The Royal Navy (RN) recently was recently caught with her pants down, when a Russian cruiser parked itself 30 nautical miles of the coast of Scotland, just days before Christmas. Despite having aircraft providing aerial reconnaissance on the vessel, RN deployed her Daring-Class Destroyer, HMS Defender from Portsmouth on a 600 miles journey north to ‘intercept’ the Russian ship. The cruiser patiently waited for 24 hours for the Defender to arrive before setting course back to the Baltic for exercise. This incident is a grim reminder of the cause and effect of recently cuts to the defense budget of UK, and with a shrinking fleet of only 19 surface combatants, RN is reported to ‘unable to defend Britain’. The Royal Navy, has lost its former glory during the Great British Empire.
A naval blockade similar to above can starve a island nation like Britain. Despite wars and conflicts are being won by air, naval ships are extremely instrumental during period of tension, and with its ability to carry out long missions, are excellent for show of presence and in a war of attrition.
Singapore can gain valuable lessons from the example above. As a maritime nation, the sea lanes are the lifelines to the state, and thus the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) not only have to possess sufficient and potent vessels, but the ability to run them as well.