The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has announced that it plans to launch the Digital & Intelligence Defense as a fourth service by the last quarter of this year to more tightly integrate its capabilities in dealing with a spectrum of security threats, including those from the digital domain. According to Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, it is a necessary step as physical and virtual security are “intricately interwoven”, and the digital domain has grown into a full-fledged arena for conflict. To that end, it has formed the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) to provide accurate, relevant and timely early warning and operational intelligence, as well as advance C4 (command, control, communications, computers) connectivity for the SAF to operate as a “networked” force.
The formation of the DIS is in line with the SAF’s plans to be a next-generation defense force by 2040, which MINDEF has stated will be stronger, leaner, more flexible and digitally transformed. It is an evolution of the SAF’s C4I community (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence), which was formed in 2012, and is combined with the Defense Cyber Organization, which was formed in 2017 to lead and coordinate MINDEF’s and SAF’s cybersecurity efforts across the defense clusters.
Additionally, it was also announced that the Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has purchased the Orbiter 4 Close-Range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (CR-UAV) to boost SAF’s air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. According to MINDEF, the new UAV has a lower “logistical footprint”, as well as the ability to take off without a runway and be deployed and set up in a shorter span of time.
(Sources: Channel News Asia)