Jump to content

Singapore Navy Unveils Remote-Controlled Vessels

Recommended Posts

Singapore Navy Unveils Remote-Controlled Vessels




Singapore on May 17 unveiled a fleet of remote-controlled vessels, which Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean said would give the city-state a high-tech boost in the battle against maritime piracy and terrorism.


The two-ton Spartan Scout Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV), which can be operated from a main warship, can be individually configured to carry out a range of missions, including surveillance and anti-submarine warfare.


Teo, who witnessed a “live” demonstration of the Spartan’s capabilities, said the remote-controlled vessels would strengthen Singapore’s anti-piracy measures.


“The USVs allow ships to deploy such a vessel without getting the men into too close contact with a suspicious boat, which may have undesirable intentions,” Teo told reporters after the demonstration.


Singapore is developing the Spartan in conjunction with the U.S. Navy and expects to begin testing in local waters this year, the defense ministry said.


A less-equipped USV fleet that Singapore bought, the Protector series, is already in operation and was recently deployed by the Singapore navy during a deployment near Iraq to help U.S.-led forces, according to the defense ministry.


Both fleets were presented to the media on the first day of Imdex Asia 2005, a regional maritime conference showcasing the latest maritime defense technologies and products of 23 countries.


Speaking earlier at the conference’s opening ceremony, Teo, referring to the USVs as an example, said regional navies should engage in technological collaboration to combat pirates and potential terrorists lurking in the region’s waters.


“We need to develop new technological applications for more effective ways of carrying out our maritime security missions,” he said.


“In particular, unmanned surface vehicles can offer safer and more effective responses to maritime threats.”


Teo did not say how much the USVs cost nor exactly how many Protectors the Singapore navy had, describing the fleet only as “small”. No details were given on how far the USVs can operate from the main warship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A additional perspective:


Singapore Highlights Work on Unmanned Surface Vessels


Source: Singapore Ministry of Defense

May. 17, 2005



The Royal Singapore Navy (RSN) hosted a display on May 16 of 18 warships and two unmanned surface vessels (USVs) at Changi Naval Base (CNB) as part of the program for the International Maritime Defense Exhibition Asia (IMDEX Asia) 2005.


The warships were from Australia, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, the Republic of (South) Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the US. Singapore Minister for Defense Teo Chee Hean visited some of the foreign warships. He also observed a demonstration of the Spartan USV.


The RSN and the US Navy are collaborating in the development of the Spartan USV, which can be configured for a variety of roles such as surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as mine countermeasures. The use of unmanned technology is an important component of the transformation efforts of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The RSN already operates the Protector USV, which was employed for force protection when the RSN deployed an LST to the Arabian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Both the Spartan and Protector USVs are being showcased at IMDEX Asia for the first time.


The RSN is also hosting the 10th Naval Platform Technology Seminar (NPTS) 2005 in conjunction with IMDEX Asia 2005. The theme of this two-day biennial seminar was "Transformational Technologies for the Future Navy." More than 800 technologists, academics, and naval officers attended the seminar, which is a forum to encourage international research and sharing on the potential of future naval platform technologies.


The RSN will also be hosting three Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) events involving ships and personnel representing 19 WPNS navies. The participants this year include ships from Australia, Canada, France, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand, with personnel from navies of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and the US. Besides the 3rd WPNS Multilateral Tactical Training Center Exercise (MTTCEX), the RSN will also host the inaugural WPNS Multilateral Sea Exercise (WMSX) and the first WPNS Maritime Security Information Exchange Seminar. These WPNS events are useful avenues for building professional capacities, enhancing mutual understanding, and strengthening interoperability among WPNS navies.


Unmanned-systems technology is a key enabler in the transformation to the third-generation SAF, and the RSN is exploring the capabilities of USVs, which are controlled remotely from the mother ship and can perform a range of functions, including force protection, surveillance, and anti-submarine warfare, depending on their configuration.


The RSN has acquired a small number of Protector USVs, a commercial off-the-shelf system. The Protector was fielded to meet an operational requirement when the RSN deployed in the Arabian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom recently. The Protector, being remotely controlled, offers enhanced surveillance, identification, and interception capabilities, while reducing risks to personnel in an operational environment.


The RSN is also participating in a collaboration program with the US Navy to develop the Spartan Scout USV and concepts for its operation. The Spartan Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program started in 2002. The Spartan USV is modular and can be configured for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; mine countermeasures; anti-surface warfare; and anti-submarine warfare roles. The RSN will commence testing the Spartan in local waters this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...