Singapore—The Ministry of Defence announced a plan to develop a new smart training facility for the armed forces. The training area will feature replicas of Singapore’s streets and commercial areas, battle simulators, targets that are simulated to shoot back, as well as capacities for data analytics.
The project costs around S$400 million, and the first phase is expected to be completed in 2023. Phase One features 70 buildings with three 12-storey blocks, underground facilities, and simulations for urban training structures. Phase Two plans includes an industrial complex for training.
Defence Minsiter Ng Eng Hen announced the SAFTI City in a statement last June 28. The new development aims to prepare troops for military operations involving “homeland security, counter-terrorism and disaster relief operations, as well as conventional operations in all types of terrain” according to Minister Ng.
On 28 Jun, Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated the SAFTI City groundbreaking ceremony at SAFTI Training Area. Scheduled to open progressively from 2023, SAFTI City will provide a realistic urban environment for soldiers to train for homeland security and urban operations. It will replicate Singapore’s highly urbanised streetscapes and the commercial-residential areas. Key urban features in SAFTI City will include an integrated Transport Hub, comprising a bus interchange and an MRT station with multiple surface exits, high-rise interconnected buildings, dense building clusters, and multiple road networks. The buildings and the road networks will also be configurable, providing soldiers with varied, challenging and realistic training. It will also be a smart facility leveraging on smart technologies to enhance training effectiveness and soldiers' learning experience. Click on the video to find out more!#ArmyReadySoldierStrong
Posted by The Singapore Army on Friday, June 28, 2019
He added that Singapore is facing the “greatest internal challenge” to its armed forces due to low birth rates. Experts project that Singapore will lose one third of its armed forces by 2030.
To address such shortages, the SAF used technology in order to adapt to certain operations. As an example, Yahoo! News reported that the new Spyder air defence system consists of four persons instead of the usual 15 in the old Rapier system.
In light of growing threats to the country’s security, Minister Ng emphasised the need for constant vigilance. He said, “There’s always a danger of complacency and sometimes hubris, where you believe that the problems you have looked at for 50 years or more, that you have the solutions.”
Besides the terrorist attacks, cyber warfare is another growing transnational threat. Thus, new troops are being recruited for the planned Defence Cyber Organisation. Minister Ng, however, has not provided further information regarding the costs and resources for this project./TISG