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Republic of Singapore Air Force

Republic of Singapore Air Force
RSAF Crest
Founded 1 April 1975
Country  Singapore
Branch Air force
Role Air supremacy / defence
Size 13,500 personnel
361 aircraft
Part of Singapore Armed Forces
Engagements Operation Iraqi Freedom,
Operation Enduring Freedom (as part of NATO-led ISAF),
Combined Task Force 151
Chief of Air Force Major-General Hoo Cher Mou
Bey Soo Khiang
Ng Chee Khern
Ng Chee Meng
Aircraft flown
Attack F-15SG, AH-64D
Fighter F-16C/D
Interceptor F-5S/T
Patrol E-2C, G550 AEW&C, Fokker 50 ME2
Reconnaissance RF-5S
Trainer M346, PC-21, TA-4SU, EC120
Transport KC-130B & C-130H, Fokker 50 UTL, KC-135R, CH-47D/SD, Super Puma

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF, Chinese: 新加坡空军部队; Malay: Angkatan Udara Republik Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் ஆகாயப்படை) 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.[1]


  • History 1
  • Organisation 2
    • Chief of the Air Force (CAF) 2.1
  • Overview 3
  • Air bases 4
  • Personnel 5
  • Overseas detachments (Training) 6
  • Aircraft 7
  • Weaponry 8
  • Aircraft 9
    • Current 9.1
    • Historic 9.2
      • Fixed-wing aircraft 9.2.1
      • Rotary-wing aircraft 9.2.2
      • Air-defence 9.2.3
  • Others 10
    • RSAF Black Knights 10.1
    • RSAF Museum 10.2
  • In popular culture 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14
    • Video clips 14.1


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;[2] as well as rotary-wing RAF aircraft such as the Bristol Belvedere, Westland Wessex and Westland Whirlwind.[2]

Eight Cessna 172K aircraft – the SADC's first – arrived in May 1969 to be used for basic pilot training.[3] 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).[1]

One of its first commanders was LTC Ee Tean Chye.[4][5]


The RSAF is led by the Chief of the Air Force (CAF). The current CAF is Major General Hoo Cher Mou.[6] 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.[7] The Air Force Command Chief is Military Expert 6 (ME6) M. A. Pathi.[8] The Air Staff comprises six functional departments: Air Manpower, Air Intelligence, Air Operations, Air 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).[7]

Chief of the Air Force (CAF)

Years in Office CAF Post CAF Career
2013 –
Hoo Cher Mou
2009–2013 Ng Chee Meng Chief of Defence Force
Singapore Armed Forces
2006–2009 Ng Chee Khern Director, Security and Intelligence Division
Singapore Armed Forces
2001–2006 Lim Kim Choon Senior Deputy Director-General
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
1998–2001 Raymund Ng Teck Heng Senior Vice President
Singapore Airlines
? – 1998 Goh Yong Siang Singapore Technologies
Industrial Corporation Ltd

In 5 January 2007, Defence minister

  • "Teamwork in action" – A late 1970s RSAF documentary on YouTube, accessed 24 May 2011.
  • RSAF 40th Anniversary Video – First Generation on YouTube, accessed 24 January 2009.
  • RSAF 40th Anniversary Video – Second Generation on YouTube, accessed 24 January 2009.
  • RSAF 40th Anniversary Video – Third Generation on YouTube, accessed 24 January 2009.
  • RSAF's newly delivered F-15SG arrives at Mountain Home AFB on YouTube, accessed 12 May 2009.

Video clips

  • Official website
  • Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces – Contains scholarly articles on military issues, including those pertaining to the SAF's transformation into a 3rd Generation Fighting Force
  • RSAF Airforce News 2005 (.pdf format)
  • MINDEF, The NS Portal, accessed 23 October 2006.
  • Ranks and Paramilitary Ranks of Singapore, accessed 23 October 2006.
  • United States Department of State, Background notes on Singapore, accessed 23 October 2006.

External links


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Jefford 2001, pp. 48–49.
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  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc
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  59. ^ A-4 Republic of Singapore Air Force page on
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  62. ^ UK Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft Register – Entry for former Singapore AF Jet Provost T52 registered G-PROV
  63. ^ Andrade 1982, page 192
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  67. ^ a b c d


See also

Fictional Television programs

In popular culture

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.

The RSAF Museum

RSAF Museum

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.[16]

RSAF Black Knights


  • Bristol Bloodhound Mk.II SAM – ex-RAF stock (total 88 missiles), all retired in 1994.[49]


A retired 120 Sqn Alouette III (SA316B) on static display at the RSAF Museum.

Rotary-wing aircraft

  • 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 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.[60][61]
  • 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.[49][56]
  • Short SC.7 Skyvan — 6× Skyvan 3Ms delivered in 1973 and retired in 1993.[49]
  • BAC Jet Provost — 5× T.52s (ex-South Yemen Air Force airframe) operated from the 1975 until 1980.[49][62][63]
  • 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.[49][64]
  • Cessna 172 — 8× F172Ks delivered in 1969, retired in 1972.[49]
  • Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star — 20× T-33As (ex-French Air Force airframes), operated from 1980 until retired in 1985.[49]
  • 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.[49][65]
  • 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.[49][66]
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.

Fixed-wing aircraft


Type Country of Origin Role Quantity Remarks
Fixed Wing Combat Aircraft 151
Boeing F-15SG Strike Eagle  United States Strike 32[49] (Possibly as many as 40 airframes) [55] Peace Carvin V
Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 52 Fighting Falcon  United States Multi-Role/Air-Superiority 22 Peace Carvin II/III[56]
Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52 Fighting Falcon  United States Multi-Role/Strike 20 Peace Carvin II/III[56]
Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52+ Fighting Falcon  United States Multi-Role/Strike 20 Peace Carvin IV[56]
Northrop F-5S Tiger II  United States Interceptor 32[14]
Northrop F-5T Tiger II  United States Interceptor/Trainer 9[14]
Northrop RF-5S Tigereye  United States Reconnaissance/Interceptor 8[14]
Helicopters 80
CH-47D/CH-47SD Chinooks  United States Heavy-Lift 6/12[57] Peace Prairie
Eurocopter AS-332M Super Puma  France Medium-Lift/Search And Rescue 22[49]
Eurocopter AS-532UL Cougar  France Medium-Lift 14[49]
Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow  United States Attack 20[49] Peace Vanguard
Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk  United States ASW/ASuW 6[49]/2(o/o)[58] Peace Triton
Transport/Aerial Refuelling Aircraft 18
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker  United States Aerial Refuelling/Transport 4[49] Peace Guardian
Airbus A330 MRTT Aerial Refuelling/Transport 6 on order
Lockheed KC-130B/H  United States Aerial Refuelling/Tactical Airlift 5[49]
Lockheed C-130H Hercules  United States Tactical Airlift 5[49]
Fokker 50UTL  Netherlands Medium Transport/VIP 4[49]
Special Mission 9
Fokker F50ME2  Netherlands Maritime Patrol 5[49]
Gulfstream G550 CAEW  United States /  Israel AEW & C 4[49]
Trainer Aircraft 54
Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master  Italy Advanced/Lead-in Jet Trainer 12 (o/o)[49]
Pilatus PC-21   Switzerland Air-grading/Basic Trainer 19[49]
ST Aerospace A-4SU/TA-4SU Super Skyhawk  Singapore /  United States Advanced/Lead-in Jet Trainer[59] 4/7[27] Being phased out
Eurocopter EC120 Colibri  France Trainer 5[49]
Diamond DA40  Austria Basic Trainer 13[49] Singapore Youth Flying Club
UAV 45
Elbit Hermes 450  Israel Reconnaissance 5[49]
IAI Heron-1  Israel Reconnaissance 2[49]
IAI Searcher  Israel Reconnaissance 40[49]
IAI Scout  Israel Reconnaissance 60[49] in reserves
RSAF AS532UL Cougar at Avalon Airport, 2009.
RSAF KC-135R at Avalon Airport, 2001.
RSAF F-15SG at Darwin International Airport, 2011.



Type Country of Origin Role Quantity Program
Air-to-Air Missiles
AIM-9J/P/S Sidewinder  United States SRAAM 400/264/96[49] AIM-9S: Peace Carvin II
AIM-9X Sidewinder  United States SRAAM 200[49] Peace Carvin V
AIM-120C5/C7 AMRAAM  United States BVRAAM 250[49] Peace Carvin V
AIM-7M Sparrow  United States MRAAM 70[49] Peace Carvin II
Python-4  Israel AAM 600[49]
Air-to-Surface Missiles/Rockets/Bombs
GBU-10/GBU-12/GBU-16 Paveway II  United States Laser-Guided Bomb 28/56/?[49] Peace Carvin IV
GBU-31(V)1/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS Guided Bomb 100
GBU-38/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS Guided Bomb 50[49] Peace Carvin V
GBU-54/B JDAM  United States GPS/INS/Laser-Guided Bomb 670
AGM-65B/D/G Maverick  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 248[49]
BGM-71C Improved TOW (ITOW)  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 200[49]
AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 192[49] Peace Vanguard
AGM-154A-1/C JSOW  United States Air-to-Ground Missile 60[49] Peace Carvin V
AGM-84 Harpoon  United States Anti-Ship Missile 44[49]
Hydra 70 (APKWS)  United States 70mm Rocket 9,120 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
MIM-23B I-Hawk  United States SAM 12 launchers + 500 missiles[49]
Mistral  France SAM – MANPADS 500 missiles[49]
Rapier Mk II  United Kingdom SAM 12 launchers + 500 missiles[49]
9K38 Igla[50]  Russia SAM – MANPADS 30 launchers + 440 missiles[49]
Mechanised Igla[51]  Singapore Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 30
RBS 70  Sweden SAM – MANPADS 25 launchers + 500 missiles[49]
Cadillac Gage V-200 RBS 70  Singapore Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 25
Rafael SPYDER[52]  Israel Mobile SAM (SHORAD) 12 launchers + 75× Python-5 / 75× Derby missiles[49]
Oerlikon 35 mm twin cannon   Switzerland AA Gun 34× GDF-001 + 24× GDF-002[49]
Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117[53]  United States Phased array 3-D Air Search Radar 1[49]
Lockheed Martin P-STAR[53]  United States Portable Search & Target Acquisition Radar ?
Ericsson GIRAFFE-S / GIRAFFE-AMB)[54]  Sweden Mobile Air Defense Radar 4/2[49]
1988, a GIRAFFE S 3D radar on display at Paya Lebar Air Base.
Rear view of the same aircraft.
A fully bombed-up F-16D+ of 145 Sqn on static display during RSAF Open House 2008.


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.[48]

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.[46][47]

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.[41][42] 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.[43][44][45]

An RSAF C-130 Hercules over Darwin International Airport.

In April 2007, it was announced that the 4 E-2C Hawkeyes were to be replaced with 4 Gulfstream G550s which would become the primary airborne early warning aircraft for the RSAF.[38][39] 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.[40]

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.[37] These will be operated by RSAF pilots, with System Specialists of the Republic of Singapore Navy operating the sensors and weaponry. They will operate from the Navy's new Formidable class frigates, and when operating from land will be 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.

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, 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.

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

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.[36]

In February 2003, Singapore joined the JSF program's System Design and Development (SDD) Phase, as a Security Co-operation Participant (SCP).[34][35] 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 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 will be powered by two General Electric F110-GE-129 29,400 lbf (131 kN) thrust engines.


The RSAF Flying Training School at RAAF Base Pearce.
6 June 2010, a pair of A-4SU Super Skyhawks (serials 938 & 909) on static display during an air show at the Istres Air Base
Super Skyhawks in France

Overseas detachments (Training)

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.

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.[24] NATO rank codes are not officially used, but are listed here for easy comparison with other armed forces.


  • 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)
    • 145 Sqn 20 F-16D Blk 52+ (Strike)
  • Paya Lebar Air Base
    • 122 Sqn 6 C-130H (Transport), 4 KC-130B (Transport/Aerial refuelling)
    • 141 Sqn 6 F-5S (Interceptor), 1 F-5T (Training/Interceptor) – Disbanded since Nov 2005 with aircraft being reassigned to 144 and 149 Sqn.
    • 144 Sqn 15 F-5S (Interceptor), 7 F-5T (Training/Interceptor)
    • 149 Sqn 15 F-5S (Interceptor), 1 F-5T (Training/Interceptor), 24 F-15SG
  • 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)
    • 142 Sqn 18 T/A-4SU Super Skyhawks (Fighter-bomber) – disbanded in 2004.
    • 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 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)
    • 165 Sqn Rapier SAM, RBS-70 SAM, SPYDER SAM (Low altitude air defence)
  • 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 40 IAI Searcher (Reconnaissance)
Exercise Forging Sabre 2009, an RSAF's IAI Searcher II UAV parked inside the hangar of Henry Post Army Airfield, USA.
Demonstration of a M-113A2 Ultra Mechanised Igla IFU on deployment, visible in the background is an I-HAWK SAM launcher.
An F-16C of 140 Sqn scrambling.
An F-5S of 144 Sqn preparing for take-off.
An RSAF G550-AEW takes off in Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 2014

Air bases

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.[21][22] 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.[23]

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.[19] The humanitarian effort by Singapore involved more aircraft than any other foreign countries.[20]

Eight CH-47SDs were also deployed to support the relief efforts in the aftermath of the Indonesian 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.

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.

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.[17] The second batch of 12 Apaches were ordered in 2001 even before the first delivery took place.[18] All of the initial eight Apaches are based in the USA. Three of the Apache Longbows returned in January 2006 at the request of the Minister of Defence.

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.[16] 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.

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.

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[13][14][15] 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.

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 USA, 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.

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/B's 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.

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.

Republic of Singapore Air Force

List of RSAF Squadrons
List of RSAF aircraft
Changi Air Base (East, West)
Paya Lebar Air Base
Sembawang Air Base
Tengah Air Base
Singapore Armed Forces ranks


The Air Force Training Command (AFTC) facilitates training of future pilots and ground crew of the RSAF.

The APGC 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 Operations Development Group (ODG) and four air bases: Changi Air Base, Paya Lebar Air Base, Sembawang Air Base and Tengah Air Base. 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).

The ACC 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. The ACC consists of the Integrated System Development Group (ISDG), Operations Development Group (ODG), Fighter Group (FG) and Transport Group (TG).

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.

The next command to be inaugurated was PC in January 2008. Participation Command comprises the Operations Development Group (ODG), the Helicopter Group (HeliG), the Tactical Air Support Group (TASG), and the Divisional Air Defence Group (DAG).[12]

UAV Command was the second command to be inaugurated and become operational in May 2007.[11] The main structures under UC are Operations & System Development Group (OSDG), headed by the Deputy Commander of UC and Squadrons and UAV Training School (UTS).

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. ADOC comprises Air Surveillance Control Group (ASCG), National Air Defence Group (ADG) and Air Operations Control Group (AOCG).[10]


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