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MINDEF - Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Singapore

10/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/28/2021 07:34

RSAF Leverages Technology to Enhance UAV Training and Mission Effectiveness: Mr Heng Ch..

Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Command (UC) this afternoon. Mr Heng was briefed on the roles and operational capabilities of the RSAF's UAVs, and on the incorporation of artificial intelligence and data analytics to enhance UAV operations. He participated in a hands-on experience on the UAV training simulators and viewed innovation initiatives developed in-house by UC. Mr Heng also interacted with RSAF personnel from UC, inclusive of Regulars, Full-time National Servicemen and Operationally Ready National Servicemen. He thanked them for their dedication and commitment to Singapore's defence.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Heng highlighted the critical role that the UAVs play in Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) operations. He said, "As we contemplate the development of the SAF both now and into the future, I think one thing is very clear and that is the importance of data…within the SAF set-up, the UAV will certainly play a very important role. Through the different things that I saw, whether it is in the conduct of the operations or in the sense-making of it, or even in the maintenance of it… I am very impressed and confident that this is a part of our force that we can rely on and be very proud of as we further develop."

Mr Heng emphasised the importance of harnessing technology to enhance the SAF's capabilities. He said, "Through the leveraging of technology such as the use of simulators, they have been able to continue in a large part in an uninterrupted manner and this is actually very important. Just because there is COVID-19, (this) does not mean that we can go easy on securing our nation's sovereignty and security. So, this again is another aspect that lends itself to our strength."

Mr Heng also commended RSAF personnel for their commitment to training and maintaining operational readiness amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, "The very nature of the UAV Command actually lends itself to the continuation of high-level, high quality training despite COVID-19. I am greatly impressed with our colleagues here at the UAV Command - the colleagues playing different roles. You can see from the interaction, the dedication to the task, to the mission and COVID-19 or not, for example, they have never veered from focusing on securing the sovereignty and the freedom of this country."

UC is responsible for the delivery of responsive, persistent and precise UAV capabilities for the SAF, and conducts robust training for UAV operators to ensure a high level of operational readiness. Since UC's inauguration in 2007, UAVs have been deployed as part of the SAF's contributions for reconstruction and stabilisation efforts in Afghanistan, under Operation Blue Ridge in 2010, and also as part of national security operations during the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit in 2018. The UAVs also regularly participate in homeland security exercises such as Exercise Highcrest and Exercise Northstar, and multilateral exercises such as the ADMM-Plus Counter-Terrorism exercise and Exercise Cope Tiger. Most recently, UC was involved in Exercise Forging Sabre, where it delivered timely and accurate intelligence of potential threats, providing the Command Post with a comprehensive situational picture of the battlefield.