Mindef buys advanced weapon-locating radar

The Lockheed Martin AN/TPQ-53 radar system can detect, classify and determine the point of origin and the point of impact of incoming mortars, artillery and rockets. It can also be deployed within five minutes and taken down within two minutes.
The Lockheed Martin AN/TPQ-53 radar system can detect, classify and determine the point of origin and the point of impact of incoming mortars, artillery and rockets. It can also be deployed within five minutes and taken down within two minutes.PHOTO: LOCKHEED MARTIN

Contract reportedly signed in April; work on systems set to be completed by March 2019

Singapore has acquired new weapon-locating radar systems manufactured by defence and security company Lockheed Martin.

Jane's International Defence Review reported on Thursday that the contract was signed on April 13 and work on the AN/TPQ-53 radar systems is estimated to be completed by March 2019.

The United States Defence Security Cooperation Agency said that Singapore had requested a sale of six AN/TPQ-53 radar systems back in 2013. The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) confirmed the acquisition but did not comment on the number of radar systems acquired or the request for sale when asked by The Straits Times.

Jane's International Defence Review also reported that the value of the order was US$63 million (S$85 million), but could go up to US$81 million (S$110 million) if all options were exercised by the Singapore government.

The AN/TPQ-53 radar system can detect, classify and determine the point of origin and the point of impact of incoming mortars, artillery and rockets. It can also be deployed within five minutes and taken down within two minutes.

The weapon-locating radar can be used to improve the accuracy of Singapore's artillery firing, Colonel Lim Wei Lian, chief systems integration officer at Mindef, told ST.

On its website, Lockheed Martin describes the radar system as featuring "enhanced performance, including greater mobility, increased reliability and supportability, lower life-cycle cost and reduced crew size".

  • $110m

    The value of the order in Singapore dollars, or US$81 million, according to Jane's International Defence Review

Lockheed Martin was previously awarded a US$1.6 billion order-dependent contract for additional AN/TPQ-53 systems by the US Army in April. The US Army now has over 170 such systems. They have also been acquired by Saudi Arabia.

In a statement on April 24, director of Lockheed Martin's AN/TPQ-53 programme Rick Herodes said: "The Q-53 system helps troops know what is going on around them in an increasingly complicated world."

Mindef told ST that the new radar system will replace the existing TPQ-36 and TPQ-37 radar systems. They also detect incoming artillery and rocket fire.

Col Lim said: "The acquisition of the AN/TPQ-53 weapon-locating radar is part of the Singapore Army's ongoing modernisation efforts. The new radar systems will be operated by the Singapore Artillery and will enhance the protection for our forces through better detection of hostile rocket, artillery and mortar firings."

Mindef's last acquisition was in May, when it signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems for two Type 218SG submarines in addition to the two it had previously procured in 2013, which are projected for delivery from 2021.

Correction Note: This article has been edited for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2017, with the headline 'Mindef buys advanced weapon-locating radar'. Print Edition | Subscribe