Singapore, Indonesia Ink Submarine Rescue Pact

Singapore and Indonesia signed a submarine rescue support and cooperation agreement on Monday, making it the first such arrangement between Asian countries.

The arrangement means that the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) submarine rescue system will be made available to the Indonesian Navy, whose resources will also support the RSN in the event of a submarine disaster.

The RSN's submarine rescue system comprises a submarine and rescue support vessel called the MV Swift Rescue, and a submersible rescue vessel, the Deep Search and Rescue Six.

The two navies will also develop a joint standard for conducting rescue operations together.

An online portal that links up the naval operation centers of all 10 Asean countries was also launched yesterday. The ceremony was attended by the navy chiefs from Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand.

Spearheaded by the Singapore and Indonesian navies, the Asean Information-Sharing Portal will enable naval commanders to exchange information in real time through a group chat function.

To facilitate this exchange of information, the portal also has real-time translation capabilities and can translate between languages such as English, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai and Vietnamese. The translation engine is also able to recognize and translate specific naval terms.

Commanders can also access the portal on smartphones running both the Android and iOS operating systems, allowing them to receive maritime security alerts and continue group discussions on the move.

The portal is being tested by about 60 personnel from Asian navies in an inaugural three-day exercise that ends Tuesday.

Reprinted courtesy of Straits Times