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Parting shot: Blue Spear missile

Main features of the Blue Spear missile. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

In his May 2023 interview with Janes, Commander of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) First Flotilla Colonel Ng Kok Yeng Daniel disclosed that the service will replace the Harpoon surface-to-surface missile (SSM) on its Formidable-class frigates with the Blue Spear SSM.

The missile will be incorporated as part of the Formidable class's mid-life upgrades (MLUs). This makes the RSN the first operator service to deploy the Blue Spear missile from seaborne units.

The Blue Spear missile was first unveiled at Singapore Airshow 2022 by a joint-venture teaming involving Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and ST Engineering. The joint venture entity is known as Proteus Advanced Systems and the company is marketing the Blue Spear missile as a suitable surface-to-surface weapon for congested waterways, such as those found in many areas across the Asia-Pacific region.

The missile traces its pedigree to the Gabriel family of sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, which was developed by IAI in the 1960s and deployed by the RSN on its Sea Wolf-class gunboats in the 1970s. A similar weapon that shares this heritage is the Sea Serpent SSM, which is being marketed by IAI to the UK Royal Navy via a teaming arrangement with Thales.

The Blue Spear missile has a range of about 290 km and has beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) strike capabilities against targets at sea and on land. This is approximately twice the range that can be achieved when compared with the Harpoon missiles that the RSN deploys on its Formidable class.

The subsonic weapon's radar seeker, guidance system, and payload system have been incorporated within a hardened casing to improve its survivability against Gatling gun-based close-in weapon systems.

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