Interview with Sam Ong, managing director, TRD Consultancy, Singapore.
TRD is a Singapore-based company which was set up in 2011 to initially provide consultancy and market development services for security and defence industries. Since 2015, TRD has been deeply involved with the design, development and supply of standalone and integrated systems aimed at addressing the growing threat of drone proliferation.
Please describe TRD Singapore?
TRD Singapore is a young technology company specialising in counter unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) systems.
We produce the C-UAS system known as the Orion Anti-Drone system that has been fielded in many countries. TRD began operations in Singapore in 2011. We have our overseas office in Thailand and Myanmar with representatives in the United States.
What are the company’s most recent and biggest successes?
Our system has been chosen to deploy in one of the most well-known airports in ASEAN. In terms of product and technology, we have developed a state-of-the art fully integrated C-UAS solution consisting of active radar, passive RF, camera, jammer and etc to detect and defeat all kinds of drones.
How does the company position itself in the market vis-a-vis the large global/domestic defence companies?
TRD started from humble beginnings with a four-man team and in three years we grew to a 40 strong work-force and still counting. TRD is also being known as Tiny Red Dot. First, we aim to be the market leader, as well as remain innovative to develop products that are capable of countering latest and emerging drone threats. Second, our solutions are proven, and we maintain strong customer support in our after-sale services. Third, we will maintain focus on the ASEAN market in which we already have good customer base, and we leverage on partnerships to grow our global market.
How has the UAS threat evolved over the years?
The UAS threat has been underestimated by almost everyone. No one would believe small hobbyist drones would be capable of causing the kind of chaos such as the UK Gatwick airport closure. Due to the rapid proliferation of drones worldwide and recent accidents such as the recent drone attack on the oil storage facility in Saudi Arabia, there is no doubt that the UAS threat is a clear present and future danger.
How severe is the UAS threat in the Asia Pacific?
The drone threat is a global problem. Asia Pacific has its fair share, with 37 delayed flights at Singapore’s Changi airport this due to drone intrusion. We need to be prepared and act fast. Any terrorists or even hobbyists can easily fly a drone into the airport or other critical infrastructure, causing damage and disruption.
How does the company approach C-UAS development?
R: We saw drone threat coming five years ago and believe it will be here to stay. TRD began our C-UAS system R&D in 2014, when the market was still in its infancy. TRD was proud to launch the Orion Anti-Drone system in late 2016 and began an exciting journey that has caused much interest in the market. TRD is constantly looking for new ideas and development to continue improving our own products, which is planned through a three-year roadmap.