Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the Southeast Asian country’s primary defence acquisition authority, and Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on data analytics.
Jointly announced during the Singapore Defence Technology Summit event from 22-24 March, the agreement is aimed at promoting the use of data analytics as well as machine learning models and algorithms to generate insights for systems operated by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
According to both parties, the use of such digital technologies will further enhance the efficiency of maintenance and operations for the SAF’s combat vehicles, including the recently contracted Tactical Support Bridge.
“DSTA recognizes that digitalization is a key thrust in today’s technology landscape, and that it possesses much potential to transform the way we maintain and operate our platforms,” said Roy Chan, DSTA’s Deputy Chief Executive (Operations). “This partnership with KMW aims to accelerate DSTA’s ongoing efforts to digitalise SAF’s Fleet Management System to ensure high readiness of various platforms, as well as to reduce both operating and manpower costs”.
“We have been working closely together for more than a decade. This MoU establishes a framework between our two organizations to improve maintenance and sustainability,” said Dr Axel Scheibel, KMW’s Chief Operating Officer.
Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the German Federal Ministry of Defence signed an agreement in 2006 for the supply of 96 Leopard 2A4 MBTs along with associated training and logistics support.
Sixty-six of these would be refurbished and upgraded to the Leopard 2SG configuration by KMW and ST Engineering Land Systems before delivery, with the remainder used as spare vehicles. The first batch of six MBTs was transferred in June 2008 and deliveries to the army are understood to have been completed by mid-2010.
However, the total number of tanks acquired by Singapore has been disputed. For example, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI’s) Arms Transfer Database noted that the country received a total of 182 ex-Bundeswehr Leopard 2A4 MBTs in the 2007-12 timeframe, while the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (ROCA) database indicated that Germany had reported a transfer of 168 MBTs to Singapore.
MINDEF has denied that that the country had made further acquisitions beyond what it had originally announced in 2006.
by Jr Ng