The Singapore air force has award its Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1 UAVs with full operational capability (FOC) status.

Singapore’s defence ministry made the announcent in a statement on its web site. The announcment comes two years after the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 obtained its Singapore FOC.

“The FOC of Heron 1 brings the RSAF's unmanned aerial capabilities to the level of advanced militaries globally,” says defence minister Ng Eng Hen.

“The Heron 1 is among the most advanced UAV systems in its class, able to perform several missions simultaneously as with a suite of state-of-the-art sensors and enhanced range… Apart from these conventional operations, it can also be deployed against terrorist threats, because its persistence enables it to cover a wide area of surveillance."

The Heron 1 replace the IAI Searcher UAV that Singapore has used since 1994.

Singapore is a major market for UAVs. At the 2016, Elbit promoted maritime patrol capabilities of the Hermes 900 at the Singapore air show. In 2014, IAI used the show to unveil the Super Heron HF, which introduced a heavy-fuel engine and other design changes.

Singapore also has a project to tether a large, radar-equipped aerostat to a military base in western Singapore, giving the country a persisent view of low-level activiity for several hundred kilometres.