In early March, Singapore officials confirmed deployment of the MBDA Aster 30 air defense system. The missiles were ordered at the end of summer 2013, to replace Singapore’s aging I-HAWK ground-based air defense system. In a March 2 speech to the Parliament’s defense committee, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed deployment of the Aster 30 and reaffirmed its importance. “Our skies will be better protected with advanced weapon systems,” Mr. Hen said. Singapore is the first non-European nation to deploy the ground-launched version of the Aster medium-range missile.