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The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), together with Tentera Nasional Indonesia (TNI), Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) and the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF), participated in the inaugural Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP) Information Sharing Exercise, held at the Information Fusion Centre in Tuas Naval Base. The two-day exercise validated and strengthened the information-sharing linkages for maritime security amongst the four countries.
The MSP Information Sharing Exercise employed the latest Internet-based MSP Information System (MSP-IS) developed by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). The MSP-IS aggregates shipping databases and relevant real-time maritime information to improve coordination and overall awareness of the situation at sea, to enable timely responses to maritime incidents in the Malacca Strait.
The exercise is part of the Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP) initiative which comprises the Malacca Strait Sea Patrol (MSSP), the “Eyes-in-the-Sky” (EiS) air patrols as well as the Intelligence Exchange Group (IEG). These make up a set of practical co-operative measures which had been effective in enhancing the security of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
CAPT Paladej Chareonpool (RTARF) , RADM Dato’Jamil Bin Osman (MAF), RADM Tay Kian Seng (RSN) and Air First Marshal Bonggas Somoring Sailaen (TNI) at the Inaugural Malacca Strait Patrols Information Sharing Exercise.
Factsheet: Malacca Strait Patrols Information System
The launch and operational use of the Malacca Strait Patrols Information System or MSP-IS demonstrates the resolve of the states to meet the security requirements of the Malacca Strait in a co-operative and committed manner. The system serves to enhance the situation awareness of Malacca Strait and its approaches. With the MSP-IS, air and sea assets deployed on scene can quickly pass information of an unfolding incident to all Monitoring and Action Agencies (MAA) on a real-time basis. This will enhance the shared situation awareness and facilitate co-ordination in term of responses.
The MSP-IS was set up in November 2006 for trial operations. Since then, the MAAs have been accessing it on a regular basis to share maritime information.
The MSP-IS has recently been enhanced with two new features – namely an Open and Analysed Shipping Information System (OASIS) and a Sense-Making Analysis and Research Tool (SMART).
Open and Analysed Shipping Information System (OASIS)
The Open and Analysed Shipping Info-System or OASIS, provides a near real-time Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP) and a database of sea going vessels, with a listing of more than 150,000 vessels presently. OASIS thus provides MSP IS users with enhanced regional maritime awareness. It is capable of displaying both real-time and historical trend data in a common maritime picture.
Sense-Making Analysis and Research Tool (SMART)
The Sense-Making Analysis and Research Tool, or SMART complements the OASIS database. SMART can also be used to detect anomalous behavior of ships transiting in the region and provide early warning to the MAA to cue operational responses where necessary. SMART is a platform that promotes collaboration among the participating states in sense-making to detect any weak signal and through further sharing of related information to finally detect the real threat to regional maritime security.
Factsheet: Milestones of Malacca Strait Patrols
The Malacca Strait is a critical and strategic waterway in the global trading system. It carries more than one fourth of the world’s commerce and half the world’s oil. The security of the Strait is important for the countries in the region as well as the international community.
The security of the Malacca Strait cannot be tackled by any single country alone. The littoral states, user states and the international community need to co-operate and work together to ensure security and safety for all legitimate users. The Malacca Strait Patrols or MSP, which comprises the Malacca Strait Sea Patrol (MSSP), the “Eyes-in-the-Sky” (EiS) air patrols as well as the Intelligence Exchange Group (IEG), is a concrete set of practical co-operative measures undertaken by the littoral states to ensure the security of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
With the implementation of the MSP, the overall security situation in the Malacca Strait has improved. The number of piracy incidents has declined in the last few years from a high of 38 in 2004, 11 in 2006, and 7 last year. Since August 2006, Lloyd’s Joint War Risk Committee has dropped the classification of the Malacca Strait as a war-risk area.
Malacca Strait Sea Patrol (MSSP)
To enhance security in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore as well as to bolster existing bilateral arrangements, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore launched the trilateral Malacca Strait Sea Patrol in July 2004. Under this arrangement, the participating states conduct co-ordinated patrols while facilitating the sharing of information between ships and the Monitoring and Action Agency (MAA).
To reinforce the efforts of the sea patrols with air surveillance, the “Eyes-in-the-Sky” or EiS initiative was launched in September 2005. The initiative provides combined and co-ordinated aerial surveillance over the straits using maritime patrol aircraft of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
MSP Intelligence Exchange Group
An MSP Intelligence Exchange Group (IEG) was formed among the three participating states in 2006 to support the sea and air patrols, leading to the development of an information sharing platform called the Malacca Strait Patrols Information System or MSP-IS.
Source: Singapore`s Mindef