SINGAPORE (Xinhua) – A new surveillance system, referred to as the Aerostat System, will be put into use above Singapore early next year, Channel NewsAsia reported on Tuesday, citing Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
The system, a tethered balloon that uses low-level radar to detect threats as far as 200 km away, will complement the city- state’s Air Force’s current suite of airborne and ground-based radars to conduct a more comprehensive air and maritime check.
Ng said during the Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (PRIDE) Day award ceremony that it was because Singapore has seen an increasing number of high-rise buildings in recent years, and ground-based radar systems can “only operate above high-rise buildings”.
He also added that the system will save Singapore Armed Forces up to 30 million Singapore dollars (24 million US dollars) in operating costs every year.
The system, which requires eight ground crew members to operate, can be put to 600 metres high, there will be measures to make sure Aerostat won’t disturb flying aircraft, the report said.