Thales’ Local Defence Hub to Reinforce Defence Services Capabilities for Singapore Armed Forces

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Thales and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) signed a Master Agreement on March 22 to improve the efficiency in establishing long-term service contracts. In addition, Thales is also announcing the launch of a Defence Hub, which harnesses digital and engineering expertise to enhance operational performance and long-term maintenance, maximise operational availability and facilitate development over the long life-cycle of equipment and systems for the benefit of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

In February 2022, Thales signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) with DSTA to work together to bring about concrete actions to increase efficiency, establish data exchanges between the two partners, and to establish cooperation in radar digital technology research at Thales.

Fast-forward a year to 2023, and the 2022 MoU has led to the signing of a Master Agreement between DSTA and Thales, that will enhance long-term defence service capabilities including maintenance, support, operational availability and local development to meet end-user needs. A secure data exchange platform will also be set up to allow for a seamless exchange of data between DSTA and Thales.

According to the company, trained Thales engineering and services experts will be located in Singapore, working with DSTA and the SAF, to provide optimum service quality, such as having a faster turnaround time for maintenance and other services. By having a trained pool of experts and developers situated in-country, Thales will be hands-on to adapt to customer requirements, strengthen customer intimacy and will help to mitigate any risk of downtime during critical periods.

In support of key defence capabilities, a Radar Centre of Excellence (CoE) has also been established in Singapore, within the Thales Research & Technology department. Besides co-developing new radar digital technologies, the Radar CoE will also be a key driver in developing local radar expertise in Singapore.

DSTA and Thales have been exploring radar digital collaboration to support health monitoring of equipment and co-developing a Radar Digital Twin to facilitate developments that can help to address new and future threats, and drastically reduce time to market of various solutions.

Over the past five decades, Thales has been providing the SAF with equipment such as radar systems, naval sensors and communications. Thales’ deep expertise and technological mastery in the domain of radars extend beyond defence solutions—the Group’s air traffic management radars are also used by civil aviation authorities throughout the region. ​

“We look forward to partnering with Thales to equip our Armed Forces with the latest cutting-edge technologies, as well as building up capabilities in the face of new and emerging threats. This new agreement moves DSTA to take an agile and nimble approach to capability development. It enables us to continuously innovate and upgrade our systems to retain the capability to handle new threats in our challenging operating environment, in great contrast to the conventional way of developing mid-life upgrades every 10-15 years. This partnership will also ensure better optimisation of maintenance support and cost of the system. This collaboration, along with a record number of collaborations forged on the sidelines of the Singapore Defence Technology Summit 2023, demonstrates DSTA’s pursuit of excellence in deepening worldwide collaborations across a broad spectrum of military, commercial partners and academia to nurture innovation.” Mr Roy Chan, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations), DSTA.

“Our commitment to provide extensive long-term maintenance, best-in-class development and local engineering expertise by investing in a Defence Hub in Singapore for defence service capability was naturally the next step given the strong relationship and years of collaboration between Thales, DSTA and SAF. This is especially significant with Thales celebrating its 50th anniversary of operations in Singapore this year and in the continuation of the Radar Centre-of-Excellence and engineering set-up. We are proud of our advanced radar systems and air defence solutions’ proven credentials in supporting governments and armed forces worldwide. ​ Through this Defence Hub, we aim to provide the highest technical advancements and standards expected by our customers and end-users with the latest and best technology for defence capabilities on our systems.” Christophe SALOMON, Senior Vice-President, Land and Air Systems, Thales. –t/adj/mhi (Pix: Thales)