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The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

This is a discussion on The best strategy to defending Singapore Island within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Yes, we actually had that on page 1....


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Old January 26th, 2009   #31
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Yes, we actually had that on page 1.
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Old January 27th, 2009   #32
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did you knows the closest INDONESIAN island from singapore is BATAM just about 15 KM from them
@wesuper, yes, I am aware and thanks for your input.

We also have at least 2 Malaysians and 2 Indonesians (including you) in this thread discussing the best strategy to defend Singapore. I would welcome and encourage your thoughts on the scenario proposed. Fyi, the thread starter, Twister, had asked us to consider the following scenario:

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Originally Posted by Twister
Let just says that the same enemy just attack both Malaysia & Indonesia which Indonesia lost their control over the water territorial at the east & south (Riau Island) point of Singapore.

Both countries failed to help because need to defend themselves (Kuala Lumpur & Jakarta).

Even the enemy has control the Riau territorial water but fight still goes in the island.
So it is in that context that I made my comments for the benefit of British Post who is a bit younger... It is not my intention to be offensive (in case I come across as offensive or proud). We are here to learn from each other.

Peace my friend.

Last edited by OPSSG; January 27th, 2009 at 04:50 AM.
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Old January 31st, 2009   #33
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Th best scenario of defending Singapore is to set up a firewall. For example if Singapore is a Server, you'd set up firewall's to defend it.

So IMO, SIngapore's defence should start outside singapore at sea. Build a network of ships/submarines that will detect any incoming threat air/sea and neutralise it. That means ships loaded with AA/ASh/ASu capability.

Towards the north it would be practically usefull to have good relations with Malaysia to not engage in war with them, and have some form of military agreement with them , in which case FPDA comes in.

So I'd suggest Singapore to invest heavily on Navy, Ships/Subs.
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Old February 2nd, 2009   #34
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Hello, first time poster here. Just found the forum.

Anyway, IMO if there's an actual invasion of Singapore itself as in Twister's scenario, the only way to defend Singapore would be costly street to street urban battles. But before that the direction of the attack has to be considered: where and how is the enemy going to invade or deploy on the island itself?

a) an amphibious assault on the west/east coasts of singapore (from the south) would be quite impossible considering the small front with which to land troops and the fact that the northern coast is too easily protected (we could rebuild fort siloso) with mines and what not. Furthermore the northern coasts are chockful of merchant shipping, such that attempting to approach from the south in force would be much too difficult. AND Singapore has no beaches large enough. That rules out amphibious assaults. (what country would have sufficient capability anyway? USA?)

b) assaults from the north through Tuas and Woodlands (Northwest and North) would be the most probable scenario, since its been tried-and-tested in WW2 (terrain dictated those routes anyway). The cross-straits bridges are also essential to bringing in armor assets to support any offensive, most likely following the Japanese route of going down towards the city center on the southern end of the island.

c) assaults from the north east, over pulau ubin and tekong. Very likely as well, since even small dinghys and patrol boats can cross that narrow strech of water between the islands with great ease.

d) from above, airborne-style. Very likely. Would make for effective disruptions. But highly dangerous, since any male older than 18 in Singapore is a potential combatant, and it would be difficult to coordinate landings as there aren't many places in Singapore sufficiently large to drop any unit larger than a company.

Invasions would most likely follow B and C for the reasons stated above. But once on the island proper defense would likely degenerate into a series of street battles and sniping actions since most of Singapore is built up with lots and lots of apartment buildings (imagine sniping positions from the 10th floor of an HDB flat). Possibly a Stalingrad style hardpoint defense that would force bloody house to house clearing on the part of the invaders until the SAF can mount an effective counterstrike.

The only other parts of the island that are not urban are the military live fire areas in the North West (where any response is likely to be organised from and the area is likely to be defended heavily with tanks and fortifications) and the Central areas of Singapore with the reservoirs and jungles and hills, but its gonna be weird. Imagine trekking up a hill within a jungle only to emerged on the opposing side 3 hours later with an expressway and blocks of flats staring at you. Maybe position the artillery on those areas and set up chokepoints on major expressways?

the air force is most likely going to fly interdiction against incoming bombers rather than close ground support since the SAF isn't going to be keen on smashing the infrastructure.

hmmm there's nothing else really. a defense of the island is going to be rather straightforward since the operation areas are going to be really cramp. did i miss anything?
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Old February 14th, 2009   #35
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Ww3

If any agressor reachs Singapore than probably SG's allies have already give up/betrayed Singapore or ASEAN has either fell apart or be beaten by the agressor. Then it doesn't matter much how good the Singaporeans fight.
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Old February 15th, 2009   #36
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If any agressor reachs Singapore than probably SG's allies have already give up/betrayed Singapore or ASEAN has either fell apart or be beaten by the agressor. Then it doesn't matter much how good the Singaporeans fight.
Crunchy, you have met the minimum threshold in DT rules in your above response (i.e. it is not a one liner).

Would you care to explain how you came to this conclusion? Have you read the thread (all the pages)?
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Old February 15th, 2009   #37
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Hello, first time poster here. Just found the forum.

Anyway, IMO if there's an actual invasion of Singapore itself as in Twister's scenario, the only way to defend Singapore would be costly street to street urban battles. But before that the direction of the attack has to be considered: where and how is the enemy going to invade or deploy on the island itself?

a) an amphibious assault on the west/east coasts of singapore (from the south) would be quite impossible considering the small front with which to land troops and the fact that the northern coast is too easily protected (we could rebuild fort siloso) with mines and what not. Furthermore the northern coasts are chockful of merchant shipping, such that attempting to approach from the south in force would be much too difficult. AND Singapore has no beaches large enough. That rules out amphibious assaults. (what country would have sufficient capability anyway? USA?)

b) assaults from the north through Tuas and Woodlands (Northwest and North) would be the most probable scenario, since its been tried-and-tested in WW2 (terrain dictated those routes anyway). The cross-straits bridges are also essential to bringing in armor assets to support any offensive, most likely following the Japanese route of going down towards the city center on the southern end of the island.

c) assaults from the north east, over pulau ubin and tekong. Very likely as well, since even small dinghys and patrol boats can cross that narrow strech of water between the islands with great ease.

d) from above, airborne-style. Very likely. Would make for effective disruptions. But highly dangerous, since any male older than 18 in Singapore is a potential combatant, and it would be difficult to coordinate landings as there aren't many places in Singapore sufficiently large to drop any unit larger than a company.

Invasions would most likely follow B and C for the reasons stated above. But once on the island proper defense would likely degenerate into a series of street battles and sniping actions since most of Singapore is built up with lots and lots of apartment buildings (imagine sniping positions from the 10th floor of an HDB flat). Possibly a Stalingrad style hardpoint defense that would force bloody house to house clearing on the part of the invaders until the SAF can mount an effective counterstrike.

The only other parts of the island that are not urban are the military live fire areas in the North West (where any response is likely to be organised from and the area is likely to be defended heavily with tanks and fortifications) and the Central areas of Singapore with the reservoirs and jungles and hills, but its gonna be weird. Imagine trekking up a hill within a jungle only to emerged on the opposing side 3 hours later with an expressway and blocks of flats staring at you. Maybe position the artillery on those areas and set up chokepoints on major expressways?

the air force is most likely going to fly interdiction against incoming bombers rather than close ground support since the SAF isn't going to be keen on smashing the infrastructure.

hmmm there's nothing else really. a defense of the island is going to be rather straightforward since the operation areas are going to be really cramp. did i miss anything?
Welcome to the forum

I have been watching this topic and I think attacking Singapore would be very foolish and difficult.Only the USA would have this capability.

wertyisme i will try and put a few questions to your scenario

points a/b/c) What would the Singapore Navy/Air force be doing when this amphibious landing in trying to close the gap around the straights of Singapore? The Singapore navy and air force would be sinking ships

Also remember that Singapore Army has Leo2 tanks, light units(like airborne/snipers) do not fair to well against tanks.I think Singapore Army would have the advantage against any lightly armed troops.

The world community would not just watch this unfold.The USA would send a carrier battle group to assist.

Australia would be sending subs,frigates,F-111,F-18 basically anything that Singapore needed to help defend its land/sea and air space.

once again welcome to the forum
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Old February 15th, 2009   #38
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I have been watching this topic and I think attacking Singapore would be very foolish and difficult.Only the USA would have this capability.
Any attacker would have to come to terms with the RSAF which has 24 F15SG(possibly more orders in the very near future), 70+ F16s Blk 52/ 52 plus, 45-50 F5Es(upgraded to shoot amraams) which are backed by E-2C AEW Hawkeyes which will be replaced by Phalcon Gulfstreams AEW & C this year.There are also around 40 Super-Skyhawks in active storage reserve.

SAF utilizes a host of radars such as the FPS-117(upgraded)(>450km), Giraffe AMB(100km), P-stars, etc(not exactly following SAF`s ground radar developments). RSAF utilizes a variety of UAVs for surveillance and detection; Hermes 450s, Searcher 2s, etc. The military also leverages on a wide array of civilian radars as Singapore is an aviation and maritime hub in the region.

Singapore`s layered air defence includes the recently and locally upgraded I-hawks(40km) which can now engage multiple targets simultaneously and upgraded Rapiers(8-10km range)(reportedly replaced by Israeli Spyders(15km range)) and a host of shorter range vshorads. I-hawks would possibly be replaced by Patriots/Meads in the near future and possibly Israeli Arrow 3s to counter ABM threats.

Singapore has 6 frigates and 18 corvette class vessels. The 6 Formidable class frigates and 6 Victory class heavy corvettes are armed with 75mm Super rapid cannons, Harpoons SSMs, torpedoes, Aster15s/30s anti-air missiles, Baraks anti-air missiles, etc. The 12 Fearless class corvettes(called Patrol Vessels by the RSN) are armed with 75mm Super Rapid cannons, torpedoes, Mistrals anti-air missiles, Israeli Gabriels SSMs, etc. The latter can be equipped with Harpoons as well and it is no secret that it will be so in exigencies.

The RSN operates 4 submarine with 2 more submarines arriving next year. The latter two comes equipped with AIP. In addition, the navy operates Fokker-50 MPAs armed with harpoons and torpedoes.

The RSN also operates fleets of unmanned surface vessels(usvs) such as the Protectors and Spartans. Protectors are armed with mini-typhoon cannons while the Spartans can be armed likewise with the addition of Spike missiles or configured as anti-submarine usvs with torpedoes and/or sonars. These USVs will be deadly in a littoral fight where they can shoot and scoot fast, dodging enemy sensors(they are very small being at around 7-11 metres) and weapons.

Only the US has the capability to end the RSN and RSAF with her carrier battle groups currently.

After that, you`ll need to land your forces and fight through around 73,000 active and professional forces and another 350,000 conscript reserves(ala Israel) on recall every year. These forces are supplemented by around 200,000 more para-military units from the Civil Defence forces and Kins. Then again, every male >18 years of age in Singapore is going to be a combatant and trained as such. There should be should enough rifles to go around. That`s around 1.7 million currently.

The army is very networked and has the ability to respond fast to changing situations and new threats.

The army operates >132 Leopard 2 main battle tanks which are about to be locally upgraded to the equivalent 2A6 standard minus the L55 gun, 100-120 Centurian main battle tanks(upgraded with new armour and 105mm gun), 350 AMX-13 SM1 locally upgraded light tanks(still in operation though some have been retired), Bionix 2 IFVs with 30 mm cannons, Bionix 1 IFVs with 25mm cannons plus other varients, Broncos and older but upgraded M113s, etc. Add the possible and imminent purchase of ST`s Terrex(Singapore`s Strykers). If I can recall, ISIS Military Balance 2007 puts Singapore`s armored IFV/APC strength at around >1600. There are also 20 Apache Longbow attack helicopters operated by the RSAF.

Artillery includes 155mm 52 cal FH2000 howitzers, 155mm 39 cal FH88 howitzers, 155mm 39 cal Pegasus howitzers(heli transportable), 155mm 39 cal Primus SPHs and the HIMARs MLRS system(to be inducted this year). With regards to the Himars, Singapore has officially purchased the unitary GMLRs rockets with a range of 85km. Himars could also be equipped with Israeli Extra precision rockets with a range in excess of 130km. Singapore is unlikely to declare the latter purchase however(if any). No news on the purchase of ATACMs yet.

Last edited by Red; February 15th, 2009 at 07:40 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2009   #39
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Do not forget to add this into the equation. Singapore has a military agreement/treaty with the US on basing facilities and equipment. It has been significantly expanded over the years. Recently, it has been suggested that US LCS modules should be based in Singapore as well. COMLOG WESTPAC is based in Singapore after having moved from Subic Bay.

Unlike the Phillipines where the US owns the latter bases, US warships and planes are in constant transit through Singapore owned naval bases and air-bases. Also, Changi naval base is the only naval base in South East Asia where US Nuclear carriers can berth. Needless to say, the latter is intentional for future exigencies. US navy ships are routinely repaired and serviced in Singapore ports. Same with USAF aircrafts. More than 100 key US navy warships call on Singapore naval bases and ports yearly; including Nuclear Carriers.

There are reports online where it is reported that the US is seeking to lease and operate dry docks for her carriers in Singapore.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...ore-basina.jpg

Any attack on Singaporean bases could inadvertently attack US forces here. That would be a really bad mistake. Singapore bases are also used by allies UK, New Zealand and Australia. Recently, Singapore and Australia signed a new memorandum to deepen the already tight defence pact between the two countries and share facilities and equipment(?).

Singapore has refused the US`s offer for an upgrade in diplomatic treaty status to "major Non-NATO ally" unlike Thailand; prefering to be allied unofficially with the US while maintaining good relations with her Muslim dominated neighbours and China.

Nevertheless, Singapore`s military has a high a degree of access to top notch US equipment and this has translated into purchases such as the only foreign AESA equipped F15SGs, Apache helicopters, E-2C Hawkeyes(one of the few foreign countries allowed to purchase the latter), Himars, C-17s(a sales team came over), Amraam C-7s, JSOWs, Phalcon radars, etc. Singapore`s DSTA also works closely with the US`s Darpa on some interesting projects. Interestingly, her access is higher than some major Non-Nato US allies and this is probably due to the value both countries have placed in this close relationship.

Last edited by Red; February 15th, 2009 at 07:38 PM.
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Old February 15th, 2009   #40
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Crunchy, you have met the minimum threshold in DT rules in your above response (i.e. it is not a one liner).

Would you care to explain how you came to this conclusion? Have you read the thread (all the pages)?
There are discussions to expand the ASEAN treaties towards a defence pact.

I'm just looking from the political level: Any conflict involving SG would involve major powers, aka possibility of escalation towards WW3
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Old February 15th, 2009   #41
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There are discussions to expand the ASEAN treaties towards a defence pact.

I'm just looking from the political level: Any conflict involving SG would involve major powers, aka possibility of escalation towards WW3
Where are your thoughts from a military stand point? I'll be interested to know.

Are you sure of how ASEAN works and the ASEAN way? Looking at the various players, your statement on a defence pact is unlikely. Do you understand the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia?

Don't mind me but DT does not do purely political discussions.
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Old February 15th, 2009   #42
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ASEAN as a defence group seems very unlikely. But in terms of standardising equipment and muntions, coms etc that is possible.

However, there are other defence agreements between relivant members in Asia. I am sure that any invasion of singapore would involve immediate intervention by the US and the British and Australia with the support of other nations nearby (unless they are the aggressor). However the response would be limited by what resources are avalible and how quickly they could get there. If there was general regional instability, the response would be much more limited.

I can't see such an operation happening alone, it would be done to take advantage of a particular situation involving other states and turmoil.
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Old February 16th, 2009   #43
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Red great post about Singapore defence equipment.
One point i noticed from your post........Singapore Army has 132 Leo 2 tanks?
I was not aware they had that many Leo 2 MBT?Dont they have approx.60 odd MBT
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Old February 16th, 2009   #44
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Red great post about Singapore defence equipment.
One point i noticed from your post........Singapore Army has 132 Leo 2 tanks?
I was not aware they had that many Leo 2 MBT?Dont they have approx.60 odd MBT
I merely elaborated a bit on what is already known. You can read up on Singapore`s Leos over here;

http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8344

Cheers
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Old February 16th, 2009   #45
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Where are your thoughts from a military stand point? I'll be interested to know.

Are you sure of how ASEAN works and the ASEAN way? Looking at the various players, your statement on a defence pact is unlikely. Do you understand the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia?

Don't mind me but DT does not do purely political discussions.
ASEAN Defence Coop (OK I reduce my expectation.) -> Some stupid comments by some PLA top brass can speed things up very quickly.

As we all know SG's doctrin is an preemptive strike, so wouldn't an pre empitive strike by SG on - example: agressor naval fleet - give the agressor the reason it needs to strike SG? (Assuming the agressor has got several naval task forces.) So SG's modern forces may have exhausted its arsenal & munitions. We all know that SG cannot substain a prolonged conflict. What now?

The whole scenario is so absurd.
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