Singapore Deploys Military-Grade Anti-Drone System At Changi

Drone Dome
The Rafael Drone Dome system set up at Changi Airport.
Credit: Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung / Facebook

SINGAPORE—In a continuing effort to thwart potential drone incursions into Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) airspace, local authorities have deployed a military-grade anti-drone protection system during the lull in activity at the airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a photo released by Singapore’s transport minister Ong Ye Kung, it appears that the airport has set up the Drone Dome system developed by Israeli defense firm Rafael. The Drone Dome consists of a small radar, a jammer, and a radio frequency sensor, as well as an electro-optic turret. According to Rafael’s specifications, the system can detect drones as small as 0.002 m² (3.1 sq. in.) at a distance of 3.5 km (2.2 mi.) and can sense and then jam signals between the drone and its remote control.

It is unclear whether or not the Drone Dome was acquired by the airport authorities or deployed by the Singaporean military. Civil aviation regulators have approached the Singapore Armed Forces for assistance. Rafael declined to comment when queried.

In June 2019, 38 flights were affected when a drone was sighted at SIN, forcing the closure of a runway. A second incident took place less than a week later, forcing seven arrivals to be diverted as well as 18 departure and arrival flights delayed. Ong said that over the last three months, the authorities had flagged 18 cases of drones flying illegally near the vicinity of airports and airbases.

Chen Chuanren

Based in Singapore, Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Correspondent for Air Transport World, joining the team in July 2018.