Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman officiated at a ceremony to mark the achievement of Full Operational Capability (FOC) status by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Surface-to-air PYthon-5 and DERby (SPYDER) Ground Based Air Defence system at Chong Pang Camp this afternoon.
Speaking at the FOC ceremony, Dr Maliki highlighted the significance of this milestone to the overall enhancement of the Next Generation Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)'s capabilities. He said "The SPYDER is an improvement from the Rapier system as it is able to intercept not just aircraft but also munitions, therefore widening the spectrum of threats that our air defences can tackle. An all-weather system equipped with advanced infra-red and radar-guided missiles, the SPYDER can intercept aerial threats at more than twice the range and three times the altitude of the Rapier, while engaging multiple targets at the same time."
The SPYDER is part of the enhanced Island Air Defence system, which is an island-wide networked system that brings together sensors, weapon systems, command and control elements, and decision-making tools to further strengthen Singapore's air defence. As an all-weather air defence system, the SPYDER possesses anti-aircraft and anti-munition capabilities to effectively deal with a wide spectrum of aerial threats, and only requires four-man crew to deploy. The SPYDER crew has undergone extensive training in order to operate and maintain the system, and has also validated the system's capabilities in local and overseas exercises. The SPYDER allows the RSAF to continue to protect Singapore's skies effectively.
Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Chief of Air Force Major-General Mervyn Tan, and other senior officers from the SAF.