Singapore to strengthen its national security using tethered surveillance balloon with radar 2910144

a

Defence & Security News - Singapore

 
 
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:00 PM
 
Singapore to strengthen its national security using tethered surveillance balloon with radar.
Singapore is strengthening its national security using a tethered surveillance balloon filled with radar equipment, said the Defense Minister. The new technology, a tethered aerostat, allows Singapore to compensate for the difficulties presented to its defense capabilities by its small size and terrain. Singapore lacks high mountains from which to survey the airways, and the high cost of using planes to observe the sky around the clock makes this an unattractive option. The new balloon will save Singapore $29 million every year in operating costs.
     
Singapore is strengthening its national security using a tethered surveillance balloon filled with radar equipment, said the Defense Minister. The new technology, a tethered aerostat, allows Singapore to compensate for the difficulties presented to its defense capabilities by its small size and terrain.
Tethered aerostats were deployed by U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

     

“We need an effective early warning system from threats that can come by air or sea,” said Dr. Ng Eng Hen in a speech at the country’s Ministry of Defense Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (PRIDE) awards ceremony, adding that “Singapore is a small island, we are an air and sea hub, and that potentially increases our threat and we have to take it seriously.”

Dr. Hen also made reference to terrorist attacks in Manhattan and Mumbai as a factor in the defense reasoning, as well as to Jemaah Islamiah, a militant Islamist terrorist group from Southeast Asia which dedicates itself to establishing a caliphate in the region. The group, which has links to Al-Qaeda, is believed to be responsible for bombings in Bali and at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.

“JI members that were caught like Mas Selamat, told the police that this type of attack, planes against targets in Singapore was indeed one of their plans,” Hen explained in his speech.

Tethered aerostats have been used by the US since the 1980s at home and abroad to provide low-cost round the clock surveillance. The blimps were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 2000s, and in the U.S itself to monitor its borders and counter trafficking of people and drugs.

The deployment of the equipment was under threat last year due to Defense Department budget cuts, but the US Department of Homeland Security decided to pick up the tab for the project for 2014. Aerostats are an “important surveillance and command-and-control resource, particularly with respect to the detection, monitoring and interdiction of suspicious low-flying aircraft,” complained members of Congress at the time of the threatened cuts.

 

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.