14 Januari 2011
Skyblade III complete equipment (photo : ST Aerospace)
The Army gained a new friend in the skies as six units were equipped with the Skyblade III mini-UAV late last year. Hauling day-use and night-use cameras skywards, the mini-UAV is used by scout teams to conduct recce operations.
Details of Skyblade III equipment (photos : Cyberpioneer)
Previously, scout teams relied primarily on visual surveillance, which required them to be in close proximity to their targets. But with the Skyblade III, they can be further away, reducing the chance of being spotted by the enemy.
Army units will also be able to respond faster to threats in its area of operations. "During an assault, we are able to see much further a field,and in defence, we can plan counter-manoeuvres earlier because the scout teams are able to detect the presence of opposing forces much earlier," said Lieutenant Colonel Willy Lock, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, during a training exercise on 25 Nov 2010.
Opposition forces will not have an easy time trying to locate the scout teams operating the Skyblade III, as the operators could be anywhere within its 8km range. The mini-UAV is also difficult to spot visually: its silhouette in flight resembles a bird to the naked eye.
Skyblade operations (photo : AsiaOne)
According to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ong Chee Boon,Deputy Group Head, General Staff, all active Army battalions will be equipped with the Skyblade III by 2012.