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Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 7:41:13 AM
THE Singapore Armed Forces will buy a new Aster-30 surface-to-air missile system, to boost Singapore’s air defence shield.
Announcing the acquisition yesterday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the advanced military forces in France and Italy already use the new system.
It is “many times more potent” than the current I-Hawk ground-based air defence system.
“The Aster will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance,” Ng told the Parliament.
He added that the new sys-tem will complement a mobile and shorter-range ground-based air defence system known as Spyder.
He was responding to Nee Soon GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak on the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) operational readiness with the planned relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase to Changi East at around 2030.
Dr Ng did not say how much the move, which was announced last month, would cost.
The RSAF is also looking to upgrade its fighter fleet, such as modernising the avionics system and extending the lifespan of the F-16s.
The advanced capabilities being built up gave Mindef and SAF the confidence to move Paya Lebar Airbase.
This was following a 2011 study of capabilities and security threats for the long term, Ng said.
“We satisfied ourselves that our security would not be compromised.
“The relocation of PLAB could take place after existing airbases at Changi East and Tengah have been expanded to accommodate relocated assets and facilities,” he said.
He added that the move will be costly.
However, it will yield “billions of dollars’ worth of positive returns to the people in Singapore” in terms of land released for de-velopment and the removal of height restrictions in the area. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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SAF to buy Aster-30 surface-to-air missile system
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