Republic of Singapore Air Force Discussions

OPSSG

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Post 1 of 3: Some Republic of Singapore Air Force 2022 Updates

1. In 2022, the RSAF has started taking delivery of 1st two of 16 the CH-47Fs in Singapore (following its initial delivery to the RSAF Helicopter Detachment in Oakey, Australia). 11 are to be based in Sembawang Air Base, with 5 based in Oakey, Australia — the CH-47Fs are sold under a Direct Commercial Sales contract with Boeing to replace the RSAF’s fleet of older D/SD series of Chinooks.
(a) These CH-47Fs are powered by two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines, with a Time Between Overhaul of 3,000 hours. When compared to the engines on CH-47Ds to be retired, these new engines provide a 22% increase in power, a 7% reduction in Specific Fuel Consumption, while enabling a 25% reduction in operation and support costs.​
(b) The CH-47F, as the world’s fastest military helicopter, can fly at up to 175 knots, with a range of 609 km (329 nautical miles), and can fly as high as 20,000 feet. The survivability upgrades also include rectangular-shaped radar warning receivers, a product of Elbit Systems — who provided the onboard defensive suite.​

2. The SATCOM antenna on the top of the CH-47F fuselage and select H225Ms— facilitate comms on HADR and other missions from a sea base.

3. In other news, the USAF will hold the second of 2 online public scoping meetings in Feb 2022 to discuss the proposal to place a permanent Foreign Military Sales Pilot Training Center at Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, as well as answer questions and hear feedback from the public. Ebbing was selected in 2021 as the USAF's preferred location for a pilot training center for Singapore and other countries participating in the Foreign Military Sales program. The proposal would accommodate up to 24 foreign F-35s and move 12 F-16s from the Singapore air force, currently at the Luke Air Force Base.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 2 of 3: Some Republic of Singapore Air Force 2022 Updates

4. In relation to the upgrade of Singapore’s fleet of 20 F-16C and 40 F-16D Block 52/52+, Major General Kelvin Khong, in the run-up to Singapore Airshow 2022 replied to the press as follows:

“Our F-16C/Ds fleet of fighter aircraft is being upgraded in phases, and we have commenced initial deliveries of the upgraded F-16 in June 2021… Subsequent deliveries will be rolled out progressively to ensure that the RSAF continues to have a capable fleet of fighter aircraft to meet our defence requirements. We will continue to operate these fighter aircraft for at least another decade and are working towards replacing the F-16s at the end of their operational life,” he added.​

5. Shepard News reported that Boeing has signed agreements with the DSTA in Singapore to create a data exchange pipeline to enable collaborative data analysis for RSAF F-15SGs.

“The data exchange pipeline will store and facilitate the analysis of supply chain data for the F-15SG aircraft fleet, with the goal of developing predictive maintenance actions that will enhance the operational readiness of the Republic of Singapore Air Force,” Boeing announced in a 15 Feb 2022 statement.​
 
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OPSSG

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425th Fighter Squadron Updates

1. Speaking on 8 Mar 2022 at a town hall in Fort Smith, Col. Rob Ator, USAF (Ret.), and Arkansas Economic Development Commission director of Military Affairs, said the pilot training center at Ebbing National Guard Air Base in Fort Smith that is part of the federal Foreign Military Sales program should be confirmed in April 2023.

2. Col. Rob Ator, USAF (Ret.) told the more than 100 people at the Fort Smith town hall that with an April 2023 final decision the 12 F-16s of 425th Fighter Squadron (belonging to Singapore) would arrive at Ebbing in June 2023. It is estimated the center would be home to 345 U.S. military personnel and bring to Ebbing or Selfridge an estimated 180-plus members of the Singapore fighter detachment and around 300 dependents – 825 total.

3. An important reason for Ebbing Air National Guard Base’s selection is the proximity of the Razorback Range (that is a 25-minute drive from Ebbing) as the 188th’s training range for the RSAF’s F-16s & F-35s to drop air to ground munitions.
(a) There is a FOB on Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center near Razorback Range that visiting units can utilize for free. Given that Razorback Range can host training events for a JTAC to stay current (from CAS to laser guidance of ordnance), it is suited to host future editions of Ex Forging Sabre from 2025 onwards.​
(b) The drive from Fort Sill to the Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center is less than 4 hours, which makes it easier for the SAF to integrate air ground training for its STORM teams to call for fires from Singapore’s HIMARS (to come from Fort Sill), AH-64Ds, F-16Vs & F-35s.​
(c) The 188th Wing is the 6th largest employer in the city of Fort Smith & if they can manage to host the biannual Ex Forging Sabre, the city may see an influx of another 800 to 1,000 Singaporean troops for the exercise, on top of the 425th Fighter Squadron personnel & dependents. Rob Ator at a Fort Smith town hall said pending an April 2023 final decision, the 12 F-16s (belonging to Singapore) would arrive at Ebbing in June 2023. It is estimated the new center will host 345 U.S. military personnel & bring to Ebbing an estimated 180-plus RSAF personnel.​

Source: 57th Wing Public Affairs
Image: USAF/William R. Lewis
7D557363-AB19-4DD4-8630-A1F36F13CFB7.jpeg
4. Meanwhile 9 F-16s from the 425th Fighter Squadron will be participate in Exercise Red Flag 22-2 – Nellis, held from 7 to 18 Mar 2022 (US time). The exercise will include 14 units with approximately 1,750 personnel from the USAF, US Marine Corps, US Navy and Air National Guard, Royal Saudi Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
(a) The primary focus is on combat missions, mission commander upgrades and flag-unique experiences for the 55 aircraft involved in the large-scale air combat exercise.​
(b) Red Flag 22-2 will concentrate on three primary themes to include defensive, offensive, and counter-air techniques. The RSAF has been participating in Exercise Red Flag – Nellis since 1982.​
(c) By way of background, Singapore operates 3 fighter squadrons of F-16s, that will be progressively replaced by F-35s. The US has approved the sale of 4 (with 8 on option). The 1st 4 F-35Bs will be delivered in 2026 to the 425th Fighter Squadron, who will operate both types of fighters.​
 
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OPSSG

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Given that MinDef recently shared that the Fokker 50 MPA would be replaced, there is a strong likelihood that Singapore is the receipient for this order.
Thanks for the heads up.

The ELM-2022A (Aircraft) and ELM-2022U (UAV) are a family of X-Band multimode airborne maritime surveillance radars that is a sensor suit that is well suited for RSAF fixed wing MPAs and it’s UAVs — perfect for manned-unmanned teaming. In May 2021, the ELM-2022A’s performance was even tested in Singapore.
 
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OPSSG

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2 Singaporean Chinook helicopters were deployed from its Queensland base to assist the Australian Defence Force (ADF), the Singapore government said in a statement. The helicopters commenced operations on 7 Mar 2022 and are transporting personnel and emergency supplies, to provide relief to civilians affected by the floods in Queensland and New South Wales (NSW).

The ADF had also accepted offers of relief packages from Singapore’s armed forces that includes tents, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, water and medical supplies. The package departed from Singapore via an RSAF C-130H and an RSAF A330 MRTT.

The assistance from Singapore joined more than 7100 ADF personnel on the ground across flood-affected Queensland and NSW, including over 1650 in Queensland and more than 5500 in NSW.
 
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OPSSG

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OPSSG

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Post 1 of 4: Updates from Singapore

1. I suspect a few more H225Ms are arriving in Singapore on the Beluga to add to the current fleet of 4 delivered so far. h/t to @gliciofonseca for an idea of how the H225M is to be transported.
03D8CFB4-7F3C-4B31-B240-37C6430180C8.jpeg

2. The five bladed H225M is powered by 2 Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines. The Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engine has a Time Between Overhaul of up to 4,000 hours, and a 14% increase in power. This enables Singapore’s H225Ms to fly at over 170 knots for overwater SAR, and enables the instructor community of the helicopter to fly and teach pilots to fly conventional missions and special operations forces support missions.

3. Be it for HADR or SAR missions, the H225Ms activated from Singapore or a lily pad (off a navy ship), will help Singapore better position itself in a world is facing increasingly complex problems. Singapore can add its voice to a list of countries standing up for the rules based order and work together with other like minded militaries in the region despite differing interests.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 2 of 4: Updates from Singapore

4. Congratulations to Gen. Charles Q Brown Jr, who was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, Meritorious Service Medal (Military). Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the award to GEN Brown at an investiture — well deserved, given that the USAF hosts the 425th Fighter Squadron (F-16Vs at Luke) and the 428th Fighter Squadron (F-15SGs at Mountain Home). The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) training detachment for F-16Vs will be moved to Ebbing Air National Guard Base (from Luke, starting in 2023); and the RSAF will also collocate the F-35B training detachment there starting in 2026.

5. Gen. Brown is in Singapore from 7 to 10 Aug 22; where he called on Dr Ng, Lt-Gen. Melvyn Ong & Major-Gen. Kelvin Khong. He also visited Sembawang Air Base, where he received a brief on the RSAF & took a familiarisation flight on board a H225M helicopter.

6. In common with the RSAF, the Americans, the Australians, the Japanese and the Koreans start with the assumption their air bases will be hit, intermittently, from day 1 of war. Therefore, damage recovery capabilities become important.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 3 of 4: Updates from Singapore

7. In May 2022, the RSAF team visited LM’s F-35 production line in Texas & they were able to:

(a) learn about F-35 capabilities & maintenance needs, & to interact with other user countries; &​

(b) gain access to the missionised F-35 simulator & was briefed by a USAF F-35 instructor​

8. Major Zhang Jian Wei who heads an RSAF office on it’s next gen fighter was speaking to reporters on 30 Aug 2022 at Ex Pitch Black. He said the F-35B’s short take-off and vertical landing feature a “key capability”, but said the F-35B’s short take-off and vertical landing feature a “key capability.” He also said the RSAF is keeping all options on the table before committing to a variant.
 
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OPSSG

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1. A RSAF C-130H at Rockhampton Airport for Ex Wallaby 2022. Ironically, this highlights the lack of strategic airlift by the RSAF to move its own assets for an overseas exercise.

2. Singapore’s AH-64Ds being trucked 700km to Rockhampton Airport from the Port Of Brisbane for Ex Wallaby — as the RSAF is not willing or able to use Volga-Dnepr owned Antonov An-124s to transport its helicopters for Ex Wallaby 2022.

3. After the end of Ex Pitch Black 2022, the RSAF’s 8 fighters, 1 A330MRTT & 1 G550 AEW stay behind to continue with more training until until 7 Oct 2022.
 
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OPSSG

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Hi OPSSG, I believe the only An-225 was destroyed in the Battle of Antonov Airport during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Thanks for pointing this out.

My apologies for the confusion & carelessness in the earlier description — should have said “the RSAF is not willing or able to use Volga-Dnepr owned Antonov An-124s”, which is one of the Russian owned aircraft chartered by the RSAF in the past. Above post edited, to reflect new text.

I suspect the An-124s of Ruslan Antonov Airlines belonging to Ukraine are quite busy shipping American and Australian arms to Ukraine this year.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 4 of 4: Updates from Singapore

9. Concurrently, Singapore’s fleet of 12 F-16Vs at Luke will move to the Ebbing Air National Guard Base in 2023, & the F-35s will arrive in 2026. “The 188th Wing has been selected as the primary training location for the RSAF F-16s & FMS F-35s,” said Col. Leon Dodroe, 188th Wing commander.

10. A 37-year-old man has been arrested for assaulting the crew of SQ33 and making a bomb threat. This triggers a pair of F-16s to be scrambled.

11. This is not the 1st fighter scramble for a bomb threat — this has occurred in the past on:

✈2 Jun 2019 (TR385 — Cebu to SG)​
✈26 Mar 2019 (SQ 423 — Mumbai to SG); &​
✈5 Apr 2018 (TR634 — SG to Hat Yai).​

12. Flight SQ33 takes off from San Francisco at 10.05pm on 26 Sep 2022 (Mon), beginning its 16-hour flight to Singapore.
  • On 28 Sep 2022, at 2.40am (Singapore time) — more than 12 hours after take-off, the Singapore police are told of an alleged bomb threat on board the flight.
  • On 28 Sep 2022, at 5.51am the plane lands safely at Changi Airport under the escort of RSAF F16C/Ds.
  • Teams from the Singapore Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and the Airport Police Division look into the claims. The threat is later verified to be false.
  • It has just been reported that the 37-year-old suspect has been arrested for “making false threats of terrorist acts and for suspected consumption of controlled drugs”.
 
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OPSSG

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Perhaps they [the USAF] are waiting for the new radar that will start arriving in lot 17?
1. I think that might be the case for the USAF — they are at a steady state of converting squadrons to F-35As. With the amount of new FMS orders, there will be a ramp up sooner or later.

2. I suspect the USAF is vacating a few slots here & there, for some priority countries (like Finland & Poland), who are on the frontline with a Russian threat. There is no rush for the USAF, as they already have a large fleet of F-35As in service.

3. The USAF needs to fund the B-21 bomber and the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter, a slow down for 2-3 years makes sense, while waiting for software to mature & to upgrade older block 4s with the new AN/APG-85 AESA radar.

4. Again I suspect the AN/APG-85 AESA radar is a low hanging fruit from the Next Generation Air Dominance fighter, which is classified.

5. The F135 was designed to handle a 15 kilowatts cooling demand, but that requirement has already doubled to an estimated 30 kilowatts. Cooling air is generated primarily by pulling bleed air from the engine and running it through heat exchangers (see: 9 reasons why the F-35 needs a new engine).
  • The F135 meets the 30 kilowatts demand by pulling more bleed air from the engine, which further reduces thrust.
  • By the time Block 4 version of the F-35 is fully fielded in 2028, aircraft sub-systems will need a minimum of 47 kilowatts of cooling, and the amount required to meet follow-on capability demands range as high as 60 kilowatts.
  • The performance and tactical effective range of subsystems like a new AN/APG-85 radar [PDF] and enhanced electronic warfare systems that will come with the F-35 Block 4 will require more electrical power. Add upgrades that are on the horizon like directed energy weapons, and you start hitting voltage stops.
  • More than that the “first three increments of the [#F35] fighter’s Block 4 upgrade can function with the existing engine. Beyond that, we need to do something different. The jet can’t fully exploit Block 4’s capabilities without more power" said Lt. Gen. Eric Fick PEO F-35 (JPO) via: AF Magazine.
6. In view of the above, I speculate that the RSAF’s buy strategy may be, as follows:
  • batch 1 — 4 x F-35B
  • batch 2 — 2 x F-35B (lot 18)
  • batch 3 — 4 x F-35B (lot 19)
7. I suspect the RSAF will IOC the 1st squadron with 10 or more F-35Bs in the 2032 to 2035 time frame. In the meanwhile, Singapore will mature its fighter VLO tactics to use the cooperative battlespace with the F-15SGs while under the control of the G550AEW — with an upgrade of the F-15SGs in the late 2030s (with even more cooling and power), to keep them current to threats. By 2035, the RSAF’s F-35Bs can run primary or hand-off the missile strike to F-15SG.

8. The Pratt F135 engine was the only major F-35 sub-system that failed to cut its acquisition costs to reach weapons system program targets, which made bringing the cost of the F-35A below its US$80 million target that much more challenging.

9. Having Pratt and GE compete side by side for future engine contracts will force both to maximize the performance and minimize the cost of their engines.

10. I suspect that there is incentive to wait for a block 4 F-35A, in the 2036 to 2039 period, with:
  • an AN/APG-85 AESA radar; and
  • a GE engine from the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (if the USAF selects it).
11. To help the RSN secure our SLOCs, the RSAF badly needs a 2nd F-35A squadron with more range, given that the combat radius of all three variants some 15% below the program’s objectives.

12. The F-35 needs a more powerful, fuel-efficient engine.
 
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SolarisKenzo

Active Member
Countries like the USA, Italy or Japan are in fact undergoing a slower delivery rate of their own aircraft.
These 3 countries, where the 3 F-35s assembly lines are, are prioritizing deliveries for export customers and building their own planes at a slower rate, for many reasons.
1- Industrial: They prefer to let the assembly line work on more profitable export planes, instead of having them working on national-bought ones, to satifiy export demands.
2- Economical: Export planes are more profitable because the government dont have to actually pay for them, doing so they can delay the payments for their own planes.
3- Tech: If you build export planes first, you will end up having less planes in the short term, but you will be able to assembly more advanced planes later. Later blocks, Tranches, more sofisticated hardware and software...
4- Strategic: Its better, as OPSSG said, to have F35s delivered to countries like Finland, Poland, Korea, Australia... that are closer to the frontline.

For example, I can speak about my country: We have a complete assembly line in Cameri building F35s for Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and rumors are that Finland and Czech Republic will build part of their fighters here too.
Plus, Cameri produces 66 wings a year, with a capacity of 72 and 200 already delivered.
Italian Air Force, tho, is slowing as much as possible their own f35s deliveries.
33 dutch f35s were delivered against only 18 italian ones.
Why? for the reasons i told you before.
Now that Switzerland decided to build f35s here, their planes will be prioritize over italian ones.
Same thing if more countries ( very likely at least a couple more air forces will have their JSFs built in Cameri) decides to do so.
Its just politics and profit, nothing more.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Countries like the USA, Italy or Japan are in fact undergoing a slower delivery rate of their own aircraft.
These 3 countries, where the 3 F-35s assembly lines are, are prioritizing deliveries for export customers and building their own planes at a slower rate, for many reasons.
Cameri was always intended to be a FACO site for European F-35 users, not just Italy, but I thought the Japanese would only be building their own. At 14 per year that'll take them over 10 years, while at 26 per year Cameri should be able to supply the Italian air force & Navy in less than 3.5 years, which could be quicker than Italy's armed forces can accept them. Cameri needs export work to be viable.
 
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