The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has declared Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the Rafael-made Surface-to-air PYthon-5 and DERby (SPYDER) ground-based air defense system. The announcement was made in a special ceremony held at Chong Pang Camp, attended by Senior Minister of State for Defense Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Defense Force Lt. Gen. Melvyn Ong, Chief of Air Force Maj. Gen. Mervyn Tan, and other senior officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Maliki highlighted the significance of this milestone to the overall enhancement of the SAF’s next-generation capabilities. "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 defenses can tackle," he said. "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 Defense system – an island-wide networked system that integrates sensors, weapon systems, command and control elements, and decision-making tools to strengthen Singapore's air defense further. As an all-weather air defense system, the SPYDER possesses anti-aircraft and anti-munition capabilities to effectively deal with a wide spectrum of aerial threats, and only requires a four-man crew to deploy. According to a release by the Singapore defense ministry, 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.