Singapore is acquiring an advanced European air defense system as a replacement for its aging U.S.-made Hawk surface-to-air batteries, according to Defense News.
The ASTER-30 Surface-to-Air Missile System, manufactured by MBDA, will allow the city-state to counter multiple threats from fighter jets, helicopters, drones and precision guided missiles, the report said. The cost of the system or when Singapore will make the acquisition wasn’t mentioned.
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 current US-made I-Hawk system has a maximum effective range of 40 kilometers.
The tiny island-republic — which is about 42 kilometers in length and 23 kilometers in breadth — also has a shorter range “SPYDER” ground-based air defense system with a range of 15 kilometers.
Singapore is looking to upgrade its F-16 fighter jet fleet to “modernize their avionics and extend their lifespan”, the report added. The defense ministry was still evaluating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a possible replacement for its older warplanes.