RSAF declares H-450 Unmanned Air Vehicles fully operational after 8 years

RSAF declares H-450 Unmanned Air Vehicles fully operational after 8 years

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Hermes 450 (H-450) Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) have been declared fully operational after eight years, the Defence Ministry (Mindef) said in a statement today.

The H-450 boasts extended endurance of over 14 hours, as well as advanced avionics and more capable sensors, which provides the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with better situational awareness in the field.

Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated a ceremony to mark the achievement of the H-450's full operational capability (FOC) status.

Also present at the ceremony were Chief of Defence Force Lieutenent-General Ng Chee Meng and Chief of Air Force Major-General Hoo Cher Mou.

In his speech, Dr Ng said: "Compared to the older UAVs, the H-450 enhances our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities."

He also emphasised the importance of UAVs in military operations today, adding that UAVs have now become a critical asset to many military operations, and have proven themselves to make a decisive difference to outcomes, whether in peacetime operations or battles.

RSAF first acquired the H-450 in May 2007, and since then, UAV pilots, air force engineers and maintenance crew have undergone intensive training to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as integrate the aircraft to support the SAF's operations.

Operated by 116 Squadron, it is the first advanced UAV to achieve FOC status in the SAF.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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