The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) F-15SG multirole fighter aircraft has attained full operational capability (FOC), three and a half years after the first delivery.
As an upgraded variant of the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, the aircraft has been locally-operated by RSAF’s 149 Squadron since 2010, and by the Peace Carvin V (PC V) Detachment at the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, US.
Calling the FOC a major milestone for the country’s defence capabilities, Singapore’s defence minister Dr Ng Eng Hen said the rigorously tested F-15SGs have proven superior in air defence and strike capabilities, and also integrated with RSAF’s other air platforms that together are able to respond to a spectrum of threats to defend the nation.
"A strong RSAF provides confidence that Singapore is well capable of defending its sovereignty and protecting our precious homeland," Hen added.
Capable of carrying up to eight air-to-air missiles in an air-to-air configuration and up to 15 500lbs bombs in an air-to-ground configuration, the aircraft is fitted with the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which enables detection and engagement of targets before the aircraft is detected.
149 SQN commanding officer major Nick Wong said the aircraft carries more advanced air systems and missiles than other fighter aircraft, enabling the air force to effectively complete its missions.
"It carries more fuel, sees further and shoots further. So it integrates together very well with the rest of the (RSAF’s) aircraft to achieve mission success," Wong added.
RSAF took delivery of the first F-15SG aircraft in May 2009, and has since trained pilots, weapon systems officers and maintenance crew to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as integrate the aircraft to support the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) operations.
During this period, the fighter also participated in several exercises, including Exercise Forging Sabre, Exercise Cope Tiger, Exercise Pitch Black, Exercise Bersama Shield and Exercise Red Flag. RSAF currently operates 25 F-15SG aircraft for air superiority / strike missions.
Image: RSAF’s F-15SG fighter aircraft in flight over Darwin Airport, Australia. Photo courtesy of Eugene Butler.