Singapore Unveils New Air-Portable, Semi-Mobile 155mm Pegasus Howitzer
The 155mm/39-cal Singapore Light Weight Howitzer (SLWH) Pegasus was commissioned by Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean on Oct 28, 2005 [fact sheet | video]. Its combination of 155mm firepower, powered mobility, and single-helicopter portability makes it an unusual offering on the global stage. Weighing 5.4 tons, the Pegasus offers better range and firepower than the aging 60 Giat 105mm LG1 towed light howitzers it will replace. During operations, the Pegasus will provide long-range, maneuverable fire support to the Army’s heliborne forces.
Singaporean defense industry is known for its hand-in-glove work with the Singaporean government, smart diversification of its industrial base, and innovative combinations of new and tested technologies to produce very fine equipment that precisely meets Singapore’s needs. The Pegasus is another example of these trends, and its performance characteristics are indeed well suited to its mission.
In addition to being air-transportable by the Air Force’s CH-47D “Chinook” helicopters, the SLWH Pegasus includes an APU (Auxillary Power Unit, really an independent engine) which provides the gun with a short-range self-propelled capability over terrain at up to 12 km/h. This mobility will be used as a supplement that gives the guns some “shoot and move” capabilities, enabling multiple-volley survival against enemies with fire-finder tracking radars linked with modern artillery and/or rockets. It is not intended for long-range transport, which requires towing by a truck – or more likely, Singapore’s BAE Hagglunds Bv-206 or indigenous ATTC Bronco variant all-terrain light armored vehicles. As such, the SLWH Pegasus is more of a useful hybrid than a true self-propelled howitzer.
The Pegasus’ gun can achieve a burst rate firing of 3 rounds in 24 seconds, with an automatic loading system that can help sustain that rate for longer periods. The system also includes an advanced mechanical sight and overall frame that can withstand firing shocks of up to 90G, thanks to the use of lightweight titanium and aluminum (similar to the 4.1 ton, 155mm/39-cal US/British M777A1 howitzer) and innovative recoil management. The SAF’s artillery systems will all be standardized at 155mm after the Pegasus is fully phased into the SAF’s artillery units, improving supply chain efficiency and overall striking power.
This project leveraged Singapore’s recent development of a range of domestically produced 155mm munitions. It also marks another milestone in the close partnership among the Armed Forces, its Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) procurement agency, and ST Kinetics. They had previously collaborated on artillery projects such as the tracked 28.3 ton 155mm/39-cal Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer 1 (SSPH1 Primus | Fact sheet), the 155mm/52-cal towed Field Howitzer 2000 (FH2000), and the 155mm Field Howitzer 88 (FH88).