The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) H225M and CH-47F helicopter fleets have each reached Full Operational Capability (FOC) as the platforms work up to replace the AS332M and CH-47D aircraft in their respective medium- and heavy-lift capability.

The H225M and CH-47F platforms are operated by 125, 126, and 127 Squadrons of the RSAF, and were aided in the reach to FOC through the service’s Oakley Detachment in Australia, and assistance from the Singaporean Army and Navy.

Announcing the milestone on 11 April, Singapore Minister for Defence, Ng Eng Hen, said the new platforms would provide “enhanced” capability to the RSAF.

“More importantly, these two new helicopter platforms will enhance cross-service integration, allowing the RSAF to better support our Army and Navy troops in equipment lifts,” stated Ng.

The new helicopters will enable the RSAF to provide improved troop lift and payload capability, as well as performing search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation, counter terrorism, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

A wider procurement programme has also been active in order to train Singaporean military personnel to operate the platforms, with Spanish company Indra contracted in February 2024 to develop, produce, and deliver a full mission simulator for the Airbus H225M military helicopter. The simulator will have Level D certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency.

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Singapore’s H225M and CH-47F acquisition

The H225M medium-sized, twin-engine helicopter is a member of the Cougar helicopter family by Airbus Helicopters. The aircraft has been developed in the military H225M version and a civil EC 225 version.

The rotorcraft is used employed by Brazil, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Singapore – the RSAF only operates one unit, according to GlobalData intelligence.

The RSAF received its first CH-47F heavy-lift helicopter in 2021 from a planned acquisition of up to 16 airframes, with the first platforms being based in Australia.