Defence science and technology is the fourth pillar in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) - the other three being the army, navy, and airforce.
Said Senior Minister of State for Defence Chan Chun Sing on Wednesday: "The army, the airforce and the navy are the three usual suspects. But without our defence scientists, the SAF would not be what it is today."
He noted that defence technology had helped reduce the time needed for training of an assault rifle by more than half, and more than tripled the number of skilled marksmen who could use the rifle.
Mr Chan was speaking to a 400-strong audience at the Young Defence Scientists Programme Congress, which was organised by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and DSO National Laboratories. The programme featured presentations by students on defence science projects, ranging from unmanned vehicles to foldable materials that could be used to make computer tablets.