Singapore Boosts Air Defense with MBDA Missiles and Thales Radars

 - February 14, 2014, 5:35 AM
The Republic of Singapore Air Force had a development version of the Shikra radar on display at the Singapore Airshow.

Singapore is buying Thales Raytheon Systems GroundMaster 200 radars, adding to an already-extensive ground-based air defense (GBAD) line-up of systems. A development radar, mounted on a Man 8 x 8 truck, was on display in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) static display at the Singapore Airshow this week. The nearby RSAF pavilion contained graphics that confirmed the island state’s purchase of MBDA Aster 30 air defense missiles.

The RSAF has renamed the GroundMaster 200 the Shikra radar, after a local bird of prey. The name is also an acronym for System for Hybrid Interceptor and Knowledge of Recognized Air. The Thales product is a medium-range 3-D radar operating in S-band that provides accurate detection of targets from very low to high altitude. The fully-digital sold-state multibeam system has two operator positions.

The Aster 30 buy, which Singapore announced last September, is the first export deal for this land-based version, although seven countries have bought the ship-based version. These include Singapore, which has installed Aster 15s on its frigates. In Europe, the Aster 30 forms part of the SAMP/T air and missile defense system produced by the Eurosam consortium. AIN understands that Singapore is not buying the radars and C2 systems that also comprise SAMP/T. Instead, it will integrate the missiles into its own air defense radar and C2 architecture.