Singapore Airshow 2012

SHAH ALAM: I had a flying visit to Singapore yesterday for the 2012 airshow. A scheduling conflict and lack of funds meant that a few hours on the ground for what was billed as the world’s third most important aerospace and defence show was all the time I could afford.

Fulcrum diamond shape formation at Singapore Airshow 2012

I guess that I did not miss much as the show was more skewed for the civilian market with the host’s nation not buying anything until the end of the decade.

The Apache at the Singapore Airshow2012

F-16D at Singapore Airshow 2012

Anyhow, interestingly the biggest news about defence (on Malaysia anyway) was the confirmation from Raytheon that it was working with a Boustead subsidiary for the production of supply of components for the ESSM. I have reported before that the ESSM was favoured by the Navy but lately it appears that the Mica would be chosen for the frigates aka SGPV. But it appears that the ESSM is making a comeback.

From Raytheon news release.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) awarded an initial contract to Malaysian-based Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn. Bhd. for the production and supply of components for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). This is the first contract of its type awarded to a Malaysian company and is aligned with U.S. and Malaysian strategic initiatives as well as the Malaysian Economic Transformation Program.

“Raytheon is a global company with strategic partnerships worldwide,” said Rick Nelson, vice president of Naval Weapon Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. “We welcome Contraves to the ESSM global supply chain and look forward to expanding our relationship on ESSM and other programs.”

Raytheon recently qualified Contraves Advanced Devices Sdn. Bhd. as a participant in the Strategic Enterprise Aligned Commodities provider program and as a Raytheon preferred supplier. The SEAC program is designed to focus Raytheon’s global supply chain base on a more limited number of companies and qualifies Contraves as a provider for the majority of Raytheon production programs.

Raytheon has proposed ESSM to Malaysia for its upcoming Second Generation Patrol Vessel program for the Royal Malaysian Navy. Selection of ESSM for the SGPV program would significantly enhance the capabilities of the Royal Malaysian Navy and provide for interoperability with the U.S. Navy and with the Australian, Japanese and Canadian navies in the Pacific theatre.

“Through this partnership with Contraves, we are extending our global supply chain network and enhancing our presence and expertise in Malaysia,” said Kevin Peppe, vice president of Seapower Capability Systems for Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. “Our shared commitment to quality and performance will allow us to deliver exceptional capabilities to our customer and industry, now and into the future.”

Raytheon has also issued requests for quotation to Malaysian industry for additional components for the ESSM, the MK56 ESSM vertical launching system, MK73 illuminator, and test equipment in support of the Malaysian SGPV program as well as other international production programs.

A RSAF F-15SG and RMAF Mig-29N parked head to head at Singapore Airshow 2012

Also another interesting tidbit coming out from Singapore is the fact the the P-81 Poseidon aircraft meant for India is also fitted for air-to-air mode. An interesting option for Malaysia of course!

From Raytheon:
The APY-10 radar delivers accurate and actionable information in all weather, day and night, for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, and for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
To meet unique requirements for the Indian navy, Raytheon has added an air-to-air mode, which provides the detection and tracking of airborne targets, allowing customers to detect threats in the air as well as at sea. In addition, an interleaved weather and surface search capability has been added to provide the cockpit with up-to-date weather avoidance information while performing surveillance missions.

Some of the pictures taken at the show

A bunch of soldiers inside ST"s Bionix IFV with the BMS inside the cabin
As soon as this picture was taken someone says no pictures please! Oops. ST Engineering Warthog
RSAF G550 CAEW. The ugliest bird at the Singapore Airshow 2012

F-15SG displayed with an ordnance load-out at Singapore Airshow 2012
C-27J Spartan and the M346T from Finmeccanica at Singapore Airshow 2012

– Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2146 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. What was the deal with the Mig29 parked head to head with Singapore’s F15SG? For Sporting sake?
    Anyway this is the 1st and the last appearance of The Mig29 in Singapore,, sort of a last Hurrah. They should have organised a dogfight between the Mig29 and the F15SG. I really loved the Mig29, it is in my opinion the most beautiful designed aircarft IMO. But its time has passed, and a more capable platform in the Su30 is the future for Malaysia.

    The aircraft was being towed just outside the static display when I ran into them. I wanted to ask the technicians what had happened but the security guys did not allowed me to come nearer. Since it was hot I walked back to the exhibition hall. As far as I can ascertain the aircraft was one of the two synchro pair for the display but developed technical problems, I believed and the team flew with five aircraft only. The Bandits was on display for the opening of the show.

  2. Lets hope the ESSM makes a comeback. Would be a bit silly and a waste spending so much on high spec ships that will only be armed with short range MICAs. A possible MPA option for us would be an MPA configured C-130J, a scaled down version of what Marshall Aerospace has offered the RAF.

    BTW, great photos!

  3. and why is Aster 30 not a contender? Something for us to ponder about.

    The ships are too small for the Aster 30s. The 30s need a 4000 tonnes class ships. But at that size its cheaper to use Standard missiles…

  4. I said it then, I’ll say it now. Retain the Mig-29s and help pay for them by hosting DACT with SG. We fly, they fly, everybody is happy.

  5. Good deal! Many things we can learn from Raytheon!
    Who knows one day we can produce our own missile!

  6. FareedLHS,

    Thanks for the link. It sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Lockheed Martin claims it offers the same performance as the ‘J’ and shares the same fuselage, yet is cheaper. Come 5-6 years down the road, it will be interesting to see if we go for C-130s or more A400Ms. Our Defence Minister also said last year that our H’s would be upgraded under the current Malaysia Plan, let’s wait and see whether these becomes a reality or whether, like other projects, will be postponed.


    Lets start off with ensuring that adequate funds are available to develop UAVs with better range and endurance than the Aludra, before we start contemplating on developing missiles.

  7. it would have been interesting to have an all-Russian air force of Su-30, MiG-29, Su-25 and Mi-24/28 gunships; building an industry around maintaining, customizing and re-exporting these birds would have fired the collective imagination a lot better than a national car.

    China had walked that route but now want best of both worlds. Actually if they can buy Western, they would drop the Russian birds in a dime. Look what happened to their airlines, the moment, they can buy Boeing and Airbus, they sent the Tupolevs et all to the bone yards…

  8. Also announced yesterday was Singapore’s 2012 Defence budget – S$12.3 billion or US$9.8 billion.

    Looks like Singapore’s defence budget will cross the US$10 billion mark next year for the first time.

    As usual, Singapore doesnt make a lot of noise about it or procurement details.

    Most of the money is towards operational needs. Procurement will mostly be local, Bionix et al and the new FAC if its to come this year

  9. From my conversation with the ST people who did not want to give away much hints, the ship will be much bigger than the current Fearless class it is replacing and multi-mission capable and both littoral and open sea oriented. I think it is probably a variant or use the stealthy Fearless 75 as a baseline design.

    It is most likely be similar the Ambassador class FAC sold by VT Halter to the Egyptian Navy. Since the hull design had been paid for already, it will be very cheap to build in numbers and variants, anti-surface, MCMV and ASW.

  10. Indonesia has been neglecting its military for sometime due to lack of resource, and is becoming our joke, however, with it trying to put its economy on track and now growing fast. And it looks like slowly but surely they are arming themselves well. I wont be surprised if 20 years from now Indonesia would be very strongly armed that it will pose a threat to us, if we let our continuous silly military purchases by our leaders to continue. While we waste on over inflated price for military equipments so that the kickbacks can go to certain individuals or languish in so call companies trying to build a defence industry, indonesia seems to bying for its armed forces needs.

  11. Nevidimka,

    To pose a threat to anyone, and to change the balance of power in the region or develop serious power projection capabilities, the TNI’s budget will have to be increased 3 or 3 fold, and this is unlikely to happen any time soon. The day we should start worrying is when serious attempts are made to create a more professional TNI – one that stays above politics, abandons it vast business empire and does away with the patronage system that makes officers beholden to their superiors.

  12. 6 tankers would mean rsaf intends to operate at least 140-150 combat aircrafts in the forseeable future. Rsaf has 4 kc 135s currently.

    So the next Singapore Airshow will be more interesting then…

  13. I believe that the RSAF intends to retire the KC135s once their replacement is in service. It will be interesting to see if they go for yet more Israeli equipment. It was very clear from everything on display at the airshow that Singapore is heavily reliant on Israeli weapons and systems.

    No lah, only two planes for the possible RSAF tanker replacement, the Boeing KC767 and the Airbus Military A330 MRTT. It will be tough choice for the Singaporeans this time around, as Airbus will fight tooth and nail for the deal but I believe in the end it will be Boeing.

  14. I agree..should be boeing. The priority in the next few years for the RSAF are actually one or two more batches of F15SGs, MPAs, AESA upgrades for F16s – perhaps upgrading to F16V version and purchased of current leased F16s in the US ( to replace F5 S/T) and replacement for the I-hawk medium range missile systems. Later in the decade should see orders for F35s and possibly A-400s or C-17s.

    Or they could go for the Airbus as its equipped with the hose and drogue probes so they can refuel USN jets and other allied nations…

  15. A key selling point is commonality with us forces and fpda countries. In emergencies, rsaf will provide support to rmaf jets – aew & c, tankers, transport, combat jets, etc.

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