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05:47 PM, March 8, 2018
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Singapore Deploys ASTER-30 Surface-to-Air Missile Defense System

Singapore has deployed the ASTER-30 Surface-to-Air Missile System, manufactured by MBDA, ordered under a contract signed in 2013.

According to Defense Aerospace, Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed the delivery of the system in a speech to Parliament’s defense committee on March 2. This marks the first time a non-European nation has deployed the ground-launched version of the Aster medium-range missile.

“Our skies will be better protected with advanced weapon systems,” Ng said on March 2, adding that “We also recently added the ASTER-30 surface-to-air missile system.” The Aster 30 is also included in an infographic illustrating the most capable in-service weapon systems.

The ASTER-30 will allow the city-state to counter multiple threats from fighter jets, helicopters, drones and precision guided missiles, according to the contract.

The ASTER-30 system, used by countries like France and Italy, is expected to provide the city-state with an anti-missile and anti-aircraft range of up to 70 kilometers (43.5 miles).

“The ASTER will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance. It will complement the [Israel Aerospace Industries] SPYDER, which we have already operationalised - it is a mobile, shorter-range, quick reaction ground-based air defence system - and together, they will provide a layered air defence shield,” Ng Eng Hen had said during the deal announcement in September 2013.

Although the Aster 30 was only recently delivered, it would likely already be part of the Air Force Island Air Defense (IAD) system of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

The IAD network, covering the whole of Singapore (42 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide), connects all RSAF weapons and air defense sensors, including fighters, air-to-surface systems and radar.

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