Singapore Navy launches world’s first submarine safety portal
It will include real-time information on potential hazards, like deep-sea oil rigs.
With an increasing number of submarines in the region, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has launched a portal capable of providing these stealthy watercraft with real-time information on potential hazards, including deep-sea oil rigs.
Likening the new Submarine Safety Information Portal to a Google map of the sea, Colonel David Foo, Commanding Officer of the Submarine Squadron, said that the portal would help submarines navigate amid unmanned underwater vehicles and warship exercises out at sea.
Navy chief Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han, who announced the portal’s launch at the closing ceremony of two international defence exercises yesterday, noted that increased regional merchant traffic, vessels with deeper draughts and larger trawlers, among others, are posing a serious threat to underwater safety.
There are currently over 200 submarines in the Asia-Pacific region, with the number set to grow to over 250 by 2030. Singapore has four submarines, with another four slated for delivery from 2021.
The steady increase in the number of submarines and submarine-operating countries across the region makes it even more important for information to be shared, said RADM Lai.
Over the past 15 years, there have been nearly 20 reported submarine incidents.
Submarines are meant to be stealthy vessels, and other countries will not share information on the location of their own watercraft.
Stressing that the new information portal would not track the movement of submarines, Col Foo said that it would capture other hazards, such as seismic activity, instead. Rescue missions could also be expedited, with the portal capable of locating the nearest Vessel of Opportunity, a rescue vessel, and mapping the quickest route to the incident location.
The free portal, touted as the world’s first, will be housed at the RSN’s Information Fusion Centre at Changi Naval Base, and builds on the existing database at the centre.
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