Speaking ahead of the SAF Day on Friday (29 Jun), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told the media that the security put up by SAF at the Trump-Kim Summit was a “success” and the strong show of deterrence put up by the SAF had kept would-be attackers away.
“It was a success and most importantly, the strong show of deterrence kept would-be attackers away because it was a very clear sign that the SAF means business. If you decide to undertake any mischief, we will respond with nothing held back,” he said triumphantly.
“I suppose in exam terms, this is a preliminary test which I think we scored an ‘A’. We will not get many or any more such opportunities in peacetime.”
He said that the SAF had registered some firsts in its security deployment for the summit, such as putting some new capabilities to test and casting a four-layer protective dome around Singapore, particularly Sentosa, the venue which Trump and Kim met for the summit.
Impressive 4-layer “protective dome” provided by SAF to defend Trump-Kim summit
Minister Ng went on to describe to the media how the SAF deployed a 4-layer “protective dome” to protect Sentosa where the summit took place.
The outermost layer involved more than 20 aircraft, including F-15s, F-16s, the G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft and Apache helicopters, patrolling the skies.
Next, 10 ground-based air defence missile systems like I-Hawk and Spyder were also deployed. I-Hawk missiles fly at Mach 2.4 with a range of about 50km. It can take down any would-be attacker’s planes flying as high as 20,000m up in the air. Each I-Hawk missile is said to cost US$250,000.
The SPYDER on the other hand, is a low-level, quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions. It provides air defence for fixed assets, and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas.
To prevent a seafront attack on Sentosa by would-be attackers, 10 naval vessels, like the latest Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs), were deployed to protect the summit. Each LMV is equipped with both lethal and non-lethal weapons, including MBDA MICA anti-air missile system, Oto Melara 76mm main gun, Rafael 25mm Typhoon gun, Oto Melara 12.7mm Hitrole gun and long-range acoustics device (LRAD). The vertical-launched (VL) MICA multi-mission missile system can protect the ship from aircraft and incoming missiles.
The third layer focused on providing security and quick medical responses on land in the event of attacks, with the mobilization of more than 100 ambulance vehicles, along with medical decontamination vehicles.
At the inner core, personnel from the Special Operations Task Force and the chemical, biological, radiological and explosives sections were deployed on the ground for “swift responses”. In all, some 2,000 SAF personnel from the army, air force and navy were deployed for the summit.
Ng: Trump-Kim Summit validates SAF defence systems
Minister Ng also said that it was challenging for the SAF given that the summit was confirmed only around two weeks before June 12.
He underscored how invaluable the summit was in validating Singapore’s defence systems, which were built up over more than 50 years.
Indeed, Singapore does spend an enormous amount of money building up defence. According to SIPRI, Singapore ranked 5th in the world last year, in terms of military expenditure (per capita):
In terms of military expenditure as a share of total govt spending, Singapore is ranked 6th in the world at 17.2%:
Trump and Kim must have felt very “safe” knowing that Singapore has built up its defence strongly for more than 50 years, giving Singapore the capability to protect them with all the impressive military equipment and weapons SAF has.
Indeed, the would-be attackers will surely have a hard time if they have tried attacking Sentosa with a plane or a ship. They would have no chance against our F15s, F16s, Littoral Vessels or the I-Hawk missiles, costing US$250,000 each.