With the emerging and evolving threats from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), the Singapore Armed Forces’ Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives (SAF CBRE) Defence Group needed a new system with enhanced capabilities for blast containment and decontamination.

DSTA managed the acquisition of a new generation of the Radiological Dispersal Device Total Containment Vessel (RTCV), which is capable of mitigating the effects of IEDs with chemical, biological and radiological payload. The RTCV was commissioned in April 2012.

As the RTCV was originally designed to be towed by land rovers, the DSTA team initiated design modifications to ensure its compatibility with the SAF five-tonne truck. In particular, the tow bar on the RTCV trailer had to be replaced. Working closely with the users to evaluate the benefits of different solutions in terms of mobility, and minimal impact to operations and cost, the DSTA team recommended a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) height-adjustable tow bar. This introduces flexibility and modularity for the RTCV’s deployment, allowing alternative prime movers to be used during operations and training.

There was also a requirement for the RTCV to be equipped with suitable generators to operate as a standalone platform for extended durations of up to eight hours. The DSTA team thus conducted a thorough assessment of the existing in-service equipment in search of commonalities with other available solutions. A COTS mobile diesel generator was eventually proposed to allow the users to refuel without the need to halt operations.

The relatively smaller and lightweight generator can be stowed on the towing platform, as compared with larger in-service generators which may require direct mounting on the prime mover. However, this smaller 150-kilogram generator had to be loaded and unloaded manually. To overcome this, the DSTA team proposed integrating a winch system on the RTCV trailer to assist the operator with the loading and unloading operation. This has reduced the manpower required to deploy the generator from five soldiers to one. In addition, safety has been enhanced by mitigating the hazard of a freewheeling generator during such operations.