Singapore Examining Mini-UAVs
The RQ-11 Raven mini-UAV have been successful in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading to increased interest in mini-UAVs within advanced armed forces. This has med to Britain’s new BUSTER or Canada’s intent to provide mini-UAVs to its Afghanistan contingent in 2006. Then there’s Israel’s Skylark IV, which is now Australia’s mini-UAV too.
Now The Straits Times reports that Singapore is looking to join the parade and buy some mini-UAVs of its own.
According to the Nov 7, 2005 Straits Times report (story via SpaceWar.com), the DSTA has asked for two mini UAVs to be delivered by April 2006 with the option to buy another two by August, three by December and up to 20 by 2008. MINDEF’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) procurement arm has already made inquiries with suppliers.
The article did not mention which suppliers were under consideration, but Singapore has had close defense relations with Israel since the earliest days of the Republic, and has also moved closer to the USA and Australia in recent years. Both the RQ-11 Raven and the Skylark IV are well positioned to be strong contenders.
The DSTA expects to hold flight evaluations in January or February on the UAVs.