Singapore Army: One of the Best Armies in the entire Far East

Need of a sophisticated army

Singapore army is also known as the Singapore Armed Forces or SAF. Under ministry of defence Singapore, it is the part of total defence of the republic. Just like other countries it also comprises of land, sea and air divisions viz Singapore Army, Singapore Air Force and Singapore Navy. The strength of regular recruits to its armed forces is around 75,000 and reserve personnel can mobilize around 3.5 lakh additional recruits.

Singapore is strategically located on the southern tip of Malay Peninsula of Malaysia and is a rich coastal town of South East Asia. It’s also very near to Australia. That’s the reason colonial powers and local settlers both tried to capture the city state’s assets. Modern Singapore was basically founded and developed by the British, who were looking to colonize a safe haven in South East Asia against their European rivals, the Dutch. So, during the period before World War I and II, Singapore served the military interests.

History of SAF

The SAF originated from a British armed division called as SSVF in 1920. Prior to this it was referred to as Singapore Volunteer Artillery, which was constituted in 1890. It still serves the artillery division of SAF. SSVF also participated in famous World War II, but aggressive Japanese military crushed this army. In 1948, SSVF was reorganized and was included in the military of the city state. In 1961, when SAF was constituted, it was also transferred to SAF. After the independence of the city state, the government established a much organized military with the help of Israel. They also trained their troops in the jungle combat to counter the challenge from the neighborhoods. Singapore procured modern army tanks even before its sleeping neighbors had it.

Modernization of SAF

Britain evacuated Singapore completely in 1971 and then the era of consolidation of military began here. SAF Day is held on 1st of July every year in Padang. Singapore army has 3 combined divisions, two reserve divisions and three additional divisions to protect the Island nation. The Air Force is also very advanced and it has 17 squadrons. Navy operates from 2 bases and comprises of 8 squadrons.

Hierarchy in Singapore military

The top military commander is called the Chief of Defence Force (CDF), which is equal to Lieutenant General Rank. The chiefs of all the three subdivisions of military, i.e. generals of navy, air force and army report to CDF. The Military Intelligence Organization, the Joint Operations and Planning Directorate, the Joint Logistic Department, the Joint Manpower Department, and the Foreign Military Liaison Branch support CDF to act in coordination to counter internal and external threats. The special operations task force along with its supporting units undertakes the task of securing the nation against the terror threats.

Technologies used by Singapore Army

The SAF uses “force multipliers” technology that helps its various units to act in a synchronized manner. Advanced networks integrate all the three units of the SAF for organized attacks. The state of the art integration technologies make SAF a IIIrd generation combat force. Just on the pattern of Israel, technology replaces the headcounts in the military in Singapore. It is one of the biggest spenders in the entire ASEAN as far as defence budget is concerned. It spends heavily on R&D of its defence systems, weaponry and platforms. SAF has amazing urban combat capabilities.

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