SAF Establishes 4th Service to Defend Singapore’s Digital Domain

Apr 2022

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be setting up a Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) to strengthen Singapore’s defense against threats in the digital sphere. The addition of the fourth Service will allow SAF to better train and fight as a networked, integrated and expanded force to deal with the spectrum of threats that exist today. Threats from the digital domain are increasing in sophistication and numbers, and there is evidence of countries and non-state entities launching attacks on both the physical and digital spheres. The digital terrain is becoming as real as the land, air and sea domains.

The DIS is the next step in the development of the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Community. It will provide accurate, relevant and timely early warning and operational intelligence for the SAF to operate as a “networked” force. SAF will need a Division-size force, and the DIS soldiers will require specialization not only in core IT areas and communications, but also in diverse areas like psychology, data science, geography and linguistics to enable them to understand the motivation and means behind attacks by state and non-state groups.

The DIS is expected to be set up by the last quarter of 2022. Its addition is one of the steps to help complete the Ministry of Defence’s vision of the SAF in 2040, which is to have the army equipped with Next Gen infantry battalions and new armored tracked carriers and howitzers that will be more maneuverable and able to strike faster and harder.

SAF recently acquired the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF’s) Orbiter 4 Close-Range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (CR-UAV) system, which will complement the existing fleet of larger UAVs to enhance the RSAF’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

(Sources: The Straits Times; TODAY Online)

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