The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

koxinga

Well-Known Member
I suspect a strong SAF suits MAF at a strategic level. There is a shared concern about the country south of Malaysia/Singapore, one that outweighs whatever occasional posturing and dramatics between the two countries.

There are sufficient levels of communications, formally, FPDA and via backchannels between the two countries and services to ensure things don't go too far when pandering to a domestic audience and de-escalate.

The one below however... I've heard one account of the period of tension during Habibie's presidency where things were very hot and what the SAF was preparing for.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
I suspect a strong SAF suits MAF at a strategic level.
If you ask senior MAF officials; in private they'll tell you they welcome a strong SAF as it keeps in check a certain much larger neighbouring country; a country which has traditionally occupied a major place in Malaysia's strategic calculus.

There are sufficient levels of communications, formally, FPDA and via backchannels between the two countries and services to ensure things don't go too far when pandering to a domestic audience and de-escalate.
Both sides understand that a certain level of rhetoric, hubris and nationalistic chest thumping happens every now and then for a domestic audience and from what I've been told there indeed a lot of back channel communications. A good example of something intended for a domestic audience would be the Singaporean PM's National Day message some years ago about the situation in the Ukraine being a reminder of how smaller countries have to be vigilant and that in Singapore's case it's only a strong SAF which keeps Singapore's neighbours friendly. Viewed objectively one has to ask; is a statement of this nature really needed given that Singapore is not in a Cold War with any of its neighbours; nor in state of tensions but granted it was intended for a domestic audience.

Irrespective of any rhetoric, hubris and nationalistic chest thumping the leaders of various ASEAN countries are highly aware that a full state conflict would be highly damaging in the long run for everyone. In Singapore's case [based not only on my assumptions but talks I've had with various individuals] Singapore's leadership and defence planners are highly aware that a superior SAF might be able to solve some immediate problems in time of conflict [against neighbours which don't spend as much as Singapore on defence and who don't see the SAF as a likely opponent] but the problem is what comes after that in the long run? Winning a war doesn't permanently solve a problem but it can be the start of a much bigger and lasting one.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Information Warfare as Phase Zero Planning

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1. IMHO, the above is an excellent example of information (from a Malaysian perspective) or what I consider as misinformation ops by one of many Malaysians, trying to justify NAKED lies after the fact. This is misinformation warfare (like current Russian efforts in Ukraine). I am sure, many Malaysians can come up with better lies than the Russians but I really don’t care to engage with them on these lies.
(a) As a Singaporean, I continue to be grateful for Sultan Ibrahim & Tunku Ismail for their leadership & efforts to keep Singapore-Johore relations on an even keel during Osman Sapian’s term as Menteri Besar (before he was forced to resign). On 9 Jan 2019, Osman Sapian boarded the Marine Department Malaysia vessel Pedoman (anchored illegally in territorial waters off Tuas), in an attempt to derail the bilateral efforts to defuse the dispute in a calm manner. Osman Sapian in visiting the vessel is escalating the dispute by Malaysian choice.​
(b) I used to advocate caring and meeting DAP or UMNO M’sian politicians halfway (both as part of the ruling coalition at the relevant time), but once the hostility cycle resumed in 4Q2018, whatever past goodwill I had for DAP in Malaysia, evaporated. DPP’s Anthony Loke reiterated Dr M’s irrational stance concerning territorial disputes regarding airspace and port limits at Johor Baru, saying “the altered port limits of Johor Bahru Port are in Malaysia’s territorial sea & it is well within Malaysia’s right to draw any port limit in our territorial sea...” IMO, his act of M’sian hostility against Singapore should not be forgotten or forgiven.​
(c) Disinformation, corruption and racist conspiracies is part of UMNO’s current appeal but it’s come to the stage, I hope that UMNO can keep winning because they are less harmful to bilateral relations than when the spineless DAP was in power and in cahoots, with Dr M. Cleverly Dr M divided Pakatan Harapan by playing the parties against each other. He schemed to do this, and sad to say, it was so good that Pakatan Harapan itself broke down and there was a change in government. IMO, better the predictably corrupt UMNO rather than the unpredictable actions of the idiots in DAP.​

2. Thanks to decades of hostility by Dr M & his tactic of being hostile in multiple areas by creatively inventing new disputes in 2018 for his own political purpose (w/o regard to truth), there is a trust deficit at a people to people level. No matter what M’sians like claim (as the Twitter screenshot shows), I think there is some agency in the M’sian public’s approach, contributing to the deficit.

STURM said:
I didn't reply the last few times; including when you openly spoke about [I won't use the term 'bragg] about the SAF's ability to do various things including hitting Malaysia's power infrastructure. One would get the impression that Malaysia/Singapore are in a cold war or that there is a state of tensions which will inevitably lead to war - nothing could be further from the truth.
3. Really? I want to be respectful but things in Dec 2018 were more tense than is generally known — it is normal that the M’sians want to portray incidents as nothing but:

(a) I note with mild concern the deployment of armed M’sian men on watercraft that accompanied the intrusion of our port waters for 4 months (including escalation by M’sian choice & a collision with a merchant vessel).​
(b) IMO, the ROEs must be modified to allow for a shorter warning to shoot cycle (in the current EOF procedures). IMO, the PAP, as the ruling party, like to bullsh!t that they are strong on defence but in reality, they just don’t have the guts to act on conviction & punish hostile acts, including an intrusion of airspace on Sept-11, 2021. What’s the use of acquiring such an exotically capable SAF, if they don’t dare to use it to advance Singapore’s interests at the right time.​

STURM said:
Also note that if Malaysia's threat perceptions were centered ''south'' a newer fighter base wouldn't have been constructed up north near the Thai border and a sub base wouldn't have been constructed in East Malaysia thousands of KM away. Unlike the SAF which trains/focuses to fight the MAF and to a lesser extent the TNI; the MAF does not train/focus on the SAF as it has other concerns/priorities.
(c) I agree there will be no war but I also note the M’sian use of grey zone swarming boat tactics to enable a M’sia politician to board in our port waters — a hostile act using armed personnel — this the SAF should no longer tolerate.​
STURM said:
Singaporeans in general like to give the impression that all that has gone wrong in the Malaysia/Singapore bilateral relationship is the fault of Malaysia and Malaysia alone. We both discussed this as far back as a decade ago via PM. We discussed Mahathir and a host of other things. I'll say the same thing I did then : it's a two way street and Malaysia also has its concerns and its interests; plus the fact that no matter how one wants to spin it; no single side has a monopoly on truth or of being a good/bad neighbour...
4. I hear you — seeking areas where there is commonality of interests is the way forward for relations between Malaysia & Singapore — if we can’t have a win-win outcome, no deal is better than a poor deal. But based on accurate threat assessments, Singapore needs to protect the bridge of 4 MSRV vessels against RPGs & armour piercing rounds plus fit them for ramming — this is what I consider deterrence by denial.

5. On a more serious note, according to David Boey, the MAF was put on alert in late 1998 as politicians on both sides of the Causeway argued over the status of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) checkpoint at Malaysia's railway station in Tanjong Pagar. On a less serious note, let me provide a link from a blogger Mr Brown, who shares 10 funny points (aka Top 10 list) on this issue.

6. Thankfully, Singapore is not the most hated by Dr M, when he was in power. In 1992, during Dr M's first tenure as prime minister, he passed a bill in parliament to curb the privileges and powers of Malaysia’s royal families. This was following the controversial Douglas Gomez incident. Apart from stripping the rulers of their legal immunity, Dr M also introduced limits on the royals’ ability to issue pardons.

Are there further plans by Singapore for the use of satellites for defence purposes?
DS-SAR satellite acquired by Singapore’s defence technology agency & ST Electronics | SpaceTech Asia
7. Mindef’s plans of this nature are not open source.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Training to operate in coalition with others

1. Exercise Pitch Black 2022 has officially started! 3 weeks. 17 countries. 100 aircraft. 2500 personnel. During the exercise, a F-15SG had to use the arrestor cable that caused the landing traffic jam.

2. Great job by RAAF ground crew & tower controllers on the safe recovery of the aircraft, the on-the-fly safety separation coverage.

3. Meanwhile, Singapore’s A330MRTT plays a crucial safety role — by providing unscheduled refuelling for German Eurofighters (in the below) — to enable Ex Pitich Black pilots to stay in the air longer, while the runway is cleared. Bravo Zulu to the airmen involved.

4. At Ex Pitch Black 2022, the RSAF flew in a large contingent of fighters & support aircraft that includes 8 F-16D+s (capable of a SEAD role), 8 F-15SGs, 4 C-130Hs (to bring stores & spares), a G550AEW, & 2 A330MRTTs. The return of large-scale military exercises post COVID-19, is necessary to keep the sword sharp. Proper training to maintain military readiness requires participation in large-force employment training exercises like Ex Pitch Black & Red Flag. And on top of all these air force exercises, Singaporean airmen will soon be supporting a few thousand ground troops at Ex Wallaby.

5. The Japanese & Koreans were past observers of prior iterations of Ex Pitch Black. But Ex Pitch Black 2022 is the first time the Germans (Eurofighters), Japanese (F-2As) and Koreans (KF-16Us) are sending fighters.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 1 of 3: Training overseas to develop capability & increase interoperability

1. Grey zone activities by neighbours & regional efforts at counter-terrorism co-operation continue to be an ongoing concern for Singapore but it is good to see the SAF training to address the high intensity threat matrix. As an example of high end war fighting training is this year’s Ex Daring Warrior — where the US Army and the SAF fire precision rockets to take out enemy targets. Repetition breeds mastery and war-winning readiness — the US Army’s 75th FA Brigade builds interoperability with the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery (23 SA). More than 130 gunners from 23SA will sharpen their skills, tactics and conduct live firing at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

2. Col. Daniel Blackmon and Col. James S/O Harshad Rai Pandya Devieash, exchange mementos to highlight the partnership between the U.S. and Singapore armies. Ex Daring Warrior is one of 46 major exercises, in 10 countries, that the SAF takes part in.

3. To manage an increasingly complex security environment, 3,000 sailors and airmen from over 20 countries participated in harbour-based activities including briefings, the Fleet Commanders’ Conference prior to the Sea Phase of Ex Kakadu!
(a) During the 10-day sea phase, the participating navies conducted complex multi-dimensional naval warfare trainings against air, sea surface and underwater threats. Notably, RSS Steadfast took on the role of Surface Warfare Commander in a search and destroy mission. Singaporean F-15SGs and F-16Ds and an A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft also took part in the exercise hosted and planned by the Royal Australian Navy.​
(b) RSN Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Sean Wat underscored the importance of such platforms in bringing together commanders to exchange views on operating in an increasingly complex security environment, and on strengthening practical cooperation. He said, "As regional navies seek to put COVID-19 behind us, this timely opportunity to reconnect at multiple levels is invaluable, and will pave the way to strengthen partnership and build capabilities."​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 2 of 3: Training overseas to develop capability & increase interoperability

(c) Immediately after Ex Kakadu 2022, the RAN and the RSN pivoted to the next exercise, Ex Singaroo. The RSN deployed RSS Steadfast with an S-70B Seahawk and RSS Valour, while the RAN participated with a Hobart-class destroyer HMAS Hobart embarked with a MH-60R. The RSAF's Darwin Detachment 2022 also participated in the exercise with F-15SGs F-16D+s, a G550 AEW aircraft and an A330MRTT, which provided significant opportunities for integrated sea-air training. This demonstrated that both navies are serious about increasing the level of interoperability.​
(d) Commander 8th Flotilla Colonel Ng Yen Meng said, "Exercise Singaroo is the mainstay exercise for the RSN and RAN. The exercise provides both navies with the opportunity to deepen professional sharing, learn from one another and strengthen our friendships."​
(e) The 8th Flotilla ensures that Singapore's SLOCs remain open. In addition to maintaining the operational readiness of the missile corvettes, the flotilla also undertakes the integration the RSN's unmanned sea-air operations.​
4. During Covid-19, Singapore’s military capability suffered. In an interview before he was promoted to Major Gen. the Chief of Army talks about restarting overseas military training.
(a) Following Ex Kakadu and Ex Singaroo, we see the largest iteration of Ex Trident. In Ex Trident 2022, the RAN’s HMAS Adelaide (L01) & 2 Singapore Navy LPDs [RSS Persistence (209) & RSS Endurance (207)] are taking part. The bilateral Ex Trident 2022 is held concurrently with the unilateral Ex Wallaby 2022.​
(b) Ex Wallaby is the largest overseas exercise of the SAF (with 4,040 troops flying into Queensland, Australia), this year.​
(c) In the future, the number of troops at Ex Wallaby will be ramped up to 6,600 (for 6 weeks). Once the expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) is complete (in 2024) and the adjacent Greenvale Training Area is complete (in 2028), the two areas will host up to 14,000 Singaporean soldiers (for 18 weeks) for training each year.​
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 3 of 3: Training overseas to develop capability & increase interoperability

5. During this exercise, the SAF will conduct large-scale missions to strengthen air-land-sea integration at the SWBTA. These included live-firing by AH-64D Apache helicopters, air-drop from C-130 transport aircraft, ship-to-shore exercises, deck-landing by CH-47F Chinook helicopters and replenishment serials.

6. Another week of action from RSAF CH-47Fs and AH-64Ds at ‘Warriors Camp’ & Rockhampton Air Port as Ex Wallaby 2022 continues at the SWBTA. Ex Wallaby is conducted in ‘frames;’ where each frame consists of 800 to 1,500 troops ferried in by chartered commercial airliners before they are sent to SWBTA in Queensland, Australia. This annual 6 week training exercise is usually held from Sept to Oct.

7. Concurrently, the SAF has successfully concluded the inaugural overseas live-firing for the Hunter Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) during the autumn frame of Ex Panzer Strike at the Oberlausitz Military Training Area (OMTA). The OMTA is a 1/4 of the size of Singapore, which allows Singapore tanks and AFVs to train up to Company Level (14 MBTs or AFVs), in Germany. HQ Armour Servicemen also successfully fired the Hunter AFV’s anti-tank guided missile, the Spike LR II, at a target.
 
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