A new turbofan platform is preferred although Hawkeye 2000 update is an option

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has begun a new airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system to replace its Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeyes. The emerging need is seen as a follow-on to the RSAF's purchase of new fighters.

Singapore's four E-2Cs are 15 years old and facing systems obsolescence. The aircraft were built to Group 0 standard, equipped with APS-138 radar, which puts them three configurations behind the US Navy's latest Hawkeye 2000 version. The upgrade of Egyptian and Japanese Group 0 aircraft will leave Singapore two standards behind any other operator by next year.

The country has the choice of upgrading its aircraft with the Hawkeye 2000's APS-145 radar, improved IFF identification system, new mission computer and tactical displays, or acquiring a new system. The indications are that the RSAF's leadership favours the latter option, and a jet-powered platform rather than another turboprop.


Singapore has been briefed on a number of systems. These include the Northrop Grumman MESA-radar equipped Boeing 737 ordered by Australia, a proposed AEW&C version of Fairchild Dornier's 728 regional jet equipped with either a Hawkeye radar or a new electronically steerable array or Raytheon's latest Airbus A321-based offering fitted with the Elta Phalcon.

Israel Aircraft Industries is also understood to have discussed with Singapore a radar equipped Gulfstream V business jet, as well as possibly a signals intelligence version of that platform. Some in Singapore advocate making the jump to a distributed network employing long endurance/high flying unmanned air vehicles, though the RSAF first choice remains a manned platform.

For now, Singapore is gathering information and any replacement decision will likely have to await Singapore's selection of a next generation fighter, suggest sources.

Source: Flight International