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Singapore Armed Forces to roll out new urban training capabilities from 2023

02 July 2019
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Singapore Army troops seen preparing to enter a mock building during urban warfare instruction. The service will have access to new high-tech urban operations training facilities from 2023. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will progressively operationalise a new 88-ha urban training complex from 2023, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced on 28 June.

Construction of the new facility, called SAFTI City, is set to commence at an undisclosed date as part of a wider SGD900 million (USD663 million) effort by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to modernise the SAF’s training grounds in the western part of the island over a 10-year span. It will be jointly developed by the Singapore Army and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).

According to the MINDEF, Phase 1 of the SAFTI City programme will cost approximately USD295 million to complete and encompass an estimated gross floor area of 107,000 m 2 , which the ministry states can support brigade-level training.

The initial phase will feature more than 70 mock buildings including three 12-storey blocks, underground facilities and other urban structures – a bus interchange with retired buses, a subway with decommissioned trains and several surface exits, high-rise interconnected buildings, and dense building clusters – that will support a range of training activities such as homeland security, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations.

Building interiors and road networks can be reconfigured to meet specific training requirements, enabling instructors to modify building and street layouts to create fresh challenges for trainees.

SAFTI City will also leverage on a range of simulation technologies to enhance training realism and effectiveness, including the use of smoke and blast generators as well as mobile targets that can be dynamically repositioned and capable of returning simulated fire.

Battlefield instrumentation and a suite of video cameras will be used to monitor trainees in real time, with the acquired data collated and processed by a data analytics. MINDEF noted that detailed individual feedback will enable trainees to benchmark scores against their peers, increasing their motivation to improve.

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