On 30 June 2019, Minister for Defense for Singapore, Dr Ng Eng Hen, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for a next generation Smart Training Facility called SAFTI city for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The facility is designed to meet the evolving defense needs of the SAF, and to support training for a wider range of operations, including homeland security, counter-terrorism, and disaster relief operations by replicating Singapore’s highly urbanized streetscapes and the commercial-residential areas.
The key features of SAFTI City include:
Realistic and Challenging Training Environment. An integrated Transport Hub comprising a bus interchange, an MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) station with multiple surface exits, high-rise interconnected buildings, dense building clusters, multiple road networks, as well as other public amenities such as shopping centers, will allow for a realistic and challenging training environment.
Configurable Buildings and Changeable Road Networks. Built-in swing panels allow traffic flow and buildings to be configured to training needs. This will allow soldiers to encounter a different layout of buildings and street landscape each time they train in SAFTI City.
Smart Technology. SAFTI City will also be a smart city, leveraging smart technologies to enhance training effectiveness and soldiers’ learning experience. Smart technologies include:
Targets with Shoot-back Capability. Soldiers and smart targets will be equipped with sensors for monitoring and data capturing. When smart targets are engaged, they can respond by shooting back and retreating from the location.
Battlefield Effects. Battlefield effects, which include the use of smoke and blast simulators, will be used to enhance training realism.
Data Analytics. Battlefield instrumentations and video cameras will be employed to track the troops’ real-time actions. Furthermore, training performance will be collated and processed by a data analytics system to provide accurate feedback to the troops on their individual and team performances. With gamification integrated into the training and detailed individual feedback, individual soldiers and teams can benchmark their scores against each other, motivating them to improve further. These technological improvements enable the SAF to train more efficiently and effectively.
Singapore is working with Australian Defense Force (ADF) on similar advanced training facilities in Queensland, which will benefit both the ADF and the SAF. At the groundbreaking ceremony for SAFTI City, Dr Ng said, “said, “The face of the likely battlefield for a new generation of Singaporeans has changed… the chances of the SAF fighting in jungle ops have diminished considerably. Conversely, the odds that the SAF will be called into operations in built-up areas, even high density precincts, whether it is for peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance disaster relief (HADR) or other types of operations, have gone up… the SAFTI City that we are building will bring us to a new level and this facility, SAFTI City, together with the facilities that we are building now in Queensland, Australia will provide SAF soldiers with the most advanced training facilities globally. ”
(Sources: Straits Times; Ministry of Defense, Singapore)