Could Malaysian military conquer Fortress Singapore? (2020)


Singapore and Malaysia suddenly declare war
on each other. One side is a mini-fortress, a nation almost
rivaling Israel in militarization. The other is six times bigger when it comes
to population. But also six times poorer, per citizen. Leading to somewhat comparable ground troop
figures. Singapore has modern F15s and F16s, while
Malaysia uses older planes and has roughly about a third of Singapore’s numbers. But the Johor strait, separating the two,
is just a kilometer wide. So, who’d win? A message from Binkovs team first. We thoroughly revampt our patreon page so
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offers there is a link below this video in the description section. And now, Singapore versus Malaysia. The latter is a much bigger country. Singapore is very urbanized while Malaysia
is fairly empty for its size. Most of its territory is covered in rainforests. When the war starts, the active army will
be first on the line. Singapore uses conscripts, serving some two
years. The Malaysian army is a volunteer based service
with pay. Both sides are going to be considered equally
motivated. Singaporeans may enjoy more actual combat
exercises in a year while Malaysians may serve longer overall. Where the difference starts to be obvious
is the reserve system. Every Singaporean soldier has to be available
as a reservist for quite a few years, undergoing some annual training. That way, Singapore can count on 300 000 ground
troop reservists, when fully mobilized. Malaysia has a much smaller organized reserve
at 37 thousand, lacking money to ensure annual training and equipment for a larger force. And then there is the People’s volunteer
corps. A paramilitary organization numbering, on
paper, 3 million members. Though a tenth of those make up a more active
part of the force. The corps is an amalgam of a policing force
and neighborhood watch force and some 20 000 members have access to personal arms. Given the Jorah strait between the two nations,
it’s very unlikely the Malaysian edge in total manpower would help them out, as malaysia
could not flood Singapore with troops. Indeed, when it comes to the initial balance
of forces, Malaysia would have fewer soldiers present. While Singapore could press its entire force
of 12 active duty brigades into service within days, Malaysia would need days more to bring
most of its units to the frontline. Possibly over a week for certain far away
units with heavy equipment. And in a total war, Singapore would absolutely
have to go on an early offensive. Even though that means performing costly amphibious
assaults. The Reasons will be discussed later. The Jorah strait is quite narrow, but wide
enough to make amphibious crossings quite difficult. There IS a bridge and a causeway between the
two countries, but those would be destroyed within hours of the start of the war, helping
neither side. Provided Malaysian special forces react decisively
enough to demolish those. The Causeway would of course likely remain
as a narrow, cratered embankment littered with rocks sticking out. But unpassable for vehicles, when under fire. Most of the Strait is fairly deep, enough
so non-amphibious vehicles could not cross it on their own. Aside from the causeway remains, the width
of the strait makes it hard to perform meaningful crossings except by boats and helicopters. And the urban surroundings of the strait banks
make it easy for the defender to hide various anti tank, anti aircraft missiles, machine
guns, et cetera. So any sort of Singaporean force coming in
by small boats or helicopters could be kept in check with quite a small Malaysian force. Singapore does have larger landing ships,
which malaysia lacks, but using them in the strait itself would be suicide. They’d get damaged in no time, as they’re
too big and too slow. What Singapore would likely do is land a force
a bit away from the urban centres. It could try to build that force up and then
try to cut off those urban centres from the north. In addition to their ships, a lot of Singaporean
vehicles are amphibious. So crossing 10 kilometers on their own, if
the weather permits, would also be plausible. Going the eastern route would be harder. As the Johor river estuary is quite wide there
and would need to be bypassed, by going farther north. The Western route is both closer and the flat
lands are good for the greater speed of Singaporean superior combat vehicles. Singapore could start landing some of their
heavier forces within a day or two. Possibly landing a few thousand troops per
day by ships, augmenting the few thousand troops going over in their amphibious vehicles. And adding several hundred troops per wave
with their helicopters. With possibly several waves per day. Choosing the farther away point to land also
protects their helicopters to an extent, as the flat lands mean malaysia could not hide
their anti air systems. Malaysia lacks longer ranged sam systems so
a 5 kilometer buffer zone might be enough to protect most helicopters. All those ops would need protection from the
air and from the sea. Singapore is more potent in the air. Their F-15s are over twice as numerous as
Malaysian Sukhois. And somewhat more modern. Their F-16s are again more numerous and more
capable than smaller Malaysian jets, except for Malaysian F-18s. One should keep in mind that Singapore is
a tiny country. 50 kilometers long, half as much wide. While Malaysia is a sprawling nation, settled
on two separate large landmasses. Furthermore, Malaysian planes would need to
cross a greater distance to get to the frontline. Which means less time in combat at the frontline. To make things worse for the Malaysians, Singaporean
air defenses are fairly robust. Shown here are only non shoulder launched
class weapons. Malaysia also lacks aerial radar platforms,
while Singapore has four israeli sourced ones. It is likely that most of the Singaporean
strikes would not even be tracked in time nor intercepted. More so because Singapore’s planes do have
a fair stand off capability and even their basic bombs like JDAMs outrange the Rapier
air defense system. However, there are two issues that would level
the playing field eventually. The smaller issue for Singapore is the fact
some of its aircraft are not based in Singapore. Some F-15s and F-16s, as well as some apache
helicopters, are always based in the US, as Singapore trains their new pilots abroad. Furthermore, more basic training planes, are
all based in france or australia. Trainer planes could be used in light attack
roles, in a dire situation. The Table shown gives the total of planes
inside their countries. Of course, those overseas planes WOULD eventually
be brought in as reinforcements. The second issue would be malysian artillery. Singapore is so tiny that its airbases and
airports are very much exposed to artillery fire. The distances involved means that even 81
millimeter mortar fire could endanger air ops on some of the locations shown. Locating and neutralizing mortars in urban
surroundings across the strait would be hard for Singapore. And with longer reach systems which could
be located farther away, it’d get even harder. Shutting down those Singaporean airbases would
be of utmost importance for malaysia. But there’d be issues with that. Malaysian artillery forces aren’t THAT numerous. And they’re not all located near Singapore. So days would be needed to bring most of them
in range. While most of those systems do have ample
range and could fire from way back, enjoying some protection from Singapore’s UAVs and
counter battery fire hunting them – firing from far away has a crucial drawback.. The farther away a gun is, the greater the
dispersion pattern will be on the target.. Typically the dispersion rate for a 155 millimeter
howitzer is some point three to point five percent in range. Now let’s take a look at one of the main
airbases in Singapore. It has multiple runways, including the possibility
of using the nearby highway. F15s and F16s do need to take off and land
in order to maintain their ops. There’d be two threats to them. One would be craters on the runways, made
by Malaysian artillery. Those craters would likely be a few meters
wide. So, a single crater may not impede ops. But Malaysians shooting at three areas per
runway, to cut it up into unusable runway lengths, could severely impede air ops. With artillery round dispersion, however,
perhaps dozens of shots would be needed to make enough craters to neutralize those areas. With multiple areas per runway and multiple
runways, neutralizing the shown base may require hundreds, perhaps close to 500 artillery rounds. If the Malaysians manage to get 50 percent
of all their artillery in position to fire, for which they certainly would need days,
they may damage enough of the 5 runways at Tengah airbase in less than a minute. Ten more minutes may be needed to neutralize
all the other runways at other bases or airports. Singapore would surely have planes in the
air, trying to intercept the incoming artillery on roads and to suppress the artillery fire
once it starts. Even at the cost of those planes not having
a working runway to land on, when out of fuel. Counter battery fire from Singapore’s own
artillery would also be an issue. Radars could track incoming Malaysian fire
and determine the position of Malaysian artillery. UAVs could help spot the location of a battery
firing as well, probably being outside the reach of Malaysian air defenses. And Singapore has dozens of counter battery
radars, seemingly procured because of that very Malaysian potential threat. So it’s questionable how long a Malaysian
artillery battery could survive after opening fire. It may need to relocate after just a few shots
in order to survive, which would limit its overall rate of fire. The damaged runways could be repaired, of
course. It might take hours to a day to get the runway
back on track. If there’s no further artillery fire, of
course. The other threat would be shrapnel. Even if a projectile misses the runway, fragments
may injure the repair crews or damage the equipment, including planes on the ground. It is thus evident the Singaporean air force
would still be severely impacted. The Malaysian air force would have it just
as hard, though. The sheer technological and firepower edge
of Singapore’s air defenses and interceptors would make malaysia lose some planes on every
mission. The issue of a very shallow strategic depth
would impact all of Singapore’s forces, though. Air defense systems would be targeted more
easily as well as artillery batteries and naval ports. Certain areas are merely a dozen kilometers
away, over the sea. Visual surveillance and re-targeting could
be performed. Mount Pulai, 40 kilometers away from the center
of Singapore, would be very useful as a vantage point for surveillance and targeting. Both sides would be using various highrise
buildings and skyscrapers to help monitor the other side. THAT’s how close the two belligerents would
be. As malaysia brings in more troops and more
artillery, Singapore would find it harder to use their edge in the sky. Singapore’s own troops coming in from the
west would be of utmost importance, to completely negate Malaysian artillery. Within a week, Singapore might count on over
10 thousand strong force there. More would have had landed but some would
had died and, as the days go on, supplies would take up most of the Singaporean transport
capacity, instead of bringing in additional troops. Added pressure from attacking over the strait
itself would continue, just to help tie up some of the Malaysian forces. Even if it meant Singapore would lose more
troops. Keeping that western flank supplied via the
sea would be crucial. So navies would come into play. The two navies are roughly equal in numbers. Singapore has more subs, but they’re older
and smaller than Malaysian ones. Two Singaporean subs do feature air independent
propulsion, making them very quiet. The Mainstay of Singapore’s fleet are its
Formidable class small frigates, featuring Aster air defense missiles. Malaysia has no similar ship in service, though
it may expedite the commissioning of its first modern frigate. Malaysia does have four older corvette sized
ships, while Singapore has some large patrol ships without antiship missiles, but with
some vessels having anti air defenses. It is Important to note, Singaporean assets
are all right there. For better or worse. While Malaysia would need time to assemble
their fleet in one place. And due to the geography and Singapore in
the way, it’s unlikely Malaysia would ever get to combine their ships in one fleet. Submarines would be perhaps the most lethal
assets both sides would have, but given the number of civilian ships from various countries
going through the strait, it’d be very hard to shoot indiscriminately. Crucially, Malaysian subs are based on borneo. So they’d be unlikely to fight their way
through the strait and endanger the Singaporean resupply of their forces on the continent. The Malaysian navy would find it hard to get
close to Singapore and survive, as it’s not equipped for going on the offensive against
a high tech opponent. Singapore would have the added benefit of
using dedicated attack helicopters, which Malaysia lacks. Those COULD aid in the hunt for Malaysian
artillery, but would be very susceptible to shoulder launched anti air missiles. Battles on the continent would get bigger
as both sides bring in more troops. Singapore would likely use various civilian
ferries to help speed up the process. And try hard to broaden the front up north. Singapore would very likely maintain its numerical
superiority for some time. It could mobilize a large part of its 300
000 strong army reserve force within weeks. Even if malaysia mobilizes its entire organized
reserve and sends all of its forces to the front, It’s likely that the overall balance
of forces would be in Singapore’s favor during the opening weeks. And Singapore has better equipment. Tanks could be used for indirect fire, as
an addition to artillery. Which might be more worrisome for Singapore
and their lack of strategic depth. If malaysia could spare some for that role,
instead of defending from the incoming western hook. Then again, the precision of such systems
would be poor. They’re not really designed for indirect
fire. The disparity in various other combat asset
numbers would help keep Singapore on the offensive, slowly pressuring the northern front. So a lot of the Malaysian artillery, that
could otherwise be striking the city of Singapore, would be tied helping defending the homeland. The war would turn into a stalemate at a certain
point. Singapore would eventually hit the very dense
urban centres where their heavy equipment edge would matter less. And their progress would come to a crawl. At the same time, Malaysia would be throwing
in freshly mobilized civilians into the grinder, even if they had just a month of basic training,
closing the numbers gap. Most of the Malaysian artillery and tanks
would be destroyed by then. And their air force would be decimated in
attempts to bomb crucial targets in Singapore. But the city of Singapore would suffer as
well, as its small size would inevitably lead to various important targets being destroyed. Such as radars, planes, ships in ports et
cetera. But perhaps the biggest blow Singapore would
take would be one to its economy and the availability of basic resources, as Malaysians would keep
striking at various infrastructure all over the city. Singapore, being a small city state, is extremely
vulnerable there. Let’s take water for example. Singapore uses close to 500 million gallons
of drinking water per day. To get it, it uses various desalinisation
and purification plants, which would be under constant fire. Water wouldn’t be the only problem. 90 percent of the food in Singapore is imported. Most of its rice, a mainstay of their diet,
is imported. Foreign shipping companies might not risk
going into a warzone. Their ships might get shelled while in port
in Singapore. Various oil and gas tankers and sprawling
plants on the land might be other targets of choice for the sporadic artillery barrage. Singapore imports oil and gas. Most of the gas goes in through undersea pipelines
from indonesia. It’s questionable if the Malaysian navy
could fight its way to sever all of those. And keep them severed after repairs. Of course, just a single successful air strike
on those oil and gas installations might destroy a lot of Singapore’s capacity. Impacting both their industry, army and economy. Sporadic artillery shelling would also likely
do damage over time. Perhaps the single biggest risk for Singapore
would be losing its power plants. When one looks at where they’re located,
Singapore’s push via the western shore of the peninsula makes even better sense as it
would make those power plants harder to reach. Without electricity pretty much all industry
would stop. Which is why Singapore would absolutely go
on the offensive in the first place. So while all the targets mentioned WOULD get
targeted by malaysia, they might not suffer as heavy of a blow as in the situation where
Singapore would have taken a purely defensive stance. Because, given enough time, the Singaporean
economy and its industrial capacity would in such a case be slowly whittled down to
nothing by the Malaysian bombardment. Even with the offensive, Singapore’s economy
would likely get halved very quickly. Many would lack access to enough food and
water. Doing business with Singapore during a war
would be very hard. And most of its economy depends on international
contracts, not domestic consumption. Furthermore, pushing onward with an oversea
invasion and then into urban centres, Singapore would likely keep suffering a worse kill ratio
than malaysia. But in pushing through with that invasion,
Singapore would in fact save itself in the long run. Eventually Malaysia would run out of big artillery
pieces and airplanes, and Singapore would succeed in creating a large enough buffer
zone so various mortars or even crude made multiple rocket launchers could not reach
the city. So the key infrastructure of the city would
get rebuilt. Malaysia has but a token domestic defense
industry so it’d have to get new arms from abroad, which both takes a year or more for
larger items and costs a lot. Singapore would declare itself a winner, holding
some of Malaysian territory, it would destroy most of Malaysian heavy equipment even at
the cost of a few times more dead compared to its opponent. Of course those lopsided casualties combined
with far smaller population could in a multi year long war lead to eventual Malaysian victory. Ou, and before you go think about subscribing
if you like my content. If you want to be notified of my upcoming
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100 thoughts on “Could Malaysian military conquer Fortress Singapore? (2020)

  1. A lot of you are probably watching this channel for the first time and talk about how implausible this scenario is, about how 'my country would totally level your country' and other varying levels of patriotic chest thumping. I can mostly agree with you, but the videos here always carry the implied disclaimer (though Binkov doesn't always make this explicit) that, unless explicitly stated:

    – Alliances of any kind are ignored
    – Troop morale is ignored
    – History, internal politics and overall geopolitics is also ignored

    These are all just purely speculational and do not in any way reflect the channel's views or politics.

  2. 1.40 in and you know you're dealing with an imbecile. "….both sides would be equally motivated…." NO, NO, NO, they bloody wouldn't. One side would be made up of a polymorphous bunch of Dad's Army types, the other would be folks with the very existence of their state on their shoulders. One might also add that one of these potential protagonists has a national survival strategy, and the other decidedly doesn't, and has instead limped from crisis to crisis since independence from Britain.

  3. Imagine if Malaysia successfully conquered Singapore… And then kick them out again for 2nd time just for the lols xD

  4. Hey binkov? How about all weapons axis made vs all weapons allies made in ww2 vs in one big battle? Or maybe one battle for each theatre?

  5. ive been analyzing singapore since i live here and i was thinking about hey what if china went to war with us?

    Singapore has massive underground tunnels, every building is a fortress, every man, and many women, has shot a gun. i came to the conclusion, if CHINA. this is the army with 6 million active personnel. if china. went to war with us, they would loose at least half active duty frontline troops trying to take the island. Singapore cannot win a war with a larger country, but it will make any country pay dearly for it. most countries cant win a war with Singapore either, anyways. war is too costly.

  6. Yeah in the event of a war neither side would really win. Singapore would most likely win in the short term with superior equipment and being able to mobilise most of its forces quickly (unless it was a preemptive strike by Malaysia taking Singapore by surprise) whereas Malaysia's forces are spread out. Singapore won't be able to actually hold and secure that much land taken from Malaysia and it would end in a stalemate with Singapore holding a buffer zone to protect the main city-state while Malaysia taking a major blow to its forces from the initial attack and unable to (immediately) push Singapore back. With the trade route cut off for being a war zone both Singapore and Malaysia would take a huge blow to their economies (Singapore even more so).

    Instead what would most likely happen is that both Singapore and Malaysia would become the playground for other major countries to step in and take advantage with the justification of their trade being affected (the Malacca Strait) and both Malaysia and Singapore would lose even more (for example China would likely seize the opportunity to intervene and then the US would also step in to counter China and so on.). So yeah, war between Malaysia and Singapore is highly unlikely and stupid and both sides would take every measure to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  7. Lol I Could See Only 1 Reason Why Malaysia Would Declare War On Singapore

    1. Singapore Claim Nasi Lemak As Their National Dishes

  8. Some other metrics to add in your scenarios at the end as random real world values:
    Internal stability – a country with internal strife and possible ethnic tension may not be able to deploy all it's forces, and if the outside opponent plays it smart or actually has a connection to the maligned and subservient ethnic group they may well turn on the ruling party, or at least sit this one out.
    And even if the enemy doesn't entice your dissidents to rebel, they may still decide to do so anyway, or you have to keep troops stationed there just in case.
    And finally, other external threats: is there another nearby nation and historical enemy that will require a portion of your military to be stationed in your boarder to make sure they don't try and take advantage of the distraction.

    These could both be featured after the conclusion, as real world variables that would affect the outcome.

  9. Hi! Could you to make a simulation between Brazil and Venezuela in an eventually conflict? Without direct assistance USA or Russia or China… thanks!

  10. Seriously underestimated the number of Singapore Defence, you forgot about all the maids, the maids are to carry the Singaporean army soldiers kit, can you imagine arming those maids they are dangerous enough with a mop

  11. this is impossible for many many reasons

    1.) both nations rely heavily on each other in both economic terms
    2.) theres no logical nor militaristic reasons or benefits for malaysia to conquer singapore

  12. Malaysia vs. Indonesia next time please. Wealthier country per capita with smaller population and area vs. poorer country per capita with much larger population and area.

  13. i wonder what would be the main reason for malay engaging war against singapore, singapore great economy the main envy of SEA is because their people is great at economy thing, not because of its resources.

  14. Also why the fuck does Singapore have a fairly OP military for its size? It's not like it's even large enough to host rebel groups which most ASEAN countries are stricken with.

  15. SG air force ops LIKELY have contingencies for their runways. I suspect they have runways that can launch and land fighters from underground.

  16. The presentation of this battle is amazing. Data for the Singaporean forces and probable actions by them do make sense. However, the start of this conflict seems off. As you mentioned that Malaysia would be offensive to take control Singapore, but the simulation shows that Malaysia was not even ready to begin with all their troops were not even positioned for offensive operation prior to the operation.

    If Malaysia was planning to take Singapore, wouldn't the simulation should start with Malaysian troops and assets well positioned in offensive manner as necessary? Anyway, the video is great 🙂

  17. Us Singaporeans maybe strong. But at the cause of innocent young men.
    Conscripted to fight the cause.

    War will never be an option for us.

  18. https://seasia.co/2018/05/04/latest-southeast-asian-countries-military-expenditure this should explain why Singapore has so much tech in its military. Singapore uses 3.3% of it's GDP in its military. That's bigger than the USAs (of course not as big considering the population difference) and is the largest military spender in South East Asia

  19. You should do military advice columns for various militaries, showing in the scenerio what they should've procured and the best options to strengthen their forces on a bang for buck measure.
    For example here the best option for Malaysia is to purchase a lot of SAAB Gripen's perhaps from Brazil? As they would greatly increase their Airforce capabilities at little cost, including running cost, plus they have great logistics being able to take off from roads. And they use the same engine as a FA/18 so the engineering and training for service and upkeep already exist in Malaysia.
    Add a couple of SAAB AWACs aircraft as well and you've got a complete system.
    Maybe some Russian SAM batteries as well.

    And if they want to get some big ticket items the Swedes once again – do a great submarine that's very stealthy and could take out the Singaporean Navy.
    As for artillery, there are shoot and scoot systems that are very accurate and can lay down a barrage and then be moving before counterfire is even fired, and they can use GPS guided rocket boosted shells for long range accuracy.

    As for the Singaporeans, the same increases in airforce, although it may be logistically more sensible to just get more F-15's and F-16's, perhaps the latest models (and get their current fleet upgraded) rather than invest in a whole new aircraft type and all the ancillary cost and set up.
    The F-15X with its massive missile load is a good option, as it can devastate enemy concentrations since it is a missile truck. In addition a lot of ordinance for the Jets, including stand off weapons.

    As well a small spotter and recon drone fleet designed for low observability, and some long range radar systems, including SLAR to peer into the jungle.
    Maybe even a high altitude spy plane or if possible, a satellite.

    A few cruise missiles to hit important Malaysian targets at range, including staging post and govt faculties. To keep them on edge at the far side of the country.

    As for the Navy, go for Air warfare Destroyers and frigates, they can back up local air defenses, including for amphibious forces, and they can travel up the coast raising hell, especially once Malaysia's sub fleet has been neutralized.

    And instead of extra tanks, mobile artillery and MLRS that are designed for quick counterfire, to destroy Malaysian artillery, and local Malaysian facilities and infrastructure.

    It'd be interesting to see a price breakdown on the best way to increase their military effectiveness with the least expense and procurement time.

  20. the editing on this video threw me of sometimes, SP flag for Malaysia, units and equipment thrown together. liked it nonetheless

  21. Please do USA (and their many allies) vs the barefoot but mighty warriors of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Explain how America gets their butts kicked in that one.

  22. The easiest way for malaysia to invade singapore is to do a seige/blockade..hence i get u that singapore will do an early offensive. Well its a known secret when that scenario happens,The malaysian armed forces will not meet singapore armed force in the south.. The units in the south will retreat,set traps on the retreat,gureilla warfare,basically wear out singapore marching north to the capital.. the malaysian armed force will regroup somewhere north..By then,it will be a level playing field.

    Ps,a war between singapore and malaysia,u can't account 300,000 singapore reservist…more than half of the reservist will not take up arms with malaysia due to family ties,close neighbors,same culture,same people,etc..So all in all,a 1 vs 1 between them is actually 50-50 chances…what will be the deciding factor is which ally are call to enter war on each other behalf..

    ~There is no winner in a war,only losers

  23. those 1vs1 are good, but can you do more vids which are longer and more complex, and perhaps like more what could be best strategy to destroy enemies whole economics

  24. Singapore war? Hahaha their troops cant stand againts thick malaysia jungle. Even commandos sg cant compare to malay army. Just city boy ah boyy ley?

  25. Malaysian will demolish Singapore in a day, most Singaporean soldiers are gay, where as the Malaysian are made up of jihadist 😁

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