The Ministry of Defence has just announced that it is launching the Aerostat System – a tethered balloon radar capable of detecting threats up to 200km from Singapore – next year.

Because of the prevalence of high-rise buildings in Singapore, ground-based radar systems may have ‘blind spots’ and can only detect threats up to 60km away. Singapore also rely on Gulfstream planes to provide radar intelligence.

The helium-based Aerostat System will potentially cut surveillance costs by up to $29 million annually.

That makes sense given that the balloon radar can be up in the air 24/7 a year at the cost of helium refills. The alternative which is flying Gulfstream planes 24/7 would result in massive fuel and manpower costs.

But of course, the Internet has to have its say. Check out some of the top comments left on the Singapore’s Angriest Facebook page:

aerostat system comments

So when the army is trying to use innovation to save money, some parts of the Internet call it a waste of money. Brilliant.

And to others, it’s all a Big Brother conspiracy to spy on us. Do follow the link above and check out more of their comments.

How about the top comments from Straits Times’ Facebook post:

aerostat system comments 3

Watch out folks, we’ve got keyboard generals on the interwebs.

aerostat system comments 4

This comment was made in response to the Straits Times’ article title ‘Lift-off for balloon radar to watch over Singapore’.

This is why people can spend hours on end surfing the Internet.

Maybe the top comments on ChannelNewsAsia’s Facebook post will do better:

aerostat system comments 2

The ‘Most Reasonable Reader Base of the Day’ award goes to ChannelNewsAsia.

Should Mindef do better than just copying technology from abroad? Perhaps they should if they can find an even cheaper alternative to the Aerostat System.

But for now, if it is an improvement over the current system and saves us $29 million, I have no idea why some people online are angry and motivated enough to leave some baffling comments that take leave of common sense.

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