Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) has signed a ‘master agreement’ with French company Thales.

The agreement aims to improve the efficiency in setting up long-term services contracts such as support, maintenance, operational availability and local development.

Concurrently, the company has also launched the ‘Thales Singapore Defence Hub (TSDH)’ at its Singapore headquarters at Ayer Rajah Crescent. It will focus on supporting the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

The defence hub will allow Thales to leverage digital and engineering expertise to improve operational performance and long-term maintenance, maximise operational availability, and support development throughout the lifecycle of different equipment and systems used by the SAF.

DSTA Operations deputy chief executive Roy Chan said: “This new agreement moves DSTA to take an agile and nimble approach to capability development. It enables us to continuously innovate and upgrade our systems to retain the capability to handle new threats in our challenging operating environment, in great contrast to the conventional way of developing mid-life upgrades every ten-15 years.”

The master agreement builds on an initial memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Thales and DSTA in February 2022.

Under this MoU, the two entities worked together to boost efficiency and establish radar digital technology research partnerships, as well as set up data exchanges between the entities.

The agreement will now see the deployment of Thales’ trained engineering and services experts in Singapore to work with DSTA and the SAF to deliver service quality.

The local presence of Thales’ experts will help to minimise the downtime risk in critical scenarios.

Furthermore, Thales has also set up a Radar Centre of Excellence under its Research & Technology department to develop radar digital technologies and bring local radar expertise to Singapore.