Singapore signs defence agreements with UK, Germany

Singapore signs defence agreements with UK, Germany

Ng Eng Hen and UK defence secretary
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson exchanging the MOU documents signed. (Photo: MINDEF)

SINGAPORE: Singapore signed two separate defence agreements with the United Kingdom and Germany on Saturday (Jun 2), covering areas such as cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and maritime security.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK is the first on defence signed between the two countries.

Signed on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, the agreement covers cooperation in areas ranging from cyber and non-conventional warfare, to counter-terrorism, as well as maritime security and disaster relief.

"It's also a partnership that will extend beyond operations, to innovation and to scientific technological development, blending the talents of our nations so we will be able to have cutting edge capabilities needed to tackle tomorrow's threats, while also enhancing our own nations' prosperity, both the United Kingdom's and Singapore's,” said UK Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson.

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said it is “particularly appropriate” that the MOU was signed this year, given the historical ties both countries share and that Singapore is gearing up to mark the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ landing on the island.

Dr Ng also noted the “warm and long-standing” bilateral defence relationship. 

Earlier on Saturday, Dr Ng signed an enhanced defence cooperation agreement with German's Federal Minister of Defence Dr Ursula von der Leyen. 

Ng Eng Hen Germany defence minister
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (right) and German Federal Minister of Defence Dr Ursula von der Leyen signing an enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue. (Photo: MINDEF)

It builds on the existing pact signed in 2005, and paves the way for future cooperation in non-conventional security areas like cybersecurity and hybrid attacks. 

“We signed the first DCA (Defence Cooperation Agreement) between Singapore and Germany in 2005. Since then, defence relations have grown in breadth as well as in depth … so this enhanced DCA is very timely to consolidate existing platforms and define new areas of cooperation,” Dr Ng said.

At their bilateral meeting earlier, Dr Ng expressed Singapore’s appreciation to Germany for its support in allowing the Singapore Armed Forces to train in Germany since 2009, which includes an annual bilateral live-firing exercise between both armies.

Source: CNA/gs