Singapore – US and Singapore defence agencies have teamed up to develop high-tech defence equipment, such as tiny planes designed to give troops a battlefield advantage. The cooperation is expected to further reinforce the strong military relationship between the two countries.
The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the world's most advanced military research and development project, is working with Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) on more than a dozen projects.
One project is the Wasp, a micro air vehicle that can be launched like a model airplane by a soldier to obtain a “God’s-eye” view of his battle environment.
“Imagine you are a soldier moving into a city, and you have this little plane you can take out of your pocket,” said Dr Anthony Tether, DARPA director, of Wasp.
“Using a controller with an 18-centimetre colour screen, you fly the plane to survey the buildings around you, including what's up on the rooftops," he said.
The Wasp gives ground troops a critical advantage, real-time situational awareness. “We’re going to bring some of these Wasps to Singapore to conduct experiments,” Dr Tether added.
The DSTA will be looking at how the technology could be adapted by the Singapore Armed Forces.
Dr Tether and his team were in Singapore last week to discuss 15 projects DARPA would be funding and collaborating on with the DSTA and industries and universities in Singapore. The projects will cover technologies in five areas – urban warfare, command and control, biology, material science and force protection, such as the detection of improvised explosive devices.
*US and S’pore team up on high-tech defence gear (The Straits Times, May 30)