ASEAN member states BMD Strategy (if any)

Does anybody have any insights into what are the ASEAN member states' strategy for dealing with potential ballistic missile threats? In this context, I am referring mostly to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and thinking specifically of both China and North Korea whose missiles have the range to reach all of the Southeast Asian region.

I have tried googling but found no White Papers by any of these member states that actually included concrete recommendations for a BMD program.

My personal analysis is that we (EDIT: "We" as in ASEAN member states) ( I am personally from Singapore) are too small to really have the ability to engage in BMD efforts.

If I remember correct, the Aster 30, which is operated by Singapore's navy and air force, have the theoretical ability to intercept short to intermediate-range missiles. If any ASEAN government truly wanted an anti-ICBM capability, even pre-existing systems like the SM-3, or land-based alternatives eg. AEGIS-Ashore, THAAD, PAC-3, may not even be available for sale either.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
I have tried googling but found no White Papers by any of these member states that actually included concrete recommendations for a BMD program.

My personal analysis is that we ( I am personally from Singapore) are too small to really have the ability to engage in BMD efforts…

…If any ASEAN government truly wanted an anti-ICBM capability, even pre-existing systems like the SM-3, or land-based alternatives eg. AEGIS-Ashore, THAAD, PAC-3, may not even be available for sale either.
1. I am not aware of a white paper on Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) within any ASEAN country. Studies for the integration of Aster-30 B1NT missiles aboard the Forbin-class, to provide the French Navy with a BMD capability, are planned for in 2025 — which means that the radar system on the Formidable-class can also be upgraded to provide this capability. Let me clarify on Singapore’s limited BMD capability in 2021.
(a) With the Aster 30, Barak 1, and MICA missiles in its navy and air force inventory, Singapore has a limited and multi-layered BMD capability — the existing Aster 30 is effective against high-speed threats such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, combat aircraft and UCAVs — the upcoming Aster-30 B1NT covers the entire SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missile) threat domain and the entry of the MRBM (Medium Range) domain up to 1,500 km range.​
  • Aster-30 B1NT is capable of coping with Tactical Ballistic Missiles with separable warheads
  • Combined use of Ku-band and Ka-band Asters will provide increased resistance to Electronic Counter Measures
(b) On 20 April 2011, the Indonesian Navy’s KRI Oswald Siahaan test-fired a Russian-made Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missile during a naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. According to TNI-AL, the missile took about 6 minutes to travel 250 kilometres to score a direct hit on the target. From a detection perspective, a low flying supersonic cruise missile is harder to defend against than a single missile on a ballistic path, and the system in Singapore is designed to meet this higher requirement.​
(c) The Barak 1 missile and ELM 2084 radar combination were deployed to provide limited C-RAM and anti-missile coverage for the 24 May 2018 Kim-Trump summit meeting in Sentosa.​
(d) Analysis of satellite images of the Abqaiq facility before and after the 14 Sep 2019 attack show 19 individual strikes: 14 that punctured storage tanks, 3 that disabled oil processing trains, and 2 more that damaged no equipment. The issue for BMD for Singapore is defence against a very large salvo — where the number of drones, ballistic and cruise missiles fired is 3 to 5 times larger than the attack at Abqaiq.​

2. It a matter of public record that Singapore said that it is “quite confident” of being able to detect and neutralize the 19 drones and missiles that were used to attack the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (on 7 Oct 2019), in response to a question by Member of Parliament Christopher de Souza, said:
“The assets we have in place now would have been able to detect the alleged drones used in the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The SAF is confident that these systems can protect Singapore against aerial threats from both manned and unmanned aircraft. Our air defense system is live, 24/7.”​

3. “(For) the Saudi attack, the alleged components that were used or platforms (that) were used, we are quite confident that we would have detected it, as well as been able to neutralize it,” said Dr Ng.

4. In relation to the cruise missile and drone attacks, Dr. Ng also said:
“Depending on the reports you read, from 700km to 1,500km. These medium and long-range drones are able to avoid radar detection and also hit their targets with great precision.”​

But the sophisticated, weaponized drones used in the attack on Saudi Arabia only represent “one extreme” of drone capabilities that Singapore needs to guard against, the minister stressed. The other extreme, according to Dr. Ng, refers to the “simple” drones that can be bought in retail stores. Earlier, in his reply to Mr de Souza’s parliamentary question on lessons that Singapore can learn from the 14 Sep 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure and measures that are already in place, Dr. Ng said the SAF has ramped up the country’s air defenses against drone and missile attacks over the past decade.

5. The SAF’s anti-missile capability will improve over time when Aster-30 B1NT and MICA NG are developed, integrated and deployed.
 
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