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Singapore to acquire Aster-30 SAMs, upgrade F-16 fighters

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The Aster-30 SAM. An MBDA photo

SINGAPORE (BNS): Singapore will acquire the medium-range Aster-30 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems for its Air Force, the Defence Ministry has announced.

The air defence missile will replace the I-HAWK ground-based air defence system presently operational in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

Making the announcement in the Parliament on Sept  16, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said: "The ASTER-30's capabilities are many times more potent than our current I-HAWK ground-based air defence system.

"The ASTER will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance. It will complement the SPYDER, which we have already operationalised - it is a mobile, shorter-range, quick reaction ground-based air defence system - and together, they will provide a layered air defence shield."

The Defence Minister also announced that the RSAF's F-16 fighters will be upgraded with modern avionics to extend their lifespan.

Singapore is also evaluating the suitability of advanced multi-role F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in meeting its long-term security needs to further modernise its fighter fleet and replace the older aircraft, the Minister said.

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