Free exhibition to mark 50 years of defence technology and innovations

SINGAPORE - The public will be able try their hand at manoeuvring a littoral mission vessel, and even encounter hostile targets that may board the navy's newest ship, in a simulator at a free exhibition next month.

They can also get up close to unmanned vehicles used for reconnaissance efforts, and take on virtual targets with simulated weapons in an augmented reality trainer.

Spread across over 4,000 sq m, the SGDefence Exhibition, to be held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre Hall A from Nov 4 to 8, will showcase innovations developed by Singapore's defence technology community.

It is just one of a series of events to mark 50 years since the community - made up of engineers and scientists who work behind the scenes - was set up. These events include the launch of a commemorative book series and an anniversary dinner.

The interactive exhibition features more than 60 exhibits across five thematic clusters, which allows visitors to get a glimpse of how Singapore trains its armed forces. Visitors will learn about the defence technology community's humble beginnings, the capabilities it has built up over the years and the possibilities of defence technology in the future.

In 1966, the defence technology community started as a three-man team within the logistics division in the then Ministry of Interior and Defence. The community, which now comprises some 5,000 defence engineers and scientists, has since expanded the country's technological defence capabilities over the last five decades.

Among the innovations they have developed are the Terrex armoured infantry carrier, which has the ability to network with other fighting machines such as artillery guns and attack helicopters, and the transparent ceramic armour, which is lighter than conventional glass armour and can withstand armour-piercing rounds at close range.

Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Ng Chee Khern said technology is the "force multiplier" for the Singapore Armed Forces.

"We have therefore consistently used technology and invested in developing our local talent to meet our nation's defence needs. This strategy has paid off," he said.

"With the growing complexity of global threats, our community of scientists and defence engineers - the tech wizards behind the battle lines - have developed indigenous defence technology innovations that keep Singapore safe."