Singapore Military

Singapore is a small country located in Southeast Asia and is known for its strong military and defense. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is the military branch of the country and is one of the most well-equipped militaries in the world. The SAF consists of three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force. Its total active personnel stands at around 72,500 with an additional reserve force of around 50,000 personnel. Singapore has a very high defense budget compared to its GDP as it spends about 3.3% of its GDP on defense. The country is also a major arms importer, having bought weapons from countries like the United States, France, and China. Singapore also has strong ties with other countries in the region such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand which allows them to cooperate militarily when needed. As a result of this strong military presence in the region, Singapore has become an important regional hub for security and stability in Southeast Asia. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Singapore.


The defense, which is based on selective military duty with a first 24-month service, comprises (2006) 72,000 men and is organized in a mobilization defense with four active divisions and nine supplementary mobilization brigades, seven larger and 17 smaller combat vessels, four submarines, four land-based vessels, 102 fighter planes (including 12 new F-16s) and 20 attack helicopters. The reserves amount to 312,000 people with regular rehearsal training up to 40 years of age. Half-military security forces amount to about 94,000 men, of which the well-developed civil defense has 81,000 men.

Defense costs decreased in 1985-96 from 6.7% to 5.5% of GDP and (2006) to 4.9% of GDP. Singapore is a member of ASEAN. In-depth defense cooperation was established in 1996 with Thailand. Singapore has smaller forces in Australia, Brunei, East Timor, France, Taiwan and the United States. The United States has stationed a 100-man naval and aircraft detachment in Singapore, and New Zealand has a ten-man support unit in the country of Singapore. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that SGP stands for Singapore.

Singapore Army

The total strength of Singapore’s armed forces is 72,500 active personnel, with a reserve of 312,500 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, there are 8400 semi-military forces. Singapore has training camps in Australia, Brunei, France, Taiwan, Thailand and USA.

Singapore has military service with first-time service of 22 to 24 months. Air Force and Navy are largely staffed by professionals. Singapore participates in defense cooperation with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, and has an agreement with the United States on the use of air and naval bases.

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The strength of the army is 50,000 active personnel, including 35,000 conscripts. Materials include 96 heavy tanks of the Leopard 2 type, about 350 light tanks of the AMX-13 type, 572 storm tanks and 1576 armored personnel vehicles. The army also has light drones.

Air Force

The Air Force has a personnel force of 13,500 active personnel, including 3,000 conscripts. Material comprising 100 combat aircraft (of which 40 F-15 Eagle and 60 F-16), four AEW & C-plane, ten tanker, five maritime patrol, nine transport, 31 trainers and 78 helicopters, 19 of combat helicopters central Apache. In addition, eight heavy and nine medium-heavy drones.

The Navy

The Navy has a workforce of 9,000 active personnel, including 1,000 conscripts. The fleet includes four tactical submarines, six frigates, 11 corvettes, 15 patrol vessels, four minesweepers, 35 patrol vessels, four dock landing vessels, 23 landing craft and two auxiliary vessels.

Singapore’s foreign policy

Singapore is very active in regional forums such as APEC, ASEAN and ASEM. Relations with China have developed positively. As the first Asian country, Singapore in 2008 signed a free trade agreement with China. Relations with Malaysia and Indonesia have also improved in recent years. In 2008, Singapore and Malaysia agreed on an amicable solution following protracted controversy over some smaller islands in the waters between Singapore and Malaysia.

Norway – Singapore

The bilateral relationship between Norway and Singapore is characterized by broad business cooperation. Singapore has the largest concentration of Norwegian business in Asia, and is one of the most important export markets in the region. About 150 Norwegian-related companies are registered in Singapore (2009). More than half of these are related to maritime services or petroleum-related activities. Many of the Norwegian establishments have a regional perspective.

In 2008 Singapore’s exports to Norway totaled NOK 1.8 billion. Imports from Norway amounted to 6.6 billion, mainly machinery and equipment for the shipbuilding and rig industry. Norwegian expertise in the offshore and maritime sector has provided a basis for the Norwegian venture in Singapore, which among other things has the world’s largest offshore shipyard, Jurong, in the southwestern corner of the island state. Around 1400 Norwegians reside in Singapore.

Singapore’s authorities are investing heavily in education and research. Norwegian institutions such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), BI Norwegian School of Economics and Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) have established exchange programs with Singapore.

Norway and Singapore are both major shipping nations, with largely common attitudes in accordance with shipping policy. A wide collaboration has been initiated on maritime research between the Research Council of Norway and Singapore’s Port Authority. In the WTO, Norway and Singapore have largely similar interests in strengthening the multilateral trading system. The Norwegian company Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) announced in 2007 that it will build a giant solar power plant in Singapore. REC calculated here with investments of NOK 23 billion over five years in Singapore. Together with the maritime sector, this helps to make Norway one of Singapore’s largest investors.