Singapore’s G550 AEW Squadron Now Operational
RSAF's Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft is Fully Operational.
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) Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning (G550-AEW) aircraft at Tengah Air Base this afternoon. Prior to the ceremony, the RSAF's 111 Squadron, which operates the G550-AEW aircraft, hosted Dr Ng to a familiarisation flight to observe a training mission.
Speaking at the FOC ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted the significance of employing advanced AEW technology to enhance Singapore's networked air defence capabilities. He said, "The G550-AEW together with the RSAF's fighter squadrons and ground-based Air Defence units, are a powerful network that represents a quantum jump in the SAF's ability to identify potential aerial threats early and respond decisively, in peace or in war."
Dr Ng also commended the men and women of 111 Squadron for their hard work in operationalising the capability. He said, "Today's parade to mark the full operational capability of the aircraft, just six months after the delivery of the fourth G550-AEW last October, shows the rapid progress achieved through hard work. It is a positive testament to the adaptability and professionalism of our people to master sophisticated systems systematically within a short span of time."
With a detection range of more than 200 nautical miles, the G550-AEW aircraft allows the RSAF to see farther, and respond more effectively to aerial threats in various operational situations.
Since the arrival of the first G550-AEW aircraft in Feb 2009, pilots, air warfare officers and maintenance crew of 111 Squadron have undergone intensive training to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as to integrate the aircraft to support the Singapore Armed Forces' round-the-clock operations. During this period, the squadron also participated in major exercises such as Exercise Cope Tiger and Exercise Bersama Lima.
Also present at the ceremony were Minister of State for Defence and Education Mr Lawrence Wong, Chief of Air Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng as well as other senior officers from the SAF. (ends)
RSAF's G550 Early-Warning Aircraft Combat Ready
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) boosted its capability to detect and track aerial threats as it marked the achievement of Full Operational Capability (FOC) status by its Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft on 13 Apr.
"The G550-AEWs, together with the RSAF's fighter squadrons and Ground-Based Air Defence units, are a powerful network that represents a quantum jump in the SAF's (Singapore Armed Forces') ability to identify potential aerial threats early and respond decisively, in peace or in war," said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen when he officiated at the FOC ceremony at Tengah Air Base.
Platforms such as the G550 AEW aircraft are critical to the defence of a small nation such as Singapore, as they eliminate the risks of surprise from the air and provide the ability to detect, identify and track aerial threats 24/7, said Dr Ng.
Flying faster, higher, longer and seeing farther than the E-2C Hawkeye which it replaces, the G550-AEW can stay in flight for nine hours and climb to 41,000 feet (or more than 12,000 metres), compared to the six hours of endurance and a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet of the older E-2C Hawkeye.
One of the most advanced AEW platforms in the world, each G550-AEW has a detection range of more than 200 nautical miles (or more than 370km). For self-protection, the G550-AEW can detect incoming threats, and is equipped with a chaff and flare dispensing system to thwart attempts to down the aircraft.
"The ability to see beyond our shores is very important as threats are multi-faceted. (With the G550-AEW aircraft), we can detect threats earlier, which means we have more time to respond and make decisions. This means more time for other RSAF units to deal with the aerial threat," explained Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Leong Chun Siu, Commanding Officer of 111 Squadron (Sqn) which operates the G550-AEW aircraft.
"The G550-AEW aircraft is definitely more capable... and it allows us to contribute more to the national air defence network," said Major Toh Su Sin, an Air Warfare Officer (AWO) with 111 Sqn.
After taking delivery of the first G550-AEW aircraft in February 2009, the pilots, AWOs and logisticians of 111 Sqn began training and working towards optimising the G550-AEW aircraft to achieve the SAF's mission.
On top of training its pilots to operate their first G550-AEW aircraft and building the infrastructure to support its operations, the squadron also had to ensure the delivery of the remaining three G550-AEW aircraft, the last of which arrived in October last year.
Achieving FOC status just six months after the delivery of the fourth G550-AEW aircraft was a commendable feat, noted Dr Ng. He said: "It is a positive testament to the adaptability and professionalism of our people to master sophisticated systems systematically within a short span of time."
Prior to the ceremony, Dr Ng observed a training mission conducted over the South China Sea on board a G550-AEW aircraft. Also present at the ceremony were Minister of State for Defence and Education Lawrence Wong, Chief of Air Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng and other senior SAF officers.
Source: Singapore Ministry of Defence & Singapore MoD Cyberpioneer; dated April 16, 2012
Photo: The Singapore Air Force Gulfstream 550 AEW Aircraft (Photo by RSAF)