Two more German-made Type-218SG submarines will join the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN) fleet from 2024 against the backdrop of a regional naval expansion, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition on Tuesday (May 16).
As maritime trade in Asia-Pacific grows, regional countries have all increased the strength of their navies, Dr Ng noted, with naval budgets in the region expected to increase by 60 per cent through 2020. It is in this environment that the RSN has to keep pace with the modernisation and growth of navies in Asia, he said.
Experts at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ (RSIS) Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS) said the acquisition was timely and prudent.
“It’s necessary to plan ahead in order to maintain a functional, instead of a token, force of submarines,” said Dr Collin Koh, a research fellow in the RSIS maritime security programme. As a small country, Singapore has to “project credible, convincing deterrent capabilities and submarines to provide this by their very inherent characteristics such as stealth especially”, he added.
Dr Graham Ong-Webb, who conducts research in areas which include security issues in the Asia-Pacific, stressed the need for a country’s naval force to be equipped with a range of assets. Adding that naval requirements differ from country to country,
Last updated on 26/05/2017