Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First look at new Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) air defence radar

16 Feb 2014 corrections: The Shikra GM200 radar serves under the RSAF Participation Command and not the Air Defence Operations Command. Corrections made to the original text.

Meet the Shikra - a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) gap filler radar that supports Air Defence Operations Command (ADOC) Participation Command (PC) low-level air defence anti-aircraft missile units, taking over the role long-held by Ericsson Basic Giraffe radars.

The new sensor makes its  public debut at the Singapore Airshow 2014, which begins today and will run till Sunday (16 Feb 2014).

The 100-km range Shikra, based on the Thales Ground Master 200 radar, can detect, identify and track a sizeable number of contacts flying in a large volume of airspace from low level up to 25km in altitude. The system is mounted on an 8x8 MAN (Edit: Not Mercedes-Benz) High Mobility Cargo Transporter (HMCT) which allows ADOC PC to transport and deploy the system rapidly. Everything the radar operators need are contained on the HMCT, reducing its footprint in the deployment area.

The Shikra travels with four RSAF personnel, though only two are needed in the radar cabin itself. Ten minutes is all it takes to unfold and erect the radar from march order. Scan and update rate is quoted as 40 rpm.

A built-in IFF interrogator on the 3D radar tightens the sensor-to-shooter cycle as it allows rapid evaluation and prioritisation of contacts and contributes valuable inputs to the RSAF's overall recognised air situation picture.

The Ground Master 200 was customised for the RSAF's specific operational requirements by adapting the European system for a tropical climate. Among the visible mods recommended by ADOC PC warfighters and Singapore's Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) are four prominent outriggers which improve the radar cabin's stability on rough terrain.

The Shikra radar seen here is operated by ADOC's 6 Defence Artillery Brigade PC's 6 Defence Artillery Battalion. The name itself is unique to the RSAF. It is an acronym which stands for System for Hybrid Interceptor Knowledge of Recognised Air (SHIKRA).

The Shikra is also the bird of prey adopted as the basis for the RSAF's F-15SG Strike Eagle unit, 149 Squadron.

The addition of the Shikra to the RSAF's networked air defence shield strengthens radar surveillance of critical sectors by covering blind spots missed by search beams of long-range radars deployed at ground level. Tracks assessed in realtime by Gulfstream G550 airborne early warning aircraft give HQ RSAF a comprehensive air situation picture which extends far from Singapore's shores.

Comprehensive air surveillance coverage serves the dual purpose of  robbing low flying intruders of space to hide in and buys valuable response time for the complex for air warfare missions to automatically swing into strike mode.

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Anonymous said...

Thought the neighbour also uses a similar system? GM400?

Anonymous said...

Why are we spending so much money on defence? Are we facing any enemy? If we nice to others, others will be nice to us also.

Anonymous said...

I strongly support SGs strategy of Speaking Softly but Carrying a Big Stick.

Naturally, we must make as many friends as possible.

But enemies can pop up unexpectedly & very quickly. This occurs especially when you are weak. One shud always learn from history.

Anonymous said...

For those who keep saying we spend so much on defense, you just need to look at the neighbourhood we are in. I would love to propose we spend the money on education, social needs etc but we need protection. So please wake up to the realities.

Anonymous said...

HaHAhaHA @anon 8:51. Stop trolling you've posted this crap before...

Anonymous said...

Neville Chamberlain wanted to be nice to Hitler.

Unbelievable naivety on the part of some. PLease get real.

Anonymous said...

Opposition parties and presential candidates have been pushing to short or even scrap National Service. Reduce annual defence spending. Instead, we should spend money to build up good relationship with neighbours like eurpoean countries!!

Zi'Ang.C said...

Hi David,

Based on the picture provided, it seems that the truck on which the SHIKRA is installed on is a MAN truck, possible a 8x8 variant of the 6x6 MAN TGS that transport the SPYDER SAM unit.

The Mercedes Actros, in 8x8, is used as the truck base for the HMCT more commonly seen in logistics battalions.


David Boey said...

Dear Zi'Ang,
You are correct. The SHIKRA is mounted on a 8x8 MAN chassis.

Thank you for pointing this out. Have made the correction.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

I am wondering can GM200 replace ELM-2084 (both S-Band MMR)for Iron Dome?

Unknown said...

It is unfortunate that there are some viewers who consistently tries to steer the discussion into a political. There is a time and space for that; too much of it can be in fact counter productive.

I was hoping that David could eleborate more on what he meant by "everthing the operator needs is found the HCMT".

Anonymous said...

He reported that Singapore now has advanced military hardware. It has officially stated that its military budget reached US$4.8 billion and it also has 40 units of the F-16 fighter aircraft and tens of other fighter jets.

"Singapore is one of the Asian countries that is involved in the US research program for the development of the F-35 future fighter jet, which is a stealth fighter aircraft," he emphasized.

Guspi stated that in order to secure its sea area spanning only 12 sea miles around the island state, Singapore has tens of warships, four technologically advanced submarines and is still seeking to procure six stealth frigates from France, plus four AWACS aircraft that are capable of monitoring the entire South East Asian region.

He warned that the recent tensions between the two countries can be manipulated by Singapore to get additional military support from the US, by giving the impression that Singapore is threatened by two big countries in the region, namely Indonesia and China.

"This means that Singapore is seeking to build an international perception that Indonesia's military revival is equivalent to that of China threatening the South East Asian region," he pointed out.

"This is clearly hurting the spirit of cooperation that has been built over the past 40 years," he added.

Guspi explained that Singapore's second point of the agenda was its intentions to foster nationalism and improve its national identity.

He reported that Singapore has faced difficulties in nurturing nationalism among its citizens as they remain sharply divided on ethnic terms. There is also a common impression harbored by several people that Singapore is a mere gift from the colonial powers.

"This is what has robbed Singapore of its heroic and historic moments, and so, the history of confrontation with Indonesia has been considered its valuable asset in order to build Singapore's nationalism," he claimed.

Singapore's third point of the agenda is that the current regime in that country has been in power since the establishment of that country. Recently, voices have been raised regarding the authenticity of democracy in that country, Guspi stated.

The regime is fragile because the democratic process has so far been engineered to preserve its power, he claimed.

To prevent its popularity from declining and increasing demand for political reforms, it is now using its friction with other countries as one of its defense mechanisms, he added.

He added that the friction with other countries has re-strengthened the position of the ruling party.

Reconsolidation occurs in regime elements and in order to promote national unity, support to the government should be mobilized through mass movement and public opinion, Guspi emphasized.

"The presence of a common enemy can distract people from social tensions, so that the political crisis, which has started to overshadow the nation, can be dwindled," he noted.

He explained that the pattern has also been used so far by Malaysia, which has always created problems for Indonesia.

It seems that Singapore's brittle regime is following the footsteps of similar regimes in Malaysia, he reported.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Singapore probably had "40 F-16" around 2000 and the defence budget probably exceeded "$4.8B" long before that. Did Guspi just pull out a 17 year old copy of Janes Defence?


Unknown said...

to anon 1011,

how i wish singapore can survive and prosper by just securing 12 sea miles around our country in a hot war situation. i really wish we could.

i also found it perculiar that this author writes as if sg initiated the row with a pre planned series of event to happened, when it was in fact initiated by indo. An analysis on the intent of indo would be more appropriate dont you think so?

voranoth said...

I concur with the above statement by Charlton Ng. its too naive to just think SG will be safe so long as we secure our immediate sea borders.

to Anon February 12, 2014 at 10:11 PM, you might want to consider the link you posted to be the opinion of a single Mr Guspiabri Sumowigeno. Would it not be better to view this issue from a unrelated hird party perspective?

I am personally sick of all this finger pointing at who is in the wrong, etc. Picking at each other country over the internet isnt going to be productive.

Dear David Boey,
On a unrelated-topic, I would like to ask you to consider moderating the comments in this blog. these flame wars that have erupted here can be best left elsewhere.

I personally prefer a more "educated" discussion on this blog's comments. (i.e. talking about platfrom / weapon specifics and capabilities)

my 2 cents.

Best regards

Anonymous said...


Understand your sentiments in the last sentence but we cannot stick to the purely technical. We have "defence" and not "military" discussions, there is a difference.

voranoth said...

Dear Anonymous February 13, 2014 at 3:33 AM

thanks for your comments. agreed on the differences between "defence" and "military" discussions. I reckon you could label my comments to David Boey as "Feedback". =)


Anonymous said...

Even though we are ahead in military terms, we are definitely underspending in other areas. Take our healthcare spending. Our hospitals have been full for years and patients are even sitting in corridors and in tents. What would happen if there is a war? Not only would we have no facilities, many of the foreign hospital staff would go home.

Anonymous said...

When you see the number of factual errors in guspis comments, you know that his story is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

When you see the number of factual errors in guspis comments, you know that his story is rubbish.

Anonymous said...

How does giraffe amd medium range radar (with 170km range) fit into this picture? Fps-117 ground radar has more than 400km range of course.

David Boey said...

I was hoping that David could eleborate more on what he meant by "everthing the operator needs is found the HCMT".

Dear Charlton,
The description refers to the self-contained nature of the Shikra GM200 radar vehicle, which can operate as a standalone sensor without generators, other trucks attached to it.

Dear Anon 6:01 PM 16 Feb'14,
The Giraffe AMB (same radar as fitted aboard our Missile Corvettes) supports other Ground-Based Air Defence squadrons.

A radar may have long reach. But terrain masking (hills, urban areas) calls for other sensors that can fill in the missing gaps in areas of interest. Gap-filler radars such as the Shikra GM200 perform just such a role. We also have P-STAR and 160SQN has some nifty sensors that add to the sense-making.

With sensor fusion, the air defence commander can theoretically see the big picture in realtime built by fusing inputs from various sensors.

Sensor fusion plus the ability to network is a game changer as it can generate an air situation picture far superior to the scattered impressions contributed by individual sensors scanning the sky in isolation.

Best regards,