On 17 May 2017, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Singapore Armed Forces, visited the Explosive Testing of Structural Components (ETSC) 2017 at Pulau Senang and witnessed a large-scale blast test conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). The test was performed to assess and collect data on the effectiveness of fibre-reinforced polymer in enhancing the resiliency and protection of structures against weapons and explosive threats. At the visit, Dr Ng was also briefed on the performance of steel jackets in reinforcing concrete columns against improvised explosive devices (IED), as well as new design concepts for more efficient storage of ammunition.

ETSC 2017, conducted from 15 to 27 May, tests and validates indigenous capabilities in protective technologies developed by DSTA to support the design and development of mission-critical infrastructures against a spectrum of threats. These test results and data are used for modelling and simulation to carry out vulnerability assessments of complex scenarios.

Leading up to the ETSC 2017, DSTA collaborated with research agencies in Norway, Sweden and US to conduct various large-scale trials to support the local development of protective technologies for counter-terrorism and ammunition storage.

Defence engineers from DSTA also collaborate with local government agencies, such as the Ministry of Home Affairs, and local research institutions. Engineers from DSTA also work with the Protective Technology Centres at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University to develop simulation models that are able to provide researchers accurate predictions of weapon effects on buildings and critical assets.

Lee Eng Hua, Director of DSTA's Building and Infrastructure Programme Centre said, "Over the years, we have built up our capabilities in protective engineering. Large-scale explosive testing is an important part of this build up. We have progressed to developing and validating new protection concepts, as well as developing and calibrating advanced numerical models to predict the response of buildings to weapon effects. With the models, we are able to predict vulnerabilities of buildings and critical assets more accurately and efficiently. The models also allow us to evaluate a wider range of scenarios, while reducing the frequency of explosive tests."

Since 1994, the ETSC has served as a platform for the large-scale testing of DSTA's research and technology programmes in protective engineering. With the rising threat of terrorism, DSTA has also contributed its experience and expertise to the effort in implementing protection measures for Singapore.