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Tentera Singapura
Singapore Armed Forces Crest
Founded March 12, 1957
Country  Singapore
Branch Army
Size 72,000 (active)(incl. 35000 conscripts)
300,000+ (reserve)(2005 est.)
Part of Singapore Armed Forces
Motto Yang Pertama Dan Utama
('First and Foremost')
Chief of Army Major General Neo Kian Hong
Lieutenant General (Retired) Winston Choo

The Singapore Army (Chinese: 新加坡陆军部队, Malay: Tentera Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் தரைப்படை) is the branch of the Singapore Armed Forces responsible for land operations. It is the largest of the three armed services and comprises the majority of Singapore's Operationally Ready National Servicemen.



Singapore Army
Flag of the Singapore Army
History and Traditions
Military history of Singapore
Weapons of the Singapore Army
Singapore Armed Forces ranks
US and Singapore soldiers enter a Stryker at the end of an exercise at Fort Wainwright.

The Singapore Army focuses on leveraging technology and weapon systems as "force-multipliers". It has some of the most advanced military hardware in the South-East Asia region.[citation needed] The Singapore Army is capable of conducting amphibious operations with a highly developed logistics force, across all three services of Army, Navy and Air Force, as seen in the relief work in Aceh after the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.

Aside from hardware, the Singapore Army heavily invests in its "software". Largely made-up of tertiary-educated conscripts and professional regulars, the army has a good breed of soldiers, able to receive high levels of training, both in theory and practice.[citation needed]

To equip all soldiers with practical fighting experience, large-scale exercises, up to Division level are conducted several times a year, exposing almost every fighting unit to full-spectrum, full-scale war scenarios. Some of these exercises also involve the Air force and Navy, in order to familiarise its troops with its combined arms, tri-service operations. Due to space constraints, such exercises are usually conducted overseas unilaterally. Bilateral training and exchanges are also common between friendly nations. The Singapore Army also professionally conducts "tough, realistic and safe training in order to fulfill the Army’s mission."[citation needed]

The Singapore Army is currently undergoing the transformation into a 3rd Generation fighting force[1]. The SAF's evolution into its 3rd Generation involves combining advances in technology and training while using networking to integrate the tri-services into an integrated fighting force. This will provide even greater operational-readiness and flexibility during war and peace time.


The Army is headed by the Chief of Army (COA), currently Major General Neo Kian Hong. Assisting him are the Chief of Staff-General Staff (COS-GS), Brigadier General Philip Lim, and the Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command. There are also six functional departments and an NS Affairs Department (NSAD) dealing with National Service issues, collectively known as the General Staff and an Inspectorate. The six functional departments handle personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, plans and training respectively. Each department is headed by an Assistant Chief of the General Staff (ACGS). Also advising the COA are the Senior Specialist Staff Officers (SSSOs): Infantry, Guards, Armour, Commando, Artillery, Engineers and Signals.

                               Chief of Army (COA)
                                        |                                            |
                                        |                                            |     
                                        |----- Chief of Staff - General Staff        |                                            
                                        |                                            |
                                        |                                            |
          ______________________________|____________________________________        |
          |           |             |            |             |            |        | 
         ACGS        ACGS          ACGS         ACGS          ACGS         ACGS      | 
        (Pers)       (Int)         (Ops)       (Logs)        (Plans)       (Trg)     |
   |            |       |     |       |      |        |       |        |      |             |
HQ Infantry  HQ Guards  |  HQ Armour  |  HQ Commando  |  HQ Artillery  |  HQ Engineers    HQ Signals
                        |             |               |                | 
                  Combined Arms   PDF Commands  Non-Divisional   Army Operational 
                    Divisions                       Units        Reserve Divisions

Classification by Branches

The army consists of the following Combat Arms, which are integrated with one another to form the Divisional and Non-divisional assets:

These are bolstered by Combat Service Support Units which consist of the following:

  • Army Intelligence
  • Army Medical Services
  • Army Maintenance and Engineering Support
  • Army Supply and Transport
  • Singapore Armed Forces Ammunition Command

Classification by divisional and non-divisional assets

Combined-Arms Divisions

The main components of the Army are its 3 active Combined-Arms Divisions: 3rd, 6th and 9th Div.[2] They include both active and reserve units, all of which can be mobilised in phases.

Each division comprises:

  • 1× Armored Recce Battalion
  • 1× Armored Brigade (3 Armoured Battalions, 1 Engineer Company, 1 Signal Company, 1 Reconnaissance Company
  • 2-4 Infantry Brigades (3 Infantry Battalions, 1 Engineer Company, 1 Signal Company, 1 Reconnaissance Company)
  • Signal Battalion
  • Artillery Battalions
  • Combat Engineers Battalion
  • Air Defense Battalion
3rd Singapore Division


  • HQ 3rd Singapore Division (Jurong Camp I)
  • 3rd Singapore Infantry Brigade (Bukit Panjang Camp)
    • 2 SIR (Amoy Quee Camp), 5 SIR (Bukit Panjang Camp), 648 SIR
  • 5th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Tanjong Gul Camp)
  • 24th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Maju Camp)
  • 30th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 8th Singapore Armoured Brigade (Keat Hong Camp)
    • 40 SAR, 46 SAR (Sungei Gedong Camp), 1× NS SAR
  • 3rd Division Artillery (Amoy Quee Camp)
    • 20 SA (Amoy Quee Camp), 21 SA (Kranji Camp II)
  • 30th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers (Jurong Camp III)
  • 3rd Signal Battalion (Jurong Camp I)
  • 3rd Division Support Command (Kranji Camp III)

Motto: "Foremost and Utmost"

6th Singapore Division


  • HQ 6th Singapore Division (Mandai Hill Camp)
  • 2nd Singapore Infantry Brigade (Mandai Hill Camp)
    • 1 SIR, 4 SIR, 1× NS SIR
  • 9th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 76th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 54th Singapore Armour Brigade
  • 6th Division Artillery
  • 6th Division Support Command
  • 6th Division Engineers
  • 6 MCM, 324 SCE
  • 6th Divisional Air Defence Artillery Battalion
  • 6th Signal Battalion (Mandai Hill Camp)

Motto: "Swift and Deadly"

9th Singapore Division


  • HQ 9th Singapore Division (Selarang Camp)
  • 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Pasir Ris Camp)
    • 3 SIR, 2× NS SIR
  • 12th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Mandai Camp II)
  • 23rd Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 56th Singapore Armoured Brigade (Selarang Camp)
    • 431 SAR, 432 SAR, 433 SAR, 465 SAR
  • 9th Division Artillery
  • 9th Division Engineers
  • 9th Divisional Support Command (Selarang Camp)
  • 9th Signal Battalion (Selarang Camp)

Motto: "Forging Ahead"

Other Divisions

21st Division

Although officially designated as an Army Operational Reserve (AOR) division, the 21st Division is essentially a Rapid Deployment Force composed primarily of Guards, elite infantry trained in both amphibious and heliborne assault. The armoured and artillery component of the division is presumed to be lightweight, amphibious and comparatively maneuverable. Therefore it can be assumed that the division includes lightweight artillery such as the SLWH Pegasus as well as Light Strike Vehicles and possibly the amphibious AV-82 Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle.[3]


  • 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Bedok Camp)
    • 1st Guards (amphibious), 2nd Guards (No longer active), 3rd Guards(heliborne)
  • 13th Singapore Infantry Brigade
    • 3× NS Guards Battalions
  • 15th Singapore Infantry Brigade
    • 3× NS Guards Battalions
  • 42nd Singapore Armoured Regiment
  • Divisional Artillery
  • 21st Signal Battalion
  • 21st Divisional Support Command
  • 18th Divisional Air Defense Artillery Battalion
  • 1× Combat Engineer Battalion

Note: Of the three brigades, one trains in an airmobile role in conjunction with air force helicopter squadrons, and another in amphibious operations with naval fast transport craft.[4]

Guards Motto: "Ready to Strike"

2 People's Defence Force

The People's Defence Force initially epitomized Singapore's resolve to take charge of its own defences in the early years of independence.[citation needed] Since then it has grown, and today 2 PDF is responsible for the 24/7[citation needed] protection of key installations and for coordinating military resources to assist Homefront agencies in civil emergencies, with the HQ manned round the clock to provide an effective and efficient response to incidents island-wide.[citation needed]


  • HQ 2 PDF
  • HQ 21 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • HQ 22 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • HQ 26 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • HQ 27 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • HQ 29 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • HQ 32 Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 2 PDF Training Centre
  • 6 Singapore Infantry Regiment

Motto: Steadfast We Stand and Steadfast We Will Deliver

25th Division

A NS reservist command. There are suspected divisions such as the 25th Division, which are entirely made up of former conscripts in reserve status. Little are known about these Divisions.


  • 11th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 14th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 63rd Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • 65th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • Possible 25th Divisional Support Command (Unknown)
  • Possible Armoured Elements (Unknown)
  • Possible Artillery Elements (Unknown)
  • Possible Air Defence Elements (Unknown)
  • Possible Signal Elements (Unknown)
32nd Division

Tim Huxley, writing in the book "Defending the Lion City", wrote that 'the reorganisations of 1991 and 1995 left one armoured brigade, 4 SAB, outside the divisional structure, prompting speculation that it had been earmarked to form the core of a planned mechanised formation, sometimes referred to as 32nd Division. However if this division was indeed established during the 1990s, at the end of the decade's end it remains under wraps.'[5]

Non-divisional units

Motto: "Honour and Glory"

  • Unknown number of elite "Special Operations Forces (SOF)" trained by United States Special Forces Operational Detachment- DELTA Force and Naval Diving Units whose members undergo training conducted by the United States Navy SEALS.[citation needed]

Motto: "We Dare"

  • 1× Aggressor Company - Under TRADOC/ATEC, this Company bases itself on the Aggressor Orbat and varies slightly from the normal Infantry Company, with a platoon specialising in Armour Simulation using normal vehicles. They are the Red Force for ATEC evaluations. Also known as OPFOR.[citation needed]
  • 1× Medical Response Force Unit (MRF) - Counter Chemical and Biological Warfare Unit (Approximately Large Company Sized) Composed of 3 platoons of specially trained Combat Medic Specialists.

Motto: "Against All Adversity"

  • 1× Heavy Tank Battalion - 48 SAR with 30+ Leopard 2A4


Newly received Singapore Army's Leopard 2A4 on display at Singapore Airshow 2008.
The AMX-13 (SM-1)
The Bionix AFV at Singapore Airshow 2008
Spider LSV with SPIKE ATGM launcher extended
The SSPH1 Primus at the SAF Open House
The SLWH Pegasus at the SAF Open House
Type Quantity
Main Battle Tanks >162
Leopard 2A4 (120mm Rheinmetall L44 main gun) >102 (including 30 spare tanks)[6]
Centurion Mk 3/Mk 7 (105mm L7 main gun) >60 [7]
Light Tanks ~372
AMX-13SM1 ~350
AMX-10PAC90 22 (in reserves)
Mechanized infantry Combat Vehicles / IFVs ~1122
AMX-10P 22 (in reserves)
Bionix II (30mm Bushmaster II chain gun/New armour) ~200
Bionix 25 (25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun) ~300
Bionix 40/50 (40mm AGL + 0.5 inch HMG) ~300
Terrex AV-81 300
Armoured Personnel Carriers/Reconnaissance Vehicles ~1250
M113A2 ULTRA 40/50 (40mm AGL + 0.5 inch HMG) ~700
M113A2 ULTRA OWS (25mm M242 Bushmaster chain gun) ~300
Cadillac Gage V-200 ~150 in storage, 100 in use by RSAF
Multiple Rocket Launchers 18
High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) 18 (o/o)
XM31 Unitary HE GMLRS Pod 32
Mortars ~62
81 mm ~?
Soltam M-65 120 mm towed mortar 50 (in reserves)[8]
Soltam M-66 160 mm towed mortar 12 (in storage)[8]
Howitzers ~400
25 pounder Mk II 12 (Ceremonial gun)
Soltam M-68 155 mm Towed Howitzer 45 (in storage)[8]
Soltam M-71S 155 mm Towed Howitzer 38 (in storage)[8]
M-114A1 155 mm Towed Howitzer 16 (in storage)[8]
FH-88 155 mm/39-Cal Towed Howitzer 54 (in reserves)
FH-2000 155 mm/52-Cal Towed Howitzer 72
GIAT LG1 105 mm Towed Howitzer 37 (in storage)
SSPH Primus 155 mm/39-Cal Self-Propelled Howitzer (SSPH-1) 54
SLWH Pegasus 155 mm Heli-portable Lightweight Howitzer 54
Artillery-locating radar ~?
AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar ?
AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder radar ?
Armoured Engineers ~?
FV180 Combat Engineer Tractor ~?
M60 Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) ~?
M728 Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV) -165mm Demolition Gun ~?
Bionix Counter-Mine Vehicle (Trailblazer) ~?
Field Engineers ~?
Vehicle Launched Bridge (VLB) ~?
Foldable Longspan Bridge (FLB) ~?
Projected Line Charge (PLC) ~?
Bionix AVLB ~?
Bridging Engineers ~?
M3 Amphibious Rig ~?
All-Terrain Tracked Vehicles ~?
Bronco ATTC (GPMG armed/120mm Super-Rapid Mortar) ~400
Bandvagn 206 (GPMG armed) ~?
Unmanned Vehicles ~?
Anti-Tank Rockets/Missiles ~4000
Matador ~3000
Guards Vehicles 400
Spike LSV with Twin SPIKE ATGM 200
Spider LSV 200
Direct Fire Weapons ~400,000
SAR 21 >150,000
SAR-21 Grenade Launcher >?
M16S1 local variant of M16A1 produced under license >200,000
CAR-15 Carbine version of the M-16 (Converting to SAR-21) >5,000
M203 grenade launcher >20,000
Ultimax 100 >20,000
FN MAG 7.62 mm General Purpose Machine Gun >10,000
CIS 12.7 mm HMG >3,000
Sig-Sauer P226 9 mm Pistol ~?
H&K MP-5N 9 mm SMG >2,000
FN P90 5.7 mm SMG ~500
FN Five-seven 5.7 mm Pistol ~500
PGM Mini-Hecate 8.6 mm Long-Range Sniper Rifle ~100
H&K PSG-1 7.62 mm Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle ~?
Accuracy International L96A1 7.62 mm Sniper Rifle ~?
Accuracy International L115A1 8.6 mm Long-Range Sniper Rifle ~?
Steyr SSG 69 7.62 mm Sniper Rifle ~?
Brügger & Thomet APR308 7.62 mm Sniper Rifle ~?

Photo gallery

See also

In popular culture

Television programs

  • Army Series (新兵小传), 11 March 1983
  • Honour and Passion (宝家为国), 24 July 2007




  1. ^ "The 3rd Generation SAF". MINDEF. 
  2. ^ See also, and Huxley, Defending the Lion City, 2000, p.123-6
  3. ^
  4. ^ Tim Huxley, Defending the Lion City, Allen & Unwin, 2000, p.124.
  5. ^ Tim Huxley, Defending the Lion City, Allen & Unwin, 2000, p.127. Huxley's source note on 32nd Division appears to refer to an article by defence journalist Prasun Sengupta (1992, p.76), but Huxley's bibliography is incomplete.
  6. ^ "The Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank: More Bite and Firepower for Our Armour". Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  7. ^ Christopher Langton (Editor). The Military Balance 2005-2006 (Military Balance). New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-37393-X. , page 296. This covers the numbers, not the gun replacement and new codename.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Singapore artillery pieces". United States, Library Of Congress. 


  • Tim, Huxley. Defending the Lion City: the Armed Forces of Singapore. Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty LTD, 2000. ISBN 1-86508-118-3.

External links


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