The Straits Times
Published on Nov 12, 2012
Ng Eng Hen, Defence

Singapore Armed Forces still an 'effective' force in 2040


The Singapore Armed Forces will remain a strong military force in 2040, despite the declining birth rate and ageing population, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament on Monday.

The number of men enlisted for national service is projected to fall from a peak of 21,000 a year last year to about 15,000 a year going forward, similar to the levels in the 1990s.

"With these enlistment numbers, our long term projections till 2040 indicate that the SAF will still be able to mobilise about 300,000 soldiers from regulars, full-time national servicemen and operationally-ready NSmen if we need to," Dr Ng said.

Better-educated NSmen, as well as the SAF's investment in technology that need fewer people to operate and which link up different military systems, will ensure that it continues to be an "effective military force and a strong deterrent against any aggression", he added.