SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) added the Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) into its squadron today, marking a milestone in the SAF's transformation into a modern fighing force.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at the inauguration ceremony at Murai Camp this afternoon.
Featuring state-of-the-art avionics, detection capabilities and communication systems, as well as longer flight endurance and a fully automatic take-off and landing capability, the Heron 1 UAV will provide the SAF with better battlefield situational awareness and enhance mission effectiveness.
It will replace the Searcher-class UAV that has been in service since 1994.
In his speech, Mr Ng noted that this class of UAVs "will greatly enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of the SAF."
He added that total global expenditure on UAVs is expected to further double from its current US$6.6 billion (S$8.4 billion) to US$11.4 billion annually over the next decade.
"The reason for this exponential growth is simple – UAVs allow us to see further, more clearly and instantly," said Mr Ng.
Dr Ng pointed out that the SAF’s vision for UAVs started as early as in the 70s, quoting Singapore’s first Defence Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee’s remarks, “For our kind of terrain, we must have Remotely Piloted Vehicles. We must see the enemy without being seen”.
|Engine||ROTAX 914 Engine (1211cc)|
|Overall length||8.8 metres|
|Maximum Take-off Weight||1,100 kilograms|
|Maximum Operating range||About 200 kilometres|
|Endurance||Greater than 24 hours|
|Cruise Speed||About 60 - 70 knots|
|Payload capability||Multi-mission Optronic Stabilised Payload (MOSP)|