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.
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.
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.
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.