Fact Sheet: Restructuring the RSN's Capabilities to Strengthen Singapore's Maritime Security Capabilities

Fact Sheet: Restructuring the RSN's Capabilities to Strengthen Singapore's Maritime Security Capabilities


Singapore sits at the convergence of key global shipping routes and seaborne trade is the lifeblood of our economy. Today, about 70% of the world’s maritime trade transits through the Singapore Strait and carries about 80% of our food supplies. Since the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF)/Maritime Security (MARSEC) Command was established in 2009, maritime security threats have grown in scale and complexity. As part of the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) continued effort to strengthen key capabilities, the MSTF/MARSEC Command has been restructured to better respond to evolving threats and coordinate maritime security operations.

Strengthening Operations

The MSTF works closely with other SAF task forces , national agencies through the Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre (SMCC) and international partners through the Information Fusion Centre (IFC). To strengthen the ability to direct and coordinate maritime security operations with various agencies, the restructured MSTF will have two operational groups set up to oversee the control and execution of maritime security operations.

  1. Sea Security Group (SSG). The SSG is responsible for maritime security operations in waters around Singapore. This includes daily patrols, boarding and escort operations in the Singapore Strait and surveillance over waters. In the event of a maritime incident, the SSG works closely with the SMCC to coordinate operations with other national agencies.

  2. Force Protection Group (FPG). The FPG defends against seaward threats and is responsible for the defence and enforcement of security at naval bases and installations. In the event of an intrusion from the sea, a quick reaction force will be deployed to protect Singapore’s waters against intrusion and other maritime threats.

  3. Information Fusion Centre (IFC). The IFC is a regional MARSEC centre which facilitates information-sharing and collaboration between its partners to resolve common MARSEC concerns. To date, 168 International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from 25 countries have been deployed to the IFC, and 20 ILOs from 19 countries currently serve alongside 12 RSN personnel. The IFC has at present 97 linkages with other maritime agencies from 41 countries.

Improving Development of MARSEC Capabilities

The MARSEC Command is responsible for building up, training and maintaining the capabilities of RSN platforms that are deployed primarily for maritime security operations. The existing squadrons under the MARSEC Command will be reorganised into three flotillas with specialised roles to better raise, train and sustain capabilities that are critical for the protection of Singapore’s waters.

  1. 2nd Flotilla. The 2nd Flotilla is responsible for building up and maintaining the operational readiness of the Littoral Mission Vessels and its crew, which are deployed to respond to maritime security threats and maritime incidents to safeguard Singapore’s waters and ensure that our sea lines of communication remain open.

  2. 6th Flotilla. The 6th Flotilla leads the development of unmanned capabilities of surface and underwater craft for the RSN, which include unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for mine countermeasure and coastal defence. With the expected reduction in manpower by 2030, USVs are a critical force multiplier for the RSN.

  3. 9th Flotilla. The 9th Flotilla is responsible for the training and deployment of security troopers, sea soldiers and system operators, and will build capabilities for the seaward and landward defence of the RSN’s naval bases and installations.

Growing Capacity and Capabilities

As part of the continued evolution of capabilities to protect Singapore’s territorial waters and respond to varying maritime security threats, the RSN is adding capacity and building capabilities through new purpose-built vessels, auxiliary vessels and boarding teams. In the interim, the RSN will operate four refurbished patrol vessels equipped with a suite of less-lethal capabilities to provide more calibrated options against a range of maritime security threats. The refurbished patrol vessels will be ready for operational duties in the next few months.

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