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The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

Discussion in 'Strategy & Tactics' started by Twister, Dec 31, 2008.

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  1. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 1 of 2: Points support Ananda’s Posts
    Thank you all for the replies to point out the problems. Let me share my supporting points.
    One, Singapore aligns our interests with that of Australia, France, Germany, US, NZ and so on. Indonesia, as a G20 member, and the most populous country in ASEAN, is the leader of ASEAN. While the rotating ASEAN chair controls the agenda, Indonesia's leadership will affect ASEAN's effectiveness.
    Two, the fight alone scenario to defend Singapore from a full on invasion by the TNI by 2030 is very unrealistic (partly because the TNI does not have the logistics for an invasion nor the desire to do so). IMHO, attacking Singapore with 1 to 2 divisions in high intensity warfare may lead to at best a stalemate (and external intervention by the US, Australia, NZ and UK) or a loss for the aggressor.
    Three, any attack in 2030 under Ahmad‘s proposed scenario without first sinking the very capable Singapore Navy and our 4 Type 218SG submarines, is doomed to failure. Further, the SAF with 1 to 2 divisions in defence will outnumber a division of attackers as they attempt to land; and we will be able to counter attack to their depth with our other forces not used for defence. IMO it’s always possible to kill some Singaporeans, while we prepare for our counter attack. But our counter attack to the depth of the aggressor, is designed to break the will of the aggressor.
    Four, while it is not possible for Singapore to defend against 1,000 cruise missiles, it is also not likely that Indonesia will build or buy 1,000 cruise missiles. But we have the naval capability defend against a limited number of cruise missiles and I would like to point out that:

    • By 2030, the Singapore Navy would operate 4x 2,200 ton Invincible Class submarines (Type 218SG), 6x 3,200 ton Formidable Class frigates (equipped with up to 24 Harpoon missiles, and 32 Aster missiles, each), and 8x 1,200 ton Independence Class LMVs (equipped with 12 MICA VL each); and started the ship building program for the 5,000 ton MRCVs — which can attack land targets (using Harpoon missiles) or conduct a limited defence against cruise missiles (using Aster and MICA missiles), should the need arise. The 130m x 18m MRCV will be armed with a 76/62 mm naval gun, a vertical launch system (rendering shows up to 38 cells), two-30 mm remotely controlled and two-12.7 mm guns, surface-to-surface missile launchers, two-chaff decoy launchers and two-anti torpedo decoy launchers, as well as space for a 15-ton helicopter and unmanned surface and air systems capabilities.
    • IMO, there is no need for Indonesia to buy 1,000 cruise missiles for Singapore to take the TNI-AU seriously — both countries can grow stronger together. The SAF gains tremendously by training with the TNI, as we have a conscript army, whereas, the TNI is a professional army. We also share a maritime border with Indonesia and we need your help to patrol these waters together. Having a stronger naval presence for Indonesia (well within your country's capability with the current size of Indonesia's economy), is key to ensuring that your country is less affected by China’s 9-dash line claims in West Natuna.
    • And as a leader of ASEAN, a strong Indonesia can serve to mediate between hostile parties (be it intra-ASEAN hostility or with China or Taiwan) over disputes in the South China Sea. Like China, Vietnam is also keen to push back against other claimants.
    Five, the SAF regularly trains to kill rocket systems, with a C4ISR system that features real-time updates of the ground situation picture by integrating the Heron 1 video feeds into an augmented reality display. Using advanced graphics rendering technology, static geographical data (e.g. landmarks, road names, building types, vegetation) are overlaid on top of the real-time video captured by the UAV. Multiple moving enemy targets, such as tanks and multiple launch rocket systems, employing “shoot and scoot” tactics can be destroyed in a single pass by fighters, AH-64D attack helicopters, or by our HIMARS batteries. We have 6 divisions (2Pdf, 3rd, 6th, 9th Divisions and AOR in 21st and 25th Divisions) and in many war scenarios, we only need 1 to 2 divisions to defend Singapore, leaving 4 divisions for rotational deployment for a forward defence scenario.

    • Invading Singapore means an aggressor has to have the logistics ability bring more than 4 combined arms divisions for the main effort; and a marine division for the minor effort. The aggressor will need the logistics ability to deliver 200 to 280 MBTS, in face of determined opposition by the SAF, to fight the SAF in echelon, for their main invasion effort (and the aggressor will also have to deploy 10 to 14 fighter squadrons as a tertiary air force), if they hope to have a chance to win. It’s logistics that is killer, just to keep these number of people supplied in high intensity warfare.
    • But the issue is not just logistics but the time and space required to deploy such a large number of troops — which will trigger intelligence alarm bells by all major powers. The political condition or behavior favored by many ASEAN members is a balance of power with the +8 powers, and the avoidance of armed conflict with each other and/or the +8 (because ASEAN members, like Indonesia and Singapore are not strong military powers, when compared to North East Asian Powers).
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  2. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 2 of 2: Spending for deterrence
    Six, without air superiority, no competent general will try to conduct an amphibious landing via the Singapore Straits as a main effort (as the ammo usage rate, the death rate and WIA rate for an aggressor would overwhelm their css and medical support). It will be a turkey shoot of the aggressors (for the SAF as defenders); and we have some limited but additional capability in this area. The lack of realism for military aspect of invading Singapore from Batam is covered by my prior 2 posts.
    Seven, we are agreed. The Israelis also sell their EW solutions, as this video below shows.

    Eight, agreed, except that we are not as capable: (1) in defence science as France, Germany, Israel or the US; and (2) our EW and ISR capabilities for attack are much less than Australia’s substantial capabilities with their Growlers, P8As, Wedge-tail, JORN, their G550 EW aircraft and so on.
    Nine, agreed and details of EW, intelligence and air power concepts can be found in AirPower 101.
    Ten, Singapore used to spend up to 5% of our GDP on defence in the early days. Today, we spend about 3% — because the capability gap viz-a-viz hostile parties like Malaysia is growing wider, each year (to my surprise). In fact, the SAF does not want to appear too capable. We just need to show enough to deter Malaysia (who are likely to be hostile for the next 3 years with Dr M as PM). Good intelligence enabled Singapore to slow down our replacement rate for cutting-edge equipment.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  3. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    There are two other important considerations regarding the defence of Singapore (and in reality apply anywhere) the first of these is the depth of defence available. Due to the size and nature of the geography in and around Singapore, there really is no depth available for defence within Singapore, which in turn forces defence planning to anticipate engaging hostile forces either immediately upon entry to Singaporean territory, or preferably engage in a forward defence with hostiles being engaged before they are within Singapore's airspace, home waters, or on Singapore's soil.

    The other important consideration has to do with the changing face of warfare itself, and that is the importance of gaining and maintaining information superiority. Of the ASEAN member-nations, Singapore appears to have invested the most resources as well as devoted the most effort into developing C4ISR capabilities which could achieve and maintain information superiority
     
  4. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 1 of 2: The Big Picture

    Thanks for sharing your views. Let me add a few more points below to add context on how threats to Singapore’s interests are being mitigated:
    One, as WWII has shown, a good defence plan for Malaya (against the then external Japanese invasion from the north) from should start at the appropriate geographical choke point in Thai territory (see Appendix 2 for Map of the opening blows in the Pointer Monograph on page 64). The Imperial Japanese Army landed in Thai territory and proceed to march south. There is also a Pointer Monograph on the mistakes in the Malayan Campaign, including a chapter on operational art shortcomings.
    Two, on 15 February 1942, the British Imperial garrison of Singapore, surrendered to a numerically smaller Japanese assault force. The British military intelligence officer Hughes-Wilson attributes the intelligence effort at Singapore as having four fatal flaws as follows:

    (i) underestimation of the enemy;

    (ii) fragmentation of effort;

    (iii) lack of resources; and

    (iv) no influence at the highest levels of command and control.​

    Learning from the above past mistakes, Singapore understands that to be fore-warned is to be fore-armed. For example, the uncovering of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in 2001 was by a tip-off from a member of public. Security agencies also gather intelligence by intercepting the communications of terrorists. However, terrorists are constantly adapting their tactics to evade detection and this includes the use of encrypted messaging applications such as Telegram. For example, experts believe that most of the weapons used by militants during the recent conflict in Marawi came across the sea. Other ISIS-linked terrorists like the Abu Sayaff Group also continue to threaten the safety of seafarers in the Sulu-Celebes Sea and the waters off East Sabah by abducting the crew of trade-transiting ships in exchange for ransom. The 2016 terrorist plot from Batam, Indonesia was thwarted by the authorities through intelligence sharing. The 6 suspects, who were members of an ISIS -linked cell, had planned a rocket attack on Marina Bay from Batam. The suicide attacks in Surabaya in May 2018, and the June 2016 Puchong nightclub attacks in Malaysia, are grave warnings that terrorism can become endemic in this region.

    Three, beyond terrorists from Malaysia and Indonesia, ISIS is trying establish their Caliphate in the Philippines. ASPI has a report, The Marawi crisis—urban conflict and information operations, that examines both the capability aspects of kinetic hard power and the lessons from soft-power information operations. For a US SOTF 511 perspective, see: Experimenting With the Art of Mission Command. Externally, SOTF 511 sent liaisons to the Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) Logistics Support Facility in Singapore to ensure smooth logistics support. Interagency liaisons at SOCPAC and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii improved deconfliction with other government stakeholders. This helped build trust and cooperation between SOCPAC, SOTF 511 and its interagency partners.
    • The 2017 Battle of Marawi also demonstrated that it takes night fighting equipment, a high standard of C3, combat trauma management and interoperability with supporting arms (such as, precise joint fires and armoured engineers) to fight and win in the urban environment — sadly things which are lacking for the AFP.
    • One Company from the AFP’s 2nd Infantry Division employed over 10,000 mortar rounds in 3 months. Offensive support came primarily in the form of Close Air Support, intimate support from mortars, and employing 105mm guns in a direct fire role. Despite the extraordinary firepower was employed to enable the seizure of Marawi City, the AFP failed to dominate the avenues of approach (resulting in trapped or isolated initial forces). ‘Murder holes’ were also utilised in stairwells. Knowing the AFP would have to make entry to clear the building, the ISIS snipers would cut a hole through the stair well and sit off some distance. Once the AFP made entry the ISIS sniper would have a clear line of sight of the door way and stairwell entry allowing him to score a centre of mass hit.
    • ISIS laid siege to Marawi City on 23 May 2017, lasting 153 days and becoming the longest urban war in Philippine history. It took the Philippines at least twice as long as comparable urban battles and attributable to capability shortfalls, and training, which the AFP acknowledged. To make matters worse, AFP platoons had not conducted extensive training in combat trauma management, and their Role 2 and Role 3 equivalent medical facilities were not accustomed to the very high volume of casualties which can be expected during urban fighting—a significant number of which were non-battle injuries.
    • It took the Philippines at least twice as long as comparable urban battles and attributable to capability shortfalls, and training, which the AFP acknowledged. In the Battle of Marawi, they ran out of certain types of ammunition and was fortunate that the US was willing to resupply them at short notice. The AFP also have very limited access to military grade UAVs, encrypted communications and most crucially, night fighting equipment (NFE); indeed, the only forces well equipped with NFE were those from Philippine SOCOMD and MARSOG. This meant the majority of forces were static at night. Lack of proper equipment slowed operational tempo and also resulted in 53 unnecessary AFP deaths in the Battle of Marawi. There were instances where their initial reinforcements were trapped for up to 5 days. With the help of outside partners such as Australia, Singapore and the US, the AFP sought to address their short comings. SAF's assistance included sending a C-130H to transport humanitarian supplies, use of the SAF's urban training villages for AFP troops, and a detachment of UAVs to enhance the AFP's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
    • The resulting tendency for outside observers to understand the Marawi operation through a lens of AFP training shortfalls discounts some AFP strengths and experience and also risks underestimating both inherent and emerging challenges. This Australian documentary below explains the Australian train and assist program and why this remains a breeding ground for ISIS. Official death toll for the battle in Marawi stood at 1,131 (919 terrorists and 165 soldiers and policemen) with over 1000 injured and also took the lives of 47 civilians.
    • Given the complexity of the region, it is accurate to say that the security problems faced by Singapore go beyond the traditional need for intelligence on state actors from the past. Let me quote from Secretary Robert Gates, who was the Secretary of Defense for the US. Gates said in 2011: “And I must tell you, when it comes to predicting the nature and location of our military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. We have never once gotten it right... – we had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged.” Secretary Gates was honest and spoke the truth, which is no one knows, for sure. Likewise, we cannot predict the deployments the SAF is required to undertake.
    • If you told a Singaporean conscript in 1989, that 1,500 SAF personnel (both regulars and conscripts) would as ‘a fist of fury, reach out as a hand of hope’ to help Aceh after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, or that another 1,500 have operated under CTF 151 as part of the counter-piracy effort in the Gulf of Aden, or that more would deploy to combat theatres in Afghanistan (492), and Iraq (998), or that Singapore would offer assistance to counter terrorists in the Philippines, he would think you are crazy.
    Four in 2018, Singapore’s information fusion centre (IFC) tracked a fishing boat and worked with the TNI to facilitate her capture in the waters off Batam, and a tonne of crystal methamphetamine was discovered on board. Today's threats faced are multi-faceted, trans-national and complex. Singapore understands the need to have the ability to gather information to conduct counter-terrorism operations against both state and non-state actors. Singapore is not shy about working with or learning from others. The SAF engages in intelligence-sharing with many ADMM Plus countries, including Indonesia, the United States, and Australia.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  5. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 2 of 2: Details Matter
    Five, piracy is a threat although the number of incidents have dropped, with a 92% decrease in piracy incidents in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in 2015-2018, according to the Information Fusion Centre. Recently shipping companies have been advised to implement Security Level 3 — the highest state of alertness under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code — effective from 2200hrs local time 2 July 2019 by Beijing, to increase the security level on ships transiting the Strait of Malacca.

    • While Beijing did not specify the reasons for the increased alert level, an internal email alert suggested the threat was from Indonesian parties.
    • On 22 Jul 2019 morning, seven pirates boarded a Korean flagged ship, the CK Bluebell and made off with US$13,000 (S$17,700) and belongings including mobile phones, clothes and shoes from the 22-strong crew, South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said (Read more at Pirates attack South Korean cargo ship in South China Sea).
    • Working with other countries and agencies will enable us to provide early warning for threats to Singapore and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, allowing authorities to promptly apprehend criminals, pirates or terrorist suspects.
    Six, agreed on the importance of C4ISR. The Information Fusion Centre, based in Singapore is an example of such investment.

    Seven, beyond forward defence, investing in C4ISR and good intelligence, Singapore also invests in defence science to mitigate risk. The DSO National Laboratories (DSO) is the national defense research agency set up in 1972. Originally named the Electronics Test Centre, it was renamed in 1977 to the Defence Science Organization. Besides setting up DSO, Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), and various local companies to harnesses and exploits science and technology, we have adopted a systems engineering approach. For example, DSTA undertakes design, development, acquisition and systems integration responsibilities, as well as operations and support management. These span the entire spectrum of capability planning, development, and sustainment of weapon systems throughout their life cycle to ensure that the SAF continue to be a formidable fighting force.


    Eight, the Next Generation SAF, for it to be a potent and credible force, must harness all of its assets, its manpower as well as technology. By 2030, slightly more than a decade to come, there will be a third reduction in NS recruits. A 33% reduction — that is disruptive change. In addition, when we built ships or procured platforms, they must be able to be operated with a lean force. Other navies operate frigates with crews of between 140 to 180 men. Our frigates which are just as potent operate with half to a third less, a 70 men crew. This is only possible because it was designed that way. For many years now, the SAF has already started to address this disruptive change, through the radical change in its approach to the organisational structure and manpower requirements of SAF systems.

    • A key project for the future SAF posture, is the next generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NG AFV). Built by ST Kinetics, the new tracked AFV will be able to accommodate three crew as well as up to eight fully-equipped troops. The vehicle weighs 29 tons and will reach maximum speeds of 70 kilometres-per-hour (43.5 miles-per-hour/mph) with a range of 500 kilometres/km (310.8 miles). The NG AFV is equipped with a remote weapons station and will replace the ageing M-113A2 Ultra tracked armoured personnel carriers. Some of these NG AFVs are equipped with a 30 mm remote weapon station (RWS). The dual-axis gyro-stabilised, dual-sight RWS can engage armoured vehicles 2 km away. According to Rafael, the RWS can carry up to 230 rounds of 30mm ammunition and 500 rounds for the co-axial machine gun. A highlight of the RWS is the ATGM launcher that can be installed on its left side, which is positioned horizontally and retracted under armour protection during travel and raised when preparing to fire its two ATGMs.

    These NG AFVs variants are scheduled to enter service in 2019 with the Armoured Infantry battalions and supported by the Bronco. The AFVs in use with 4th, 8th, 54th and 56th Singapore Armoured Brigades are the Bionix I, Bionix II and the NG AFVs.

    • Earlier in November 2016, the Singapore Army inducted the Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV) to support the Terrex motorised infantry battalions. Based on the Marauder mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle, the four-wheel drive Belrex PCSV vehicle measures has a gross weight of 20 tons. It accommodates two crew members, up to eight troops at the rear or 4,000 kg of equipment.


    Nine, the selection, motivation and retention of future leaders matter — so we can meet our objectives or do routine things well. Like LTC Cai Dexian, as an army officer. He was an SAF Scholar in 2003, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, where he was XO to the ISAF’s Director of Operations, and after the tour he was awarded a US Bronze star for his contributions to operations. Other examples of routine work or course attendance include:

    (i) Mr Tan Bing Wen, a DSTA scholar, who helped put into place Singapore’s air defence system. It is because we have an air defence system that we can scramble fighters in to time intercept stray civilian aircraft, who intend to enter our airspace without a flight plan; or

    (ii) Senior LTC Wong Foo Chan, Deputy Commander NDU, who topped the US Navy SEAL Course in 1999 and won the best trainee award in the Green Beret Course in 2001, completing the Special Forces course with a broken rib and a broken ankle due to a hard landing during a parachute jump, two weeks before the end of the course; or

    (iii) Maj Sam Tan, a naval officer and SAF Merit Scholar, sent to study in the United States Naval Academy, who emerged as top graduate in his 2012 batch of 1,099 American and foreign cadets.

    These are not gargantuan tasks, for a country at peace. But there are small routine tasks that each in the SAF and it’s defence science community must do well to keep the SAF humming, as a vibrant and responsive organisation.

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  6. Ewok

    Ewok New Member

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    It will be really difficult, close to impossible. Land mass is just too tiny. The best defense for Singapore are good ties with more powerful nations who have invested in her
     
  7. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    @OPSSG, I was reading recently that during the second half 1941 Australian Army Gen Thomas Blamey was in Singapore on his way either to the Middle East or back to Australia when he assessed the defences of Singapore and Malaya. He was appalled by what he saw in that the British officers in Singapore and Malaya responsible for the defence were on a peace time routine and paid scant attention to the defence and collection of intelligence about the Japanese. The impression I got was that Blamey thought that they considered them inferior in all aspects and hadn't bothered about air defence or other such matters and that they were playing the 19th Century Raj. No wonder they were beaten by a vastly inferior force in numbers but superior in quality. The reference is: JEFFREY, G. 2008. A Military History Of Australia, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Cambridge University Press.
     
  8. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What nonsense. You are posting without reading.

    Do you have any idea about the most densely defended country in South East Asia and the size of our armoured forces available for forward defence?


    With a defence budget of S$15.5 billion for FY2019 (up from S$14.8 billion for FY2018), Singapore is the most densely defended country in Southeast Asia. Educate yourself, and watch the above 2019 video of the men and machines on parade, please.


    History has taught Singapore not to rely on others for our defence. From August 1967 onwards, Singaporeans assumed and acquired the capability to defend ourselves. In the 2nd video, the Minister of Defence spoke on the spate of training deaths that occurred recently. This capability to defend Singapore is written in blood by 3 generations of Singaporeans.

    If you can’t read, at least watch the videos linked in this thread.
    Agreed. Thanks for sharing.

    For context, I note that this Japanese campaign began on 8 December 1941 (in Asian time zones, but is often referred to as starting on 7 December, as that was the date in American time zone, for the attack on Pearl Harbor), when Japanese forces landed in Singora and Patani in southern Thailand, and Kota Bharu in northern Malaya. The Japanese preparation for the invasion of Malaya and Singapore began in 1941. The Doro Nawa or Taiwan Army Research Department took charge of researching and planning Japanese military strategy in Asia. Masanobu Tsuji was the officer-in-charge of operations and planning in the Malayan sector and the mastermind of the Malayan Campaign. Japanese troops were trained to fight in tropical conditions on Hainan Island in China. They also carried out reconnaissance work in Malaya as part of their preparations.

    Ninety minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese battalions began landing at Kota Bharu in north-eastern Malaya. British and Australian aircraft, although outnumbered, engaged the invading force but were little match for the Japanese who retained air superiority throughout the campaign. More Australians died in the fighting for Malaya and Singapore than in any other Australian campaign in WW II (except for Papua from Jul 1942 to Jan 1943). More Australians were captured in this loss than in all the other campaigns in Australian military history combined. More than one third of the men and women captured would die in imprisonment.

    In contrast to Japanese efforts, the British effort was inadequate and Winston Churchill was appalled by the lack of effort with regard to northward facing defences. On 15 January 1942, Churchill wrote to General Wavell, about Singapore. On 16 January, Wavell wrote him a most disturbing reply: “I discussed the defence of island when recently at Singapore, and have asked for detailed plans. Until quite recently all plans were based on repulsing seaborne attacks on island and holding land attack in Johore [located in the southern portion of the Malay Peninsula] or farther north, and little or nothing was done to construct defences on north side of the island to prevent crossing Johore Straits, though arrangements have been made to blow up the causeway.” Wavell went on to say: “The fortress cannon of heaviest nature have all-round traverse, but their flat trajectory makes them unsuitable for counter-battery work. Could certainly not guarantee to dominate enemy siege batteries with them.”

    Churchill was clearly astounded, and greatly troubled, by Wavell’s message. He responded: “It was with feelings of painful surprise that I read this message on the morning of the 19th. So there were no permanent fortifications covering the landward side of the naval base and of the city! Moreover, even more astounding, no measures worth speaking of had been taken by any of the commanders since the war began, and more especially since the Japanese had established themselves in Indo-China, to construct field defences” (see: Churchill and the Fall of Singapore - The International Churchill Society).
    If you are visiting Singapore, there is 75-minute tour at Fort Canning, titled The Battlebox Tour: A Story Of Strategy And Surrender, details the primary reasons for Malaya and Singapore's fall to the Japanese, as well as the roles and functions the various key rooms in the Battlebox played in the war.

    LTG Arthur Percival’s (who surrendered Singapore to the Japanese) son, himself a retired brigadier, James Percival, returned to visit the Battlebox in Feb 2019.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  9. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    In March 1968 I had the honour to begin my training with the first four Midshipmen of the newly created SAF naval arm, my roommate Phillip Cheong was one of them. Last year we held our 50 year reunion in Brisbane and one of them, Tan Peng Yong attended. He had a long and distinguished career in the SAF.
    I’ve watched the growth and development of the SAF with great interest and I believe you have an institution that is mature, highly professional and superbly equipped, BZ
     
  10. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Evolving the SAF’s Force Structure to meet new threats — from deployable, to special, to cyber

    1. Singapore’s military modernisation reflects the SAF’s mission: to enhance Singapore's peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy, and should these fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory over the aggressor. The SAF aims to upgrade its network-centric warfare capabilities for joint operations, with corresponding changes in the organisational force structures and operational conduct to strengthen overall military effectiveness. Its force transformation trajectory can be viewed as a 3 phased approach. The SAF:

    (i) introduces progressively more capable systems coupled with the establishment of new units;

    (ii) establishes new operational commands and focuses on widening its operational flexibility and responsiveness; and

    (iii) enhances its capability through selection, training and education of capable and committed personnel.

    As the threat scenario changes, Singapore has had to evolve — to augment the conscript model, and had to professionalise a part of the Army. For example, the Army Deployment Force (ADF) was inaugurated on 12 Jul 2016, as a battalion-sized force of army regulars with niche capabilities to respond to threats in both urban and non-urban settings. Equipped with the Peacekeeper protected response vehicle, the Protected Light Utility Vehicle (an armoured Ford Everest ops utility vehicle) and other classified capabilities, "the basic task for the ADF is to act as a rapid response element because speed is important in counter-terrorism (CT)," said Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen in his 2016 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day interview. "It's not quite like conventional missions where you have time. This time, you have to respond in minutes." "The ability to swiftly deploy a sizeable force to counter threats and assist civil authorities continues to be the ADF's raison d'etre," said its Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Du. "As ISIS continues to be weakened in Iraq and Syria, we see increased activities of the returning fighters in our region. More important than ever, the unit stands ready to respond if terror strikes our shores." In CT scenarios, the ADF works with the Island Defence Task Force, Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) and Home Team agencies as protectors to guard the nation against terror threats. It can also be activated to play a peacekeeper role in Peace Support Operations (in Afghanistan or such other conflict zones) overseas. Another role of the ADF is that of a preserver to ensure safety and provide aid during disaster relief missions.

    2. The ADF (as part of the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade) augments the capabilities of SOCC, and the ADF Guardsmen have to train to meet mission requirements. The Guards' spectrum of operations as part of the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade has been extended to include Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Peace Support Operations, as was apparent during the 2004 tsunami or the 2011 earthquake relief operations in Christchurch. Notable Guardsmen include Speaker of Parliament, Tan Chuan-Jin, who was then a Colonel and commander of the SAF's Humanitarian Assistance Task force in Meulaboh following the 2004 tsunami.

    Before troopers can don the ADF patch, they have to make it through a 21-week Combat Qualification Course (CQC) — see 1st video on CQC. Every new evolution gets tougher than the last, with a short water break and temperature check between each. Trainees grit their teeth as they carry a 20kg weight up and down a flight of stairs. They then proceed for more physical training drills. The course is designed to test the physical and mental readiness of trainees before they are posted to the ADF's operational companies. Upon completion of CQC, ADF’s companies are sent for overseas training, with foreign forces, such as, with the Australian Army or the US Marines. The 2nd video explains the role and training of these army professionals.

    The ADF’s overseas live-fire training include the 22nd edition of the annual bilateral Exercise Valiant Mark, which ran from 25 August to 12 September 2018.

    3. In addition, Singapore will set up a new Special Operations Command Centre (SOCC) (Fact Sheet: Enhancing the SAF's Counter-Terrorism Capabilities) as part of a wide-ranging effort to enhance the ability of the SOTF and the ADF to conduct counter-terrorism operations, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced during a media briefing on 28 June 2019. According to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the SOCC will function as a hub for planning, monitoring, and managing military responses to concurrent terrorist and homeland contingencies. The centre will be situated in the eastern Hendon Camp and is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year. It will also work closely with other agencies when required. The centre will be equipped with organic command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems to support operational planning, co-ordination, and to sense-make acquired data. Efforts to improve the capabilities of Singapore’s SOTF is similar in some aspects to Australia’s parallel A$500 million (over the next 4 years alone) effort in project GREYFIN (see: Backing Australian special forces with cutting edge equipment | Prime Minister of Australia).

    4. The special operations community and our regular forces maintain especially close ties with their counterparts in both America and Australia (where a lot of overseas training is conducted). Under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI), Singapore will invest approximately AUD 2 billion to acquire, design, develop and construct military training areas through expanding the existing Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and establishing a new training area in North Queensland. When the Initiative reaches maturity, up to 14,000 Singaporeans will conduct training in Central and North Queensland over 18 weeks a year for 25 years. The SAF is immensely grateful to the Americans for training Singaporeans in their various naval and army schools. I also note that Singapore has operators embedded in US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, Florida. Recently, GEN Clarke of USSOCOM was in Singapore for a working visit from 3 to 5 June 2019. Further, in 2018, the SAF deployed combat engineer trainers and tactical trainers to support the evolving operational needs of the coalition forces in Iraq. The team sent to Iraq comprise of combat engineer trainers specialising in counter-IED tactics, weapons and combat tactics trainers, and a medical team of a medical officer and a medic.


    5. “In (an age of) cyber attacks and biological pandemics, ground zero can arise anywhere and spread far very quickly,” Dr Ng Eng Hen, Singapore’s minister of defence said. The SAF sees cyber attacks as a serious trend, as an open economy connected to the rest of the world, Singapore is particularly susceptible to such threats, Dr Ng added. The SAF will invest “substantially” to train more cyber defence personnel, doubling the manpower of its Cyber Defence Operations Hub by 2020.
    6. Thank you for your kind words. We owe a lot to Australia in helping Singapore develop specific capabilities for our armed forces and in particular the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at numerous instances. To list merely one of many examples, on 29 January 1983, the then Lieutenant Geoff Ledger, of the RAN conducted the riskiest rescue during the Sentosa cable car disaster after an oil rig snagged the cable system (Read more at PM Lee honours Australian rescuer in 1983 Sentosa cable car disaster). Commodore Ledger was serving with the Republic of Singapore Air Force instructing basic and advanced students on Iroquois and Squirrel helicopters at that time. He received a Silver Commendation Medal from the Singapore Government and made headlines when he put his flying skills to the test leading a rescue operation to save 13 people during the Sentosa Cable Car disaster.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  11. SSJArcher Krich

    SSJArcher Krich New Member

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    With all due respect, I disagree.

    Indonesia has always failed to fulfill its potential and all these expectations of higher GDP and higher defence budget to the tune of $40 billion may or may not come true by the year 2030.

    We have seen how Indonesia continues to avoid increasing its firepower in the face of increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea and its Minimum Essential Force phase II had to be changed because Indonesia just could not carry out the plans it needed to.

    Both Singapore and Indonesia are mostly weapons importers. As a result, their defence budgets may be a good proxy for how powerful their military punch might be. Given that, however, training, logistics, systems integration and combined arms training remain important facets where Indonesia may be lagging for decades to come.

    If it were a more militarily advanced country like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea or Japan instead of Indonesia and Malaysia next door, then it's very much possible that Singapore would have been invaded or decimated by now.

    With countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, or any ASEAN country for that matter, including Viet Nam, I don't see that potential. Not within that timeline - 2030. If you had said that Indonesia by 2050 would be in a good position to overwhelm Singapore's military - alone - without any outside intervention, that I could probably concur with.

    However, these are all estimates and forecasts and none of us really know how the future will pan out. A lot of unforeseen events could occur that throw all our calculations off balance. Time will tell.
     
  12. SSJArcher Krich

    SSJArcher Krich New Member

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    What is the definition of tertiary air force? If it's merely the possession of AEW&C systems that confer this status upon an air force, would not the Royal Thai Air Force also qualify? They operate the Swedish Saab 340 AEW&C systems.
     
  13. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    @SSJArcher Krich, please engage in some assessment of actual comparative capability and it’s trend line, rather than a rush to judgement on only 1 measure of effectiveness, with little regard to ground reality.

    (i) If you had read my prior reply in page 9 on ‘Post 2 of 2: Educating Ahmad on the RSAF’s baseline capability as a Tertiary Air Force’ in totality, instead of cherry picking, you would not have asked this question. A multi-factorial analysis would be a far more interesting discussion.

    (ii) The strength of deterrence (D) as military force (F) is multiplied by the ability to use such firepower (A). In other words:

    D = F x A

    The D=FxA formula explain why countries armed with nuclear missiles that can destroy the world several times over failed to deter terror attacks on their soil. FxA also explains why South Korea has to tolerate North Korea’s sinking of it’s navy ship and artillery attack on its territory in 2010. It also explains why your 5,000 cruise missile plan is not workable.

    But I do applaud your attempt to discuss the topic unconventionally in multiple posts — unfortunately, you have a flawed conceptual understanding of DETERRENCE. In addition, defence diplomacy is one of the twin pillars of Singapore’s defence policy and complements Singapore’s deterrence efforts. At the strategic level, within the regional arena, Singapore aims to shape and promote a robust, open and inclusive security architecture. I hope other members will add to this discussion later on the various weaknesses in your posts.
    May I also suggest reading the 2 threads linked below, your question is further answered in them — in a manner beyond buzzwords:

    1. Air Power 101 for New Members
    2. A brief history of Lo
    A tertiary air force has to have a robust capability perform the 4 roles of Air Power in a contested environment, within its threat matrix (see the old 101 thread from 2013, for details and concepts). Currently, the Thai Air Force does not have a robust capability in all 4 roles. The fact is the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has a fragile capability, if the threat is too high end for us to handle. By way of contrast, the Thai Air Force does not yet have the full set of capabilities to perform all 4 roles of Air Power (where air to air refuelling, SEAD and EW support is to be provided in a coalition). To address these short comings, they are training with the Chinese, the Australians and the Americans to improve their air force’s capability for large force employment, given their shoe string budget for fleet renewal. In this respect, Singapore has transferred 7 F-16A/Bs to Thailand in the past to help them increase their fighter fleet (and sortie generation), so as to enhace Thailand’s ability to conduct OCA and DCA to protect their AWACS. Fortunately for Thailand, despite their ageing fighter fleet, their potential opposition has become too lame and incompetent to be a threat.

    IMO, the RSAF is developing more capability over time but it is still fragile, in the face of expected future opposition capability by 2061. There are inherent limits as to Singapore’s ability to mitigate these real risks, due to a lack of strategic depth — that we cannot be complacent about or do it alone. There are announced plans to close 1 of 4 air bases in Singapore that will further hinder our ability to be robust — which needs risk mitigation. This is a political decision that I agree with, given the lack of land, the pressing need to increase water catchment areas and also to need to further surrender some more SAF training areas on the main island for development. Again being mitigated by technology but off topic to our discussion here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  14. SSJArcher Krich

    SSJArcher Krich New Member

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    Thanks for your explanation and response.

    My question simply asked for the meaning of tertiary air force.

    The remainder of my message addressed member @Ahmad 's concerns regarding the ability of Indonesia to invade or knock out SAF in one swift blow, not necessarily today but in the future within the context of a theoretical framework.

    Although the long winded explanations presented in those two threads are somewhat unrelated to the topic at hand, thank you for presenting them. None of them addressed the definition of a tertiary air force.

    Since you have presented the definition of a tertiary air force, I thank you again.


    You may be taking things personally as it involves the existence of your country. No need to take things personally and try to justify Singapore's multifaceted approach at dealing with its perceived or real strategic threats. As a detached observer with no real dog in the fight, I can probably see things better than citizens of involved countries and objectively decide if plan A might be able to knock out Singapore, or if plan B might be able to do so better.

    Singapore, as a tiny country with very little land, population and geopolitical potential, can influence very little. As much as it may try to promote certain agenda within the region, the much bigger countries may not choose to follow Singapore. We have seen that clearly when Dr M from Malaysia cared little for all the repeated warnings from Singapore's Minister of Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen to remove Malaysian government vessel in the waters off Tuas.

    Indonesia, as the largest country in the ASEAN region and the world's fourth most populous country, has little reason to follow Singapore's directive in the coming years and decades. While Singapore's policy makers may be trying their best to shape regional and global events to their favour, more often than not, it is the outside world that shapes Singaporean decision makers' choices rather than the other way around.

    Seen in that light, whether Singapore promotes an open and inclusive regional security architecture is immaterial because the greater powers will do what they can and smaller powers must bend to the wishes of greater powers.

    From your thread on Airpower 101, what I have understood is that you consider a number of countries' air forces to be tertiary air forces including those of the Saudi, Israeli, Turkish, UAE, Australian, Colombian, Spanish and a few other countries. You also deem the allocated defence budget of a given armed force as the decisive factor in determining the ability of that military to carry out warfare to further its interests. I'd take a contrarian view but not here because that would derail the discussion.

    If some of those armed forces I have listed above are indeed tertiary air forces, then it would confirm that Singapore's Armed Forces or defence diplomacy are not notable for their exceptionalism. Rather, ASEAN armed forces' incompetence or inability to form and nurture capable armed forces make Singapore stand out as a diminutive but competent armed force within the regional context.
     
  15. SSJArcher Krich

    SSJArcher Krich New Member

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    No country possesses enough warheads of sufficient firepower (measured in Joules of energy or multiples of it, or equivalent units such as tonnes of TNT equivalent) to destroy the world once. No country can destroy the world multiple times over. Popular misconceptions should not be widely circulated just because they happen to appeal to a wider audience and generate greater readership or viewership.

    Even if all nuclear weapons in the world were detonated at once a single location, the destruction would only affectWhat Would Happen If Every Single Nuke In The World Went Off At The Same Time? 284,000 square kilometers around that location in the form of radiation, and anybody within an area 5.8 million square kilometers around the location of detonation would suffer third-degree burns.

    The consequence may cause a nuclear winter in that sunlight may find it difficult to reach the plants on the Earth's surface. Without photosynthesis, enough food may not be produced for humanity to carry out its day to day activities. You may want to compare the energy released by the most powerful nuclear bomb, the Tsar Bomba, to that of the 1883 Krakatoa Volcanic eruption. A volcanic eruption can release more energy than the mightiest thermonuclear device ever built by human beings. Things must be seen in the right context.


    If you are talking about the USA in relation to events of 2001, then the causes and effects are not entirely clear. It can be hypothesized that the military industrial complex was left without a job, an enemy or a bogeyman, in the absence of the USSR. They needed to create one and an excuse was needed to justify constant warmaking.

    Other explanations suggest Israel's influence on the US policy making apparatus. Due to Israeli vice like grip on American or European policymaking, potential Israeli enemies had to be softened up or attacked and eliminated through proxy. The proxy being the United States and its coterie of ''allies'' and partners.

    Numerous other explanations may also be proffered in relation to the American initiated so called "War on Terror", which has killed innumerable number of innocent civilians without any repercussion and any modicum of justice meted out. To think that any country, institution or individual can get away with justifying such wanton mass murder and criminality would be naive.

    It would also be naive to think that ''partners in crime'' of the USA, like Singapore, can escape the inevitable. We should be cognizant of the fact that an isolated, pariah entity like the DPRK has managed to detonate nuclear devices and tested ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) that can target anywhere within the continental United States. The DPRK is also trying to develop second strike capability by developing what is suspected to be a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles.

    Iran has been a close partner, in defence affairs, of the DPRK for a few decades now. It wouldn't be unwise to believe nuclear proliferation is only a matter of time and nuclear deterrence, against potential invasion, can be achieved more economically and readily by a greater number of developing or non-aligned countries.

    Regarding South Korean inability to respond to North Korea, apart from the threat of a costly war that can result in half of its population - concentrated in Greater Seoul region - decimated and that can draw in China, there is also the small matter of North Korean nuclear capability. South Korea is also bound to fight under American command if a war breaks out, which means the USA dictates terms and RoK follows. The Moon Jae-in admin has been trying to take control of OPCON from the US general in charge of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command.


    Lastly, my suggestion involved a large number of ballistic missiles (5,000 was not an indicative number). A large force can be assembled. Hezbollah has acquired or produced in excess of 100,000 rockets and ballistic missiles to cover the entirety of ''Israel", as an example.

    Finally, thank you for answering the question on the meaning of a tertiary air force.
     
  16. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Ok where to start? First of all IFL science is not a reputable source, so the argument you base on it is full of fallacies. An all out nuclear war would decimate the human population and in all probability destroy enough of it to make extinction of homo sapien a high probability. In fact extinction of most forms of higher order life on the planet is highly probable. Most scientific research suggests that a nuclear winter would last for two years, during which time all plant life would die because it would be unable to photosynthesize, due to the very high levels of albedo, (reflectivity of solar radiation into space). That means no food for herbivores and omnivores who in turn are food sources for omnivores and carnivores. Also the fresh water supply is comprised with radioactive elements and other harmful pollutants making it deleterious to the ongoing health of all that drink it. Thirdly, vast areas of once fertile soils are poisoned for decades, and some for centuries with radioactive elements, so once the atmosphere clears cannot be used for agriculture.

    I very strongly recommend that you undertake some proper research because what you posted in the above post is based upon a fallacy. There are plenty of reputable sources for such material and I haven't even touched on super volcanoes and their catastrophic eruptions. The arguments you present in the rest of your post, I suggest that you have based on views taken out of context of the references cited.
     
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  17. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 1 of 4: Bunking Myths for SSJArcher Krich
    @SSJArcher Krich, I struggle to continue this conversation — due to the extreme selectivity in your use of examples, while disregarding other important hard and soft power dimensions — your approach seems to be just make missiles and rockets without regard to its usability during a time of tension between countries. Your posts reflects your lack of understanding of military capability development cycles or even basic geography, as inherent constraints.
    1. Indonesia’s weapon acquisition programs under the various phases of its Minimum Essential Force (MEF) plans, is progressing — your argument on Indonesia avoiding an increase in its firepower is not valid and not supported by evidence.

    2. IMO, Sino-Indonesian relations are broadly sound, as the nature of their mutual dispute is over fisheries enforcement (i.e. the same type of dispute as between Vietnam and Indonesia). Indonesia was among the first to recognise to PRC on 1 Oct 1949. China has replaced Japan as Indonesia’s largest trading partner. Indonesia also began to look to China for investment in infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and power plants. China is now Indonesia’s third largest foreign investor after Singapore and Japan. PRC is not an existential threat — which why your selective use of irrelevant facts does not fit the region’s concerns. Whereas the biggest threat the TNI faces is domestic separatism.

    3. With regard to the TNI AU:

    • In 1990 Indonesia acquired 8 F-16As and 4 F-16Bs from the US — 10 of which remain operational.
    • Since 2010, Indonesia have started executing its MEF plans. From 2013 onwards, the TNI AU acquired 16 Su-27/30 from the Russians.
    • It operates 16 T-50i, which were delivered by KAI between September 2013 and January 2014. One of which crashed in December 2015, were procured under a USD400 million contract signed in 2011.
    • Indonesia acquired another 19 F-16Cs and 5 F-16Ds between 2015 to 2017. By Feb 2017, the USAF completed regeneration work on all 24 F-16C/Ds for the TNI AU, ending a five-year program that has brought the former US Air Force and Air National Guard jets up to modern standards before all 24 jets delivered to Indonesia.
    • In a contract supposedly signed on 14 February 2018, the Russians are supposed to start delivery of the 1st of 11 Sukhoi Su-35S for the TNI AU end of this year (but details are lacking or stalled).
    Thanks to the above aircraft acquisition programs, the TNI AU has at least 4 squadrons of capable fighter and fighter trainer aircraft which is certainly more modern than Iran’s vintage fighter fleet. Therefore, with one example, on TNI AU capability development, I have shown that your statement is untrue.
    4. Pure description is not analysis. Further, the above statement is misleading, as both Singapore and Indonesia have their respective arms industries, with limited but notable export success in both cases. Let me provide two points of clarification below, to provide evidence to support my argument and set the context.

    One, Indonesia’s concept of MEF divides the defence development into four stages. Within each step, the allocation of defence GDP will be gradually increased. Correspondingly, the allocation of the defence budget for non-military infrastructure (supporting and reserve components) such as logistics and human capital will also be increased. R&D has become a main concern specifically as the new defence law. The Indonesian defence industry is under the limelight, especially in emphasizing its third stage of development (2020-2024). During the first (2010-2014) and second stages (2015-2019) of development, the Indonesian government focused on creating a set of regulations while simultaneously pioneering the development of absorptive capability (in the form of reliable manpower or human capacity and the basic capacity to manufacture). This would be achieved vis-à-vis various R&D collaborations. Having achieved that, the third stage of MEF will be one that will work towards consolidating the credibility of the defence industry.

    • Indonesian defence companies had secured exports worth USD284.1 million between 2015 and 2018. These sales were from four companies: aerospace manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), shipbuilders PT PAL and PT Lundin, and land systems company PT Pindad.
    • PTDI secured exports worth USD161 million through sales of the CN235 and NC212 transport aircraft the company builds under licence from Airbus, and that PT PAL's exports were valued at USD86.9 million for the sale of two Strategic Sealift Vessels to the Philippines. Recent customers of the CN235 are thought to include Senegal, while Vietnam and Thailand have reportedly ordered the NC212 aircraft.
    • PT Pindad has won export contracts worth USD32.6 million for the sale of munitions and weapons and that PT Lundin secured exports worth USD3.6 million for the supply of small patrol craft to Sweden and Russia. PT Pindad's new customers are thought to be countries in Southeast Asia and Africa.
    • Beyond building frigates and patrol vessels locally (see: Indonesia: 'green water navy'), the TNI-AL has also started to churn out Teluk Bintuni-class landing ship tanks, and Semarang-class landing platform docks (so that the TNI-AL can retire its ex-US Navy Landing Ship Tanks).
    Two, Singapore has its own defence companies and engineering ecology from 1,000 scientists and engineers to about 5,000 today. And it’s a generational effort to invest, with a steady drum beat of new equipment (or contracts with 3rd parties, like Oman, Thailand, UAE and UK) to feed the defence ecology with work.
    • In 2019, delivery of the Hunter AFV for the SAF and in 2018, the unveiling of the Bronco 3. On 26 January 2019, ST Marine launched the 8th LMV, RSS Fearless for the Singapore Navy. On 18 August 2018 and 24 March 2018, ST Marine launched the 7th (RSS Dauntless) and 6th (RSS Fortitude) LMVs.
    • On 23 September 2017 and 18 March 2017, St Marine launched the 5th (RSS Indomitable) and 4th (RSS Justice) LMVs.
    • In June 2016, ST Marine supplied the fourth Al-Ofouq class vessel (Khassab) for the Royal Navy of Oman. On 16 April 2016 and 13 October 2016, ST Marine launched the 3rd (RSS Unity) and 2nd (RSS Sovereignty) LMVs.

    • On 3 July 2015, ST Marine launched the 1st LMV (RSS Independence). The unveiling in the same year of the Terrex 2 and 3, for the US Marines and Australian Army supply competitions that ST Kinetics ultimately lost later. In November 2015, the Marine Corps chose SAIC (working with ST Kinetics) to build competing prototypes for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle. SAIC, offered a variant of the Singaporean Terrex, in a developmental contract worth US$121.5 million.
    • On 17 September 2014 (Sadh), 14 June 2014 (Al-Shinas), and 29 January 2014 (Al-Seeb), ST Marine launched 3 of the 4 Al-Ofouq class vessels for the Oman Navy.
    • In 2012 ST Marine delivered H.T.M.A.S. Ang-Thong to the Thai Navy and also secured in April a contract worth €534.8m (about S$880m) to design and build four 75m patrol vessels for the Oman Navy.
    • In 2010, the second gen light strike vehicle. In 2009, ST Kinetics started delivery of (i) 100 Warthog ATVs to the British Army for use in Afghanistan, and (ii) the Terrex for the SAF.
    • In November 2008, ST Marine secured a contract worth about S$200m to build an Endurance class LPD for Thailand. The UAE bought 46 Agrabs in a 2007 contract, then worth 390 million Dirham (US$ 106m). The 3-man operated 10-ton Agrab vehicle carries the Singapore made 120mm SRAMS, and 58 mortar rounds.
    • In 2005, ST Kinetics commenced the delivery of the Bionix II, and the Trailblazer; and in 2004, the Primus and Bronco, all for the SAF.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  18. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Post 2 of 4: Explaining the difference between hard and soft power
    5. A state’s hard military power is only one aspect, we need to look at power holistically — in both hard power and soft power dimensions, as it relates to the physical geography of the region. Let me share some additional points to help you understand the concepts of deterrence and diplomacy in my prior post above, and how military capability relates to state power.

    (i) To this aggressor, Singapore’s Defence Minister, Dr Ng only spoke once to indicate a concern on the intrusion in the waters off Tuas. What Dr Ng says only once, from a position of power, sets the geo-political context for this grey zone event, as Singapore has escalation dominance against that aggressor due to hard power.
    • It is irrational of the Malaysians to seek a quarrel with Singapore as an equal at the negotiating table. But losing to Singapore in a military engagement is not the worse case scenario. The worse case scenario is further fragmentation of Malaysia - where the regions lose confidence in Dr M’s ability to lead. The 2013 Lahad Datu standoff from February to March 2013, is instructive of the need for Malaysia to defend and police Sabah from terrorist threats arising from the Philippines. A military conflict with Singapore will result in the loss of Malaysia’s ability to defend Sabah.
    • Singapore does engage in diplomacy, with a hard power edge, to manage our relations with our neighbours. Please do some basic research on the geopolitics of the region and read prior information shared in this thread before making your misguided assertions.
    (ii) One of LKY's great contribution as a statesman is his leadership team's invention of what some American scholars have called geo-economics in the late 1960s/70s. It is a comprehensive approach to what is today called a 'whole-of-government' approach to affairs between states. Singapore use of hard power is always part of a 'whole-of-government' approach — be it with soft diplomacy or with coercive diplomacy. The Singapore Government's soft power approach is to essentially function as a 'consulting organisation' (i.e. Singapore Consulting) to other governments in the area of geo-economics. A past client of Singapore Consulting, is China. While China may have out grown Singapore, they acknowledge Singapore's role in China's growth — which is why the Singapore Government has such good access to China's leadership -- a resource that the Americans and the Taiwanese have tapped on from time to time. From an objective point of view, Singapore has warm and viable economic or military ties with 4 of the 5 permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — which means any unprovoked attack on Singapore will invite international condemnation and possible external intervention — due to the port of Singapore serving as a key node in global commerce and SLOC. China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea all trade through Singapore as a global transhipment hub (one of the largest in the world).

    Therefore, D=FxA for any potential aggressor. Where ‘A’ is the ability of an aggressor to use its firepower against Singapore.
    (iii) It is not surprising that you are unaware of Singapore’s soft power, in the sphere of defence diplomacy; and also ignorant of the scale of Singapore military-military relations with other powerful countries that are too numerous to mention (i.e. 10 countries, host Singapore troops in 46 major exercises, all year round).

    (iv) Singapore and Malaysia, the two former colonies that were the core reason for the founding of FPDA, have successfully developed their armed forces and the threat of aggression from Indonesia has rescinded. As Tim Huxley notes in his book
    Defending the Lion City, Singapore has continuously enhanced its military, forming a “poison shrimp” or deterrence strategy. Singapore has and will continue to have a high-technology military, and is part of other regional pacts, yet it still values the role of the FPDA. The FPDA helps maintains Singapore’s interoperability with other armed forces and keeps countries like the UK engaged in the region. Malaysia’s armed forces are not as advanced as Singapore’s. If Malaysia can dial back its hostility towards Singapore, under Dr M or for the remainder of Pakatan Harapan’s term of office, the FPDA can be a means to train Malaysia’s armed forces. Currently, Malaysian bases facilitate FPDA military structures and this further complements bilateral defense relationships with ASEAN regional partners. Malaysia also has other pressing defense concerns such as territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and constant training with FPDA forces will enhance Malaysia’s armed forces.
    • First, the FPDA could maximize the effect of its various annual military exercises. It should consider drawing in larger assets, such as the British Queen Elizabeth class carriers or the Australian Canberra class Landing Helicopter Docks. These exercises could also draw upon related assets of members for HADR, foreign assistance, maritime domain awareness, counter piracy, and even environmental expertise to enhance weapons sales or the provision of platforms/vessels by Australia, UK and Singapore (i.e. pool the provision of military or other security related aid to enhance attractiveness of offerings to observer countries). This is especially true for the UK, whose plans for the East Asian region have still not been defined for the near future.
    • Second, while non-member states have been invited to observe FPDA exercises, non-members, like Brunei, Indonesia, India or Japan could be allowed to observe or participate in FPDA exercises. This might be a controversial change, given that not all not all states have resolved their differences. Yet, the inclusion of other countries could also help decrease tensions between regional countries and, in fact, enhance FPDA militaries.
    • Third, the consultative nature of the FPDA needs to match the changing security environment in the wider East Asian Region. This is not to say that the FPDA defense ministers and defense chiefs do not consider this as part of their discussions. Rather, they need to intensify their outlook on the FPDA’s position in East Asia’s future. The FPDA is indeed a perfect complement for other regional defense agreements including the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting, the Malacca Straits Patrol, and U.S. defense partnerships.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019 at 10:51 PM
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  19. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Honestly, I struggle to see how almost the entirety of this post is anything other than Off Topic for the thread at hand, which is namely, "The best strategy to defending Singapore Island".

    I bring this up because this and other content within the post is frowned up and against the Forum Rules for a few reasons. Namely that Off Topic content derails the discussion that members are interested in engaging in on the subject of a given thread, degrading the overall quality of derailed threads and also the forum in general. Other content raised which involves politics and/or conspiracy theories are both similarly frowned upon and against the forum rules, for pretty much the same reasons, they bring down the quality of discussion and debate on the forum since it is difficult if not outright impossible to have a rationale, fact-based discussion with someone who makes and believes their own evidence. In a related vein, members can and should expect to be challenged to provide proof and/or sources when making claims, with again a very dim view being taken when the proof and sources do not support the claims being made, or the claims misrepresent what the actual source says. The OT commentary about Hezbollah comes to mind as an example, with the link actually stating the following;

    There is a considerable difference in terms of capabilities as well as ability to effectively launch a large number of Katyusha-type artillery rockets, and a similar number of Scud or other short/medium-ranged ballistic missiles.

    A few things remain unexplained regarding the notion raised of Indonesia getting ballistic missiles which it could use to threaten Singapore. One of the first things which would need to be explained would be how/why would it be in Indonesia's interests to do so, given that Singapore is a key SLOC port between Europe, Africa, the Mideast and Asia and the western coasts of North and South America. There are a number of countries who would likely involve themselves if that SLOC was threatened, never mind actually cut. Another would be the related questions of how many launchers and artillery rockets and/or ballistic missiles would be needed, where the budget to purchase them would come from (since Indonesia has a number of defence programmes and capabilities which require funding) and where could the capability be raised, trained, sustained and operate from, without attracting attention? I specifically mentioned attracting attention because if it suddenly came out that Indonesia was establishing a ground-based long-ranged strike capability, it would cause concern within ASEAN-Pacific region and would also likely kick off a regional arms race.

    As a regular contributor on DefenceTalk over a long period of time, I would recommend reading posts more, researching (here on DT and elsewhere) to answer questions as well as to gather supporting information for one's own posts, and keeping one's posts On Topic for the thread they are in as well as politics and conspiracy free. It is worth keeping in mind that members of the Mod Team (and one in particular) really do not have much of a sense of humour when it comes to posting content and behavior that detracts from the forum, which is why I had been stressing the need to pay attention to the forum rules, which also includes making flame bait and/or derogatory comments which includes comments bashing other countries. It might not have been the intent, but the comment;

    is a comment that can be considered derogatory, and therefore also against the forum rules... Hope this helps
     
    ngatimozart and OPSSG like this.
  20. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    IMO it will be a biological event that destroys the world not a nuclear war. The biological event could be via terrorism or a state mistake. Perhaps even more likely is a natural pandemic. Enough OT, time to get back to Singapore Island defence.