Republic of Singapore Air Force

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Republic of Singapore Air Force
RSAF Crest.svg
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's crest
Founded1 September 1968; 50 years ago (1968-09-01)
Country Singapore
TypeAir force
RoleAir supremacy, aerial defence, aerial warfare
Size13,500 personnel, 276 aircraft
Part ofSingapore Armed Forces
Motto(s)Above All
EngagementsIraq War, War in Afghanistan,[1] Combined Task Force 151
International military intervention against ISIL
Chief of Air ForceMajor General Mervyn Tan Wei Ming
Bey Soo Khiang
Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Meng
EnsignRepublic of Singapore Air Force service flag.svg
RoundelRSAF Roundel (1990–present).svg RSAF Roundel (1990–present, low visibility).svg
Aircraft flown
FighterF-16C/D, F-15SG
PatrolG550 AEW&C, Fokker 50 ME2
TrainerM346, PC-21, TA-4SU, EC120
TransportKC-130B & C-130H, Fokker 50 UTL, KC-135R, A330 MRTT, CH-47D/SD, Super Puma

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is the air arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. It was first established in 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command (SADC). In 1975, it was renamed the Republic of Singapore Air Force.[2]


Former Singaporean air force ensign, used from 1968 to 1973.
Former Singaporean air force ensign, used from 1973 to 1990.

In January 1968, the British announced the imminent withdrawal of all their troops east of Suez by the end of 1971. Prior to then, Singapore had depended completely on Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) for its air defence, while the newly established Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) had concentrated its efforts mainly on building up the Singapore Army.

1968–1973: 1st generation RAF styled roundel (similar to Peruvian and Turkish Air Force roundels)
1973–1990: 2nd generation yin-yang styled roundel
Comparison of older RSAF roundels

The predecessor to the RSAF, the SADC, was formed in September 1968. The SADC's immediate task was to set up the Flying Training School to train pilots. Qualified flying instructors were obtained through Airwork Services Limited, a UK-based company specialising in defence services. Basic training for pilots was carried out using two Cessna light aircraft hired from the Singapore Flying Club. The SADC also enlisted the help of the Royal Air Force which introduced the first flying training syllabus and provided two ex-RAF pilots as instructors, as well as facilities and services at Seletar Airport. Finally, the first batch of six pilot trainees were sent to the United Kingdom in August 1968 to undergo training in various technical disciplines. The training was based on the Hawker Hunter, the SADC's first air defence fighter. The following month, another pioneer group of technicians, this time from the rotary wing, were sent to France to begin their technical training on the Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopter. In 1969, a number of local RAF technicians were released to join the fledging SADC. These local technicians (local other ranks) had experience working on fixed-wing RAF aircraft such as the Hawker Hunter, Gloster Javelin, English Electric Canberra, English Electric Lightning and Avro Shackleton;[3] as well as rotary-wing RAF aircraft such as the Bristol Belvedere, Westland Wessex and Westland Whirlwind.[3]

Eight Cessna 172K aircraft – the SADC's first – arrived in May 1969 to be used for basic pilot training.[4] By December, the first batch of students completed the course. Of these, six were sent to the UK to receive further training. On their return to Singapore in 1970, they were ready to operate the then newly acquired Hawker Hunter fighter aircraft.

The pace of training pilots and ground crew picked up gradually. On 1 August 1969, Minister for the Interior and Defence, Lim Kim San, inaugurated the Flying Training School (FTS) at Tengah Air Base (then known as RAF Tengah). The inauguration of FTS brought SADC closer to its goal of fulfilling the heavy responsibility of defending Singapore's airspace.

The subsequent arrival of the BAC Strikemasters in 1969, used for advanced phase flying training, meant that pilot trainees were now able to earn their initial wings locally rather than overseas. The first batch of locally trained fighter pilots were trained at the FTS and graduated in November 1970. Amongst this batch was 2LT Goh Yong Siang, who later rose to the appointment of Chief of Air Force on 1 July 1995. Gradually, the SADC had its own pilots, flying instructors, air traffic controllers, and ground crew.

When Britain brought forward its plan to withdraw its forces by September 1971, the SADC was suddenly entrusted with a huge responsibility and resources. Britain's former air bases – Tengah, Seletar, Sembawang and Changi – were handed over to the SADC, as well as its air defence radar station and Bloodhound II surface-to-air missiles.

In 1973, the SADC procured Shorts Skyvan search-and-locate aircraft and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk fighter-bombers. With a reliable mix of fighters, fighter-bombers, helicopters and transport aircraft, the SADC was ready to assume the functions of a full-fledged air force. On 1 April 1975, the SADC was renamed the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).[2]

One of its first commanders was LTC Ee Tean Chye.[5][6]

The RSAF celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2018 with the theme "Our Home, Above All". [7] 50 years of RSAF history can be accessed here. The RSAF celebrated its Golden Jubilee with an extended flypast during the national day parade on 9th August and also performed 2 sessions of aerial display at the Marina Barrage on the 11th and 12th of August.[8] RSAF history factsheet can be accessed here.

Combat Operations:


The RSAF is led by the Chief of the Air Force (CAF). The current CAF is Major General Mervyn Tan Wei Ming.[12] The CAF reports directly to the Chief of Defence Force and is assisted by the Chief of Staff (Air Staff), Brigadier General (BG) Lim Tuang Liang.[13] The Air Force Command Chief is Military Expert 6 (ME6) M. A. Pathi.[14] The Air Staff comprises six functional departments: Air Manpower, Air Intelligence, Air Operations, Air Engineering and Logistics, Air Plans and Air Training. There are also two specialist departments: the Air Force Inspectorate (AFI) and the Office of the Chief Air Force Medical Officer (CAMO).[13]

List of chiefs[edit]

Years in Office Name
2016–present Mervyn Tan Wei Ming
2013–2016 Hoo Cher Mou [15]
2009–2013 Ng Chee Meng [15]
2006–2009 Ng Chee Khern [15]
2001–2006 Lim Kim Choon [15]
1998–2001 Raymund Ng Teck Heng [15]
1995-1998 Goh Yong Siang [15]
1992-1995 Bey Soo Khiang [15]
1990-1992 Michael Teo Eng Cheng [15]

Commands and Units[edit]

On 5 January 2007, Defence minister Teo Chee Hean announced that the Air Force organisation chart will be re-structured into five major commands, namely the Air Defence and Operations Command (ADOC), the Air Combat Command (ACC), the Participation Command (PC), the Air Power Generation Command (APGC) and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Command (UC). The first to be inaugurated was ADOC, along the restructuring announcement.[16]

ADOC is the principal agency in charge of planning and executing peacetime operations and air defence. ADOC is also responsible for the development and operational readiness of the command and control and ground-based air defence units of the RSAF.

UC was the second command to be inaugurated and become operational in May 2007.[17]

The next command to be inaugurated was PC in January 2008.

The last two commands, ACC and APGC, were inaugurated together in August 2008 in conjunction with the RSAF 40th Anniversary. The ACC will bring together fighter and transport squadrons under one command, with central planning, control and execution of the air battle in operations. The APGC will enhance the missions of the ACC by ensuring that all air bases remain operational at all times, as well as improving the servicing and turn-around of aircraft to ensure continuous and responsive operations.

Air Combat Command (ACC)[edit]

The ACC (“Poised And Deadly”) is responsible for the planning, control and execution of the air battle in operations. It brings together all fighter and transport squadrons that will carry out these tasks under a single command which will be responsible for training the pilots and aircrew to think and operate in a fully integrated way.[18] The ACC consists of the following groups:

  • HQ ACC
  • Integrated System Development Group (ISDG)
  • Operations Development Group (ODG)
  • Fighter Group (FG)(“Decisive And Deadly”)
    • 140 Squadron (“Stand Firm In Defence”)
    • 142 Squadron (“Honour And Glory”)
    • 143 Squadron (“We Dare”)
    • 145 Squadron (“Swift And Valiant”)
    • 149 Squadron (“Steadfast”)
    • Peace Carvin II – Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, USA
    • Peace Carvin V – Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, USA
  • 110 Squadron (“Sharpening Our Cutting Edge”)
  • Transport Group (TG) (“Project And Deliver”)
    • 111 Squadron (“Vigilance In Control”)
    • 112 Squadron (“Determined To Deliver”)
    • 121 Squadron (“Seek And Destroy”)
    • 122 Squadron (“Dependable”)

Air Power Generation Command (APGC)[edit]

The APGC (“Generate And Sustain”) is set up to enable the RSAF to generate and sustain effective, timely and robust air power to meet the operational needs of the SAF. With the APGC, higher operational efficiency within each RSAF Air Base, and secondly, greater integration across the four bases are achieved. The APGC consists of the following groups:

  • Operations Development Group (ODG)
  • Changi Air Base (“Together In Excellence”)
    • 208 Squadron (“Reliable And Vigilant Always”)
    • 508 Squadron (“Unrivalled Support”)
    • 608 Squadron (“Vigour And Vigilance”)
    • 708 Squadron (“Agile And Dependable”)
    • 808 Squadron (“Ready And Vigilant”)
  • Paya Lebar Air Base (“Strength Through Readiness”)
    • 7 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (7 AELG) (“Pride In Support”)
    • 207 Squadron (“Support Towards Excellence”)
    • 507 Squadron (“Forever Onward”)
    • 607 Squadron (“Dare Us”)
    • 707 Squadron (“Resolute And Responsive”)
    • 807 Squadron (“Swift And Effective”)
    • 817 Squadron (“Dedicated And Precise”)
  • Sembawang Air Base (“Swift And Resolute”)
    • 6 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (6 AELG) (“Swift And Steadfast”)
    • 206 Squadron (“Precision In Control”)
    • 506 Squadron (“Steadfast Support”)
    • 606 Squadron (“Uphold And Persevere”)
    • 706 Squadron (“Swift And Reliable”)
    • 806 Squadron (“Agile And Expeditious”)
    • 816 Squadron (“Precise And Dependable”)
  • Tengah Air Base (“Always Vigilant”)
    • 5 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (5 AELG)(“Excellence Always”)
    • 205 Squadron (“Excellence And Beyond”)
    • 505 Squadron (“Strive To Maintain”)
    • 605 Squadron (“Alert And Steadfast”)
    • 705 Squadron (“Zeal In Duty”)
    • 805 Squadron (“Responsive And Dependable”)
    • 815 Squadron (“Swift And Precise”)

The four support squadrons still remain organic to each Base but are under direct command of APGC. These four squadrons are: Airfield Maintenance Squadron (AMS), Ground Logistics Squadron (GLS), Field Defence Squadron (FDS) and Flying Support Squadron (FSS).

UAV Command (UC)[edit]

The main structures under UC(“Persistent And Precise”) are Operations & System Development Group (OSDG), headed by the Deputy Commander of UC. UC consists of the following groups:[19]

  • HQ UC
  • UAV Group (UG) (“Persistent And Focused”)
    • 116 Squadron (“Courageous And Tenacious”)
    • 119 Squadron (“Precise And Cohesive”)
    • 128 Squadron (“Focused And Ready”)
  • Imagery Exploitation Group (IXG)(“Precise And Timely”)
    • 129 Squadron (“Swift And Sharp”)
    • 138 Squadron (“Poised To Deliver”)
  • 1 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (1 AELG) (“Swift And Sure”)
    • 801 Squadron (“Swift And Dependable”)
    • 811 Squadron (“Persistent And Sure”)

Air Defence & Operations Command (ADOC)[edit]

The ADOC (“Vigilant & Ready”) consist of the following:[20]

  • Air Surveillance Control Group (ASCG) (“Vigilant And Decisive”)
    • 200 Squadron (“Sense Fight Kill”) represented by a black widow spider on a web
    • 202 Squadron
    • 203 Squadron (“Serve To Preserve”)
  • National Air Defence Group (ADG) (“Ever Vigilant”)
    • 160 Squadron (“Alert Always”)
    • 163 Squadron (“Above The Best”)
    • 165 Squadron (“Pride In Protection”)
  • Air Operations Control Group (AOCG) (“Always In Control”)
  • 9 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (“With Unity We Support”)
    • 113 Squadron (“Mission First”)
    • 809 Squadron (“Ready And Swift”)
    • 819 Squadron (“Precise And Reliable”)

Participation Command (PC)[edit]

The PC (“Integrate & Dominate”) consists of the following groups:[21]

  • HQ PC
  • Operations Development Group (ODG)
  • Helicopter Group (HeliG)(“Dare & Will”)
    • 120 Squadron (“Strive To Achieve”)
    • 123 Squadron (“Swift And Precise”)
    • 125 Squadron (“Swift In Support”)
    • 126 Squadron (“Ready And Able”) – RAAF Base Oakey, Queensland, Australia
    • 127 Squadron (“Strength Courage Swiftness”)
    • Peace Prairie (“Moving In Tandem”) – Grand Prairie, Texas, USA
    • Peace Vanguard (“Forging Ahead”) – Marana, Arizona, USA
  • Tactical Air Support Group (TASG) (“Integrated & Ready”)
    • 1 Medical Squadron (“Courage And Conviction”)
    • 105 Squadron (“Robust And Resolute”)
    • 201 Squadron (“Deploy Detect Defend”)
  • Divisional Air Defence Group (DAG)(“Vigilant And Lethal”)
    • 3 Divisional Air Defence Artillery (“Vigilant And Valiant”)
    • 6 Divisional Air Defence Artillery (“Vigilant And Valiant”)
    • 9 Divisional Air Defence Artillery (“Vigilant And Valiant”)
    • 18 Divisional Air Defence Artillery (“Always Ahead”)

Air Force Training Command (AFTC)[edit]

The Air Force Training Command (AFTC) is an amalgamation of the former Air Force School, Flying Training School and UAV Training school which facilitates training of future pilots and ground crew of the RSAF.

The training schools and squadrons under AFTC (“Excellence”) consist of the following:[22]

  • Flying Training Institute (FTI) (“Strength Through Knowledge And Skills”)
    • 124 Squadron (“Strive For Excellence”)
    • 130 Squadron (“Aim To Strike”) – RAAF Base Pearce, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    • 150 Squadron (“Forward We Strive”) – Cazaux Air Base, France
    • Air Grading Centre (“Soar Through Knowledge”) – Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia
    • Standards Squadron (“Pride Through Professionalism”)
    • UAV Training School (“Redefine Perfection”)
  • Air Warfare Training Institute (AWTI) (“Excellence Through Knowledge And Skills”)
    • C3 School (“Competency Through Knowledge”)
    • GBAD School (“Look Forward”)
  • Air Engineering Training Institute (AETI) (“Towards Excellence”)
    • Advanced AFE School (“Inspiring Excellence”)
    • Aircraft Engineering School (“Engineering Excellence”)
    • Civil Engineering School (“Excellence In Resilience”)
    • Networks, C2 and Air Defence School (“Excellence In Networked Air Defence”)
    • Supply Chain School (“Delivering Excellence”)
  • Training Development Group (TDG)

Retired Units[edit]

  • 141 Squadron (“Detect To Deter”) (1972- c 2008) Hawker hunters and F5
  • 144 Squadron (“Dare To Excel”) (1979- c 2015) F-5E/T

Air bases[edit]

An F-5S of 144 Sqn preparing for take-off.
An F-16C of 140 Sqn scrambling.
Demonstration of a M-113A2 Ultra Mechanised Igla IFU on deployment, visible in the background is an I-HAWK SAM launcher.
Exercise Forging Sabre 2009, an RSAF's IAI Searcher II UAV parked inside the hangar of Henry Post Army Airfield, United States.
  • Changi Air Base (West)
    • 112 Sqn 4 KC-135R (Aerial refuelling)
    • 121 Sqn 4 Fokker 50 (Transport), 5 Fokker 50 ME2 (Maritime patrol)
  • Changi Air Base (East)
    • 112 Sqn 1 Airbus A330 MRTT (Aerial refuelling)
    • 145 Sqn 20 F-16D Blk 52+ (Strike)
  • Paya Lebar Air Base
  • Sembawang Air Base
    • 120 Sqn 20 AH-64D Longbow Apache (Attack)
    • 123 Sqn 6 S-70B Seahawks (ASW)
    • 124 Sqn 4 EC120 Colibri (Training)
    • 125 Sqn 22 AS332M Super Puma (Transport/SAR)
    • 126 Sqn 12 AS532UL Cougar (Transport/SAR)
    • 127 Sqn 6 CH-47D, 12 CH-47SD (Heavylift)
  • Tengah Air Base
    • 111 Sqn 4 G550 (AEW & C)
    • 116 Sqn Hermes 450 (Reconnaissance)
    • 140 Sqn 9 F-16C (Interceptor), 6 F-16D Blk 52 (Strike)
    • 143 Sqn 5 F-16C (Interceptor), 8 F-16D Blk 52 (Strike)
    • RSAF Black Knights – RSAF's aerobatic team.
  • Chong Pang Camp SADA (Singapore Air Defence Artillery)
    • 3rd DA RBS-70 SAM, IGLA SAM, Giraffe Radar
    • 6th DA RBS-70 SAM, IGLA SAM, Giraffe Radar
    • 9th DA RBS-70 SAM, IGLA SAM, Giraffe Radar
    • 18th DA RBS-70 SAM, Mistral SAM
    • 160 Sqn Oerlikon 35 mm AA Guns (Airfield defence)
  • Lim Chu Kang Camp II SADA (Singapore Air Defense Artillery)
    • 163 Sqn Raytheon I-HAWK SAM (Medium altitude air defence)(*being replaced by Aster 30 SMTP)
    • 165 Sqn Rapier SAM, RBS-70 SAM, SPYDER SAM
  • Danau Camp
    • 201 Sqn FPS 117 Radar (Fighter control, SAM control, Surveillance, ASP)
  • Other assets of SADA (Singapore Air Defense Artillery)
    • 203 Sqn LORADS Radar (RASP, SAR, "listening watch" for distress signals)
  • Murai Camp
    • 119 Sqn IAI Heron (Reconnaissance)
    • 128 Sqn 400 IAI Searcher (Reconnaissance)
  • Classified
    • 200 Sqn 'Air Defence'[24]
    • 202 Sqn 'Network Management' [25]

Overseas detachments[edit]

A TA-4SU on the flightline of Cazaux Air Base


The backbone of the RSAF is formed by the Block 52/52+ F-16 Fighting Falcons. These are armed with US-supplied AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles and LANTIRN targeting pods, laser guided munitions and conformal fuel tanks for long-range strike.

While Singapore initially bought as many as 70 F-16 planes, on 18 November 2004, it was announced that the RSAF would offer its remaining 7 F-16A/Bs to the Royal Thai Air Force. It is believed that these early Block 15OCU aircraft were upgraded to "Falcon One" standard by ST Aerospace before the transfer and delivered in late 2005. In return, the RSAF was permitted to train at the Udon Royal Thai Air Force Base in north-east Thailand for a specified number of days each year. This would mean that the RSAF will operate only the Block 52/52+ model, as many as 62 F-16CJ/DJ planes.

Due to severe airspace constraints within Singapore, the RSAF operates its aircraft at several overseas locations to provide greater exposure to its pilots. With the F-16C/D Fighting Falcons, KC-135R Stratotankers, AH-64D Apaches and CH-47SD Chinook helicopters based in the United States, the Marchetti S-211s, PC-21s, and Super Puma helicopters in Australia, and the TA-4SU Super Skyhawks in France, almost one third of the force's inventory is based outside Singapore.

In 1994, the RSAF commenced a modernisation program for its fleet of approximately 49 operational (R)F-5E and F-5F aircraft. The upgrade was performed by Singapore Technologies Aerospace (STAero) and the upgraded aircraft were designated (R)F-5S and F-5T respectively, operating from Paya Lebar Air Base. These upgraded F-5S/T, equipped with the Galileo Avionica's FIAR Grifo-F X-band Radar[34][35][36] are thought to be capable of firing the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile but to date, no actual live-firing has actually been reported. For in-flight refuelling, four KC-135Rs and four KC-130Bs are commissioned to support the fighter force of F-16C/Ds and (R)F-5S/Ts.

Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability was introduced in 1987 when four E-2C Hawkeyes were delivered to 111 Squadron. The duty of Maritime Patrol and Coastal surveillance is performed by the five Fokker 50 MPA (entered service in 1991) of 121 Squadron, which can be armed with long-range anti-shipping AGM-84 Harpoon missiles and ASW torpedoes.

As part of its fleet renewal process, the RSAF officially withdrew its fleet of ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk from front-line service on 31 March 2005 after 31 years of operations. The A-4SUs' achievements included flying directly from Singapore to the Philippines, incorporating the RSAF's first air-to-air refuelling mission in 1986, as well as the excellent aerobatic display of the 'red and white' Super Skyhawks flown by the RSAF Black Knights during Asian Aerospace 1990.[37] A month before its retirement, the Skyhawk squadron won top honours in a strike exercise against its more modern F-16 and F-5 counterparts.

Singapore ordered a total of twenty AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters in two batches. After a long period of negotiations over the delivery of the sophisticated Longbow Fire-control radar, the first batch of eight aircraft, fitted with the Fire Control Radar, was delivered on 17 May 2002.[38] The second batch of 12 Apaches were ordered in 2001 even before the first delivery took place.[39] All of the initial eight Apaches are based in the United States. Three of the Apache Longbows returned in January 2006 at the request of the Minister of Defence.

Apart from the six CH-47SDs delivered from 1996, a new batch of six aircraft was ordered in 1997, with an option of four extra airframes. At least 12 CH-47SD have been delivered and are in service at Sembawang Air Base. It is believed that these had been upgraded to the SD standard prior to delivery.

Eight CH-47SDs were also deployed to support the relief efforts in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It was the first and one of the few countries to reach the affected areas. The RSAF deployed dozens of C-130Hs, CH-47SDs and AS 332Ms there along with three of the RSN's latest Landing Ship Tanks (RSS Endurance, RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour of the Endurance class LST) as well as Singapore Armed Forces vehicles, engineers, and medical teams.

In September 2005, the RSAF sent three CH-47SD Chinook helicopters, later augmented by a fourth CH-47SD Chinook, to provide assistance in the rescue and evacuation of stranded civilians after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and nearby areas in the United States.[40] The humanitarian effort by Singapore involved more aircraft than any other foreign countries.[41]

Since 2003, the RSAF has also made deployments of KC-135 tankers and C-130 aircraft to the Persian Gulf in support of the multinational efforts for the reconstruction of Iraq. RSAF personnel have carried out airlift, transportation and supply, and air-to-air refuelling missions in support of the multinational forces, assisting the Coalition in carrying supplies and personnel, transporting humanitarian material and conducting medical evacuation operations.[42][43] In September 2013, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen stated in a parliamentary reply that Singapore would soon acquire the Aster 30 land-based missile system.[44]

RSAF day is celebrated on the 1st of September annually, in 2018 a combined flypast including the new A330 MRTT with a special 50th anniversary livery took place at Tengah Air Base.[45][46]


Military ranks in the Singapore Armed Forces are identical across the three services except for the flag ranks of the RSN. They are based on the Army model. The official table of ranks stops at three stars for all three services.[47] NATO rank codes are not officially used, but are listed here for easy comparison with other armed forces.

Like the Navy, the majority of Air Force personnel are regulars. This is due to the specialised and technical nature of many jobs. The employment of National Servicemen in various roles are limited mostly to the infantry-like Field Defence Squadrons which do not require such specialised training.


The F-15SG Strike Eagle is a variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle and is similar in configuration to the F-15K sold to South Korea, but differs in the addition of the APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar developed by Raytheon. The F-15SG is powered by two General Electric F110-GE-129 29,400 lbf (131 kN) thrust engines.

In February 2003, Singapore joined the JSF program's System Design and Development (SDD) Phase, as a Security Co-operation Participant (SCP).[48][49] The first deliveries of the F-35 are not expected before 2015, but replacement for some of the ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks was needed by 2007. As a start, 20 F-16D Block 52+ have been delivered from 2003 under project Peace Carvin IV.The initial order is for 12 aircraft with 8 options. Eventually, as many as 40 to 60 aircraft may be procured in several batches. Pending news on Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II's progress, it is speculated that more F-15SGs may be bought, with the upper limit, as disclosed by the RSAF, being 80 F-15SG aircraft in total. On 22 October 2007, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) exercised the option to purchase eight more F-15SG fighters as part of the original contract signed in 2005. Along with this buy, an additional order for four F-15SGs was made, bringing the total number of F-15SGs purchased to 24.[citation needed]

The RSAF embarked on its Next Generation Fighter (NGF) programme to replace the ageing A-4SU Super Skyhawks. The original list of competitors was shortlisted to the final two – Dassault Rafale and the F-15SG Strike Eagle. The DSTA (Defense Science & Technology Agency) conducted detailed technical assessment, simulations and other tests to assess the final selection. On 6 September 2005, it was announced that the Boeing F-15SG Strike Eagle had won the contract over the Rafale.[50]

A Singapore Peace Triton S-70B being guided by a member of the RSN on the flight line of Naval Air Station North Island

In January 2005, it was announced that 6 Sikorsky S-70B (derivative of SH-60 Seahawk) naval helicopters will be purchased, complete with anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons and sensors.[51]. 2 more Seahawks were ordered in 2013.[52] The Seahawks are operated by RSAF pilots, with System Specialists of the Republic of Singapore Navy operating the sensors and weaponry. They operate from the Navy's new Formidable class frigates, and when operating from land are based at Sembawang Air Base. All 20 AH-64D Longbow attack helicopters have been delivered, achieving pilot IOC. 12 of these Longbow Apaches were deployed back to Singapore and took part in combined arms exercises with the Army.

In April 2007, it was announced that the 4 E-2C Hawkeyes were to be replaced with 4 Gulfstream G550s fitted with the IAI EL/W-2085 radar which would become the primary airborne early warning aircraft for the RSAF.[53][54] Not included in the deal is an additional G550 as an AEW trainer, which will be acquired and maintained by ST Aerospace on behalf of RSAF.[55]

An RSAF C-130 Hercules over Darwin International Airport

In July 2010, the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master was selected by the RSAF to replace the A-4SU Super Skyhawks in the Advanced Jet Training (AJT) role, currently based at BA 120 Cazaux Air Base in France.[56][57] And in a press release by the Singaporean Ministry of Defence on 28 September 2008, ST Aerospace had been awarded the contract to acquire twelve M-346 and a ground based training system on behalf of RSAF. As stipulated in the contract, ST Aerospace will act as the main contractor to maintain the aircraft after delivery by Alenia Aermacchi while Boeing would supply the training system. Delivery date is scheduled from 2012 onwards.[58][59][60]

The backbone of the transport fleet are the four KC-130B, one KC-130H and five C-130H Hercules transport aircraft, which are expected to remain in service through 2030, will be undergoing an extensive modernisation process to bring all ten existing airframe to the same common standard. The first airframe, a KC-130B, was returned to frontline service on 21 September 2010. ST Aerospace, the main contractor behind the project, is expected to upgrade the other nine airframes for the RSAF within the next seven years. Included in the package is the replacement of cockpit flight management system with a modern glass cockpit avionics suite, central engine displays to replace analogue gauges, improved voice communications, digital autopilot, flight director as well as a digital weather radar, which will make the aircraft Global Air Traffic Management-compliant. Also, the C-130Bs will receive an auxiliary power unit and environmental control system in common with the C-130Hs. Once the upgrade is completed, this will effectively give the RSAF five refueller KC-130Hs and five Cargo C-130Hs.[61][62]

In December 2010, the RSAF issued a letter of request to inspect stored ex-US Navy P-3C Orion aircraft that have been retired from active duty. Lockheed Martin believes the RSAF has a requirement of 4 to 5 of these aircraft, which would be modernised extensively before reintroduction into active service.[63]

On 30 June 2018, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced that the F-16's replacement will be announced soon meanwhile the KC-135R tankers are being replaced by the A330 MRTT while replacements for other fix-wing aircraft and helicopters are announced.[64]



RSAF F-15SG at Darwin International Airport, 2011.
RSAF KC-135R at Avalon Airport, 2001.
RSAF AS532UL Cougar at Avalon Airport, 2009.
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Boeing F-15E United States multirole F-15SG 40[65]
F-16 Fighting Falcon United States multirole F-16C/D 60[65]
Gulfstream G550 United States early warning and control G550 AEW 4[65]
Maritime Patrol
Fokker 50 Netherlands maritime patrol 5[65]
Boeing KC-135 United States aerial refueling KC-135R 4[65]
KC-130 Hercules United States aerial refueling / transport KC-130B/H 5[65]
Airbus A330 MRTT France aerial refueling / transport KC-30A 1[66] 5 on order[65]
Fokker 50 Netherlands transport 4[65]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 5[65]
AH-64 Apache United States attack AH-64D 17[65]
Boeing CH-47 United States transport / utility CH-47SD 16[65]
Sikorsky SH-60 United States ASW / SAR S-70B 8[65]
Airbus H225 France utility / transport 16 on order[65]
Eurocopter AS332 France utility / transport 32[65]
Trainer Aircraft
Alenia M-346 Italy primary trainer 12[65]
Pilatus PC-21 Switzerland trainer 19[65]
Eurocopter EC120 France trainer 5[65]


Fixed-wing aircraft[edit]
A retired 140 Sqn Hawker Hunter FGA.74S – serial number 527 (ex-RAF XF458), parked outside the RSAF Museum. Note also the number of hardpoints and the ADEN gun ports which had been faired over to protect this museum piece against the weather.
  • (UK) Hawker Hunter — 12× FGA.74, 26× FR.74A/B, and 8× T.75/A (excluding one T.75A which was lost in accident before delivery) were delivered to RSAF in 1970 and 1973. Upgraded in the late 1970s by Lockheed Aircraft Services Singapore (LASS), the type was redesignated as FGA.74S, FR.74S and T.75S. Retired and phased out of service in 1992, only 4 were preserved as museum exhibits and gate guards while the remaining 21 airworthy airframes was sold to an Australian Warbird broker, Pacific Hunter Aviation Pty, in 1995.[67][68]
  • (US) ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk - Retired in 2005
  • (US) General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon — 4× F-16As and 4× F-16Bs delivered in 1988 under the Peace Carvin I program, one F-16A was lost following a mid-air collision with another F-16A over South China Sea in 1991. All surviving airframes were retired in 2002 and was subsequently upgraded locally to "Falcon One" standard by ST Aerospace before being transferred to Royal Thai Air Force in 2004.[69][70]
  • (UK) Short SC.7 Skyvan — 6× Skyvan 3Ms delivered in 1973 and retired in 1993.[69]
  • (UK) BAC Jet Provost — 5× T.52s (ex-South Yemen Air Force airframe) operated from the 1975 until 1980.[69][71][72]
  • (UK) BAC Strikemaster — total 25 received (16× Mk.84s delivered in 1969 from UK plus 4× Mk.81s from South Yemen in 1975 and another 5× Mk.82s from Oman in 1977), all were retired in 1984 with one airframe preserved at the RSAF Museum while the remaining 13 airworthy airframes were sold to a Warbird broker.[69][73]
  • (US) Cessna 172 — 8× F172Ks delivered in 1969, retired in 1972.[69]
  • (US) Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star — 20× T-33As (ex-French Air Force airframes), operated from 1980 until retired in 1985.[69]
  • (US) Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye - used as AWACS aircraft retired in 2010s
  • (Italy) SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 — 14× SF.260Ms delivered in 1971 plus 12× SF.260Ws delivered in 1979 and 1981. All remaining 19 airworthy airframes retired in 2002 and transferred to the Indonesian Air Force.[69][74]
  • (Italy) SIAI-Marchetti S.211 — Since 1984, 32× S.211s were acquired for RSAF's Basic Jet Training (BJT) program (this figure includes 24 airframes which were assembled locally by Singapore Aircraft Industries plus two former Haitian aircraft acquired as attrition replacements in 1994). Phased out from June 2008, of the remaining 25 airworthy S.211s, 21 were sold off to International Air Parts (IAP) Group Australia Pty Ltd in 2009 while 4 were shipped back to Singapore, being preserved as museum exhibits.[69][75]
  • (US) Northrop F-5 — 32 F-5S, 9 F-5T and 8 RF-5S fighters in service 1985-2015 for 30 years. [76]
Rotary-wing aircraft[edit]
A retired 120 Sqn Alouette III (SA316B) on static display at the RSAF Museum



A fully bombed-up F-16D+ of 145 Sqn on static display during RSAF Open House 2008
Rear view of the same aircraft
1988, a GIRAFFE S 3D radar on display at Paya Lebar Air Base
Type Country of Origin Role Quantity Program
Air-to-Air Missiles
AIM-9J/P/S Sidewinder  United States SRAAM 400/264/96[69] AIM-9S: Peace Carvin II
AIM-9X Sidewinder  United States SRAAM 200[69] Peace Carvin V
AIM-120C5/C7 AMRAAM  United States BVRAAM 250[69] Peace Carvin V
AIM-7M Sparrow  United States MRAAM 700[69] Peace Carvin II
Python-4  Israel AAM 600[69]
Air-to-Surface Missiles/Rockets/Bombs
GBU-10/GBU-12  United States Laser-Guided Bomb 68/140[69] Peace Carvin IV
GBU-31(V)1/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS Guided Bomb 1000
GBU-38/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS Guided Bomb 700[69] Peace Carvin V
GBU-54/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS/Laser-Guided Bomb 950
AGM-65B/D/G Maverick  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 350[69]
BGM-71C Improved TOW (ITOW)  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 500[69]
AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 192[69] Peace Vanguard
AGM-154A-1/C JSOW  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 214[69] Peace Carvin V
AGM-84 Harpoon  United States Anti-Ship Missile 44[69]
Hydra 70 (APKWS)  United States 70mm Rocket 912 Peace Vanguard
SNEB  France 68mm Rocket ?
Mk 82/Mk 83/Mk 84  United States (500/1000/2000 pound) General Purpose Bombs ?
Surface-to-Air Missiles/Air Defense Artillery/Radar
Aster 30  France /  Italy SAM Replacing I-Hawk, 2 systems + 200 missles[78]
MIM-23B I-Hawk  United States SAM 4 launchers + 300 missiles[69]
Mistral  France SAM – MANPADS 500 missiles[69]
Rapier Mk II  United Kingdom SAM 24 launchers + 500 missiles[69]
9K38 Igla[79]  Russia SAM – MANPADS 30 launchers + 440 missiles[69]
Mechanised Igla[80]  Singapore Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 3000
RBS 70  Sweden SAM – MANPADS 25 launchers + 500 missiles[69]
Cadillac Gage V-200 RBS 70  Singapore Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 25
Rafael SPYDER[81]  Israel Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 2 launchers + 75× Python-5 / 75× Derby missiles[69]
Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon   Switzerland AA Gun 34× GDF-001 + 24× GDF-002[69]
Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117[82]  United States Phased array 3-D Air Search Radar 1[69]
Lockheed Martin P-STAR[82]  United States Portable Search & Target Acquisition Radar ?
Ericsson GIRAFFE-S / GIRAFFE-AMB)[83]  Sweden Mobile Air Defense Radar 4/2[69]




RSAF Black Knights[edit]

First formed in 1973 at Tengah Air Base, the Black Knights is RSAF's official aerobatic team and has been performing on an ad-hoc basis since its inception, with volunteer pilots drawn from various front line squadrons within the RSAF. The aerobatics team has performed on events including the recent Singapore Airshow 2014.[37]

RSAF Museum[edit]

The RSAF Museum

The RSAF maintains the Air Force Museum, which was first located at Changi Air Base before it was relocated to a purpose-built building currently situated along Airport Road adjacent to Paya Lebar Air Base. The museum is open to the public and showcases the air force's history and capabilities. Exhibits include the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye and numerous A-4SU Super Skyhawk.

Tertiary Institutions[edit]

The Republic of Singapore Air Force has loaned several aircraft, and aircraft parts to the tertiary institutions in Singapore, including Institute of Technical Education, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University since 2005. Aircraft includes the A-4SU Super Skyhawk.

See also[edit]


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 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]