From February 6 to 11, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be participating in the Singapore Airshow as it kicks off commemorations for the celebration of its 50th anniversary this year. A series of activities, including exhibitions for visitors and aerial displays, will put the spotlight on the capabilities of one of the most capable air forces in the region.
As I have noted before, this year is a big year for the RSAF, which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year (See: “Singapore’s Air Force at 50”). Its initial genesis as the Singapore Air Defense Command (SADC) was in 1968, although the RSAF itself was technically formally inaugurated only on April 1, 1975. Entering 2018, the Singapore government had announced that a series of activities would be held in conjunction with RSAF50.
Though there are a whole series of commemorative activities planned through the year – including exhibit, flypasts, and a parade – the celebrations are expected to kick off with the Singapore Airshow next week. The event, which Singapore has hosted biennially since 2008, is considered Asia’s largest aerospace and defense event of its kind.
Singapore Airshow 2018 (SA18) will take place from February 6 to February 11 at the Changi Exhibition Center. As with past years, defense observers will be looking for displays and updates on new platforms as well as the extent of engagement from companies from major countries, including the United States and China.
The RSAF will be participating as well in line with its golden jubilee. At the RSAF50 Pavilion, visitors will be able to learn about RSAF personnel as well as see displays of the RSAF’s aircraft and weapons systems. According to Singapore’s defense ministry (MINDEF), the display will feature a record number of RSAF assets, including a range of fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, transport aircraft, and ground-based air defense systems.
Apart from that, one of the highlights linked to the Singapore Airshow will be the RSAF’s aerial display – the first-ever integrated aerial display involving an F-15SG and two F-16s, which will take place during the weekend before SA18 begins. According to MINDEF, the display, which will take place in two 15-minutes segments at the Changi Exhibition Center, will comprise 15 maneuvers, of which six are new integrated maneuvers to be seen by the public for the first time.
Following SA18, commemorations of the RSAF’s anniversary will continue through the year, with exhibits and demonstrations at several locations throughout the city-state as well as the RSAF50 Parade on September 1, in conjunction with the actual date of the anniversary.