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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

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Post 1 of 2: 12 Points to support Ananda’s Posts
    Thank you all for the replies to point out the problems. Let me share my 12 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.
    • Hostilities between Indonesia and Singapore is unlikely, as the TNI and the SAF train together and have a record of working together. For example, the SAF’s UAV command deployed the Scout RPV to provide intelligence to the TNI to resolve the Mapenduma hostage crisis in 1996. Under a Defence Cooperation Agreement, Singapore provides training assistance to the TNI, including G-Tolerance trainer and Super Puma simulator trainer, and professional courses like the Combined Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. To date, hundreds of TNI-AU pilots have undergone simulator training in Singapore, and 10 TNI-AU instructors have graduated from the Combined Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. Marking five decades of bilateral defence relations, the RSAF and TNI-AU executed a combined 20 F-16 flypast on 7 Sep 2017, over Singapore.
    • 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. 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 at least 7 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).
    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.
    ngatimozart likes this.
  2. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Post 2 of 2: Intelligence & Defence Science in the Lion City
    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 and air power concepts can be found in AirPower 101.

    Ten, beyond air power, Winston Churchill described the British defeat at Singapore in 1942 as 'The greatest disaster ever to befall British arms'. 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. Good intelligence is of crucial importance. For example, the uncovering of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in 2001 was triggered by a tip-off from a concerned 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. In 2016, a terrorist plot from Batam, Indonesia was thwarted by the authorities. The 6 suspects, who were members of an ISIS -linked cell, had planned to attack Marina Bay from Batam.

    The security problems faced by Singapore go beyond the traditional need for intelligence on state actors from the past. 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.

    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 behind the increased alert level, an internal email alert from Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation suggested the threat was from Indonesian parties. Dryad Global, a maritime security intelligence company, said “there are no regional narratives or emerging threats which would support the Chinese decision’’ and that “it is likely that China is reacting to a specific threat known only to China.’’

    Piracy has long been a threat to vessels plying the narrow, 900 km-long stretch of water, although the number of incidents appears to have dropped significantly in recent years. There had been a 92% decrease in piracy and sea robbery incidents in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in 2015-2018, according to a recent report by the Information Fusion Centre, a multi-national maritime security information centre based in Singapore. Working with other countries and agencies will provide early warning for threats to Singapore and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, allowing authorities to promptly apprehend terrorist suspects.

    Eleven, 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) and slowed down our replacement rate for cutting-edge equipment.

    Twelve, for Singapore, 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. We have grown our 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 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. 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.
  3. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

    Jul 27, 2006
    Likes Received:
    not in New England anymore...
    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
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