Honouring Excellence in Defence Technology
01 Nov 2021

As a recognition of their outstanding contributions in defence engineering, three teams and an individual from DSTA were awarded the Defence Technology Prize (DTP) this year.

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Speaking at the award ceremony on 26 October 2021, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen commended defence engineers and scientists for their enduring commitment in developing key defence capabilities in close collaboration with the SAF.

“Our capabilities within MINDEF and the SAF were built on years of hard work and steady progress. The high standards of both communities, of the SAF, and the Defence Technology Community – or DTC – are synergistic. Each adds and challenges the other, and the result is that the sum of parts is greater than the whole,” he said.

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Director Advanced Systems Loke Mun Kwong, who received the Individual (Engineering) Award winner, was recognised for his key role in the build-up of advanced sensor and electronic surveillance capabilities. Over the years, he has led many teams in complex large-scale systems integration programmes, and developed key technology masterplans and systems architectures for Singapore’s defence.

“As our operational landscape evolves and becomes more complex, DSTA continues to develop capabilities to push frontiers in the development and integration of leading-edge systems. We need to continue to strengthen the ops-tech relationship to work hand in hand with the SAF to adopt tech for defence. I look forward to contributing my expertise to build the next-generation SAF,” he said.

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Director Advanced Systems Loke Mun Kwong (right) receiving the award from Dr Ng.

The A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Hangar team clinched the Team (Engineering) award for conceptualising and leading the design of the SAF’s first integrated facility for wide-body aircraft maintenance. The hangar features a seamless workflow design that has improved work efficiency and reduced aircraft maintenance downtime.

The team went beyond operational requirements to incorporate environmentally sustainable features, including the installation of over 2,000 solar panels on the hangar’s rooftop to generate clean energy. The result is the SAF’s first net positive energy building, capable of generating 30 per cent more electricity than it consumes. Water-efficient fittings, eco-friendly building materials, a green roof, and a naturally ventilated hangar space were also integrated into the hangar’s sustainable design.

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The A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport Hangar Team received the Team (Engineering) Award.

In his speech, Dr Ng also praised the DTC’s contributions to the nation’s efforts in fighting COVID-19. These ranged from managing the outbreak in migrant worker dormitories, performing contact tracing, to improving command and control (C2) systems for the multi-ministry task forces. He said: “[Our people] owned the problem from day one and tackled it head on. The results speak for themselves – mission success and admiration for the capabilities of our people in MINDEF and the SAF.”

For their efforts in helping the nation combat COVID-19, two DSTA teams were conferred the Team (Engineering) award.

The COVID-19 C2 Systems team, comprising members from DSTA, the SAF, ST Engineering and NCS Pte Ltd, delivered solutions for the multi-ministry task forces to collaborate effectively and respond swiftly. These include a system to manage COVID-19 operations in the dormitories, and solutions for contact tracing, testing operations and food supply chain risk management.

The solutions, which were developed and deployed in a matter of weeks, were instrumental in providing comprehensive situational awareness and facilitating the rapid scaling up of our nation’s testing capacity, the safe resumption of work, and the strengthening of our food supply chain resiliency.

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The COVID-19 C2 Systems Team received the Team (Engineering) Award.

The MINDEF Forward Deployment Laboratory (FDL) team also successfully delivered a first-of-its-kind containerised laboratory solution to increase national COVID-19 diagnostic capacity. The team – comprising members from DSO National Laboratories, DSTA, MINDEF’s Future Systems and Technology Directorate, and Defence Technology Collaboration Office – set up and operationalised the FDLs in just four months, allowing 10,000 additional COVID-19 tests to be conducted per day.

“To set up the FDL infrastructure safely and swiftly, we conducted stringent site assessments and developed technical solutions to overcome the structural challenges of such mobile and scalable building infrastructure. Our team also helped ensure the labs were ready for operation by securing critical initial laboratory equipment,” said Senior Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Alvin Wee, who received the award on behalf of the DSTA team.

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Senior Programme Manager (Building and Infrastructure) Alvin Wee (second from left).