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Singapore- Stealth Warships to Form Next Generation Navy (12 Nov 2003)

The new fleet of stealth warships will possess the forefront of technology with the latest in weapons and sensors. The six 110m warships may also be armed with more advanced anti-ship missiles that fly faster than the speed of sound.

Due to come into service from 2007, the first of the stealth warships are still being built in France. The rest will be constructed in singapore.

The arrival of the stealth ships mark the direction that the Republic of Singapore Navy will undertake in future, with developments in stealth, electronic warfare, guided weapons and unmanned systems.

Permanent Secretary for Defence, Peter Ho said that the Ministry of Defence would continue to allocate their budget to certain areas of defence research despite being able to buy new technologies off the world's arms market.

He said that it was vital for Singapore to invest in defence research in order to develop and sustain Singapore's defence technology capability. Even if the technology later becomes available on the market or becomes obsolete.

One example quoted was an unguided bomb fitted with a camera that was developed by DSO National Laboratories in the 1980s. The experience proved to be an excellent learning opportunity for the engineers and scientists.

Currently, there is a project to develop a rocket-powered target drone which can be used as a 'live' target for guns and missiles while Mindef has examined possibilities of using a high altitude, long endurance unmanned jet as a flying radar station.

Mr. Ho stated that such investments have to be made now in order to meet the defence needs of the future.