SINGAPORE - Singapore's most modern fighter jets are now combat ready, strengthening the Republic's air defence shield. The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) 24 F-15 SG fighter jets went operational on Wednesday.
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To read more about the launch, read the full statement by Mindef below:
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at a ceremony to mark the achievement of Full Operational Capability (FOC) status by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) F-15SG multi-role fighter aircraft at Paya Lebar Air Base this afternoon.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted the significance of this milestone to the overall enhancement of Singapore's air defence capabilities and also emphasised the importance of having a strong RSAF.
He said, "The RSAF's F-15SGs have been rigorously tested and proven superior in air defence and strike capabilities, and integrated with other air platforms within the RSAF, which together are able to respond to a spectrum of threats to defend and dominate our skies. A strong RSAF provides confidence that Singapore is well capable of defending its sovereignty and protecting our precious homeland."
The F-15SG is operated by 149 Squadron locally and the RSAF's Peace Carvin V (PC V) Detachment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in the United States. It is one of the most advanced variants of the F-15 strike aircraft which has a distinguished combat record of over 100 kills to 0 losses.
The F-15SG is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, a sophisticated integrated sensor suite and network capabilities, which help enhance the RSAF's battlefield awareness.
Along with its superior firepower and combat endurance, the aircraft provides the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with enhanced air defence and air superiority capabilities. After taking delivery of the aircraft in May 2009, the F-15SG pilots, weapon systems officers and maintenance crew have undergone intensive training to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as to integrate the aircraft to support the SAF's operations.
During this period, the F-15SGs have also participated in major exercises such as Exercise Forging Sabre, Exercise Cope Tiger, Exercise Pitch Black, Exercise Bersama Shield and Exercise Red Flag. 149 squadron, which began operating the F-15SG in 2010, also won the RSAF's Best Fighter Squadron award in 2011 and 2013.
Also present at the ceremony were Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Air Force Major-General Hoo Cher Mou as well as other senior officers from the SAF.
NEXT PAGE: SPEECH BY MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, DR NG ENG HEN
SPEECH BY MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, DR NG ENG HEN, AT THE CEREMONY TO MARK THE FULL OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY OF THE F-15SG, AT PAYA LEBAR AIR BASE, ON WEDNESDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2013.
The attainment of Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the F-15SG multi-role fighter is a major milestone for Singapore's defence capabilities. Indeed, we have one of the most modern and capable fighter aircraft fleets in the region. But we did not get here easily. It has taken about a decade to conceptualise, plan, acquire and adapt the F-15s and train our pilots in vigorous conditions. Steady progress to FOC required the sustained commitment, efforts and high standards of our airmen over the past ten years.
After the initial years of planning and preparatory work, training began in earnest in July 2008 when a core group of pilots and Weapon Systems Officers began training on the US Air Force (USAF) F-15Es. We took delivery of our first aircraft in May 2009. In April last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Peace Carvin V Detachment, where I met some of the F-15SG crew. They were very determined and focused in operationalising our F-15SGs. They were executing complex ground and flying tasks, sometimes under extreme weather conditions. And of course at Mountain Home, the weather conditions can be a bit more extreme. But I was also heartened and impressed with their professionalism and commitment to duty.
At this ceremony, we mark this major milestone and the RSAF's rapid ascent. Let me extend my warmest congratulations to both 149 Squadron in Singapore and the RSAF detachment in Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, United States, (Peace Carvin (PC) V Detachment) for these achievements. I also want to thank the hardworking and committed staff of DSTA and ST Aerospace who worked hand in hand with the RSAF, as well as the United States Air Force who provided strong support. And many of you are from these units, and I know that it's taken many years to get here. Some of you started the programme, left the RSAF but your presence here shows that you still have strong attachment to the F-15SG. I think it's a proud day for all of us who have been through this journey.
The RSAF's F-15SGs have been rigorously tested and proven superior in air defence and strike capabilities, and integrated with other air platforms within the RSAF, which together are able to respond to a spectrum of threats to defend and dominate our skies. A strong RSAF provides confidence that Singapore is well capable of defending its sovereignty and protecting our precious homeland.
As the RSAF commemorates its 45th anniversary, we reflect on how far it has progressed. The RSAF has achieved much because of steady and prudent investments in carefully chosen advanced technologies and state-of-the-art platforms which are suited for our defence needs.
More importantly, the men and women of the RSAF have kept pace with changing technology and mastered each new platform, beginning first with the Hunter Hawkers and the A-4 Skyhawks in the early 70s, followed by the F-5 Tigers and the F-16 Fighting Falcons in the late 70s and 80s, and now the F-15SG. Each time we changed and added new capability was a test for the RSAF - there was no certainty of success and no lack of problems to operationalise new platforms. But I am glad that the RSAF has succeeded each time, and with each success, given us the confidence to plan and go even higher.
The RSAF's current orbat, with the F-15SG and other advanced RSAF systems like the G550 airborne early warning aircraft, the SPYDER air defence system and the ASTER-30 surface-to-air missile system, provides a robust and multi-layered air defence shield to protect Singapore against a spectrum of airborne threats.
The F-15 is a combat-proven platform and one of the most capable fighter aircraft in operation today. The original F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft has a sterling combat record of 104 kills to 0 losses. In developing the RSAF's variant of the F-15, the RSAF has upgraded it with state-of-the-art sensors, avionics and weapons - it is a formidable fighter aircraft.
The RSAF's F15SG has performed up to our high expectations. 149 SQN here in Singapore and PC V in Mountain Home have held their own when pitted against other advanced air forces in multilateral exercises like Exercise Pitch Black in Australia and Exercise Red Flag in the United States. PC V has consistently won weapon loading competitions at Mountain Home for many years.
Locally, 149 SQN clinched the "Overall Champions" trophy in the RSAF's air combat competition this year, and has also been crowned the "Best Fighter Squadron" twice in its three years of F-15SG operations. I am confident that both 149 SQN and PC V will continue to win many accolades as well as the admiration of our partners and counterparts.
But beyond its individual capabilities, the F15SG was able to network seamlessly with UAV sensors and SAF land forces to locate and conduct precision strikes against a wide array of targets at the last Ex Forging Sabre in the US in 2011. Through this exercise, the SAF has proven itself as an integrated fighting force able to utilise all the elements of the Army, Navy and Air Force to conduct operations. Periodically we exercise with other advanced military forces, to benchmark our capabilities and standards. These international partners are impressed with the SAF's capabilities as we successfully execute difficult missions.
In closing, let me reiterate my thanks to all of you who have contributed to the operationalisation of the F-15SG. It has been a satisfying and successful journey for the RSAF and our people. To the pilots, Weapon Systems Officers, the engineers, and ground crew who all contributed towards the FOC, you can be justifiably proud of what you have achieved as we seek to strengthen our defence and fulfil the SAF's mission to protect our homeland. Thank you very much.
Next page: More on the F-15SGs
More on the F-15SGs
The RSAF's F-15SG is an all-weather multi-role fighter designed to achieve air superiority over the battlefield. It is one of the most advanced and technologically sophisticated variant of the F-15 aircraft built to date.
The F-15SG is equipped with the latest avionics, an integrated sensor suite and advanced weapons. This unique configuration provides the aircraft with exceptional situational awareness capabilities, enhanced air-to-air and self-defence capabilities, and outstanding survivability.
The state-of-the-art avionics, integrated sensor suite and advanced weapons for the F-15SG include:
Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar
The F-15SG is the first production F-15 aircraft to have an AESA radar with full air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. The AESA radar has an extended detection range, which allows the F-15SG to detect and engage targets before it is detected. In addition, the number of targets it can track and engage is also higher than most other fighter radars. And unlike mechanical radars that use moving flat-plate antennas, the AESA antenna comprises numerous small transmission/reception modules - each scanning a small fixed area. Hence, the AESA radar performance is far more reliable than the previous F-15 radars.
Electronic Optics (EO) Suite
The F-15SG EO suite consists of two pods, which allows for precise navigation and attack. The Navigation Pod, with the Terrain Following Radar (TFR) and Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR), enables the pilot to navigate the F-15SG at low altitudes at night, under varying weather conditions. The 3rd Generation SNIPER Targeting Pod, with targeting FLIR, is for the sighting, tracking and ranging of a target. It has enhanced detection ranges over older generation targeting pods. It also has a laser spot tracker, which allows the F- 15SG to deliver weapons on target with precise accuracy in day and night.
The F-15SG is able to carry a larger payload of weapons and fuel, giving it enhanced firepower and longer endurance for air defence and counter-air operations missions. It also has the ability to carry a large variety of both conventional and precision stand-off weapons, making it extremely versatile and lethal. The F-15SG has a maximum payload of 23,000lbs. This allows it to carry up to eight air-to-air missiles in an air-to-air configuration, and up to fifteen 500lbs bombs in an air-to-ground configuration. The aircraft is also armed with an internal General Dynamics M-61A1 20mm Gatling gun (installed in the right wing root), which can fire up to 4,000 or 6,000 rounds per minute.
Other F-15SG systems include:
Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) System
The IRST system detects and tracks objects that emit IR radiation, such as jet aircraft and helicopters. Unlike radars, the IRST system does not give out any radiation on its own, making it undetectable. With IRST tracks, the F-15SG will be able to employ weapons without the need to operate the radar, hence greatly decreasing the probability of being detected.
Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)
With the JHMCS, the pilot needs only to point his head at the target, and weapons will be directed to where the pilot is looking, providing the pilot with "first-look, first-shoot" high offboresight capabilities. JHMCS enables the pilot to accurately direct (cue) sensors and weapons against enemy aircraft while performing high-G aircraft manoeuvres. In addition, the pilot can view any desired data (airspeed, altitude, target range, etc) 'heads-up', eliminating the need to look into the cockpit during air combat.
The AIM-9X is a supersonic, air-to-air, IR-guided missile which employs a passive IR target acquisition system to home in on IR emissions and to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft. The AIM-9X, coupled with JHMCS, allows the F-15SG pilot to attack and destroy any airborne enemy without having to manoeuvre the aircraft. The AIM-9X is an improved variant of the AIM-9M, with high off-boresight angle capability, improved IR counter-countermeasure robustness and missile manoeuvrability. The increased offboresight acquisition angle and improved situational awareness result in enhanced lethality and survivability.
Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite
The F-15SG's EW suite is an integrated electronic support and countermeasures system that comprises a warning receiver, a radar jammer and a chaff/flare dispenser. The system can effectively detect, identify and counter threats posed by an enemy, thereby greatly enhancing its survivability.
Link-16 Fighter Data Link The Link-16 Fighter Data Link allows the F-15SG to share target information with other aircraft, thus greatly enhancing situational awareness and information exchange. With enhanced battlefield awareness, the fighter can gain an upper hand in the fast paced air combat environment. The sharing of such information by air and ground forces also reduces dual targeting and redundant employment of weaponry.