The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is set to install a tethered aerostat platform in a military camp in early 2015, in a bid to improve air and maritime security in the country.
The platform will complement the RSAF’s existing suite of airborne and ground-based radars. it is also expected to save $29.2m a year when compared with other conventional means of maintaining continuous airborne radar coverage.
Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen highlighted the importance of continually seeking solutions to optimise resources and achieve better outcomes. He said this will make the SAF a more capable and effective force.
Referring to the evolving security challenges, Eng Hen said: "The only way MINDEF or the SAF can address these challenges adequately is when individuals within the organisation come up with good ideas.
"We need an effective early warning system from threats that can come by air or sea.
"Singapore is a small island, we are an air and sea hub and that potentially increases our threat. We have to take it seriously."
Equipped with radar systems, the new tethered aerostat technology will allow Singapore to bridge the gap in its defence capabilities and keep track of its airspace, as well as monitor sea borders.
The US Army currently uses a new Persistent Surveillance System (PSS) to protect the Afghan National Security Forces and International Security Assistance Forces at Camp Julien, Afghanistan.
In April 2013, World Surveillance Group (WSGI) handed over the first Blimp in a Box (BiB) aerostat system under contract to the US Department of Defense (DoD).
Image: Eng Hen giving a speech at the MINDEF PRIDE Day 2014 Awards Presentation Ceremony. Photo: courtesy of Government of Singapore.