Singapore

Arms Sold:

Additional Arms:
Phyton-4, Litening, Spice, EL/W-2085, Derby, Phyton-5

Companies:

Additional Companies:
Cyberbit

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Singapore

Introduction

The military, intelligence and security ties between Singapore and Israel are very close, to the extent that over five decades Singapore has become a very important market for Israel’s military industries not only in Southeast Asia but on a global level, and a partner in joint research and development ventures of advanced weapon systems.

Israel-Singapore Relations

The ties between the two countries started around the first years after the establishment of Israel, before diplomatic relations between the countries were formally established in 1969.[1]Singapore, a military power in South Asia built on the Israeli model However, Singapore kept the relationship on a low profile for the next thirty years due to its relationship with its Muslim neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia. In 1986 Singapore’s Foreign Minister S. Dhanabalan visited Israel and later in the same year Israeli president Herzog visited Singapore.[2]Israel’s quest for recognition and acceptance in Asia : Garrison State diplomacy

In 1990, the Singapore-Israel Chamber of Commerce started operating. Singaporean–Israeli trade relations continued to expand and by 1991, Israel’s trade with Singapore totaled $79 million in exports and $43 million in imports.[3]Update: Deleted image shows Singapore Air Force Heron 1 UAV with new belly payload pod

Since 1997, the Singapore-Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation has provided $170 million in funding for about 150 projects worldwide.[4]Singapore-Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation

In 2005, the two countries signed a pact to ease the flow of goods and investments between the two countries during a visit to Israel by Singaporean Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.[5] The Straits Times website, Singapore – May 20, 2005 Singapore, Israel sign pact to ease flow of goods, investments In 2013, Singapore–Israel trade totaled S$1.956 billion.[6]Singapore-Israel Trade hits almost S$2 billion in 2013 Israel and Singapore have signed agreements on R&D and on avoidance of double taxation.[7]Trade Economic Agreements Table_Singapore Israel exports to Singapore was $529.66 Million during 2018, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.[8]Singapore-Israel Trade hits almost S$2 billion in 2013

Today bilateral cooperation spans many sectors including technology, research and development, health care and education. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and Tel Aviv University all maintain close ties with Singaporean institutions including the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.[9]‘A Life-and-death Matter’: How Israel Helped Singapore When It Needed It Most

Military Relations

Singapore’s relationship with the Israeli military dates back to 1965, when six Israeli officers were sent to help establish the Singapore Army, including by conducting its first officers’ course and consulting on its military structure.[10]Israeli officers reveal: this is how we established the Singaporean army, the strongest in Southeast Asia

In the early days of Singapore’s independence, Israeli Air Force officers and local industry helped build the country’s Air Command and Control Center and integrate Israeli air-to-air missiles on fighters procured from the US and other suppliers. Similar technical and conceptual experience was provided to Singapore’s Navy and Ground Forces; and the two countries enjoyed routine training across a spectrum of combat disciplines.[11]Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation

Since Israeli military advisers gradually left the city-state in the mid-1970s, close relationships have developed in the field of defense industry and technology in general. Israel and Singapore have signed dozens of deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars since then. The Singaporean army, today considered one of the most powerful in Southeast Asia, has since the late 1960s used the same type of weapons as Israel’s military and can mobilize hundreds of thousands of reservists within a few hours.[12]Singapore, a military power in South Asia built on the Israeli model

For Israel, Singapore is now one of the main customers of its military industry, the outcome of forty years of cooperation carefully kept as a secret. The arms trade contracts between Israel and Singapore include the sale of tanks, air-to-ground Barak missiles and the Hermes drone system, fighter jets equipped with the latest Israeli electronic devices and warships. Since the year 2000, cooperation between intelligence services of the two states has increased too. Israel has a significant presence in Singapore with experts, delegations and military installations.[13]Defending the Lion City The Armed Forces of Singapore

Between 2014-2019, the two countries have only reported $61 million worth of arms sales between them, although the figure is likely much higher.[14]SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases Just this year, the Singapore military accidentally made public (and quickly removed) an image of its Heron 1 drones, as well as Hermes 450 and Spider drones. Defense News reported that the Singaporean air force is flying two squadrons of Israeli- made drones. One is composed of the Hermes model manufactured by Elbit, and one of the Heron made by IAI.[15]Israel and Singapore: The ties that bind

Singapore attracts hundreds of former Israeli military and intelligence officers and hosts major security corporations such as Israel Aerospace Industries, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elbit Systems, in addition to the Israeli Embassy with its military attachés. It was also reported that the two countries’ military industries cooperate in joint ventures in third countries.[16]Israel and Singapore: The ties that bind Another pattern revealed by some foreign reports is that Singapore invests money in the research and development of Israeli weapons systems and in return gets to manufacture them in its own industries.

Joint Ventures

CSF Ventures Pte LtdA, a Singapore-Israel joint venture (Israel: Avnon Group, Singapore: JCS Group) is focusing on early-stage security technology (Cybersecurity, Homeland security, IoT security, etc.) startup venture building and investment.[17]CSF Ventures

Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST) and Israel Aerospace Industries announced in 2020 the formation of a Singapore-based joint venture company to develop and market advanced missile systems, including a new anti-ship cruise missile. The company will be named Proteus Advanced Systems Pte.[18]ST Engineering and IAI Set Up JV to Market Advanced Naval Missile Systems

The MATADOR was developed jointly by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), in collaboration with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Dynamit Nobel Defence (DND) joint team.[19]Factsheet – MATADOR: Unguided Short Range Anti-Armour Weapon (SRAAW)

Cyber Security

In September 2011 the Singapore Government announced the establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre to boost its capabilities to counter cyber security threats. Israeli IT and cyber security companies that are present in Singapore include: Check Point Security, GTB Technologies, NICE Systems, Elbit Systems.[20]Israel and Singapore Synergies in Cyber Security Defense The two defense establishments have cooperated on a range of programs from homeland security to cyber, including state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries‘ 2014 establishment of a cyber early warning research and development center in Singapore.[21]Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation

In 2016 during the meeting of Israel and Singapore’s prime ministers they pledged to expand cyber defense cooperation and high-tech trade ties.[22]Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation

In 2017 the Israeli company Cyberbit opened an office in Singapore. “The new office will enable Cyberbit to directly support its fast-growing customer base in Singapore, and will accelerate Cyberbit’s expansion in the area, focusing on government and financial sectors. The Singapore office is Cyberbit’s third global office” Cyberbit announced on their website.[23]Singapore investment giant buys Israeli cybersecurity startup for $250 million

In 2019 Israel and Israel conducted a roundtable in the yearly cyberweek conference in Israel. The event that was organized in cooperation with the Israel National Cyber Directorate included cybersecurity leaders from both countries that discussed topics such as academic, commercial, industrial, and federal approaches to cybersecurity.[24]Singapore-Israel Roundtable 2019

Between June 2018 and October 2019, three Global Expert Missions of KTN took place in Singapore, the USA and Israel to better understand their research and innovation landscapes and to establish potential opportunities for collaboration in the cyber security sector.[25]Strengthening Cybersecurity Collaborations: Outcomes from missions to Singapore, Israel & USA

In 2018 and 2020 research and media platforms published that the spywares Pegasus and Fleming by the Israeli company NSO Group were being operated in Singapore.[26]Israeli Spyware Firm Wants to Track Data to Stop Coronavirus Spreading[27]HIDE AND SEEK: Tracking NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware to Operations in 45 Countries Additionally, the Israeli company Anyvision, which develops AI-facial recognition technologies operates an office in Singapore.[28]Oosto/Anyvision

In 2020, Singapore ramped up its research and innovation efforts to strengthen its cyber security capabilities with an upcoming collaboration between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and Israel’s Tel Aviv University.[29]Singapore cyber security capabilities to be enhanced

Israel Aerospace ELTA‘s Custodio Technologies announced in 2020, that they will collaborate with Singapore’s Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) to develop technology to detect cybercrimes. The project will leverage Custodio Technologies locally developed, next generation cybersecurity analysis platform – CyVestiGO, that is also an integral part of Custodio’s parent company IAI‘s global offering of national level cybersecurity centers and is being deployed in IAI’s projects around the world.[30]Israeli ELTA to partner with Singapore DSTA in cybercrimes detection

The Israeli company Cellebrite possesses Offices in Singapore.[31]Cellebrite official website – offices The Singapore Police is using different services of Cellebrite, among them UFED and the Cellebrite Responder Kiosk.[32]Singapore Police and HTX: Transforming Modern Criminal Investigations with Digital Intelligence Cellebrite and Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) established a partnership in 2021.[33]Cellebrite and HTX Establish Strategic Partnership to Drive Rapid Innovation and Deliver Industry Leading Digital Intelligence Capabilities to Protect and Save Lives

Usage of Israeli Arms

SPIKE – In usage by Singaporean Military

Matador – In usage by Singaporean Military

Soltam M-65 – In usage by Singaporean Military

Elta Systems ELM-2311 SAFARI – In use by Singaporean Military

Elta Systems EL/M-2084 – In use by Singaporean Air Force

Phyton 4 – In use by Singaporean Air Force (600 missiles obtained)[34]SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases

Derby – In use by Singaporean Air Force.

Spyder SAM system – 12 launchers in use by Singaporean Air Force.[35]SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases

Hermes 450 UAV – In use by Singaporean Air Force since 2007.[36]RSAF tracking drone technology with an eye to renewing its capabilities: Chief of Air Force

Heron 1 UAV – in use by Singaporean Air Force since 2012.[37]RSAF tracking drone technology with an eye to renewing its capabilities: Chief of Air Force

UFED – used by Singapore Police.[38]Singapore Police and HTX: Transforming Modern Criminal Investigations with Digital Intelligence

Human Rights Violations

Singaporean citizens face severe restrictions on their basic rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly through overly broad criminal laws and regulations. Singapore’s restrictions on speech tightened in 2019 with the passage of the overly broad Protection Against Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act – it permits a single government minister to order the “correction” or removal of online content. Authorities continued to use existing laws to penalize peaceful expression and protest, with activists, lawyers, and online media facing prosecution, civil defamation suits, and threats of contempt of court charges.[39]World Report 2020: Singapore | Human Rights Watch

The rights of the LGBT community are severely curtailed. Sexual relations between men remains a criminal offense, and there are no legal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.[40]Singapore | Country Page | World | Human Rights Watch

Migrants’ rights groups expressed concerns about the treatment and working conditions of migrant workers, including foreign domestic workers.[41]Everything you need to know about human rights in Singapore- 2021

As to 2020, Singapore retains the death penalty, which is mandated for many drug offenses and certain other crimes. The number of those executed in 2019 is uncertain.[42]World Report 2020: Singapore | Human Rights Watch

When the Singapore constitution was written, it did not include a right to privacy and the subsequent data protection act does not protect citizens from government-sanctioned surveillance. The government does not need prior judicial authorization to conduct any surveillance interception, and documents that restrict what officials can do with personal data are classified. In a U.S State Department report in 2015, it is believed that law enforcement and government agencies have extensive networks for gathering information and conducting surveillance. A majority of Singaporeans are widely aware that authorities track telephone conversations and the use of the internet of civilians, and indirect routine checks are usually done on some government critics.[43]The Right to Privacy in Singapore | Privacy International

Singapore is reportedly experimenting with facial recognition technologies at immigration checkpoints and among others in housing projects and student hostels.[44]Commentary: How to make Singapore smile for the facial recognition camera In 2020 media platforms reported that in the near future Singapore’s citizens will access government services through a new facial verification feature in its national identity program, called “Dubbed SingPass Face Verification”. The development is part of the government’s $1.75 billion “Smart Nation” initiative, launched in 2014. The new face verification system could also be used in private-sector organizations and education.[45] In Singapore, facial recognition is getting woven into everyday life

In 2020 Singapore operated a mass surveillance technology called “trace together” that was used to track down carriers of Covid-19 virus.[46]Use of surveillance to fight coronavirus raises concerns about government power after pandemic ends After problems with the app, Singapore announced its planning a comprehensive contact tracing system in which it will distribute to all its 5.7 million residents a wearable device that will identify people who have interacted with people carrying Covid-19. Critics are concerned that it will be difficult to tell what the device is doing or what information it sends to back-end servers.[47]Singapore considers wearable trackers after app failures

References
1 Singapore, a military power in South Asia built on the Israeli model
2 Israel’s quest for recognition and acceptance in Asia : Garrison State diplomacy
3 Update: Deleted image shows Singapore Air Force Heron 1 UAV with new belly payload pod
4 Singapore-Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation
5 The Straits Times website, Singapore – May 20, 2005 Singapore, Israel sign pact to ease flow of goods, investments
6 Singapore-Israel Trade hits almost S$2 billion in 2013
7 Trade Economic Agreements Table_Singapore
8 Singapore-Israel Trade hits almost S$2 billion in 2013
9 ‘A Life-and-death Matter’: How Israel Helped Singapore When It Needed It Most
10 Israeli officers reveal: this is how we established the Singaporean army, the strongest in Southeast Asia
11 Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation
12 Singapore, a military power in South Asia built on the Israeli model
13 Defending the Lion City The Armed Forces of Singapore
14 SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases
15 Israel and Singapore: The ties that bind
16 Israel and Singapore: The ties that bind
17 CSF Ventures
18 ST Engineering and IAI Set Up JV to Market Advanced Naval Missile Systems
19 Factsheet – MATADOR: Unguided Short Range Anti-Armour Weapon (SRAAW)
20 Israel and Singapore Synergies in Cyber Security Defense
21 Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation
22 Israel, Singapore Pledge Expanded Cyber Cooperation
23 Singapore investment giant buys Israeli cybersecurity startup for $250 million
24 Singapore-Israel Roundtable 2019
25 Strengthening Cybersecurity Collaborations: Outcomes from missions to Singapore, Israel & USA
26 Israeli Spyware Firm Wants to Track Data to Stop Coronavirus Spreading
27 HIDE AND SEEK: Tracking NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware to Operations in 45 Countries
28 Oosto/Anyvision
29 Singapore cyber security capabilities to be enhanced
30 Israeli ELTA to partner with Singapore DSTA in cybercrimes detection
31 Cellebrite official website – offices
32 Singapore Police and HTX: Transforming Modern Criminal Investigations with Digital Intelligence
33 Cellebrite and HTX Establish Strategic Partnership to Drive Rapid Innovation and Deliver Industry Leading Digital Intelligence Capabilities to Protect and Save Lives
34 SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases
35 SIPRI- Arms Transfers Databases
36 RSAF tracking drone technology with an eye to renewing its capabilities: Chief of Air Force
37 RSAF tracking drone technology with an eye to renewing its capabilities: Chief of Air Force
38 Singapore Police and HTX: Transforming Modern Criminal Investigations with Digital Intelligence
39 World Report 2020: Singapore | Human Rights Watch
40 Singapore | Country Page | World | Human Rights Watch
41 Everything you need to know about human rights in Singapore- 2021
42 World Report 2020: Singapore | Human Rights Watch
43 The Right to Privacy in Singapore | Privacy International
44 Commentary: How to make Singapore smile for the facial recognition camera
45 In Singapore, facial recognition is getting woven into everyday life
46 Use of surveillance to fight coronavirus raises concerns about government power after pandemic ends
47 Singapore considers wearable trackers after app failures