Singapore

New missile system to be displayed at NDP

Singapore's skies will soon be defended by a surface-to-air missile system that will be much more effective and require 90 per cent less manpower.

The Aster-30 missile system is now being prepared for deployment, though no official date has been fixed yet.

It will make its first public appearance at the National Day Parade on Friday as part of the mobile column.

At a media briefing last Saturday, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) mobile column packet team leader, Second Warrant Officer Eu Wei Lek, said the system's public debut shows the RSAF's readiness and capability to defend the nation.

"It is not an asset that can be deployed every day for public viewing. So, through this mobile column, I really feel very proud to showcase the assets that we have," he said.

The Aster is part of the RSAF's ongoing efforts to enhance its integrated air defence system. Singapore took its first delivery of the French-made Aster last year.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced the system's purchase in 2013.

He said then that advanced militaries in France and Italy use the Aster, which is "many times more potent" than Singapore's current I-Hawk ground-based air defence system.

Mr Ng said then that the system would allow Singapore to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance, as well as complement a mobile and shorter-range ground-based air defence system known as Spyder.

Members of the public interested in viewing the Aster and other mobile defence systems outside the National Day Parade will be able to do so on Saturday this week.

More than 60 vehicles will gather at the F1 Pit Building before fanning out on four different routes to five heartland areas across Singapore.

The vehicles will reach the five destination points - near Junction 8 in Bishan, where the Aster is headed; Wisma Geylang Serai; Jurong East, near Westgate; Punggol, near Waterway Point; and Woodlands, near Causeway Point - by about 6.45pm on Saturday.

They are expected to be at the heartland areas until about 8pm.

Team Singapore