Defence Science and Technology Agency

The Defence Science and Technology Agency (Abbreviation: DSTA; Chinese: 国防科技局) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Defence (Singapore) of the Singapore Government.

Defence Science and Technology Agency

Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) building located along Depot Road, Singapore
Agency overview
Formed15 March 2000 (2000-03-15)
Preceding agencies
  • Defence Technology Group
  • Systems and Computer Organisation
  • Defence Medical Research Institute, Defence Administration Group
JurisdictionGovernment of Singapore
Headquarters71 Science Park Drive Singapore 118253
Agency executives
  • MG(NS) Ng Chee Khern, Chairman
  • Mr Tan Peng Yam, Chief Executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Defence (Singapore)

DSTA is responsible for performing acquisitions management, systems management, systems development for the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces.


DSTA implements defence technology plans, acquires defence equipment and supplies, and develops defence infrastructure for the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).


DSTA was formed as a statutory board on 15 March 2000 by combining the Defence Technology Group from MINDEF with two other organisations, the Systems and Computer Organisation (SCO) and the Defence Medical Research Institute (DMRI) from the Defence Administration Group.[1]


DSTA shall harness and exploit science and technology, and provide technological and engineering support, to meet the defence and national security needs of Singapore.[2]


DSTA’s approach to developing and acquiring defence technology is guided by the following principles:

  • Buy off-the-shelf, wherever possible, to exploit market efficiency. Improve and upgrade equipment, where appropriate, to enhance operational performance.
  • Build up local defence technology capabilities in areas of strategic importance to Singapore.
  • Collaborate with local and international partners to augment indigenous technological capabilities.


Acquisition Management

DSTA manages the acquisition of platforms, weapon and sensor systems, command, control, communications and computer (C4) systems and building infrastructure for the SAF.

Systems Management

DSTA provides engineering support for defence systems in the SAF to maintain a high state of operational readiness. The responsibilities include managing systems maintenance, upgrades, life extensions and assurance of munitions safety.

Systems Development

DSTA develops command and control systems, information technology systems and protective infrastructure to meet strategic or the unique defence and security needs of Singapore.

DSTA Programme Centres

Programme centres are the principal line operating units in DSTA. They are responsible for managing and ensuring the effective delivery of various programmes within their specialised scope and area of focus. These programme centres are grouped according to capability or function and comprise integrated project management teams or project management teams. They are responsible for providing options, acquiring and integrating the most cost-effective technology and when necessary, developing systems for Singapore’s defence and national security needs. There are 14 programme centres within DSTA.

DSTA Masterplanning and Systems Architecting

To meet the challenges of a network-centric Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the DSTA Masterplanning and Systems Architecting (DMSA) Programme Centre is positioned to develop Systems Architectures that ensure coherence, fit and consistency across service domains, technical disciplines and different phases of system life cycles. DMSA adopts an architectural framework approach with Operations and Technologists to develop blueprints for systems acquisition and development. This ensures that systems fit and interoperate with other systems to realise complex system-of-systems capabilities.

Key Functions:

  • Work with planners in the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the SAF to carry out systems architecture studies for new and emergent capabilities
  • Synthesise and integrate capabilities of present and future systems within a coherent architecture of defence capabilities
  • Collaborate with other DSTA programme centres to develop blueprints and realise system of systems capabilities for MINDEF and the SAF

Programme Examples:

  • Operation analysis and optimisation
  • System of Systems realisation framework
  • MINDEF and SAF enterprise architecture development
  • Technology exploration and experimentation

Air Systems

The Air Systems Programme Centre works closely with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), and plays a key role in keeping the RSAF operationally ready. It is responsible for handling acquisition, systems integration and development, as well as upgrading air platforms. The work of the Programme Centre encompasses diverse air capabilities, including fighter jets, mission aircraft, transports, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Key Functions:

  • Conduct careful evaluation of systems through comprehensive market surveys
  • Adapt aircraft and weapon systems capabilities to meet specific operational requirements
  • Utilise the latest technologies to equip existing aircraft with sophisticated operational capabilities and to extend their operational lifespans
  • Develop organic and local industry capabilities to support newly deployed technologies and systems

Programme Examples:

The Naval Systems Programme Centre acquires and integrates advanced surface and underwater naval systems for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). This stretches across naval platforms such as frigates, missile corvettes, mine countermeasure vessels, patrol vessels, landing ship tanks, submarines and unmanned vehicles, and also encompasses naval weapons, sensors and communication systems.

Key Functions:

  • Acquire, develop and integrate naval and weapon systems to meet the RSN’s operational requirements
  • Provide expertise in the areas of naval engineering and systems integration
  • Conduct comprehensive market surveys
  • Guide the development of new naval capabilities by working closely with the Singapore Armed Forces to conduct systems architecting studies and develop engineering master plans

Programme Examples:

Land Systems

The Land Systems programme centre is responsible for the acquisition, development and integration of land platforms and systems such as tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, tactical vehicles, bridging equipment, soldier systems, guided weapons, and command, control, communication and sensor systems for the Singapore Army.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys to evaluate the most technologically competitive and cost-effective technologies to meet the Singapore Army’s platform and system-of-systems needs
  • Acquires and integrates land and weapon systems capabilities
  • Develops local capabilities for technologies that are commercially unavailable

Programme Examples:

Networked Systems

The Networked Systems programme centre is responsible for delivering programmes that allow the SAF to fight as a networked force. This is achieved by the integration of various off-the-shelf and developmental systems in C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) systems, simulation/instrumentation systems, sensor systems, air defence systems and Command and Control (C2) centres.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts comprehensive market surveys
  • Acquires and integrates air and coastal defence, as well as simulation and battlefield instrumentation
  • Provides engineering consultancy services in the areas of C2 systems, voice communication and systems integration
  • Provides technology advice and engineering support to MHA, Home Team, NSCC and other national security agencies on national security matters

Programme Examples:

  • Development of air defence with acquired sensors and weapons
  • Development and upgrading of air defence systems
  • Acquisition of SAF communication equipment
  • Development of Instrumented Battlefield
  • C2 systems for Home Team departments and Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) system for national security

C4I Development

The C4I Development programme centre exploits technologies to develop Command and Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) to enable the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) achieve a high state of situational awareness and operational effectiveness.

Key Functions:

  • Develops knowledge-based C4I systems covering strategic C2 systems, air and naval tactical C2 systems, communication systems, intelligence C2 systems, and modeling and simulation systems for the SAF to conduct a full spectrum of operations
  • Ensures inter-operability across the suite of C4I systems based on a common C4I system architecture
  • Develops prototypes in accordance with evolving operational requirements
  • Leverages modeling and simulation technologies for mission rehearsals, training, and experimentation of operational concepts

Programme Examples:

  • Development and integration of the Combat Management System on board the Formidable-class stealth frigates
  • Upgrading of the mission computer on board the E-2C Airborne Early Warning aircraft
  • Development of an Air Command and Control Hub to replace an ageing air traffic control system

Building and Infrastructure

The Building and Infrastructure Programme Centre plans and designs defence infrastructure for the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The Programme Centre also develops large-scale operational and administrative buildings, and conducts research on protective technology.

Key Functions:

  • Design and develop operational facilities and administrative buildings to support MINDEF and SAF operations
  • Research on, develop and apply protective concepts, technology to enhance the survivability of personnel, assets and critical operational functions
  • Plan land use, estate and facility management for MINDEF and SAF buildings and infrastructure

Programme Examples:

Systems Management

The Systems Management (SM) programme centre provides through-life systems management support for a wide spectrum of systems to MINDEF and the SAF. It is responsible for ensuring good system health, high availability and high serviceability of these systems and equipment.

Key Functions:

  • Performs maintenance, system and contract management for in-service systems
  • Provides engineering support and consultancy to ensure high system availability and serviceability
  • Manages system upgrades and system life extension programmes to prevent system obsolescence
  • Manages ammunition replenishment programmes
  • Provides maintenance management and upkeep of all MINDEF and SAF buildings and infrastructure

System Management engineers provide support that spreads over a diverse range of engineering disciplines and technologies. The system groups are:

  • Weapon and Sensor Systems
  • Armament Systems
  • Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Systems
  • IT and Infrastructure
  • Building and facility management

InfoComm Infrastructure

The InfoComm Infrastructure programme centre develops and manages secure integrated information infrastructure and mobility solutions for MINDEF and the SAF.

Key Functions:

  • Develops and manages the technical architecture for information infrastructure
  • Acquires, designs and integrates information infrastructure to meet enterprise and programme-specific requirements
  • Develops local capabilities for technologies that are not commercially available

Enterprise IT

The Enterprise IT programme centre is responsible for the acquisition, development and integration for various lines of businesses in MINDEF and the SAF. These areas range from logistics, finance, human resource, procurement, medical, training, to the management of ammunition, building and infrastructure.

Programme Examples:

  • MINDEF/SAF Enterprise System programme to deliver a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Joint and MINDEF
  • E-HR programme to support the planning and management of manpower within MINDEF and the SAF
  • Integrated Ammunition Management programme to oversee the management of ammunition throughout its life cycle
  • Mobilisation and Unit Management system from the activation to the in- and out-processing of NSmen at their units
  • Enterprise System for Innovation Learning and Knowledge (eSILK) to support a common electronic workspace across MINDEF/SAF from the exchange of ideas, collaboration, to the storage, retrieval and discovery of information
  • Learning Network (LEARNet) and Training management systems to support an effective approach to competency development and learning through the optimal use of available resources


The Procurement programme centre provides procurement and related services to achieve cost-effectiveness for the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, as well as for the public sector in Singapore. This programme centre guides users from DSTA, MINDEF/SAF and government agencies through the entire procurement process, ensuring fairness and transparency to maintain probity and public trust in government procurement procedures.

Key Functions:

  • Conducts sourcing, tendering, evaluation, contracting and contract management
  • Interacts with customers to provide better analysis and understanding of their requirements
  • Engages industries to better understand the market supply situation

Programme Examples:

  • Public-private partnerships (or PPP) contracting, such as the Basic Wings Course
  • Performance Based Contracting, such as Power by the Hour
  • Demand Aggregation and Reverse Auction (DARA) of commodity items
  • Period contract/ framework agreement/ basic ordering agreement for life cycle support of weapon systems
  • Integrated Workforce Concept, such as providing support for maintenance

DSTA Academy

DSTA Academy develops training programmes.

Key Functions:

  • Offer Milestone and Specialised courses for staff
  • Provide course participants with an immersive environment to learn about planning, designing and delivering to meet complex requirements in their work
  • Publish DSTA Horizons, a repository of DSTA’s diverse expertise in technology to raise awareness of the challenges in defence engineering
  • Provide print, multimedia and electronic information resources
  • Support DSTA’s project management teams through targeted reference and research services

Advanced Systems

The Advanced Systems programme centre acquires, develops and integrates communications systems, sensor solutions and guided weapons.


The Cybersecurity programme centre develops advanced cyber defence solutions to provide protection and detection, threat sensing and incident response, as well as security audit capabilities for MINDEF and the SAF.


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