Published: 30 June 2022
Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon.
2. We are gathered here today to commission PCG’s Next Generation Patrol Craft.
Evolving with the Times
3. If you look at the history, PCG started in the 1850s, with a group of six boatmen, and three boats, to patrol Singapore’s seas at night. Three boats! You can imagine the task.
4. Today, we have 200 shipping lines, linked to more than 600 ports worldwide,140,000 ships in our waters every year.
5. The threats are obvious – a high volume of shipping traffic and the porous nature of our maritime environment. So, we are vulnerable to terrorist attacks, smuggling of goods, as well as illegal immigrants and contrabands.
6. And the smugglers as well as illegal immigrants employ decoys and camouflage to avoid detection. They use faster boats, they try to breach our maritime defence, and evade arrest.
7. Our small sea space gives us very little reaction time to respond to incoming threats before these threats reach our shores.
8. PCG has built up over the years. It has about 1,300 officers and more than 100 boats. And it works closely with the Navy and the Maritime Port Authority.
9. Last year, PCG arrested 24 illegal immigrants attempting to enter by sea and prevented more than 5,600 vessel intrusions into our waters. That’s about 15 intrusions per day. So, you can imagine the scale.
Next Generation Patrol Craft
10. The Next Gen Patrol Craft which are being commissioned today – 42 new boats, in 3 classes.
11. First, the 5th Gen PT Class Patrol Boat, which is among PCG’s larger vessels. They are mainly deployed in the southern waters of Singapore, where the sea is rougher, and they can achieve a higher top speed, in excess of 55 knots or 100 km/h, with an upgraded onboard surveillance system, with a greater detection range. It also has a stabilised naval gun system which allows us to interdict hostile targets more accurately when there is a pursuit.
12. Second, is the new 3 Series PC Class Patrol Craft. Smaller size, with an improved hull form design, for more ease of manoeuvrability in the narrow northern waters. It can accelerate to more than 50 knots or about 90 km/h, in less than 30 seconds, and that gives an edge during high-speed pursuits.
13. Third, is the new 3rd Gen PJ Class Interceptors. These are used by PCG’s elite Special Task Squadron (STS). They deal with aggressive and fast-moving sea-borne threats. One of its new design features would be a telescopic mast, fitted with electro optic system to enhance surveillance and interdiction operations.
Leveraging Technology to Enhance Training
14. PCG has also been working with HTX to enhance its training facilities for the officers to train in a realistic & safe environment. For example, the Tactical Boat Handling and Firing Simulator, which was commissioned in 2020, aims to provide a realistic simulation of high-speed chases. The integrated eye tracking system helps trainers better understand behaviour of trainees when there are stressful scenarios, and that provides better feedback during training.
15. We are commissioning two new training facilities today.
16. First is the Underwater Egress Training Simulator. It replicates emergencies such as a boat capsize, and helps officers gain more confidence and execute emergency drills effectively.
17. Second, PCG has refurbished its Boarding and Search Trainer (BST). It is a tactical training facility resembling a merchant cargo vessel. The BST allows multiple groups of officers to undergo concurrent training, in search of vessels, tactical procedures, tactical firearms handling, and methods of entry.
18. And really, they will help our officers enhance their skills.
19. I want to conclude by saying this: Today, PCG’s capabilities get a significant upgrade, but it’s not just the hardware. I want to thank our men and women of the PCG. You are the central part of keeping us safe, and we thank you for your dedicated service.
20. Your work is not often visible to the public. You work quietly behind the scenes, off our shores, to safeguard our security, And we rely on the continued good work from all of you.
21. Thank you everyone.