Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Singapore to Buy Eurosam Aster 30 / SAMP-T Surface-to-Air Missile Air Defense System

According to Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will acquire the Eurosam Aster 30 / SAMP-T Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) Air Defense System to establish a multi-layered defense against aerial threats.

If Singapore goes ahead and signs a contract, Singapore will become the first export customer of the Aster 30 / SAMP-T system, which is currently only in service with France and Italy. Both countries and the United Kingdom also use the naval version of the Aster 30 SAM.

The Defense Minister did not say when or how many systems Singapore intends to acquire, but Singapore already uses the shorter ranged Aster 15 with its six Formidable class frigates it bought from France and which are compatible with the Aster 30 SAM.

The Aster 30 / SAMP-T system will replace the American HAWK system and will be complemented by the short-range SPYDER system which Singapore acquired earlier from Israel.

The vertically-launched, all-weather capable Aster 30 can provide defense against supersonic and subsonic missiles, aircraft, UAVs, helicopters and short-range ballistic missiles. Aster 30 specifications are:
  • Weight of 450 kg
  • Length of 4.9 m
  • Diameter of 0.18 m
  • Maximum speed of Mach 4.5
  • Range of in excess of 100 km
  • Altitude of 20 km
The Aster 30 was designed for enhanced maneuverability, especially in the terminal phase, where it is guided by an active radar seeker.

The current Aster 30 Block 1 can protect against ballistic missiles with a range of up to 600 km, but future versions of the Aster 30 will feature significantly enhanced ballistic missile defense.

The Aster Block 1 New Technology (NT) will be able to intercept ballistic missiles with a range up to 1000 km and the Aster 30 Block 2 after 2020 extends that to 3000 km.

The Aster 30 /SAMP-T is also one of the contenders to win Turkey's long-range SAM program where it is in competition against the American Patriot system. Russia's S-300 and China's FD-2000 / HQ-9, although no decision has yet been made.


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