Thales Celebrates 50th Anniversary in Singapore, Announcing Investments into Air Traffic Management and Drones.
Thales, a global technology and defense leader, recently marked its 50th anniversary of operations in Singapore. The company held a grand gala event, which was attended by the Chairman and CEO of Thales Group, Patrice Caine, and other senior management executives. Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Heng Swee Keat, had the honor of being the Guest-of-Honor at the event. During the celebration, Thales announced several new investments in the country.
- Thales announces it will establish a world-class major Air Traffic Management (ATM) Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Singapore. This is combined with investments in Research & Development, strengthening the value chain to accelerate joint innovation with regional civil aviation authorities.
- Launches ScaleFlyt Remote ID, the first commercial drone platform that manages identification and tracking of drones, fully designed, developed, and ‘Made-in-Singapore’.
- Inaugurates the Thales Singapore Defence Hub with three pillars: Services, Engineering, and Research.
- Thales in Singapore plans to recruit more than 1000 people over the next three years.
Thales initially established its presence in Singapore in 1973, primarily focusing on supporting aeronautics-related activities in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Over the years, the company has expanded its capabilities and solutions to include national defense, space, transportation, and, more recently, digital identity and security solutions, following its successful acquisition and integration of Gemalto in 2019.
Air Traffic Management Centre of Excellence
The Singapore Air Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025 outlines key priorities to transform Singapore into a future-ready global aviation hub. Objectives include building a safe and sustainable air hub and pursuing innovation in better air traffic and unmanned systems.
Thales is establishing an ATM Centre of Excellence in Singapore, at their premises at Ayer Rajah Crescent. The main focus of this center will be on industrial applications and design activities for their Air Traffic Management system, known as TopSky-ATC. Moreover, Thales aims to foster collaboration and innovation with regional air navigation service providers. Their ultimate goal is to build an open and collaborative ATM ecosystem. In order to achieve this, Thales plans to develop partnerships with SMEs, academia, and other stakeholders in the ATM industry within the region.
Over the next three years, the scope of activities at the Centre of Excellence will be expanded. The aim is to drive the growth of the ATM sector in Asia. This includes plans for additional recruitment. Thales intends to have 120 ATM experts based in Singapore in the near future.
ScaleFlyt Remote ID – ‘Invented and Made-in-Singapore’
Drones are becoming more and more common, which means it’s crucial to ensure that the airspace remains safe and secure. To achieve this, a solid regulatory framework is needed to create a reliable and safe drone ecosystem.
One solution to enhance safety is the ScaleFlyt Remote ID system. Developed by the Thales Drone team in Singapore, this device allows drones to transmit important information. The drones transmit their location, altitude, and identification to air traffic controllers and other stakeholders in real-time. This sharing of data helps everyone involved stay informed about the whereabouts of drones. Thus, it enables effective coordination between drone operators and airspace owners, reducing the risk of conflicts in the airspace.
The ScaleFlyt Remote ID tracker has been rigorously tested and certified for the past two years. It is the first UAV product originating from Singapore that is ready for commercial use worldwide. Thales plans to further expand its drone technology offerings in the future. Initiatives include digital flight avionics and solutions for Urban Air Mobility.
Thales Singapore Defence Hub Opens
On October 6th, Thales officially inaugurated the Singapore Defence Hub, covering three main pillars: Services, Engineering, and Research. This facility aims to bolster long-term defense capabilities. These include maintenance, support, operational availability, and indigenous development, to cater to the requirements of the Singapore Armed Forces. With a team of experienced experts on-site, Thales can provide quicker turnaround times and a more personalized approach to address customer needs, fostering stronger customer relationships.
“Singapore is a strategic country for Thales, and a regional innovative hub for Asia. These announcements illustrate Singapore and Thales’ joint innovation and digital ambitions, building together a more sustainable aviation future and more resilient defense capabilities serving Singapore Armed Forces. By growing local capabilities in close proximity to our customers and partners, we are providing technologies for a safer and more secure society across Asia,” said Patrice CAINE, Chairman and CEO, Thales Group.
Thales has a strong presence in Singapore, employing 2000 people across four sites. Over the last 50 years, Thales has made significant investments in Research, Technology, and Innovation, establishing various research facilities. These include a joint laboratory at NTU in collaboration with CNRS International, the Thales Digital Factory, an Engineering Competency Centre, and joint labs with their customers and partners.
“Thales has grown alongside Singapore through 50 years. Today we have a strong engineering and manufacturing core in Avionics and Digital Identity and Security. Building upon this foundation, our new investments in the Air Traffic Management Centre of Excellence will make of Singapore a world leading ATM technology hub. We are proud to invent here cutting-edge drone management technology for a safe and efficient use of drones. Our Defence Hub will also expand local capabilities that build resilience for critical systems that defend Singapore,” said Emily TAN, Country Director, Thales in Singapore. “We celebrate 50 years in Singapore with pride. As we look towards the next 50 years, our teams are working on next-generation technologies including Quantum, AI, 5G/6G, and cybersecurity that will continue to protect the world. We look forward to deepening our strong partnership with Singapore.”
“Singapore values our longstanding partnership with Thales. Thales’ growing presence here has created exciting job opportunities for many Singaporeans across various functions such as manufacturing, research & development (R&D) and headquarters. Thales’ collaborations with our research institutes, Institutes of Higher Learning and government agencies to develop new technologies and solutions have also advanced Singapore’s competitiveness as a global node for innovation. My congratulations to Thales on its 50th anniversary in Singapore, and we look forward to deepening this partnership for many more years ahead,” said PNG Cheong Boon, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).