Singapore navy launches first submarine safety portal

With an increasing number of submarines in the region, the Singapore navy 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, Col 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 Adm Lai Chung Han, who announced the portal’s launch at the closing ceremony of two international defence exercises on Thursday, noted that increased regional merchant traffic, vessels with deeper draughts and larger trawlers, among others, are posing a serious threat to underwater safety, TODAY reported on Friday.

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 Rear ADM Lai.

In an interview with TODAY later, Col Foo offered some insights into the navigation challenges faced by submarines as the number of watercraft plying the same seas grew.

Over the past 15 years, there have been nearly 20 reported submarine incidents.

“Submarines ... rely on very limited sensors, essentially by acous....

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