the experts of mounted and dismounted warfare. Our Armoured Infantry acts as a force multiplier by providing the flexibility of outflanking manoeuvres.
Aiming to possess a modern and effective armoured force, the first Armour unit, 41 SAB (now known as 41 SAR), was formed at Keat Hong Camp in 1968. A year later, the first armour tank unit, 40 SAB (now known as 40 SAR), was formed. On 9 August 1969, the republic was enthralled as 18 AMX-13 tanks rumbled down St. Andrew’s Road, for the first time in the nation’s history. Since then, the SAF Armour continued to grow with the forming of 42nd Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (42 SAR), 46 SAR, 48 SAR, HQ 8 SAB, HQ 4 SAB, School of Armour and Reserve Armour Training Centre (later renamed as Armour Training Centre).
Throughout the years, the SAF Armour has constantly upgraded her platforms to meet the technological requirements of a modern army. In 1987, their AMX-13 tanks were upgraded to SM1 tanks, where their engines were converted to run on diesel, and the track and suspension systems were upgraded as well. The M113 ULTRA armoured personnel carriers were also equipped with better weapon systems and upgraded with a more powerful engine, increasing their maximum speed and cruising range.
Next in line were the combat service support tracked vehicles, known as the BV 206, utilised to sustain the effectiveness of the SAF Armour in battles. In addition to the family of armoured vehicles was the indigenous Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) known as the BIONIX. It is a power-packed masterpiece, locally designed and produced. In 2004, the BRONCO All-Terrain Tracked Carrier (ATTC) was introduced to enhance the combat support and combat service support functions in Armour.
As time passed and our operational requirements evolved, SAF Armour acquired the Leopard 2A4s Main Battle Tanks in December 2008 and subsequently upgraded them to the L2SG. These tanks replaced the older SM-1 tanks.
In the near future, Armour will witness the delivery of the Next Generation Armour Fighting Vehicle, providing our armoured forces enhanced firepower, protection, mobility and situational awareness. It will be the mainstay of the Singapore Armed Force’s mechanised forces fighting alongside the BIONIX IFV.