Sembawang Air Base
A RSAF air base located in the northern part of Singapore, became a full-fledged rotary wing air base in 1983 when it’s first resident helicopter squadron was relocated from Changi air base. It is the home air base for the helicopter squadrons which are under the RSAF’s Participation Command. The helicopters reside in Sembawang air base includes the AH-64D Apache Longbow, CH-47SD Chinook, AS332 Super Puma, S-70B Seahawk as well as the EC120 trainer helicopters.
RSAF AH-64D Apache Longbow
The AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter recently performed in the Singapore Air Show 2016 together with the F-15SG for the RSAF’s flying display segment and wow-ed the crowd with several difficult integrated manoeuvres. The Apache helicopter is a multi-mission attack helicopter designed to fight and survive both during the day and night and also in adversed weather conditions. The apache pilot sits at the rear seat of the helicopter while the co-pilot is at the front seat. It can fly a speed of 147 Knots and an endurance of up to 3 hours. It can carry a total of 38 Hydra rockets and 8 hellfire missiles, with a 30mm chain gun located at the front. The Apache helicopters operate in support of the Singapore Army and took part in Exercises such as Exercise Wallaby and Exercise Forging Sabre. It was introduced into the service in May 2002.
RSAF CH-47D/SD Chinook
The CH-47D/SD Chinook helicopter is a twin engine, tandem rotor helicopter and was introduced into the service in 1996. It is one of two types of transport helicopters used by the RSAF, the other being the AS332 Super Puma helicopter. It has a top speed of 170 knots and an endurance of 4.5 hours. It is operated by 2 pilots and can carry a total of 55 passengers or 24 Stretchers with 2 medics. Its role includes transporting troops, underslung operation, casualty evacuation and fire-fighting. Since the year 2000, the chinooks fly the Singapore flag for the National Day Parade.
The RSAF Chinooks also took part in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to several countries such as the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2003, Indonesia and Thailand for water bombing operations to tackle the forest fires in 2015.
SAF and SCDF Personnel preparing the water-bucket for waterbombing operations in Indonesia (Source: RSAF)
Also, you might just get a chance to fly on the CH47 Chinook during the RSAF Open House. Do like the RSAF’s Facebook and follow them for more information on the coming Open House!
RSAF Super Puma (AS332)
The AS332 Super Puma is a medium lift helicopter, fitted with retractable landing gear and anti-crash features to provide maximum survivability during emergency landings. The Super Puma was first introduced into the service in July 1985. It has a top speed of 167 knots and an endurance of 4.5 hours. It can carry up to 3 aircrews with 24 personnel or 6 stretchers with 1 medic. The role of the super puma includes troop lifting, underslung cargo transport, transporting of VIPs as well as search and rescue operations.
A few of the RSAF’s Super Pumas were painted in the white and red paint scheme and are used in the search and rescue missions. Named the Rescue 10, the Super Puma search and rescue helicopter were often scrambled to evacuate patients who required immediate medical attention (Some cases were on board the civilian vessels of the straits of Singapore) to the hospitals.
RSAF Personnel evacuating a patient from the Rescue 10 to the Hospital (Source: RSAF)
The Super Puma was also used in the National Day Parade by the Singapore Red Lions parachute team.
RSAF S-70B Seahawk
The S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter, equipped with state of the art avionics and mission systems, is one of the most advanced naval helicopters in the world. The Seahawks entered service in 2011 and is operated by the RSAF pilots, while the sensors and weaponry are operated by specialists from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). With a top speed of 140 knots, a range of 400NM and the ability to arm with whitehead torpedoes, the Seahawk enhances the Republic of Singapore Navy’s frigates’ anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities at a longer range. The Seahawk is also able to detect underwater threat using its sonar system.
While writing this post, Dr Ng Eng Hen and Cyberpioneer have announced that the Super Puma and Chinook helicopters will replaced soon. Click here for speech by Dr. Ng Eng Hen.
MAphotoSG (Military Aviation Photography Singapore), is proudly represented by a number of dedicated individuals who are passionate about military aviation. Through our photography, we have captured some of the “first” images of RSAF Exclusive 2016 Airshow Preview, RSAF’s 142 Sqn tail art on F-15SG, and Exercise Commando Sling 16-2. We also bring you selected news from Singapore and International which we feel that will be interesting and important to share. Our Co-founder, David and one of our member, Eric were featured by TODAY Paper (a Singapore newspaper published by MediaCorp) for 2016 Airshow featured article in Feb 2016! Click here to learn more about the team!
This post is contributed by:
- Written by Lim Wen Hao, our contributor team member.
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