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Singapore's Seletar Aerospace Park To Offer Indoor Testbeds For Drones

April 2019

JTC Corporation, the government agency responsible for the development and management of industrial estates, and the Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore (AAIS) announced on 9 April that they will be launching a new joint initiative this year to provide indoor testbeds within Seletar Aerospace Park for commercial applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones.

These readily available indoor spaces are housed within JTC’s high rise developments at Seletar Aerospace Park, and will provide a safe and controlled environment for companies to conduct development trials and customer demonstrations, thereby supporting the commercialization of these technologies. Implementation details are being worked out and companies that are keen to tap on these spaces can approach AAIS to register their interest.

The 320-hectare Seletar Aerospace Park consists of 160 ha of purpose-built land and infrastructure dedicated to the aerospace industry, with the remaining 160 ha occupied by the Seletar Airport. The Park is home to a an aerospace industry cluster of over 60 Multi-National Companies (MNCs) and local aerospace enterprises.

(Sources: JTC Corporation; Straits Times)

Bombardier To Quadruple Footprint Of Singapore Service Center

March 2019

Multinational aerospace manufacturing company, Bombardier, announced plans to more than quadruple the current footprint of its Singapore Service Center with an investment of SGD 85 million (USD 63 million). It will transform the facility into a high-capacity, one-stop-shop super center, offering its customers a full gamut of maintenance, refurbishment and modification services required throughout an aircraft’s life, directly on site.

The area of the Service Center located at Seletar Aerospace Park which opened in 2014, will be increased from 100,000 sq. ft. (9,260 sq m  to approximately 430,000 sq. ft. (40,000 sq m) by 2020. The expansion will introduce exceptional new customer facilities, a full-service 37,000 sq. ft. (3,500 sq m) paint facility, advanced interior finishing capabilities, with key support functions, such as training, sales and customer support and an expanded portfolio of component, repair and overhaul (CR&O) services. It will also offer heavy structural and composite repair capabilities, in addition to a 10,000 sq.ft. (929 sq m) integrated parts depot. The new expanded center will be capable of supporting more than 2,000 visits annually. The groundbreaking of the expansion will occur on February 27, 2019 and the facility is expected to be operational in 2020.

The Singapore Service Center currently employs more than 150 staff, including 100 licensed engineers and technicians, and has received more than 20 certifications and authorizations from international regulators to service the full range of Bombardier Global, Challenger and Learjet aircraft including the largest, most luxurious and longest range business jet ever built, the flagship Global 7500 aircraft. In addition to offering scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and aircraft on ground (AOG) support, the Singapore Service Center is recognized as a centre of excellence for complex retrofit work, including avionics and Ka-band installations.

(Sources: Bombardier; Business Times)

Singapore Airlines Launches Digital Innovation Lab

February 2019

On 29 January 2019, Singapore Airlines launched its new digital innovation lab, called KrisLab, in line with the Airline’s Digital Innovation Blueprint which was launched in 2018. Under the Blueprint, SIA is working to develop and nurture the digital aviation and travel technology community in Singapore, through collaborative partnerships with organisations such as the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National University of Singapore (NUS) and other partners, along with support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Technology such as blockchain, mixed reality devices, artificial intelligence and data analytics, among others, are used and explored at the lab as part of the airline's digital initiatives to enhance operations and overall customer experience. Examples of areas being explored include revenue management, smart seats, virtual training, and predictive maintenance for aircraft. One of the innovations being explored at KrisLab involves the use of virtual reality technology to allow our designers to step on board and explore or change future cabin design concepts quickly. This is one of the many initiatives the Airline is exploring to enhance operations and overall customer experience.

Staff can submit ideas and solutions for evaluation by the Digital Innovation Lab team based on technological and implementation readiness, as well as market and strategic attractiveness. If an idea is approved, seed funding along with expertise provided by the Digital Innovation Lab team is provided to help further develop it into a prototype, before moving to the implementation stage.

(Sources: Singapore Airlines; Straits Times)

Pratt & Whitney's Singapore Engine Center Starts GTF Overhauls

January 2019

Pratt & Whitney's Singapore engine center, Eagle Services Asia (ESA), a member in the global network of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities that service Pratt & Whitney's GTF engines, has inducted its first PW1100G-JM engine for overhaul. Eagle Services Asia is a joint venture between SIA Engineering Company and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp.

ESA has invested nearly USD 85 million to upgrade and modernize the facility to perform GTF MRO, which includes training employees and acquiring new tooling, advanced capabilities and machinery. The facility has been modernized and re-purposed to handle multiple, simultaneous engine overhaul lines for Pratt & Whitney and Engine Alliance engine models – the PW4000 family, PW1100G-JM, and GP7200 engines, respectively.  ESA also re-configured its engine test capability to accommodate the new GTF engine model. Engine Alliance LLC is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.

In 2019, ESA will gradually introduce a new ground-based flow system, which will enable visual line of sight on the GTF engine overhaul line. In the new system, engine modules will move from one station to another, improving the visibility of operations through the line from disassembly to assembly and test, in contrast to the old engine repair work bay. The system improves productivity while maximizing the use of existing space. At full capacity, the flow lines can accommodate up to six GTF engines at a time.

(Sources: Pratt & Whitney; FlightGlobal)

DSTA And NUS Enterprise Partner To Develop New Security Solutions

November 2018

Speaking at the Defence Technology Prize Award Ceremony  on 30 October 2018, the Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, announced a new partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and NUS Enterprise, to work with local start-ups for the development of new defence and security solutions. An open collaboration space called [email protected], will be set up by the end of 2018 at the startup hub, JTC LaunchPad, to partner local start-ups in Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science, robotics and augmented reality. 

DSTA, a statutory board under MINDEF, harnesses science and technology, and provides technological and engineering support to meet the defence and national security needs of Singapore. NUS Enterprise is the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS). 

Technological achievements recognized at the award ceremony included securing systems against hardware Trojans, tracking and identifying maritime intrusions, reducing the chance of friendly fire and collateral damage, development of an Integrated Strike Command and Control (C2) System , and the development of a fully unmanned surface vessel designed to navigate Singapore's heavily congested waters autonomously and conduct a wide range of missions from coastal patrols to underwater surveillance.

(Sources: Ministry of Defence, Singapore; Straits Times)

Contract Awarded For Improvement Of ATC Radio Communications At Changi Airport

October 2018

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has awarded a contract to Rohde & Schwarz, to upgrade and expand the Air Traffic Control (ATC) radio communications system at Singapore Changi Airport. The enhanced system will further strengthen safety for airlines and passengers.

Under the contract, Rohde & Schwarz will provide auxiliary equipment, software, project management, training as well as after-sales services for a 15-year period to CAAS. Rohde and Schwarz, a global manufacturer of information and communications technology products, will install more than 240 R&S Series 4200 VHF/UHF (ery high frequency / ultra-high frequency)  radios at Changi, including at the new radio stations to be built at Changi East.

Besides providing high-quality voice connections between pilots and air traffic controllers, these radios also deploy a new technology called Detection of Simultaneous Transmissions (DSiT). With the acquisition of these radios, CAAS will be the first air navigation service provider in the Asia-Pacific to adopt DSiT. DSiT enables the detection and notification of simultaneous radio calls to air traffic controllers who can communicate with two counterparts at the same time.

(Source: Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore)

Singapore Airlines Enters Into Strategic Partnership With Alibaba

September 2018

On 21 August, 2018, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Alibaba Group announced a broad strategic collaboration. The partnership involves several Alibaba Group companies, such as Fliggy, Alibaba Cloud, Alipay and Cainiao Network and encompasses multiple areas, such as flight ticket sales, loyalty programmes, marketing initiatives, cloud services, payments and logistics.

This is an extension an existing partnership with SIA and and Alipay, under which the latter was introduced as a payment option on SIA’s website in 2013. In 2016, an official SIA flagship store was also launched on what was then known as Alitrip (later rebranded as Fliggy), Alibaba’s travel service platform, for direct purchase of SIA flight tickets by consumers in China. 

As part of this expanded collaboration, later this year, KrisFlyer and Fliggy will introduce two-way points conversion, allowing members to enjoy membership perks from both loyalty programmes.  SIA and Fliggy also intend to explore further opportunities to sync their respective loyalty programmes and conduct cross-promotion of membership services. In addition, eligible Fliggy members at certain loyalty programme tiers will be able to earn KrisFlyer Elite Silver or Gold status. Accompanying privileges could include tier bonuses on actual miles flown, priority reservation waitlist, seat selection privileges and priority baggage handling. Fliggy members who achieve KrisFlyer Elite Gold status can also receive benefits from the entire Star Alliance network, the world’s largest airline alliance.

Furthermore, SIA and Alipay will work on extending Alipay acceptance beyond flight purchases to also cover in-flight products and services, airport services, retail merchandise and ancillary touchpoints. 

Working together with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, SIA will explore how its IT ecosystem – from web hosting to apps and membership systems – can benefit from Alibaba Cloud’s global network and its capabilities in managing aviation-related resourcing needs through ET Brain, Alibaba Cloud’s proprietary AI programme.

SIA will work closely with Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, to enhance international air cargo services, joining Cainiao Network’s broader efforts in building a global smart logistics network that delivers across China within 24 hours and globally within 72 hours.

(Sources: Singapore Airlines; Business Times)

(Photo credit: Singapore Airlines)

Consortium Selected To Develop Drone Airspace Management System In Singapore

August 2018

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Transport have selected the Future Flight Consortium – led by Garuda Robotics and comprising Singapore Civil Defence Force, Parkway Pantai, Security Industry Institute, Singtel, Arete M, AirMap, Gemalto, Flare Dynamics, Volans-i, Skyfront, University of Glasgow Singapore, and Acorn International Network to develop a connected urban airspace management system for unmanned aircraft in Singapore. Singapore-based Garuda Robotics is a developer of enterprise-grade drone and drone data solutions for enterprises, governments, and professional drone operators. 

By supporting the development of innovative capabilities, technologies and solutions for navigation, detect-and-avoid, fleet management and UAS traffic management, the program is expected to enable beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight operations in Singapore’s densely populated urban environment while ensuring safety. Drone pilots will remotely operate and monitor BVLOS drones from a Drone Operations Center. Over a two-year period, consortium members will integrate complementary technologies and conduct rigorous tests to demonstrate the reliability and safety of the system. For instance, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is exploring how to use drones to form an aerial supply chain, while Parkway Pantai, which operates Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Novena, Gleneagles and Parkway East hospitals in Singapore, plans to transport blood samples and specimens by drone between these four hospitals and its central laboratory. Temasek Polytechnic-Security Industry Institute (SII), a CET (Continuing Education and Training) centre for Security WSQ (Workforce Skills Qualifications) training, will enable their security company members to respond rapidly to security incidents and fire alarms with drones. 

To enable these use cases, the consortium will build and test a single framework for authorizing, monitoring, and coordinating large numbers of heterogeneous aircraft. This framework will enable the generation and approval of flight paths, and the identification and authentication of aircraft and pilots against a secure registry. Fault tolerant and secure public or private communications networks; remote takeoff and landing stations; and advanced onboard detect-and-avoid capabilities will also be developed. The consortium further aims to create standards for national airspace deconfliction; perform detailed risk modeling and concept of operations analysis; and propose methods for providing real-time public access to information about BVLOS drone flights.

(Source: Future Flight Consortium)

DSTA Singapore Signs Agreements With Boeing And Airbus

July 2018

At the inaugural Singapore Defence Technology Summit in June, Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) signed agreements with Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus) and Boeing.

DSTA's agreement with Airbus aims to facilitate cooperation in exploiting advances in digital technologies. The agreement framework will allow DSTA and Airbus to pool their engineering expertise through collaborations on areas such as data analytics, augmented and virtual reality and 3D printing. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) uses the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and H225M tactical transport helicopters from Airbus.

DSTA Chief Executive Mr Tan Peng Yam said, "This collaboration agreement reflects the mutual interest in DSTA and Airbus to partner each other on digital technology development, by pulling together our collective expertise and know-how."

DSTA and Boeing are going to commence joint research and co-development in data analytics under a project agreement. The two parties will jointly develop an information management tool leveraging data analytics to identify trends and insights on aircraft performance. The tool will analyse flight and maintenance data for the RSAF’s F-15 and AH-64 aircraft. The findings will also be used to develop algorithms for predictive analytics for smarter maintenance and operations.

DSTA Chief Executive Mr Tan Peng Yam commented, "This signifies our emphasis on tapping digital technologies and working closely with the industry to co-develop new capabilities."

(Sources: Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore; Straits Times) 

ST Aerospace Secures First Maintenance Contract For Airbus Corporate Jet

June 2018

ST Aerospace’s VIP Completion arm, AERIA Luxury Interiors (AERIA) has been awarded a 12-year maintenance support contract for its first Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ), an A319. Under the agreement, AERIA will carry out heavy maintenance works that include interior and auxiliary fuel tank removal/replacement. 

The A319 is the first ACJ that the company is supporting at its facility located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. This project allows AERIA to showcase its capability and knowledge base in Airbus platforms to potential ACJ customers looking for customised VIP interior solutions. 

AERIAhas built up a strong record since 2014 in servicing and performing VIP modification and completion on Boeing platforms. It has performed various maintenance checks for over 20 Boeing aircraft since June 2013.  In addition to maintenance services, AERIA offers VIP modification and completion on Boeing and Airbus aircraft.  The San Antonio facility is also an approved Boeing Completions Centre and it can house two widebody or three narrowbody aircraft at any one time, with its latest VIP completion programme slated to begin early next month.

ST Aerospace, the aerospace arm of ST Engineering is the world’s largest commercial airframe MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) service provider with a global customer base that includes leading airlines, airfreight and military operators. It operates a global MRO network with facilities and affiliates in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. 

(Source: ST Engineering, Singapore Business Review)

Singapore Announces Initiatives To Strengthen Defence And Domestic Security Capabilities

May 2018

The Government of Singapore announced in May 2018 its plans to reinforce defence and domestic security capabilities in order to cope with new, emerging threats. It has also noted its intent to partner with citizens and the community to strengthen social resilience, as well as work with neighbouring countries to ensure Singapore remains relevant globally. Among the key initiatives announced in May 2018, various government departments are expected to push for the following developments:

Ministry of Defence:

  • Develop new fighting concepts, and leverage on technological advancements such as the use of the Aerostat surveillance systems, which can scan Singapore’s seas and skies for threats, high-tech warships like the Littoral Mission Vessels, among others.
  • Strengthen cyber defence by training and using qualified full-time national servicemen (NSF), as well as build a capable cyber defence force through partnerships with local Institutes of Higher Learning.
  • More effective deployment of servicemen by tapping on technology, which reduces physical demands of selected National Service vocations, and take into consideration NSFs’ interests when assigning vocations.
  • Work with neighbours and regional partners to enhance regional stability and address common security challenges.

Ministry of Home Affairs

  • Set up a new Home Team Operations Centre, which will use new technologies and harness data for swift response to incidents.
  • Push for digital transformation and use of robotics, such as the use of exo-skeletons by the Singapore Civil Defence force, biometric solutions by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, among others.
  • Introduce new legislation to allow law enforcement agencies to deal with security threats more effectively. The review of the Penal Code will be completed to enhance protection for vulnerable persons.
  • Building on community networks, such as prioritising SGSecure and ensuring that various sectors of the community are prepared for emergencies.

National Security Coordination Secretariat, prime Minister’s Office

  • Work with a wide range of experts, including academia, to enhance the government’s ability to identify emergent risks to national security.
  • Identify risks that cut across different networks and domains, and factor these into the Government’s long-term planning.
  • Conduct national security education programmes to keep public officers up to date with the changing security environment.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Emphasise the importance of ASEAN’s unity and centrality through initiatives such as the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.
  • Deepen engagement with regional and key powers such as China and the United States. Maintain relations with immediate neighbours such as Malaysia and Indonesia through connectivity or economic projects.
  • Continue to promote free trade and regional economic integration, such as pushing for progress on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Economic Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

(Sources: Vietnam Plus; Today Online)

Boeing Announces Global Fleet Care Agreements For Singapore Airlines And Scoot

April 2018

In March 2018, Boeing announced the transfer of two previously signed integrated Boeing Global Fleet Care agreements for Singapore Airlines’ fleet of 27 777-300ERs (Extended Range) and Scoot’s fleet of 20 787 Dreamliners to Boeing Asia Pacific Aviation Services Pte Ltd. (BAPAS), a joint venture between the Boeing Company and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC).

Boeing’s partnership with SIAEC is expected to create more efficient and customer-focused service solutions by combining resources and intimate understanding of airframe lifecycle of Boeing with SIAEC’s knowledge of current and emerging requirements in the Asia Pacific region.

Under the integrated Global Fleet Care agreements, BAPAS will provide engineering services, maintenance planning and scheduling, and operation control centre services, along with materials demand planning and spares support for the airlines. BAPAS will also tailor maintenance and reliability programs and provide support for aircraft modifications. Following these agreements, BAPAS is anticipated to support more than 70 Boeing aircraft within the Singapore Airlines Group.

Boeing and SIAEC also confirmed the completion of the agreements and processes necessary to fully enable the BAPAS joint venture. BAPAS will continue offering industry-leading engineering, materials management and fleet maintenance support solutions for Boeing 737, 747, 777 and 787 aircraft to airline customers in the Asia Pacific region.

(Sources: Boeing)

Honeywell, SIA Group, Boeing Ink Long-Term Deals

March 2018

A number of new partnership announcements have been released in February 2018 with Honeywell, SIA Group, Boeing, and SIA Engineering inking long-term deals. The deals range from services and equipment provision to collaboration on new technologies and data analytics. Initially, the American conglomerate Honeywell has signed in February 2018 long-term contracts with the Singapore Airlines Group to help improve the operational capabilities of the group’s carriers – Singapore Airlines (SIA), SilkAir and Scoot. As part of the agreement, the airlines have contracted a variety of services and equipment, including weather radar, navigation systems, auxiliary power units, predictive maintenance technologies and 24/7 engineering and maintenance support. Its partnership with SIA – the first Airbus A-350 performance base contract in the industry – will cover 30 of SIA’s Airbus A-350s for a 12-year period, with the option to cover the rest of it’s a-350 fleet.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) signed three agreements relating to air traffic management (ATM). The first deal between CASS, ST Electronics and GomSpace – a Danish company that specialises in high-end nano satellites – will see the companies working together on a design study on the implementation of space-based high-frequency communications for ATM in the Singapore flight information. The second partnership – between CAAS and Mitre Asia Pacific Singapore – covers the development of machine learning techniques and speech recognition capabilities that can be applied to ATM to enhance the performance of air traffic control officers. The third agreement – CAAS’ collaboration with the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation – will go towards advancing ATM in Singapore and Europe, through the exchange of knowledge in areas, such as ATM research and training.

Furthermore, the Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and Boeing announced that they will collaborate on the usage of data analytics to reduce downtime and improve availability of aircraft in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). The two organisations will focus on co-developing algorithms and models to allow the early detection of failures and facilitating diagnosis of problems in RSAF’s Boeing fleet.

Finally, SIA Engineering has inked the deal with international aerospace firm Safran to collaborate in the field of data analytics. Both companies will work towards developing advanced predictive software, which will improve aircraft maintenance planning and reduce unscheduled disruptions to aircraft revenue service. Safran will contribute its expertise in developing and deploying software and services, while SIA Engineering will provide its experience in engineering and maintenance, repair and overhaul.

(Sources: The Straits Times; Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore; OpenGov Asia; Safran Group)

One-North Set To Be Singapore's First Drone Estate

March 2018

The Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and JTC  has designated in February 2018 One-North’s R&D hub in Buona Vista as Singapore’s first drone estate to facilitate the trial of innovative unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technologies and commercial use-cases in a controlled urban environment. The drone estate will provide companies and research institutions with an urban environment for test-bedding innovative UAS technologies and it is expected to help the growth of high-tech companies with UAS capabilities and spur meaningful commercial partnerships. Master-planned and developed by JTC, One-North is a 2 sq. km. business park that offers various typologies for testing UAS capabilities, including high-rise to low-rise buildings, as well as public spaces, like parks. As the first stage of development, CAAS is planning to work on five projects.

  • Airbus will use One-North for trials of its “Skyways” initiative to develop an aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in dense urban environment. The trial phase at the National University of Singapore will take place this year.
  • ST Aerospace plans to test and evaluate technologies for its DroNet system that is designed for remote and autonomous deployment of drones within an urban environment. It can be used to assist team to perform perimeter patrols or be the first to respond to an emergency call and provide details on what is going on.
  • Nanyang Technological University’s Air Traffic Management Research Institute plans to conduct test flights on site to validate design concepts, algorithms, technology and systems on the traffic management of multiple-drone operations in low-altitude airspace for various applications, in different conditions and requirements.
  • Singtel (with NCS and HopeTechnik) intends to explore and trial a host of technologies to enable the use of delivery drones and drone stations for Drone-as-a-Service last mile deliveries.
  • JTC and H3 Dynamics will collaborate on enhancing the quality and productivity of building inspections by automating the current manual process with an autonomous drone data collection and analytics solution for building facades and vertical surfaces in One-North.

(Sources: Vulcan Post; Singapore Business; Channel News Asia; JTC; Straits Times)

Singapore To Develop Small Satellite Capabilities

February 2018

The Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the DSO National Laboratories, the national defence research agency, jointly launched the Satellite Technology and Research Center (STAR) to develop cutting-edge capabilities in distributed satellite systems. The shift towards small satellites is being viewed as an opportunity for Singapore to carve out a place for itself as a key player in the new satellite application industry. To achieve Singapore’s aspirations of being a spacetech leader, the Center will pioneer experimental satellite platforms, with a focus on the development of small satellites. STAR aims to build a fleet of small satellites, each weighing 20 kg, or less than one tenth of conventional satellites, which will be deployed in space in formation or constellation by 2022. The Center is considering various applications for small satellite industry, including maritime and aerospace security, remote sensing and monitoring of environmental change as well as detecting forest fires.

The new Center, which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), is also expected to train undergraduates and graduate students to meet the manpower needs of Singapore’s fledgling space industry. STAR’s 1,400 sq. m. facility is currently home to 50 research staff and students, and it comprises a state-of-the-art clean room facility for satellite testing and assembly works, electrostatic discharge controlled laboratories for research and student projects, as well as environmental testing facilities, such as thermal chamber and a vacuum chamber. STAR will also serve as a hub for research, education and commercialization of expertise and technologies relating to the space industry. It is expected to work with industry players, both established companies and new start-ups, by providing the expertise and state-of-the-art satellite platform or subsystems.

(Sources: Business Times; OpenGov Asia; SG Electronics)

ST Aerospace Secures Contracts From Lufthansa Cargo & Air Canada

February 2018

ST Aerospace, an arm of ST Engineering, has secured in February 2018 two contracts from Lufthansa Cargo and Air Canada. The first is a five-year exclusive contract in heavy maintenance support with Lufthansa Cargo, worth USD 30 million. The MD-11 Heavy Maintenance Support contract will enable ST Aerospace to become the sole service provider in Singapore, providing Lufthansa Cargo’s MD-11 fleet with both light and heavy C-checks starting from 2019.

ST Aerospace has additionally secured a contract from Air Canada to perform interior reconfiguration services on part of the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. The cabin reconfiguration contract follows a long-term agreement with Air Canada, announced in June 2017, for heavy maintenance services on the Canadian operator’s 787 fleet. 

(Source: The Straits Times)

Jet Aviation’s 3rd Hangar At Seletar Aerospace Park In Singapore Goes Operational

January 2018

Jet Aviation announced in December 2017 that its third, 3,850-square-meter hangar at Selatar Aerospace Park in Singapore is now in operation, with the official ceremony expected to be held during the Singapore Airshow in February 2018.

The new hangar features a larger, upgraded interior shop, including a 300-square-metre extension for drying rooms, a new soft goods and wood shop. In addition, the facility has been recently approved as an Upholster of Rockwell Collins 16G seating. As the first and only approved 16G seating center in Asia, Jet Aviation is now authorized to re-foam and re-style 16G seats, including that of China-registered aircraft. The new hangar currently provides scheduled base maintenance to the Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ), a Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) and a Gulfstream G550 from the new hangar, which can accommodate up to two BBJs or ACJs, or five Gulfstream G550 aircraft.

According to Jet Aviation, the new hangar brings about much needed aircraft service capacity to the region and helps meet strong demand for local business aviation services, especially for more mature long-range aircraft.

In further news, Jet Aviation’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Selatar has been also designated in December 2017 as BBJ Authorised Warranty Repair Facility and BBJ Factory Authorised Service Center (ASC), joining the company’s previously appointed BBJ ASCs in Basel, Dubai and Geneva, in addition to receiving EASA approval for line and maintenance support to Gulfstream G650.

(Sources: Jet Aviation; General Dynamics; AirSoc)

ASEAN Investments In Large Amphibious Vessels For Naval Modernization

December 2017

Over the past decade, ASEAN countries have seen an upward trend in defense expenditure, with significant investment in aircraft, engines, radar and weapons, and force modernization. Naval modernization is typically associatiated with the acquisition of traditional naval platforms such as submarines and frigates. Today Online (a Singapore newspaper) has however highlighted that there is an increased interest in the large amphibious vessels that allow deployment via air, sea and land, a fact that has escaped the notice of many. Experts feel that the increased interest is due to the versatility of large landing ships with wide range of operations in coastal regions.

Examples of countries that have acquired or expressed interest in large amphibious vessels are:

  • the Philippines, which has obtained two 11,000-ton Tarlac-class landing ships;

  • Malaysia, which is considering the purchase of a Multi-Role Support Ship;

  • Myanmar, which has expressed interest in a landing ship based on Indonesia’s 11,000-ton Makassar-class platform;

  • Singapore, which is also considering the purchase of a Joint-Multi Mission Ship.

According to SIPRI, the largest military spenders in absolute terms in 2016, were Singapore (USD 10 billion) and Indonesia (USD 8.2 billion), followed by Thailand and Vietnam (about USD 5-6 billion), and Malaysia and Philippines (around USD 4 billion). While these numbers cannot compare with the world’s top 10 military spenders (the US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, major EU economies, Japan and South Korea), the fact that ASEAN defense imports increased by 71% between 2009 and 2016 cannot be ignored.

(Sources: SIPRI; Today Online; Singaporean Asian)

Singapore Strengthens Its Seaward Defense

November 2017

The commissioning of the Republic of Singapore Navy's Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity this month marks a significant milestone in the navy's continued transformation to strengthen its capabilities, Two LMVs join the rest of the Navy to safeguard Singapore's waters, protect its sea lines of communication and contribute to regional peace and security. The LMVs represent a quantum jump compared to its predecessor, the Fearless-class patrol vessels, in terms of speed, endurance, anti-air and Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) capabilities.

Jointly developed by the RSN and the Defence Science and Technology Agency, the Independence-class LMVs are equipped with smarter technology and sharper capabilities to enable the RSN to operate more efficiently and effectively. The network-centric ships possess advanced radars and sensors, as well as a 360 degree out-of-window view and improved sense-making systems to enhance situational awareness and accelerate decision-making. The LMVs also have lethal and non-lethal options to deliver calibrated responses to deter and defend against various threats. Their mission modularity further allows the ships to be configured for a wide spectrum of operations.

RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity are the second and third ships out of eight LMVs that will replace the ageing Fearless-class Patrol Vessels which have been in service for more than 20 years. The first-of-class LMV RSS Independence was commissioned on 5 May 2017 and the remaining five LMVs are expected to be operational by 2020.

(Source: Ministry of Defense)

Singapore’s ST Kinetics Bronco 3 Unveiled

October 2017

Singapore’s ST Kinetics showcased its latest Bronco all-terrain tracked carrier vehicle during the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017 show in London and the company will start production once an order is secured. This will be the third generation for the Bronco series, which is an amalgam of the strengths of the Bronco 1 and 2.  The 16-ton Bronco 3 is equipped with Green Rock autonomous tactical counter Rocket, 120-mm Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System (SRAMS) mortar system, Artillery & Mortar (C-RAM) system, an Othello fire-source location systems and a 12.7 mm remote weapon station.

(Sources: Defense News; Jane’s 360)

Singapore Airlines To Upgrade To GX Aviation-Enabled Commercial Aircraft

October 2017

GX Aviation’s high-speed broadband connectivity is now available on one of Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, making SITAONAIR’s complete, nose-to-tail, high-speed connectivity experience over GX Aviation available to passengers. SITAONAIR has equipped SIA with its full suite of high-speed connectivity-enabled services for the cabin. These span everything from its custom-made high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi hub Internet ONAIR and mobile data services (Mobile ONAIR), to digitized devices for cabin crew to enhance the passenger experience and operational efficiencies.

GX Aviation is the world’s first global, high-speed in-flight broadband service from a single operator. It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience on par with mobile broadband services available on the ground.

(Sources: Inmarsat; SITAONAIR)

Siemens Signs MoC With Association Of Aerospace Industries (Singapore)

September 2017

Siemens, a global technology powerhouse in the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization, and the Association of Aerospace Industries (Singapore), or AAIS, a not-for-profit, member-based organisation that promotes Singapore as a leading aerospace hub, have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to promote innovation and drive digital transformation of the aerospace industry in Singapore.

Under the MOC, AAIS and Siemens will jointly organize a range of activities that would educate AAIS members on the topic of digitalization, encourage the implementation of new technologies and equip them with the knowledge to do so. Through seminars, authored articles, site visits, and workshops, Siemens will offer its technical expertise to participants and provide real life demonstrations via its products and services.

This collaboration strengthens Siemens commitment to South East Asia. The company recently launched its first fully integrated Digitalization Hub in Singapore, expanding its expertise and innovations in the Internet of Things (IoT) to customers in the region. With the hub, Siemens will be co-creating future digital applications with customers and partners to build a digital ecosystem. Separately, last year, Siemens launched the ZerOne.DesIgn™ Digital Factory Manufacturing Design engagement model, the first consultancy service of its kind for the controls and automation industry which helps companies achieve their Industrie 4.0 vision.

(Sources: Siemens; Equipment-News; Enterprise Innovation)

Singapore Invests SGD 8.4 million On New Satellite Technology

August 2017

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have invested in a new Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) ground system to enhance search and rescue capabilities in Singapore’s maritime and aeronautical Search and Rescue Regions. The system comprises a ground segment as well as a space segment which deploys Medium-altitude Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites. Distress signals, emitted from the emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships or persons in distress, will be received simultaneously by the MEO satellites and relayed back to the ground segment. 

The new MEOSAR ground system is an improvement to the current Low-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (LEOSAR) ground system, with access to more satellites and employment of more advanced technologies to enhance position accuracy for faster detection and location of distress parties. Costing SGD 8.4 million (USD 6.2 million), the MEOSAR ground system will be fully operational in 2018.

The adoption of the MEOSAR ground system is an initiative under the Cospas-Sarsat programme, which is an international satellite-based programme that provides accurate, timely, and reliable distress alert and location data to help search and rescue authorities assist persons in distress. Singapore has been an active participant of the programme since 1991.

(Source: Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore)

Dnata Singapore Opens A New Maintenance Facility

July 2017

Dnata Singapore has opened up a new 6,900 square meter maintenance base at Singapore Changi Airport, which is located next to the dnata cargo centre. This new larger base has an extra 1,000 sq.m of space, which triples the company’s handling capacity to an average of over 9,000 repairs and maintenances yearly. The new facility has a 66% increase of work pits, 53% increase in repair bays and 50% increase in washing bay spaces. This is planned so as to accommodate current and future expansion. The construction took slightly more than a year-and-a-half with a green commitment in mind. The base is equipped with green technology and equipment, energy saving lights and motion sensors for lights and eco-friendly designs for ventilation.

(Source: The Straits Times, The Business Times, dnata)

Safran’s New Helicopter Engine Facility In Seletar

June 2017

French Group, Safran Helicopter Engines has opened its new regional headquarters dedicated to engines support in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park in May this year.  This 37,670-sq-ft facility triples its industrial capacity to support customers' turboshafts in the region. It houses a new maintenance center geared for the Arrius, Arriel and Makila, a training center for maintenance courses and a 4,300-sq-ft warehouse.

It is Safran's first major investment in the Aerospace Park significantly adding to the growing rotorcraft cluster at the Park. Operating in Singapore for the last 25 years and supporting more than 1,000 engines spread over 18 countries including Singapore, this relocation marks an important milestone in Safran Helicopter Engines Asia service history and forms part of its strategy to strengthen its footprint in the region.

(Source:  Aviation International News, Aviation Pros)

SIA’s Joint Venture With GE Aviation

June 2017

SIA Engineering Company Limited and GE Aviation have agreed to establish a new engine overhaul joint venture based in Singapore. The joint venture will provide a full range of engine MRO services for the GE90 and GE9X engines. The GE90 engine exclusively powers the Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR, and the GE9X engine is the sole engine selection for the Boeing 777X aircraft.

The formation of the joint venture, where GE will have a 51% equity stake in the joint venture and SIAEC holding the remaining 49%, is subject to finalisation of the definitive agreements and receipt of required regulatory approvals.

This partnership, which is expected to have benefits to and beyond the SIA Group, is made possible by Singapore Airlines' announcement in February 2017 of a letter of intent for 39 Boeing widebody aircraft valued at $13.8 billion, which includes 20 777-9s powered by GE9X engines. SIA is also a major operator of GE90-powered 777-300ERs.

The joint venture will establish a state-of-the-art facility, adopting GE's "Brilliant Factory" concepts, combining advanced technologies and lean practices with digitisation and data analytics to enhance productivity. Based in Singapore to handle SIA Group as well as third party MRO work, the joint venture will also present opportunities for Singapore, in terms of job creation, training and additional service offerings at the Singapore hub.

(Sources: SIA Engineering)

Gilmore Space To Develop Low-Cost Rockets For Small Payload Market

May 2017

Rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies, which operates in Singapore and Australia, aims to provide affordable space launch services to the region’s fast-growing small satellite industry. It has closed a seed round of US$ 3.7 million led by Australian VC firm Blackbird Ventures, with additional backing from 500 Startups.  The investment will be used to develop and launch their low-cost rockets for the small payload market – specifically, hybrid-engine rockets that use additively manufactured (or 3D printed) fuel.

Smallsats (or small satellites below 500 Kg) range from highly sophisticated scientific payloads to ‘constellations’ of tiny nano/CubeSats deployed strategically around the Earth. The latter could be used to enhance global coverage and connectivity for space-based communications, deeper earth observations, and applications for the Internet of Things.

According to the company, there is a growing demand for more affordable and reliable transportation to space. Limited launches and delays are reducing market potential and increasing the backlog of satellites awaiting launch, as well as high costs (around $30,000 to $60,000 per kilogramme). Gilmour Space expects to launch its first commercial rockets to suborbital space by the end of 2018, and to Low Earth Orbit (or LEO), the area between 160km and 2,000Km in altitude in which most satellites orbit, by 2020.

(Sources: DealStreetAsia, E27, The News Journal Search)

SIA Engineering and Stratasys Joint Venture

April 2017

SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC) and Stratasys Ltd., the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced jointly the signing of a MOU, to establish a strategic partnership specialising in additive manufacturing to accelerate the adoption of 3D printed production parts for commercial aviation.

The parties will explore a joint venture to be majority owned by SIAEC. This strategic partnership combines Stratasys’ deep knowhow and expertise in additive manufacturing, including in the aerospace segment, with SIAEC’s comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul (“MRO”) service offerings to provide airline customers across the globe with scheduled maintenance and on-demand parts solutions.

Together, the parties intend to establish a Singapore-based Additive Manufacturing Service Centre, offering design, engineering, certification support and part production to SIAEC’s well-established network of partners and customers. Stratasys will provide the domain expertise related to additive manufacturing and drive the development of aerospace applications together with SIAEC. 

(Sources: SIA Engineering Company)

New Defense Cyber Organization To Be Set Up

March 2017

Singapore is setting up a new Defense Cyber Organisation (DCO) to bolster its defenses against the growing chance of online attacks, because it moves to enhance the round- the-clock protection of its army networks. It’ll additionally construct a pressure of cyber defenders - tapping national servicemen, both full-time and operationally geared up guys - who will lead the price on this new battlefront. These moves are vital in light of the protection’s (MINDEF) disclosure earlier this week that non-public information of 850 NSmen and staff have been stolen.

It will have 4 formations, each with different roles, including overseeing the cyber security of all protection groups and building up cyber protection talents. The DCO will be led through a deputy secretary and the formations through a colonel or a flag officer, who is either a general or an admiral. It fortifies the military's past efforts at securing its cyber protection. Those include the 2013 Cyber defense Operations Hub, which gathers its cyber-safety professionals below one command and the ministry plans to have about 2,600 cyber defenders in 10 SAF will also associate Singapore technology Electronics (info-safety) and Nanyang Polytechnic to provide, amongst others, industrial attachments and joint development of cyber protection curriculum.  New protection technology labs are to be set up, to broaden robotics, and take advantage of artificial intelligence and statistics analytics. Similarly, a brand new S$900 million training ground covering 88ha will be constructed to present SAF soldiers a realistic combat experience.

(Sources: The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia)

SIA To Place US$13.8B Order For Boeing Aircraft

February 2017

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has agreed to place firm orders with Boeing for 20 777-9s and 19 787-10s, for additional growth and fleet modernisation through the next decade. It has this month signed a letter of intent with Boeing comprising the 39 firm orders plus six options for each aircraft type, which if exercised will enlarge the deal to as many as 51 aircraft. The 777-9s are due for delivery from the 2021/22 financial year and the 787-10s for delivery from the 2020/21 financial year. The proposed order, which is valued at US$13.8 billion based on published list prices, includes flexibility for the SIA Group to substitute the 787-10 orders for other variants of the 787 family.

The General Electric GE9X is the sole engine type for the 777-9s, which are intended primarily for use on long-haul routes. SIA has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 to power the 787-10s, which are to be operated on medium-range routes.

SIA is a longstanding Boeing customer with more than 50 current-generation 777 aircraft in service. Subsidiaries SilkAir, Scoot and SIA Cargo are also operators of Boeing aircraft, with 737-800s, 787-8/9s and 747-400 Freighters in service, respectively

(Source: Singapore Airlines)