Embracing Digital Transformation

10 May 2023

Here’s another reason to celebrate! Our technologists received the OpenGov Recognition of Excellence Award for their innovative approach to leveraging technology and transforming battle planning for the Singapore Armed Forces.

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Representatives from the team received the award from OpenGov CEO and Editor-in-Chief Mohit Sagar (first from left). The team included (second from left) Director (Capability Development) Cai Jialing, Head Capability Development (Tactical C4I) Brendan Tan, and Head Capability Development (Army C3 Development) Alvin Koh.

The award, presented at the 8th Annual Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum on 10 May 2023, is a recognition of recipients’ exceptional leadership in adopting innovative technologies to position Singapore for a stronger and more resilient future.

DSTA’s winning project, the Next Generation Army Command and Control Information System (CCIS), transforms the way the Singapore Army conducts battle procedure planning. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, the CCIS enables greater precision and coordination across the forces with a timelier distribution of critical data. This not only helps reduce the cognitive load on army commanders, it also assists them in making more informed and effective decisions on the battlefield.

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Members of the CCIS team.

The CCIS provides Army commanders with a comprehensive picture of the position of combat forces on the battlefield. Its embedded recommendation engine taps AI to recommend the optimal warfighting solutions such as the appropriate strike assets across the forces, generating plans, and tasking assets to eliminate targets swiftly and accurately.

“To stay ahead of the tech curve, there is a need to keep MINDEF’s systems and software updated continuously. Hence, we went for a cloud-enabled CCIS, with smart algorithms, new development paradigms, and the latest cyber defence techniques. This ensures that our interconnected networks remain secure and robust for operations and training,” said Director (Capability Development) Cai Jialing.

Head Engineering (Cyber SOC) Chua Kim Yong added: “To enable a smooth and uninterrupted data transfer on the CCIS, the team developed and implemented cyber security solutions to address constraints imposed by transmission bandwidth and system footprint on the operational terrain. This included lightweight sensors, in-house cyber analytics to enhance threat detection, as well as optimising information exchange between domains.”

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The CCIS team engaged their partners from the Singapore Army constantly to ensure that the final product delivered would meet their unique needs.

One of the team’s key focuses was to make complex military processes intuitive for even new users. With user-centricity in mind, our technologists employed design innovation and incorporated commercial best practices while modelling the CCIS’s user interface. Their efforts allowed them to make the system intuitive and user-friendly.

The development of the CCIS was not without its challenges. One obstacle the team had to overcome was figuring out how best to integrate Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies – cloud, AI and data analytics, for instance – into a single, cohesive platform. To achieve a seamless integration, our technologists worked closely together with their partners in the Singapore Army and industry experts to tap various tech expertise and built a cutting-edge recommendation engine that met the requirements.

“Close ops-tech partnership was key to our success – we adopted an agile development approach that involved bi-weekly sprints with our Army partners, and refined the CCIS iteratively based on our collective feedback and ideas. We will continue to adopt such approaches for future developments,” said Head Capability Development (Tactical C4I) Brendan Tan.

Congratulations to the CCIS Team!