The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

CheeZe

Active Member
RSTA - Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition

Bear in mind that, in a modern battlefield, a Signals coy does more than just connect the various parts of a division. Signals personnel can detect the location of opposing transmissions, intercept them, decode or relay the transmissions' content onwards, scramble them, or use them to predict enemy actions.

My cousin spent his NS in Signals (I forget which camp) and he said that was what he did most days. Track signals from a bunch of different sources and practice on them. I'm sure he did more, but we don't talk much about his NS. He did tell me that there was a building for the super hush-hush stuff and only regulars were allowed in there. So, I would say that a Signals coy in the RSTA role is invaluable since it allows the SAF to intercept enemy signals and give forewarning to the main forces. That sort of capability is not something a section or a platoon can properly juggle. Ideally, you want at least a couple sections on each task so that the operators can rotate and compare notes.

The SAF's doctrine is for a connected battlefield. The moment something is discovered, that information is present on the whole network down to the section level. Visual contact does not have to be achieved by the RSTA or Signals elements. As Lone Ranger mentioned, there is a Tactical UAV coy that can achieve this. In this manner, you can have up to three corroborating reports of enemy activity.

I cannot speak to your hypothetical military's doctrine, organization, or equipment choice. All I can say is that information for the SAF can come from outside the divisional structure as well. For example, Guards or Commando forces may relay information to the information network. Or RSAF units may report something. Maybe the RSN spotted something. Maybe 2PDF received some intelligence and is passing it along. Information is key because if you can get inside the opponents' chain of relaying, receiving, processing, and acting on intelligence (there's a specific phrase for this, which I have forgotten), then you can act before your opponent can respond effectively. For example, the German invasion of France in 1940 was so swift that the French command system was unable to respond fast enough to the German assaults. The SAF desires the same capability - to be able to act fast enough that the opponent is blind-sided. Signals, RSTA, etc. are all different pieces on the chessboard which are meant to work in unison with chess pieces from every other Singaporean chess piece, not independently or within the limits of their "unit".
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Role of the C4I battalions and small state diplomacy

1. As Lone Ranger explained, each RSTA company in the C4I battalions (eg. 10C4I or 11C41 battalions), typically heli-inserted with their vehicles, function as medium range recce patrols (formerly called the brigade recce company) to feed organic information to the brigade HQs to formulate their detailed attack/movement plans.

2. These C4I battalions allow for enhanced training and operational effectiveness as there is now dedicated attention devoted to the Signal and RSTA companies in terms of training, sustenance and development. 17C4I in particular has a special peace time relationship with HQ3 Division in that:
(i) it’s Trunk Communications Company, Command Communications Company, Command Systems Communications Company and other NS elements form the 3rd Signal Battalion; and​
(ii) it’s Fusion Company reports to G2 3rd Division and it’s teams are assigned to 3rd Division’s intelligence centre and to all intelligence cells of each brigade in of the 3rd Division. Many of the cadre of these information fusion and imagery analysis cells were deployed:​
(a) to Oruzgan, Afghanistan in support of ISAF from 2010 to 2013; or​
(b) to the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters in Kuwait or Iraq in support of defeat ISIS coalition since Sep 2015, including 68 who worked alongside partner contingents from Australia, New Zealand and the UK to train 4,500 Iraqi troops in counter-terrorism.​

3. The recce troopers in the RSTA company of a C4I battalion, are performing medium range recce patrols (MRRPs). Conceptually, MRRPs are different in their roles and capabilities from the Commandos (who are at least parachute qualified and also trained to be small boat inserted), who function as LRRPs.

4. See this 2013 thread: How does Singapore's Special Forces compare with the other Special Forces in S.E.Asia. The employment and role of LRRPs is well known since the Vietnam war and the information posted is from declassified sources. Whereas, the SAF’s actual signals and signals intelligence capabilities remains a dark art (most of which is not declassified). Hence, I am not keen share secret edge details (even from as far back as the 1980s) with Bozoo2 due to security concerns.
CheeZe said:
(there's a specific phrase for this, which I have forgotten)
5. @CheeZe, it is called the OODA loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). OODA is a four-step approach to decision-making that focuses on filtering available information, putting it in context and quickly making the most appropriate decision before the enemy can do the same.

6. See also the Weak state diplomacy thread for the difference between a small state (eg. Laos) and a micro-state. A micro-state is country, small in land size, with a population of less than 1.5 m, located in a developing region (eg. Brunei and Timor Leste). Singapore does not fit the definition of a micro-state nor does it have the armed forces a typical small state, like Laos (ie. it has the hard power of a rising power). In the real world, a weak state gets to maneuver from a weak position into another weaker position. The weaker a state is, the more likely continued escalation becomes the choosing of its enemies — typically, a weak state has a slow OODA loop and the enemy is able to operate inside its OODA loop.

7. Be careful when you read articles where Singaporeans or Singapore politicians describe Singapore as small and weak relative to other powers — given Singapore’s 40 F-15SGs and 60 F-16Vs that are able to operate an integrated manner. The key operative word is 'relative' (as Singapore's leaders consistently understate the SAF's actual military capabilities).

8. Save for Singapore, no other ASEAN Army is as networked or as capable as the SAF in the conduct high tempo combined arms operations against aggressors with the required power projection capability for forward defence. This is because the OODA loop for high tempo wars, with associated main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery and multiple rocket systems, are orders of magnitude more difficult than dealing with a local insurgency. Singapore's forward defence places an emphasis on a short OODA loop with a joint operations perspective. This means the SAF is able to conduct rapid manoeuvre warfare in the near abroad, in a synchronised manner while utilising its air and naval power to destroy or disrupt enemy C4I, lines of communications, logistics; and attack enemy operational reserves.
 
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Lone Ranger

Member
As far as I can understand, the Recon BNs missions would mainly be to establish visuial contact With the enemy, keep up this contact and report enemy movements to BN HQ while avoiding skirmishing as far as possible. I also foresee the need to quickly approach specific locations during an advance in front of own forces to occupy special positions in advance, and in defence/retreat to stay in Visual contact With enemy forces and report on these.
SAF has drop this Ops Concept post 2000 with the transition into 3rd Generation (networked) SAF. Now with the Networked SAF, most of the front line Armoured and Infantry units are able to perform these tasks and making Armoured Recon unit redundant. For example, all front line units (down to section and platoon level) are networked and able to provide live update through the Army Battlefield Internet (ABI) network, within each unit there is also a dedicated recon platoon that operates a mini UAV (skyblade III) that provides aerial recon surveillance. This "eye in the sky" lets the scout troopers get up close with the enemy from a safe distance.

While in the upper echelon, Tactical UAV coy, from the C4I unit, operates skyblade IV that can fly at up to 15,000 feet and out to a range of 100 km with an endurance between 6 and 12 hours. (It does not needs a runway and can both launch and recover out in the field.) This creates a persistence, deep surveillance at the immediate battle front for both Brigade and Battalions under its command.

With the Tactical UAV coy covering the air surveillance, RSTA coy provides close surveillance in area not possible for regular units to be deployed. As mentioned by OPSSG, they cover the medium range recce patrols.

As CheeZe covers quite a fair bits on the Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), I will just briefly touch on the C4 (Command, Control, Communications, and Computers) aspect. With the advance in technology, SAF had explored and implemented the concept of "Distributed" and "Command post Anywhere" to enhance CP's survivability. This is where the expertise of Signal/C4 coy comes in.

In the fast changing battlefield, information will become irrelevant very quickly. With the integration of both Recon and Signal elements, information can be made sense and disseminated double quick time for action.
 

Bozoo2

Member
CheeZe, OPSSG and Lone Ranger; thanks for the input guys.

The reason why the Recon BN is the last of the divsional batallions to be set up is of coarse that this is the most difficult to grasp.

The MDF has two main maneuvre units, the 1. Division, a full blown combat division of ca 12.000 troops, and the Armoured Brigade belonging to the 2. division. While the Armoured Brigade (of about 160 M1A2 Abrahms MBTs and a total of 800 vehicles) and their recon capabilities With a dedicated recon BN sporting IVIS (Inter Vehicular Information System) equipped M1s and drone equipped Fennecks feeding information to the Brigade Intelligence officer (S2) and his staff at Brigade HQ, is well understood, the intelligence loop in the division is much more difficult to come to terms With.

While the Armoured Brigade is a purely offensive unit, the 1. division must perform both offensive and defensive operations. This, as well as the fact that the division is about 5 times as big as the brigade, makes this a very difficult task to understand and therefore also to construct the system and equip the actual units.

A comment to you, CheeZe, the Midtguardian Defence Forces are not a purely hypothetical construct, but is represented completely in the H0 scale With more than 3000 models including Aircraft and ships in the exact scale.

If I understand you correctly, the SAF has gathered signals and recon (as well as command?) BNs into two BNs where signals and recon operate together. The two C4I BNs of the SAF seems to function as mini HQs or large foreward CPs With recon and SIGINT/ELINT units up front.

Is this really advisable? As I understand it, the intelligence cycle consists of collation, dessemination, analysis and distribution, a number of these functions receiving information from higher echelon intelligence operators and from other units, requiering a the results to be presented to the relevant Commander in a coherent fashion to avoid information overload and decision paralysis.

In the MDF the collation bit is done by front line troops, but the rest is done well behind the FLOT. Putting the sigint and intel analysis right up where recon units need to be puts the entire intelligence operation at risk. I may have misunderstood this, so that the C4I BNs will be placed well
behind the front line, but then again, why merge signals and recon at the operational Level. This not the least as signals is a major operation With SIGINT and ELINT ops co-ordinating With Military Intelligence as well as air-force recon and intel input from other units. I certainly do not want these information and analysis hubs anywhere near the front line.

Another question is the viability of a battlefield internet system supplying tactical recon information to operational commanders. Is this really viable in a full blown war scenario with the electronic bandwiths allready cramped by all the apparatus applied by modern armed forces even before the enemy start targeting you with jamming. How do you avoid enemy intercepts. I can't imagine direct line of sight microwave links down to platoon or section level. Is it at all possible to maintain OPSEC with an internet based info system. Is the communication based on SINGCAR radios or similar 360 degree broadcasts?
 

Bozoo2

Member
7. Be careful when you read articles where Singaporeans or Singapore politicians describe Singapore as small and weak relative to other powers — given Singapore’s 40 F-15SGs and 60 F-16Vs. The key operative word is 'relative' (as Singapore's leaders consistently understate the SAF's actual military capabilities).
Rest assured, I do not under any circumstance regard the SAF as weak, quite on the contrary, I find the SAF extremely competent both in equipment, tactics and training as far as I can gather. After i started fololowing this thread I have looked into both the geopolitical and the defence situation of Singapore and after studying this more closely (it takes some Reading) I might have some input eventually.

It is quite interesting to see that the SAF is in much the same situation as the MDF as both have very Limited area to maneuver and the MDF has from the very beginning had foreward defence as operational strategy, long before I ever joined this forum. This is the reason for the existence of an armouerd brigade as Midtguardia would launch an armoured strike againts the Capital cities of Our two possible enemies, Norway and Sweden, if attacked. (To see the hsitory and geoploitical situation of Midtguardia, please look to the start of the Midtguardia thread -but be advised, we have since 2003 aquired more land and more inhabitants - 2.100.000 to be exact)
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 1 of 5: Sensor superiority for sea-denial
It is quite interesting to see that the SAF is in much the same situation as the MDF as both have very Limited area to maneuver...
1. Singapore’s strong focus on protecting its SLOCs is demonstrated with its multi-billion Euro bet (at €1.6 billion, inclusive of logistics and training, for the 1st 2 boats) on submarines. Although Singapore is not a claimant in the disputed South China Sea, its survival is entirely dependent on SLOCs. 4 Type 218SG submarines enable 171 squadron to silently observe the activities of pirate havens, monitor developments and enhance Singapore’s ability to:

(i) conduct undetected operations;​
(ii) penetrate adversary defenses;​
(iii) conduct operations exploiting surprise at the time and place of our choosing; and​
(iv) leverage the uncertainty and ambiguity of the undersea.​

These patrols, lasting for weeks, can be done undetected and without provocation — see paragraph 4 (iii), for a notional 21 day on-station patrol.

2. Each Type 218SG boat comes with (1) internal acoustic dampening, (2) anechoic tiles, and (3) a 6-Blade skewback propeller (similar to Type 212A Batch 2) with trailing-edge geometry to reduce its tonal acoustic signature and give it a large cavitation-free margin of operation (the above Twitter pic shows a 7-Blade skewback propeller from batch 1 of the Type 212A). The Type 218SG can stay submerged for about 50% longer than the Archer-class submarines. By improving energy plant output by using 2 MTU 12V4000U83 (up to 1,500 kW each) engines to power the Permasyn permanent magnet propulsion motor with a rated power of 4 MW or more (found on the Type 214), the Type 218SG can move fast and have more power on tap for its sensors. Siemens has introduced a modular design with power extension version of the Permasyn to give it more power than 4MW. The final size and weight are driven by the associated inverters which are integrated in the motor itself. According to Siemens, the concept specifications of the drive have been determined and preliminary development work has begun (for the batch 2, Type 218SGs). In addition:
(i) Modern sonar systems on the Type 218SG offer a number of acoustic antennas and combined signal processing for broadband and narrowband detection and analysis of target noise. While broadband detection is used to obtain an overview of the targets, and narrowband processing for detection of target characteristic frequency lines, produced by vibrations of the propulsion systems on surface ships which are radiated into the water.​
(ii) Narrowband processing is therefore essential for target analysis and classification. Frequency line information can be used to separate targets closely spaced in bearing, e.g. during target crossing situations, which cannot be resolved by the broadband passive sonar information alone. Narrowband passive sonar aims at the detection of characteristic frequency lines emitted by a target vessel. There are two related but different origins for such frequency lines:​
(a) the propulsion systems on board a naval ship; and​
(b) the physical effect of cavitation.​
Depending on the origin, it has to be distinguished between tonals, i.e. discrete frequency lines transmitted directly in the water column, and indirect frequency lines. The latter can only be detected by the application of an algorithm which searches for characteristic modulations of the broadband noise emitted by the ship.​
(iii) In addition, target bearing histories containing frequency line information may be used in the Target Motion Analysis module to infer about target course, speed and range without an own-boat manoeuvre. Therefore, narrowband passive sonar tracking provides an additional valuable source of information and enhances the capabilities of a submarine sonar and combat system.​
(iv) Two modes of operation can be used to analyze sound, namely the LOFAR signal processing which is sensitive for direct frequency lines and the DEMON signal processing which has the capability to detect the indirect frequency lines. The acronym LOFAR stands for LOw Frequency Analysis and Recording, DEMON stands for Detection of Envelope MOdulation on Noise.​
(v) The combat management system that processes all the above sonar data on the ISUS suite is jointly designed by Atlas Electronik and ST Electronics that is capable of launching the SeaSpider Anti-Torpedo-Torpedo (ATT). This ATT, when fully developed provides a hardkill defence system with the aim of destroying or disabling a torpedo by explosive force. Atlas Elektronik says that SeaSpider can be employed by submarines, either from hull-mounted launch tubes, such as those typically used to employ traditional acoustic decoys, or from its torpedo tubes.​

With low self noise, the Type 218SG’s sense-making systems that include locally developed data analytics and decision support engines (related to LOFAR and DEMON signal processing) is amplified.

3. Changing mission profiles and ongoing technological advances have led to a second batch of Type 212A (that may find its way into the Invincible-Class submarines), as follows:
  • Integration of a communications system suitable for use in network-centric warfare scenarios.
  • Installation of integrated German sonar and command weapon and control systems
  • Replacement of the flank array sonar with a superficial lateral antenna
  • Replacement of one periscope by Hensoldt's SERO 400 periscope paired with the OMS 110 non-hull penetrating optronic mast and space allocated to install a modular mast (if required)
  • Integration of a 4 person diver lock-out system and one of the torpedo tubes has been enlarged for special forces equipment.
As an option, I note that Gabler Maschinenbau has developed the TRIPLE-M mast system that can accommodate a VOLANS UAV launcher, an ESM mast or a gun.
4. The Type 218SGs are both diesel electric (i.e. battery and recharging with diesel engines) and FCell System powered. The exposure of a submarine can be quantified by the indiscretion ratio (IR) or the fraction of the time that the submarine spends to spend snorkeling.

(i) An IR of 25% means between 6 hours spent snorkelling each 24-hour day. Whereas an IR of 8% means 1 hour 56 minutes spent snorkelling each 24-hour day.​

Invinciblelaunched 18 Feb 20192021 delivery?Replacing Conqueror
(launched May 1999)
Impeccable2021 launched?2022 delivery?Replacing Chieftain
(launched May 2001)
Illustrious2023 launched?2024 delivery?Replacing Archer
(launched June 2009)
InimitableTBDTBDReplacing Swordsman (launched Oct 2010)
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 2 of 5: Specifying a customised submarine design instead of acquiring a military-off-the-shelf platform

(ii) To minimise the use of CO2 scrubbers, I have not assumed a IR of zero%. Singapore’s submarines have ventilation systems that take the CO2 out of the air, and recirculate it with chemically catalyzed oxygen. The air quality during longer periods of submersion has been studied by Sweden and this study presents results of the air quality parameters during more than one week of continuous submerged operation. The measurements demonstrate that air pollutants typically occur at a low baseline level due to high air exchange rates and efficient air-cleaning. Periodically a submarine in DE mode will come to periscope depth to suck in fresh air and remove the old air. This is for comfort rather than survival.​
(iii) For an idea of an on-station activity cycle, let me give an example. A Type 218SG submarine on a 21-day on station patrol, at over 700km away from Singapore, can present a threat to enemy surface ships for 18 days and covering a distance of over 4,000 km in its on-station patrol (with 3 days provided for transits between Patrol A and Patrol B). In Patrol A, we assume an IR of 2% (or 29 mins per day) for 16 days while conducting this notional Patrol A at a undisclosed speed. After a 3 day transit at 8 to 10 knots, it then conducts a 2 day long Patrol B at an average speed of 5.5 knots with an IR of 8% (or 1 hr 56 mins per day).​
(iv) The time taken to start the 21 day patrol is not factored in the above scenario but I would assume an IR of 25% for all transits to a patrol area. The submarine only slightly is more vulnerable during transit to and from the patrol areas at a speed of 8 to 10 knots. This above example not intended to be fully reflective of the improved capabilities of the Type 218SG, when compared to the Archer class.​

5. For reference, a single-dive distance record for a Type 212A Batch 1 was U32's cross-atlantic trip at 5,185 km (or 2800 nm), in 19.3 days, that involved combat maneuvers along the way (one successful interdiction and one 36-hour evasion). The dive was part of a 31,000 km (or 17,000nm), 6-month overseas deployment of the submarine and a German sub tender.

6. Because of "insufficient automation", the crew of the Challenger class had to be on watch for six hours, with six hours of rest and were initially equipped with a basic bow/hull-mounted sonar, attack and search periscopes, passive intercept systems, and a surface search radar. In contrast, with more automation, the crew of the new Invincible class can be on watch for four hours and rest for eight hours. The new Type 218SG (70 metre long, 2,200 ton boats) come with a holistic sonar fit, including not just bow/hull-mounted sonars but also passive intercept systems, a superficial lateral antenna (to replace the flank array sonar) and towed-array sonars to give a much wider coverage at various ranges and for different depth performances – and includes:
(i) the OMS 150 non-hull penetrating optronic/photonic mast which is more capable than the OMS 110) — To minimize the exposure time of the mast, a Quick Look Round of 360° can be conducted in less than 3 seconds and a full panoramic views in less than 10 seconds which contributes to the situational awareness of the surface operational environment; and​
(ii) hull-mounted launch tubes that contain submerged signal ejectors, decoys or ATTs.​
7. Together with German, Israeli and indigenously-developed systems integrated into the combat suite, the Type 218SG will have enhanced situational awareness and accelerated decision-making support systems, allowing submariners to rapidly orientate themselves, decide on the best course of action, and act. Even surface radar is better, and the submarines will also come with better electronic warfare capabilities that aid their intelligence-gathering missions. German firm PLATH, which builds COMINT and SIGINT equipment, is expanding its product line to include systems for submarines. PLATH’s system can start to work below the surface, but only actually begins to scan and collect information when the boat reaches periscope depth and raises its appropriate antennas, according to Shephard.

8. With 8 torpedo tubes the Type 218SG has room for at least 16 mines, or medium sized UUVs. DSTA will also ensure that maintainability for this class of submarines is taken to the next level by the contractors, including developing the required specialised industrial capacity for first level support for the sonar arrays and the combat management systems that we had input-in during its design.

9. TKMS overcame the lack of space in the Type 218SG by modifying part of the sail fin to become an internal lock for 4 divers (also implemented in the U212A). Besides supporting the covert delivery and extraction process, the submarine has to allocate supporting resources to the Special forces/NDU team, such as accommodation, food, stowage space for equipment, as well as mission planning and control areas. At the same time, the submarine has to maintain sufficient space for its own equipping needs to maintain its core fighting capability. It is difficult to optimise the small conventional submarines to support Special forces/NDU operations while maintaining their core war fighting capability without a substantial increase in the submarines’ size. The torpedo room is designed such that the designated torpedo racks can be removed to allow the fitting of up to 10 additional bunks.

10. The SAF is in the process of evolving and developing its ability to operate in all dimensions of the littorals, including underwater warfare in the littorals that is discussed in this post. The 5 dimensions in the littorals include:
(i) surface warfare by the first flotilla (using the Formidable Class and the future MRCVs);​
(ii) underwater warfare and the deployment of naval special warfare units of the NDU by submarines (and use of UUVs) operated by 171 squadron;​
(iii) landward warfare with both:​
(a) amphibious forces using the Terrex and Belrex (to be launched from the future JMMS that are supported by USVs to be launched by the LMVs); and​
(b) heliborne forces using upgraded AH-64D Saraf Apaches, H225Ms and CH-47Fs;​
(iv) airspace and electromagnetic spectrum warfare over the contested littorals, with Fokker 50 MPAs, F-35Bs, F-15SGs and G550 AEWs; and​
(v) cyber.​

These refinements will give Singapore a wider range of integrated use of force options and provide deployable sensors and weapons, should the need arise.
 
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Lone Ranger

Member
To understand SAF's C4I battalions operations, one has to understand the concept of SAF's Networked Centric Warfighting (NCW) capability.

For your reading pleasure, here is the link to -"Future Communications in a NCW paradigm"- a paper written in 2005 that formed some of the guideline for subsequent development on the SAF's NCW capabilities.
(Side note: The discussion on real-time mission tailoring and re-tasking for long range weapon in this paper, could likely leads to the development of SPIKE LR2's 3rd party target allocation capability - Singapore, an early and major users of SPIKE ATGMs, did their test firing of SPIKE LR2 in 2017)

With the SAF's 3rd Division attained its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) as a 3rd Generation (Network Enabled) Combined Arms Division in 2017, this showed that most of the challenges mentioned in the 2005 paper had been both overcome and turned operation.
If I understand you correctly, the SAF has gathered signals and recon (as well as command?) BNs into two BNs where signals and recon operate together. The two C4I BNs of the SAF seems to function as mini HQs or large foreward CPs With recon and SIGINT/ELINT units up front.
There is only ONE C4I battalion for every Brigade and Division HQs and they are of different setup due to the differences in their role and scope.
  • At the Brigade level, C4I battalion was formed by combining the Brigade's existing Recce (mentioned by OPSSG) and Signal companies. On top of that, a SatCom and Tactical UAV companies were added to the structure. They support Brigade level operation, at the same time linked to the bigger Division and Army Network for a Full NCW operation.
  • At the Division level, C4I battalion was formed with the conversion of existing Signal battalion. Their focus is more on collate, make sense and dissemination of the information, hence it is structured differently compared to the Brigades'. Due to opsec, I would prefer not to state the detailed structure of this battalion, but will share some differences it has when compared to the Brigade's C4I Bn;
    -1st, it does not has any recce elements, as Intel gathering will be done by another unit - ISTAR battalion.
    -2nd, it has a Fusion company - as mentioned by OPSSG
C4I battlion with its role and structure, it is capable of distributed operation while supporting the Brigade HQ and above. It is definitely not a unit pushed up to the front line - with exception to the RSTA (scouts) elements.

Another question is the viability of a battlefield internet system supplying tactical recon information to operational commanders. Is this really viable in a full blown war scenario with the electronic bandwiths allready cramped by all the apparatus applied by modern armed forces even before the enemy start targeting you with jamming. How do you avoid enemy intercepts. I can't imagine direct line of sight microwave links down to platoon or section level. Is it at all possible to maintain OPSEC with an internet based info system. Is the communication based on SINGCAR radios or similar 360 degree broadcasts?
Your concern was raised in the 2005 paper (Future Communications in a NCW paradigm) above and Software Defined Radio was implemented in 2016. Much of this work is still on going with research on nanosatellite and quantum communication done locally.

As per any network in the field, every unit will have their Battle-Net defined

188-May-2011-Army C4i.jpg

A Networked Division
Today, the Command and Control Information System (CCIS) and the Blue Force tracking system allow the commanders at all levels to keep track of their men’s location on the battlefield. This enables them to analyse the battlefield situation based on real-time inputs rather than those provided through delayed updates from the ground units. With these new systems and a centralised Division Hub in place, the commanders can now effectively command their forces more decisively and plan for further operations.

147- Networked Division-1.jpg
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Post 3 of 5: Game change in the Littorals

11. The Type 218SG uses either two HDW/Siemens 120 kW (FCell System) or a more powerful 4th Generation Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Using these advanced fuel cells, Singapore’s submarines can engage in long duration diving and bottom sitting. With more power for the hotel load, more powerful sensors can be installed, improving their enemy submarine detection capability. Interestingly in Sep 2019, TKMS unveiled its 4th Generation Fuel Cell (FC4G) following completion of a test programme for the propulsion system. FC4G has no moving parts and has undergone in excess of 70,000 operating hours of testing, demonstrating it’s performance. While the use of FC4G is currently not documented, I suspect that the FC4G is installed in the new Invincible class but I am unable to provide a link. This is to be used as standard equipment from 2021 (when the 1st Type 218SG is to be delivered).

12. The Invincible class submarine operating in littoral waters will be tasked with employment in such roles as forward sensor, scout, relay station, as the operating base for unmanned underwater (UUV) or aerial (UAV) vehicles, and as a platform for the insertion and recuperation of special forces. This means that the submarine must be able to maintain almost continuous contact with other units in the network, even when deep submerged.

(i) The submarine’s ability to covertly gather intelligence is an established fact, but in network centric operations it must also be possible to transmit and receive large amounts of data in real-time, in such a way that it is difficult for the opponent to intercept or disrupt the information flow, and without revealing the submarine’s position. This is not possible with conventional VHF/UHF submarine communication means, but enabling the submarine to use satellite communication facilities provides global reach and rapid data transmission times. The Callisto B submarine communication system is a combination of hoistable mast and communication buoy. The buoy incorporates SATCOM, GPS and ESM/EW facilities. It is attached to a conventional hoistable mast and can be raised and lowered. This mast will enable the submarine to actively participate in network centric and crisis management operations while still underwater.​
(ii) For the Invincible class, a flexible payload means its what is sensors can provide an over-the-horizon HQ Commander is more valuable than its own attack possibilities. Nevertheless, it will have essential self-defence weapons. A modular approach means that a submarine can be fitted with a wide variety of weapons, mines, UUVs and equipment, depending on the likely mission profile.​
(iii) The Invincible class can be equipped with the Interactive Defence system for Air-attacked Submarines (IDAS) that is connected to the submarine by fibre-optic link during its entire mission duration. It is described as 4 missiles housed in a launch canister in the torpedo tube (like any heavyweight torpedo) using a IR seeker, fiber-optic data link between the control console and a single-stage, rocket motor providing a range of 20km. The operator on board the submarine may alter the course of the mission at any time. In addition, reconnaissance results and target images obtained by means of the seeker can be evaluated in the submarine. The missile is intended for use against the modern submarine’s deadliest enemy: the ASW helicopter. However, the degree of precision with which the missile can be controlled makes it suitable for operations against surface ships and coastal targets as well. The IDAS Consortium and its international partners will achieve series production maturity for the IDAS system during the system qualification phase, in which the remaining detail development, verification and qualification work will be carried out. This phase is due to be completed and IDAS placed on the market in 2022.​

SSJArcher Krich said:
Hezbollah is a Lebanese Shia militia aligned to Iran. Effectively, they are an Iranian proxy, one among many others in the region.

If a non-state actor in a tiny country like Lebanon could field as many as 100,000 ballistic missiles and rockets, it is not hard to consider whether Iran could field enough ballistic missiles to eliminate a tiny country that is considered its adversary.

...

Jurong Island with all the petrochemical industries can be taken out with a salvo of short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. Pretty easily.

Changi Airport can be easily devastated in a similar manner. Singapore's power plants can be similarly targeted. Cruise missile and drone attacks, like those in Abqaiq, KSA but in much greater number, could disable its ports at Tuas, Pasir Panjang and elsewhere.
13. In paragraphs 13 to 16, I explain the naval thinking required to prepare for littoral operations, where the threat is over the horizon or underwater; where little or nothing relating to the adversary can be seen with your eyeballs; and the object is deception more than it is aggression— the trick is getting the other side to shoot first, to enable Singapore to gain a political advantage. In this regard Singapore Navy’s submarines and ships need the capability to sense, use decoys or hard kill measures against attacks so that there is no need to absorb the damage of the attack. Preparing to meet all the possible threats the South China Sea has to offer will force the Singapore Navy to become more nimble, to better able to deal with emergencies, when they arise. This includes being prepared to ram Malaysian ships, as ramming is a routine escalation option in the South China Sea.

14. Singapore’s 16 new H225M helicopters will be delivered from 2022. With the planned acquisition of the JMMS, the RSAF is possibly looking to eventually acquire around 24-30 aircraft to support amphibious operations.

(i) The H225Ms with a flight endurance of 4 hours and a 1,282 km (or 692 nautical mile) range give the Singapore Navy extended reach from a sea base, like the MV Avatar and is the advanced of this helicopter type.​
(ii) Thanks to the 2009 counter-piracy deployment of 2 Super Pumas under CTF-151 (in the Gulf of Aden), the SAF has taken a long- term view of growing its naval helicopter interdiction capabilities at sea. To aid insertion of special forces from the sea, DSTA has incorporated the display of flight information onto the helmet-mounted display to reduce the pilots’ workload, and further streamlined the new H225M helicopter’s scheduled maintenance requirements from a sea base — which includes folding blades and the ASIST shipboard helicopter landing system to facilitate shipboard operations.​
 
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OPSSG

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Post 4 of 5: Building the Next Generation SAF

15. If even terror groups can fire anti-ship missiles, the Singapore Navy must re-examine its fleet architecture to remain threat relevant — including its plans to refurbish 4 Fearless Class vessels to augment the 8 Littoral Mission Vessels to manage tensions with Malaysia. In 2013, US NPS established a Littoral Operations Center (LOC). NPS is working with the Swedish and Singapore navies to conduct war games and to study the threats and counter measures including:

(i) The Tamil Sea Tigers who tied the Sri Lankan navy in knots through the use of small attack boats and suicide explosive vessels. Similar challenges that arise in the Philippines or Malaysia, such as, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines or the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff in Sabah.​
(ii) Effectively using the MSTF (along with the Police Coast Guard and other agencies) to secure the waters off Capella Hotel during the Kim-Trump summit from potential terrorist or missile attacks. For added security, the Singapore Navy increased the number of close escort operations carried out on merchant vessels. UAVs and AH-64Ds also joined in the mission to protect the Kim-Trump summit.​
(iii) The greatest threat will be the conduct of Littoral zone naval operations into places with conditions like that off the coast of Lebanon or Yemen — where anti-ship missiles were used to attack: (a) INS Hanit on 14 July 2006; and (b) USS Mason on 9 Oct 2016, where the destroyer detected and intercepted two inbound missiles over a 60-minute period while in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen — which in this case means more than hard kill and decoys but also extends to Electronic Warfare (EW).​

16. With the proliferation of submarines in the region (with Myanmar as the latest submarine operator), Singapore is keen to learn from the Swedish navy — who have in the past, greatly assisted with our MCMVs and submarine programs. “Driven by the small size of their armed forces and the extent and intricacy of their coastline, the Swedes have integrated all their services in a comprehensive littoral anti-access system,” LOC Director, NPS Senior Lecturer Dr. Kalev Sepp said. According to Sepp, the littoral is where hydrography, geography, commerce, fishing, political boundaries and claims, and military maneuver and sustainment issues converge, to complicate both the offense and the defense, and to place exceptional demands on naval, aerial, and land forces that must operate, fight, and influence events there.
 
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CheeZe

Active Member
With the new submarines, will MV Swift Rescue be getting any upgrades/changes? Or replaced? I haven't heard much news about that particular capability in RSN in recent years. Other than its deployments on S&R for various incidents.
 

OPSSG

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Post 5 of 5: Fleet Composition to include blue ensign

17. The greatest challenge in countering influence operations of foreign agents is the growth a sense of entitlement, without the need to contribute, by segments of the population.
CheeZe said:
With the new submarines, will MV Swift Rescue be getting any upgrades/changes? Or replaced?
18. I don’t know, for sure. The 4,290 ton MV Swift Rescue with a crew of 27 and manned by Swire Pacific Offshore (has a medical centre with beds for 18 and accommodation for 85 personnel) is used a submarine tender (or what the SAF calls a submarine support vessel), to host DSAR6 and other underwater rescue equipment.

(i) I would be very surprised if the ship does not already have some existing space allocated to load a 20 foot long liquid oxygen tank (and additional space to load some limited quantity of liquid hydrogen to refuel the AIP system).​

(ii) The issue really is the effect on MV Swift Rescue’s class certificate to store cryogenic liquids and maintain a water curtain for the hoses used to conduct such ship to submarine transfers.​
CheeZe said:
I haven't heard much news about that particular capability in RSN in recent years. Other than its deployments on S&R for various incidents.
19. Neither have I. Nothing much heard since 2015, when its crew found the crashed airliner, underwater.
 
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OPSSG

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The crew of RSS Supreme, send their National Day greetings while en route to Hawaii for @RimofthePacific - the world's largest int'l maritime exercise.

The Maritime Sailpast is returning to NDP2020 after 20 years! This 9 Aug, the sailpast will be coming to the Marina South Pier, with 13 vessels and about 300 sailors from the Republic of Singapore Navy, Police Coast Guard, SCDF and MPA.

Happy National Day, Singapore!
 
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Gambit79

New Member
It’s been a while but all articles are interesting.
Aside to that, few takes to discuss further.

1)Will it be operationally adequate for the RSN to operate a squadron of four Type 218SG submarines taking into consideration the no of platforms deployed for operations/training/maintenance and stand by?

2)Till now, there have been no information if the tender for the RSN MRCV had kick off.Personally, I’m unsure if the ST Marine Vanguard 130 will meet the MRCV optimum operational requirements as I’ve read an article with the author mentioning that it’s a cramped vessel and the author said that another possible candidate will be Naval Shipyard enhanced Belharra Frigate taking into consideration that they had set up an R&D lab in Singapore.

3)Similar to the MRCV the RSN is still coy about details of this platform except of a Endurance 170LHD as shared by ST Marine as a possible export opportunity.
If we assume that Endurance 170 will be the selected platform for RSN JMMS, will the length of this platform too minimal towards F-35B requirements of 167meters long run way to take off?
Or hypothetically, will the Endurance 170 tailored to extended length for RSN JMMS requirements? E.g extended length of 177.5 meters or 179.5 meters

4)What about the future new four purpose built new vessels to enhance MARSEC assets? Possibly a Fearless 75? Similar to Royal Navy of Oman?

5)Will the RSAF set up another squadron of F-15SG? Possibly an enhanced platform with cue from F-15 EX?

Awaiting opinions from our forum experts on the above,thanks!
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
It’s been a while but all articles are interesting.
Aside to that, few takes to discuss further.
1. Hope your don/t mind, I have moved your post from the Republic of Singapore Air Force Discussions thread to the general discussion on the SAF thread, instead of the service specific RSN capabilities thread.

2. While this approach enables a complete answer to your questions in one location, it lacks the level of service specific detail provided in the Air Force and Navy threads. I feel this is the best way to keep you happy.
1)Will it be operationally adequate for the RSN to operate a squadron of four Type 218SG submarines taking into consideration the no of platforms deployed for operations/training/maintenance and stand by?
3. Yes, for the amount of money that the Singapore Government is currently willing to spend. Unless the Singapore Navy is better resourced, and given that it is the smallest service (with the Singapore Navy's budget is dwarfed by that of the RSAF), I think it did pretty well in the inter-service budget wars to get 4 new submarines.
2)Till now, there have been no information if the tender for the RSN MRCV had kick off.Personally, I’m unsure if the ST Marine Vanguard 130 will meet the MRCV optimum operational requirements as I’ve read an article with the author mentioning that it’s a cramped vessel and the author said that another possible candidate will be Naval Shipyard enhanced Belharra Frigate taking into consideration that they had set up an R&D lab in Singapore.
5. As opposed to which other design?

6. A ST spokesman mentioned that the Vanguard 130 design is a 5,000 ton class vessel (see this astute blog’s discussion on the Vanguard 130) - it is the Vanguard 130 Multi-role Combatant, the biggest and most capable ship in the series that fits the MRCV description most. At 130 metres it will already be significantly larger than the Formidable-class frigate and it has to be in order to accommodate all those UAVs and USVs, and when required.

7. I would not consider the smallish 122 metre long Belharra Frigate or want to discuss it (as that does not meet Singapore's requirements). There are some fairly nonsensical attempts to discuss 1st Flotilla and 3rd Flotilla fleet design, that contains unrealistic and speculative discussions via featured guest posts and comments, including by Benjamin Ong (who lays the ground work with links to actual speeches) and the rest of the gang, on the blog Submarine Matters.

3)Similar to the MRCV the RSN is still coy about details of this platform except of a Endurance 170LHD as shared by ST Marine as a possible export opportunity.
8. Look at Endurance 160 as the design base for the JMMS concept. It may grow bigger but what I really want is for it to be faster — which means more installed power to exceed the current maximum speed of 22 knots, as currently specified.

9. An effective ASW fleet requires more speed and I would suggest 24 to 26 knots (with an economic cruise speed of above 18 knots as base).
If we assume that Endurance 170 will be the selected platform for RSN JMMS, will the length of this platform too minimal towards F-35B requirements of 167meters long run way to take off?
10. To land in an emergency, more than adequate for the F-35B. To take-off with a meaningful combat load? The answer is no.

Q: Why would Singapore need such a large JMMS?​

11. More importantly, we need a faster JMMS, if it is to be effective as an ASW support platform — take a look at JMSDF ASW operations (as an aspirational example). I would ague this more important to the Singapore Navy. We badly need to grow the Seahawk fleet by another 6 to 9 helicopters in the 2030s — as the 6 MRCVs and the 2 JMMS need Seahawks (which I assume is 2 currently). And unless the NZDF decides on acquiring the Endurance 170, the base design that meets the SAF’s key requirements will reside in the 160 platform.
Or hypothetically, will the Endurance 170 tailored to extended length for RSN JMMS requirements? E.g extended length of 177.5 meters or 179.5 meters
12. Why do we want to increase or concentrate the risk? IMO, the Singapore Navy needs a much better ASW capability (as a risk mitigation measure). If a single Malaysian submarine sinks a large deck JMMS (that can carry significant numbers of F-35Bs), you not only lose the ship, you lose the fighter squadron.
4)What about the future new four purpose built new vessels to enhance MARSEC assets? Possibly a Fearless 75? Similar to Royal Navy of Oman?
13. It is possible that the 4 vessels supplied to the Royal Navy of Oman is a good starting point for discussion. I will return to this point at another time, as lunch beckons.
5)Will the RSAF set up another squadron of F-15SG? Possibly an enhanced platform with cue from F-15 EX?
14. No. I was clear that the F-35B was the much, much preferred choice. The block 4, F-35B to be acquired by Singapore from 2026 onwards, has five basic missions:

(i) air superiority, or offensive and defensive counterair;​

(ii) EW and suppression of enemy air defences (also known as SEAD);​

(iii) close air support;​

(iv) strategic attack against high-value strategic and mobile targets; and​

(v) extended surface warfare for maritime surveillance, identification and targeting.​

My prior response on the slim possibility for another squadron of F-15SG was to address a 0.1% chance specific event that is the subject of another question.
Awaiting opinions from our forum experts on the above,thanks!
15. Thanks for tolerating my incoherent thoughts.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
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More incoherent thoughts part 2
1. Some have validly speculated that this vessel will be based in the Fearless 75 design (like the four 75m patrol vessels supplied to the Oman Navy, namely RNOV Al-Seeb, RNOV Shinas, RNOV Sadh and RNOV Khassab). From the picture, I suspect it might have the length of the LMVs but the top of the Al-Ofouq class.

2. The Al-Ofouq class is powered by 2 x MTU 20V 8000 M91 and has a top speed of 25 knots. The hull form of the Independence class vessels is powered by 4 × MTU 20V 4000 M93L and has a top speed of 27 knots — a design that is faster than the older, less capable Fearless 75 design, while being more economical to run. Therefore, I would pick the Independence class hull form for this 2nd flotilla vessel — for parts commonality with the existing 8 LMVs.

3. For the Singapore Navy, Maritime security remains crucial, despite pandemic. More details on plans to restructure the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) was announced, with assets under the Maritime Security (MARSEC) Command to be reorganized into three flotillas tasked with specialized roles.
4. The 6th flotilla’s USVs will be crucial to the Singapore’s mine counter-measures (with a tested concept of operations using a pair of 16 m Venus USVs as a shallow water mine counter-measure solution) and shallow water ASW capabilities — with the intent that some of these USVs will manned by conscripts and naval reserves.
(a) The VENUS series of Singapore built USVs range from the 5.5 ton VENUS 9 with a payload capacity of 2.5 ton over the 11 ton VENUS 11 with a payload of 4.5 ton, to the 26 ton VENUS 16 with a 10 ton payload capacity.​
(b) The VENUS 16 Mine Countermeasure concept, where one VENUS 16 is fitted with a Towed Synthetic Aperture Sonar (TSAS) to conduct underwater scans to detect and classify mines, while another VENUS 16 embarks the ECA K-STER Expendable Mine Disposal Systems (EMDS) to carry out the mine detection and neutralisation to conduct mine disposals. Both versions feature autonomous collision avoidance and Satcom systems to cancel any blind spots caused by geographical and shipping reasons. This waterjet-propelled USV can attain speeds in excess of 30 kn and has an endurance of up to 36 hours. The craft is controlled by a 2-person crew in a 20 ft TEU container that can be located either ashore or deployed from a ship.​

5. In late 2017, the Singapore Navy concluded a series of shipborne trials for the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter rotor-winged unmanned aerial system (UAS) on one of its LMVs. The trials, which involved a heavy fuel variant of the UAS, took place over several months on the LMV programme’s second-of-class, RSS Sovereignty (16). Among objectives of the Camcopter trials include the establishment of basic rotor-wing UAV operating envelopes and parameters, under various operational scenarios including at varying speed and sea states, for the LMV platform. The S-100 Camcopter has a 6 hour endurance with a small 34 kg (75 lbs) payload.

6. I am just wondering if larger unmanned helicopters like the MQ-8C Firescout would be better operated by the RSAF or by the 6th flotilla. Thus far, Northrop Grumman has delivered 32 of 38 MQ-8Cs to the US Navy —Japan could be the first export customer of the MQ-8C. All of the MQ-8C UAS will be equipped with the AN/ZPY-8 radar with 240-degree field of view and an achieved flight time of 11 hours (with more than an hour of fuel in reserve). The 11 hour flight was part of a series of capability-based tests used by the US Navy to validate their concept of operations and previously tested performance parameters. Having achieved initial operational capability in June 2019, the MQ-8C is scheduled for its first deployment in 2020.
 
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Lone Ranger

Member
2)Till now, there have been no information if the tender for the RSN MRCV had kick off.Personally, I’m unsure if the ST Marine Vanguard 130 will meet the MRCV optimum operational requirements as I’ve read an article with the author mentioning that it’s a cramped vessel and the author said that another possible candidate will be Naval Shipyard enhanced Belharra Frigate taking into consideration that they had set up an R&D lab in Singapore.
Beside ST Engineering Marine's Vanguard-130, there are also talks on offers from Damen (Crossover-131) and Saab-Kockums (stretched version of its Stealth Next Generation Multi-Mission Corvette) to RSN during IMDEX Asia 2019.

On Saab-Kockums' offering, a vessel with the length of 120m, it could be under size for MRCV's requirement. As for Damen's Crossover-131, it has an interesting design. It has 3 variants - XO 131C (combatant), XO 131A (amphibious) and XO 131T (transport). I do hope RSN find them interesting too and explore on their potential for MRCV.

I am just wondering if larger unmanned helicopters like the MQ-8C Firescout would be better operated by the RSAF or by the 6th flotilla.
On the MQ-8C Firescout vs Schiebel S-100 Camcopter, despite MQ-8C has a higher payload, speed and longer endurance compared to S-100 Camcopter, however I do believe Camcopter does has some advantages worth considering, like..
-smaller ship board footprint
-lower operating cost (fuel efficiency due to smaller size)
-Less observable (again due to smaller size)
-2 drones per system (redundancy)
-Lower Capex (full system @ $2million-2005 vs 1 drone @ $10million-2016)

Of course, the above comparison is only valid if a payload of 34-50kg is not a mission constraint.

I cut & paste both spec side by side for easy comparison.
 

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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
More incoherent thoughts part 3
On the MQ-8C Firescout vs Schiebel S-100 Camcopter, despite MQ-8C has a higher payload, speed and longer endurance compared to S-100 Camcopter, however I do believe Camcopter does has some advantages worth considering, like..
-smaller ship board footprint
-lower operating cost (fuel efficiency due to smaller size)
-Less observable (again due to smaller size)
-2 drones per system (redundancy)
-Lower Capex (full system @ $2million-2005 vs 1 drone @ $10million-2016)

Of course, the above comparison is only valid if a payload of 34-50kg is not a mission constraint.

I cut & paste both spec side by side for easy comparison.
7. Looking at the art of the possible (based on US studies), I believe the Singapore Navy will need to evaluate both types for different mission sets — the concept of operations and safety margins for operating the S-100 Camcopter is being evaluated and developed on the LMVs.
(a) The true competitor to the S-100 on the four LMVs (that do not support helicopter operations) in the 2030s is the future replacement for the Group 2 UAS, RQ-21.​
(b) The other four LMVs that can support helicopter operations are fitted with Aeronautical & General Instruments Limited’s Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator (ASGSI) at the rear of the ship’s superstructure to assist with helicopter landing operations. According to Lt. Col Chew Chun Chau, head of the LMV project office, in 2017, the Singapore Navy put the LMVs’ helicopter capabilities through trials using the S-70B Seahawk and Super Puma helicopters. These ASGSI equipped LMVs are an ideal lilly pad for a platoon of Group 4 helicopter type UAS (and launched from a mothership like the JMMS) — where the LMVs are used to rearm and refuel them in forward naval and littoral operations.​
8. The US Navy and US Marine Corps operate a fixed-wing RQ-21 Blackjack UAS from ships using a pressurized air catapult and a “Skyhook” recovery system, and they also operate the MQ-8 Fire Scout rotary-wing UAS:
(a) the RQ-21 is a Group 2 UAS (with the current endurance of 16+ hours, depending on payload); and​
(b) the MQ-8 is a Group 4 UAS (with an endurance of 11+ hours is much more costly to operate and currently lack certain mission packages, as the technology needs to be matured over the late 2020s).​

9. A platoon or section of larger as a Group 4 UAS (is a poor man’s helicopter based alternative to an AWAC for a sea base) would be deployed from hangers and UAS control centres on larger vessels like the JMMS or MRCV. In Mar 2020, Deputy Commandant of the US Marine Corps for Aviation Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder told USNI News after a hearing that it became clear as the service moved forward with the program that it couldn’t get the endurance it needed for high-end missions like airborne early warning and communications relay with the kind of air vehicle design that would be able to launch vertically off a ship’s helicopter deck.

10. As for the shipboard variant of the US Marines’ upcoming program, “it’s probably RQ-21-plus or some sort of Group 3 UAS, Group 4 UAS capability, but not a larger (Group 5) air vehicle that does everything,” Lt. Gen. Rudder said.
(a) I think it is worth watching the Group 2 to 4 UAS trials being conducted by the US Marines. Some of these capabilities, when they are matured will need to be adopted by the SAF’s 21st division or the RSAF. I can imagine a block force or a company sized force from 7SIB being resupplied by a Group 4 helicopter based UAS (launched from a Singapore Navy ship, for littoral dominance in a scenario outlined in paragraphs 11 and 12 below). A Group 4 helicopter based UAS can also serve as a forward scout for the Apache providing force protection, in a scenario where ROEs prevent the SAF from shooting unless fired upon.​
(b) In mid-Aug 2020, China has fired an array of missiles near the Paracel Islands, clearly intended to shape the attitudes and actions of the US and ASEAN. China says it doesn’t need to recognize international law — because it doesn’t think it had enough influence in shaping its regional security environment.​
(c) A key geopolitical event, occurred in 1995 from July 21 to 26 — along a long string of seemingly unrelated prior events — the equivalent of a geopolitical earthquake. That 1995 event was not even triggered by China. For the PLA, this was a never again moment, where it was forced to back down.​
(d) Having understood this July 1995 event, Singapore decided to begin building the Formidable Class in 2002. The Next Fighter Replacement competition in 2003-2005 that was won by Boeing’s F-15SG, demonstrated a sense of urgency by MINDEF (that was not generally understood at that time). In fact, the trend line of PRC defence spending was clear even so far back — which will affect the region. It is important to note that Singapore’s capability development is not directed by a China threat. Rather, it is planning to manage a general increase in regional defence spending.​
(e) The US Naval Postgraduate School has released an unclassified wargame, “Crisis in the South Pacific,” which allows a notional Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) commander to design a tailored force and operate in a resource-constrained environment. In contrast to traditional force-on-force wargames, the player’s focus is to improve U.S. perceptions in the host nation while shaping the environment to support a future mission tasking. In this regard, the player has no direct ability to attrite enemy forces and must carefully plan each move, as every action increases the overall force signature and the likelihood that the enemy will target and successfully strike highly-visibility units.​
11. 7SIB and the Army Deployment Force (ADF), will have similar Phase Zero planning concerns.

12. The military term of art for Phase Zero planning consists of those things done (i) to make an intervention unnecessary in the first place or (ii) failing that, to ensure that everything is poised for a successful campaign (Phases One to X) to return the situation to Phase Zero as quickly as possible.

13. In the battlefield or deployment ground of the future (in the late 2030s), nimble and affordable Group 2 to 3 UAS, at a systems level, are intended to draw fire from enemy air defence systems and may be controlled by H225Ms, Apaches, Seahawks or CH-47F Chinooks (depending on mission requirements) that are launched from a Singaporean sea base. We can already see this action-reaction dynamic in Ukraine — where a Russian UAV appearance will mean an artillery barrage in on Ukrainian positions in less than a minute.

14. Singapore’s ADF is an all professional force and it needs to take some risk to fight our way in, as part of a coalition (with like minded countries like Australia, NZ and other ASEAN countries), to deliver aid in troubled peace HADR scenario or to separate warning parties in an enforced peace making missions (due to the partial collapse of any ASEAN nation).
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
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In any analysis of Singapore’s defence industrial base’s growth trajectory, asking the correct questions is as important to seeking to answers to questions.
Q1: Why is it important for Singapore to be a booster rocket motor supplier for Blue Spear (the next gen Israeli and Singapore anti-ship missile)?

Ans: Noteworthy that the JV is with ST Land Systems (formerly ST Kinetics). This is likely because the ammunition and missile design and manufacture knowhow is possessed by this division. They have previously licenced produced Spike ATGMs and Igla SAMs. The core technology used to manufacture solid rocket motors in Blue Spear can also be applied to develop anti-tank missiles, short ranged loitering munitions, artillery rockets (replacement HIMARS rockets), medium range surface-to-surface missiles like the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and even for certain SAM systems. While Singapore will continue to buy from foreign suppliers these systems, having certain core technologies reduces embargo risk.

Q2: Who is the global booster rocket motor supplier for ST Engineering (land systems) to benchmark against?

Ans: Nammo, who designs and manufactures rocket motors in the following programs:
  • AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile)
  • ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) – Raytheon
  • IRIS-T (Air to Air Missile with TVC) – Diehl BGT Defence
  • IRIS-T SL (Surface Lauch IRIS-T with TVC) – Diehl BGT Defence
  • EXOCET MM40 B3 Booster (Anti-Ship Missile with TVC) - MBDA
  • Sidewinder AIM-9L (Air to Air Missile) – Diehl BGT Defence
  • Penguin MK2 Boost & Sustain Motor Anti Ship Missiles) - Kongsberg
  • NSM Booster (Naval Strike Missile) - Kongsberg
  • IDAS (Interactive Defence & Attack for Submarines) – Diehl BGT Defence
  • ARIANE 5 (Separation & Acceleration Boosters) – Airbus DS
  • Hybrid Rocket Motors & Monopropellant Thrusters for Space - ESA
Q3: Is ST Engineering’s goal to be like Nammo?

Ans: No, Singapore should seek to grow specific niches, with export potential, to augment Singapore’s own domestic weapons manufacturing needs.

Q4: Where are some of the testing locations for Singapore made boosters or missiles?

Ans: Australia, South Africa and in 2020 onwards, in India.
(a) On 20 Nov 2019, India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and his Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen witnessed the exchange of the Letter of Intent Letter of Intent to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the use of Chandipur Integrated Test Range by the Singapore defence establishment and both Ministers commended the progress in defence technology collaboration. Rajnath Singh also offered setting up of a Joint Test Facilities under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme of India. Dr Ng agreed to explore opportunities for joint collaboration, including in the two Defence Industrial Corridors (DICs), in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The Ministers also agreed to explore cooperation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Geo-Spatial Data Sharing and Cyber Security.​
(b) Likewise Australia and Singapore have signed a range of MOUs to enhance defence cooperation, including on personnel exchanges, military intelligence cooperation and defence science and technology. Under a 10 year MOU valid till 2025, the two countries undertake collaborative research, conduct joint trials, work on systems engineering and integration, exchange equipment and personnel, develop new capabilities and improve methods of operations.​
 
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