RSAF's Spyder air defence system attains full operational capability status

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's surface-to-air Python-5 and Derby (Spyder).
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's surface-to-air Python-5 and Derby (Spyder).ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman tests the Spyder Remote Engineering Support smart glass, which will assist the RSAF in trouble-shooting when operating the Spyder system.
Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman tests the Spyder Remote Engineering Support smart glass, which will assist the RSAF in trouble-shooting when operating the Spyder system.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A ground-based air defence system that can respond faster and with greater precision to aircraft and munition threats has attained full operational capability status on Wednesday (July 4).

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s surface-to-air Python-5 and Derby (Spyder) which was introduced in 2011, is the first advanced weapon system that has been integrated into the enhanced Island Air Defence system (IAD).

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman highlighted the significance of the milestone to the overall enhancement of the next-generation SAF at a ceremony held at Chong Pang camp.

He said: "The next-generation RSAF plays a critical role in our air defence and also deters would-be attackers."

"Our network of air defence capabilities protects Singapore and Singaporeans from a wide range of air threats and safeguards Singapore's status as a regional and global aviation hub."

He also added that being part of a network like the IAD makes the Spyder system less prone to single points of failure and thus more robust.

Compared to its predecessor, the Rapier system, which has been in service with the RSAF for 30 years, the Spyder system possesses a longer interception range.

The missiles are also capable of interception at higher altitudes. These enhanced capabilities provide Singapore with an extended air defence coverage.

The Spyder system is equipped with advanced infra-red and radar guided missiles and can intercept aerial threats at more than twice the range and three times the altitude of the Rapier system.

It is also more manpower efficient as it takes only four men and 15 minutes to deploy the Spyder compared to the one hour and 15 men needed to deploy the Rapier.