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Singapore’s Next Generation Island Defence

Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen spoke about Singapore’s ongoing commitment to national security and actions to be taken to support the nation during the Covid-19 pandemic at the annual SAF Day Interview which took place on 25 Jun 2020.

He mentioned in his speech that The Army, along with government initiatives, have enhanced its Island Defence Task Force, together with local agencies to allow a more concerted response to incidents.

Established in 2010, the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s) Island Defence Task Force (IDTF) works closely with Home Team agencies such as the Singapore Police Force and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to enhance homeland security and protect key installations.

The Next Generation Island Defence operating concept will enhance the SAF’s readiness and capability to undertake more complex homeland security operations.

Leveraging Technology and Enhancing Coordinated Responses

The Next Generation Island Defence concept will leverage new digital technologies like automation, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to increase operational effectiveness and optimise manpower resourcing while meeting increased operational demands.

For example, the IDTF has operationalised the Unmanned Watch Towers and implemented advanced camp security systems to enhance the protection of civilians and key military installations.

Other key efforts include:

Integrated Information System with WoG. Developed together with the Defence Technology Community, the IDTF’s new Command and Control Information System (CCIS) will be built on the Whole-of-Government (WoG) Crisis Information Management System architecture to enhance interoperability with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and other public agencies, thereby improving integrated planning, sense making and coordinated responses across WoG.

Establishment of IDTF C4I Surveillance and Reconnaissance Battalion. The IDTF will establish a new Island Defence Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) Surveillance and Reconnaissance battalion to manage the enhanced CCIS and the task force’s digital communications systems.

The C4I Surveillance and Reconnaissance battalion will also be equipped with sensors and data analytic systems to support the IDTF’s intelligence and operational needs. The new battalion will be inaugurated at the end of 2020.

“The C4I community, what we call the Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence community, and our Defence Cyber Organisation have stepped up efforts for cyber-security. So over the past year, with added 150 persons to their ranks. The C4Icommunity has also set up a dedicated intelligence facility for counter-terrorism and this will provide early warning and incident response” said Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen.

Enhanced Equipping for Island Defence Units. Island defence units will be equipped with unmanned sensors and surveillance systems that use video and data analytics to automatically detect targets and sense-make potential threat scenarios.

Island defence units will also be trained on the Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicles which offer increased mobility, better protection and enhanced weapon systems.

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