Air International 1986-08
C.Pocock - Singapore Sting
A-4S Skyhawks of No 142 (Gryphon) Sqn lined up at Tengah Air Base. The Skyhawks - numerically the most important aircraft in the RSAF inventory.
An A-4S Skyhawk of No 142 (Gryphon) Sqn, the second RSAF unit to achieve IOC on this extensively reworked attack aircraft.
A Hunter Mk 74 of No 140 (Osprey) Sqn which flies this ageing type from Paya Lebar in the air-ground role;
Siai Marchetti SF.260s of No 150 Sqn which is responsible for the training of forward air controllers in addition to pilot training.
One of the mixed fleet of C-130B and C-130H Hercules transports operated from Paya Lebar in the logistic support and (with one of the C-130Bs) flight refuelling roles.
An expansion of pilot training requirements in 1980 led to the acquisition of a dozen ex-Armee de l’Air Lockheed T-33As, later augmented by a further eight, and these serve with No 131 (Harrier) Sqn from Tengah, but will eventually be replaced by the S.211.
A Skyvan 3M of No 121 (Gunnel) Sqn, a unit that has established an enviable safely record since receiving the first aircraft of this type more than a dozen years ago.
A Strikemaster Mk 84 of No 130 (Eagle) Sqn, this type having now seen 17 years of RSAF service
A BAe Strikemaster Mk 84 of No 130 (Eagle) Sqn at Paya Lebar Air Base
A Cessna 172 of No 151 Sqn which operates civil-registered aircraft as the Junior Flying Club from Seletar - the youngest student pilots with the RSAF are 16 years of age!
One of the AS 332M Super Pumas of No 125 (Starling) Sqn which operates this helicopter from Sembawang;
One of the 22 Aerospatiale AS 332M Super Puma helicopters now being taken into tlw RSAF inventory, this being assigned to Singapore on detachment for SAR duties. No 125 (Starling) Sqn was formed at Sembawang last year to operate the Super Puma.
For the training task the RSAF employs five AS 350B Ecureuils acquired from Samaero in October 1982.
Two of the newly-acquired Siai Marchetti S.211 basic trainers now operated by No 131 Sqn, this type being scheduled to replace the Strikemasters and T-33As progressively;
F-5E Tiger IIs of No 144 (Lynx) Sqn lined up at Tengah Air Base, being seen herein the old camouflage scheme of three grey tones similar to that adopted by the US Navy for its F-5E "Top Gun” Sqn. The F-5E Tiger IIs currently provide the bulk of the muscle of the service, but capability will be appreciably enhanced with the delivery of General Dynamics F-16As.
An F-5E Tiger II of No 144 (Lynx) Sqn photographed at RAAF Williamtown while on a two-three month detachment. Together with its sister squadron, No 149 (Shirkra), this unit fulfils the primary air defence role in which it is to he joined by the General Dynamics F-16.
The Northrop F-5 currently serves with No 144 (Lynx) and No 149 (Shirkra) Squadrons at Paya Lebar and Tengah respectively, an F-5E and an F-5F being seen at the head of the page prior to assignment to one of these units.
One of the RSAF's distinctive TA-4S Skyhawk trainers with raised, separate canopy for the instructor, a 28-in plug accommodating the additional cockpit.
The Singapore Air Defence Command recently took delivery of its final McDonnell Douglas Skyhawk, a two-seat TA-4Ss. The batch comprised forty single-seat A-4Ss and three TA-4Ss which were refurbished and updated by Lockheed Aircraft Service Co.