The Army Battlefield Internet (ABI) enhanced by the Software Defined Radio (SDR) was commissioned on 4 March 2016 by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen.

Jointly developed by DSTA and the Army, the enhanced ABI is designed to increase connectivity between the commanders and the fighting forces. The SDR allows soldiers on the ground to communicate directly through a pervasive and higher bandwidth battlefield network with the headquarters. This allows richer and informative exchange of voice and text messages as well as images.

The SDR also improves the situational awareness of commanders in the battlefield, facilitating quicker decision-making at the headquarters, further boosting the Army’s command and control capabilities.

In his speech, Dr Ng highlighted that the commissioning of the ABI is a significant milestone. He said: “With the SDR, the tracking of our forces and marking of enemy targets and positions will be embedded within the images and videos that can be shared among commanders and ground troops.”

He lauded the Defence Technology Community that had delivered the enhanced ABI: “I would like to congratulate all those who have made the Army Battlefield Internet a reality, especially the hardworking and innovation defence engineers and scientists who took an off-the-shelf product and customised it to meet our requirements.”

DSTA is the programme manager and systems integrator for the enhanced ABI. Head Capability Development (Advanced Systems) Ng Kok Keng shared how the team leveraged smart software coding to extend the range of connectivity and operational radius of the SDR.

Recounting how the team persevered to deliver this capability to the SAF, he said: “It was no easy feat and we have come a long way. We needed a bunch of resilient people who were passionate in delivering cutting-edge systems to the SAF. I certainly feel proud of our achievements. We can tell our future soldiers that the SDR is a new generation capability that you can bring with you to the battlefield.”