Defence Science and Technology Agency

Defence Science and Technology Agency
Defence Science and Technology Agency
Defence Science & Technology Agency Logo.png
Agency overview
Formed March 15, 2000 (2000-03-15)
Preceding agencies Defence Technology Group
Systems and Computer Organisation
Defence Medical Research Institute, Defence Administration Group
Jurisdiction Government of Singapore
Headquarters 71 Science Park Drive Singapore 118253
Agency executives Dr Tan Kim Siew, Chairman
Tan Peng Yam, Chief Executive Officer
Parent agency Ministry of Defence (Singapore)

The Defence Science and Technology Agency (Abbreviation: DSTA; Chinese: 国防科技局) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Defence (Singapore) of the Singapore Government.

DSTA is responsible for performing acquisitions management, systems management, systems development for the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces.



Drawing on its core competencies in acquisition management, systems management, and systems development, DSTA delivers the most cost-effective solutions possible to meet Singapore’s defence and national security needs.

DSTA’s core goal is systems design that ensures that defence capabilities are developed in a coherent and integrated manner to realise the full potential of systems-of-systems capabilities.


DSTA was formed as a statutory board on 15 March 2000 by combining the Defence Technology Group from MINDEF with two other organisations, the Systems and Computer Organisation (SCO) and the Defence Medical Research Institute (DMRI) from the Defence Administration Group. [1]


DSTA shall harness and exploit science and technology, and provide technological and engineering support, to meet the defence and national security needs of Singapore. [2]


The rapidly changing security environment has prompted transformation in militaries around the world, including the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). DSTA pushes the boundaries of defence science and technology in developing defence infrastructure and managing defence technology programmes to meet the needs of the SAF, across a broad spectrum of operations.

DSTA’s approach to developing and acquiring defence technology is guided by the following principles:

  • Buy off-the-shelf, wherever possible, to exploit market efficiency
  • Build up local defence technology capabilities in areas of strategic importance to Singapore
  • Collaborate with local and international partners to augment indigenous technological capabilities.


  • Acquisition Management
DSTA manages the acquisition of platforms, weapon and sensor systems, command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems and building infrastructure for the SAF.
  • Systems Management
DSTA provides engineering support for defence systems in the SAF to maintain a high state of operational readiness. The responsibilities include managing systems maintenance, upgrades, life extensions and assurance of munitions safety.
  • Systems Development
DSTA develops command and control systems, information technology systems and protective infrastructure to meet strategic or the unique defence and security needs of Singapore.

DSTA Programme Centres

Programme centres are the principal line operating units in DSTA. They are responsible for managing and ensuring the effective delivery of various programmes within their specialised scope and area of focus. These programme centres are grouped according to capability or function and comprise integrated project management teams or project management teams. They are responsible for providing solutions and options, acquiring and integrating the most cost-effective technology and when necessary, developing systems for Singapore’s defence and national security needs. There are 11 programme centres within DSTA.

(1) DSTA Masterplanning and Systems Architecting

To meet the challenges of a network-centric SAF, the DSTA Masterplanning and Systems Architecting programme centre (DMSA) is positioned to ensure integration across operations and technology, across phases of the system life cycle and across disciplines. DMSA adopts an architectural view in the planning of systems acquisition and development. This ensures that systems fit and inter-operate with other systems, so as to realise the power of system-of-systems capabilities.

Key Functions:

  • Works with planners in MINDEF and the SAF to develop new operating concepts and operational and engineering master plans
  • Strategises the synthesis and integration of the capabilities of present and future systems within a coherent architecture of defence capabilities
  • Collaborates with other DSTA programme centres, MINDEF and the SAF in the development of defence technology ecosystems

Programme Examples:

  • Operation analysis and optimisation
  • System of Systems realisation framework
  • MINDEF and SAF enterprise architecture development
  • Technology exploration and experimentation

(2) Air Systems

The Air Systems programme centre is responsible for the acquisition, systems integration and upgrading of air platforms, as well as the development of systems for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). These include air platforms such as fighters, mission aircraft, transports, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys to evaluate the most technologically-competitive and cost-effective systems to meet the RSAF’s operational needs
  • Acquires and adapts aircraft and weapon systems capabilities to meet specific operational requirements
  • Upgrades existing aircraft with the latest technologies to enhance its operational capabilities and extend its operational life
  • Develops organic and local industry capabilities to support the new technologies and systems introduced

Programme Examples:

  • F-15SG Multi-role Fighter Aircraft
  • Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft
  • S-70B Seahawk Naval Helicopter
  • AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopter
  • Chinook Medium- lift Helicopter
  • Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • Fighter trainer aircraft

(3) Naval Systems

The Naval Systems programme centre is responsible for the acquisition and integration of advanced surface and underwater naval systems for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). These include naval platforms such as strike ships, landing ship tanks, submarines and unmanned surface vessels.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys to evaluate the most technologically-competitive and cost-effective technologies to meet the RSN’s requirements
  • Acquires, develops and integrates naval and weapon systems capabilities to meet specific requirements
  • Provides expertise in the area of naval engineering and systems integration capabilities to meet the nation's needs
  • Works with planners in the RSN and SAF to develop systems design studies and engineering masterplans to foster alignment with the RSN in the development of new capabilities

Programme Examples:

  • Formidable-class stealth frigate
  • Archer-class submarine
  • Submarine Support and Rescue Vessel
  • Missile Corvette
  • Mine Counter Measure Vessel
  • Stabilised Naval Gun System
  • Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV)

(4) Land Systems

The Land Systems programme centre is responsible for the acquisition, development and integration of land platforms and systems such as tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, tactical vehicles, bridging equipment, soldier systems, guided weapons, and command, control, communication and sensor systems for the Singapore Army.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys to evaluate the most technologically-competitive and cost-effective technologies to meet the Singapore Army’s platform and system-of-systems needs
  • Acquires and integrates land and weapon systems capabilities
  • Develops local capabilities for technologies that are commercially unavailable

Programme Examples:

  • Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank
  • Terrex Infantry Fighting Vehicle
  • Advanced Combat Man System
  • Army Tactical Command, Control, Communication and Sensor System
  • Army Medical Support System
  • Trailblazer Countermine Vehicle
  • High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

(5) Networked Systems

The Networked Systems programme centre is responsible for delivering programmes that allow the SAF to fight as a networked force. This is achieved by the integration of various off-the-shelf and developmental systems in C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, simulation/instrumentation systems, sensor systems, air defence systems and Command and Control (C2) centres.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys to evaluate the most technologically-competitive and cost-effective solutions
  • Acquires and integrates solutions for air and coastal defence, as well as simulation and battlefield instrumentation
  • Provides engineering consultancy services in the areas of C2 systems, voice communication and systems integration
  • Provides technology advice and engineering support to MHA, Home Team, NSCC and other national security agencies on national security matters

Programme Examples:

  • Development of air defence solutions with acquired sensors and weapons
  • Development and upgrading of air defence systems
  • Acquisition of SAF communication equipment
  • Development of Instrumented Battlefield Solutions
  • C2 systems for Home Team departments and Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) system for national security

(6) C4I Development

The C4I Development programme centre exploits leading-edge technologies to develop Command and Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) solutions to enable the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) achieve a high state of situational awareness and operational effectiveness.

Key Functions:

  • Develops knowledge-based C4I systems covering strategic C2 systems, air and naval tactical C2 systems, communication systems, intelligence C2 systems, and modeling and simulation systems for the SAF to conduct a full spectrum of operations
  • Ensures inter-operability across the suite of C4I systems based on a common C4I system architecture
  • Develops prototypes in accordance with evolving operational requirements
  • Leverages modeling and simulation technologies for mission rehearsals, training, and experimentation of operational concepts

Programme Examples:

  • Development and integration of the Combat Management System onboard the Formidable-class stealth frigates
  • Upgrading of the mission computer onboard the E-2C Airborne Early Warning aircraft
  • Development of an Air Command and Control Hub to replace an aging air traffic control system

(7) Protective Infrastructure and Estate

The Protective Infrastructure and Estate (PI) programme centre is responsible for the master planning and design of defence infrastructure for MINDEF and the SAF. It is also responsible for the development of large scale operational and administrative buildings, and conducts R&D in protective technology.

Key Functions:

  • Designs and develops operational facilities and administrative buildings to support MINDEF and SAF operations
  • Conducts protective technology R&D, encompassing the development and application of protective concepts and solutions to enhance the survivability of personnel, assets and critical operational functions
  • Performs land-use planning and estate management for MINDEF and SAF buildings and infrastructure

Programme Examples:

  • Underground Ammunition Facility
  • Naval bases
  • Army camp complexes and training facilities
  • Changi Air Base (East)
  • Explosive testing

(8) Systems Management

The Systems Management (SM) programme centre provides through-life systems management support for a wide spectrum of systems to MINDEF and the SAF. It is responsible for ensuring good system health, high availability and high serviceability of these systems and equipment.

Key Functions:

  • Performs cost-effective and proactive maintenance, system and contract management for in-service systems
  • Provides comprehensive engineering support and consultancy to ensure high system availability and serviceability
  • Manages system upgrades and system life extension programmes to prevent system obsolescence
  • Manages ammunition replenishment programmes for readiness sustenance
  • Provides effective maintenance management and upkeep of all MINDEF and SAF buildings and infrastructure

System Management engineers provide support that spreads over a diverse range of engineering disciplines and technologies. The system groups are:

  • Weapon and Sensor Systems
  • Armament Systems
  • Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Systems
  • IT and Infrastructure
  • Building and facility management

(9) InfoComm Infrastructure

The InfoComm Infrastructure programme centre is responsible for the development and management of information infrastructure within MINDEF, SAF and DSTA. This is achieved through the development and governance of infocomm architecture, programme management, systems design and integration, and engineering support.

Key Functions:

  • • Develops and manages the technical architecture for information infrastructure
  • • Acquires, designs and integrates information infrastructure to meet enterprise and programme-specific requirements
  • • Develops local capabilities for technologies that are not commercially available

Programme Examples:

  • • Secure Standard Operating Environment for desktop computers
  • • Identity and key management system to support two-factor authentication and log-in for applications
  • • Resilient network and telecommunication infrastructure

(10) Enterprise IT

The Enterprise IT programme centre is responsible for the acquisition, development and integration of solutions for various lines of businesses in MINDEF and the SAF. These areas range from logistics, finance, human resource, procurement, medical, training, to the management of ammunition, building and infrastructure.

Key Functions:

  • Designs and implements cost-effective and sustainable solutions for the various business needs of MINDEF and the SAF, with a constant focus on innovative use of IT
  • Leverages best practices and methodologies to deliver integrated end-to-end enterprise-wide solutions that reaches out to stakeholders
  • Supports the strategic use of IT beyond delivering solutions to automate, as an enabler towards business transformation

Programme Examples:

  • MINDEF/SAF Enterprise System programme to deliver a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Joint and MINDEF
  • E-HR programme to provide a single solution to support the planning and management of manpower within MINDEF and the SAF
  • Integrated Ammunition Management programme to oversee the management of ammunition throughout its life cycle
  • Mobilisation and Unit Management system from the activation to the in- and out-processing of NSmen at their units
  • Enterprise System for Innovation Learning and Knowledge (eSILK) to support a common electronic workspace across MINDEF/SAF from the exchange of ideas, collaboration, to the storage, retrieval and discovery of information
  • Learning Network (LEARNet) and Training management systems to support an effective approach to competency development and learning through the optimal use of available resources

(11) Procurement

The Procurement programme centre provides procurement and related services to achieve cost-effectiveness for the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, as well as for the public sector in Singapore. This programme centre guides users from DSTA, MINDEF/SAF and government agencies through the entire procurement process, ensuring fairness and transparency to maintain probity and public trust in government procurement procedures.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts sourcing, tendering, evaluation, contracting and contract management
  • Interacts with customers to provide better analysis and understanding of their requirements
  • Engages industries to better understand the market supply situation

Programme Examples:

  • Public-Private Partnerships (or PPP) contracting, such as the Basic Wings Course
  • Performance-based Contracting, such as Power by the Hour
  • Demand Aggregation and Reverse Auction (DARA) of commodity items
  • Period contract/ framework agreement/ basic ordering agreement for life cycle support of weapon systems
  • Integrated Workforce Concept, such as providing support for maintenance


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