Singapore to get huge balloon radar next year

This article is more than 12 months old

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a humongous helium-filled balloon.

Singapore will be getting its very own surveillance blimp early next year.

Called an aerostat, the 55-long blimp will operate at 600m in the air and will be tethered to the ground at one of the military camps here.

The balloon will have a surveillance radar which can spot aerial and sea threats from as far as 200km away.

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen ​announced the aerostat at the Mindef Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts (Pride Day awards presentation ceremony at Nanyang Polytechnic on Tuesday morning (Oct 28).

The blimp will enhance the country's security by overcoming obstructions such as high-rise buildings, stated a Mindef press release.

Compared to other conventional means of maintaining continuous airborne radar coverage, it will save an estimated $29.2 million a year, it added.

Here's how it works: