新加坡空军部队 -  Angkatan Udara Republik Singapura - Republic of Singapore Air Force


       Credit:  Roundels of the world
Roundel                Low visibility roundel from 1986

                                        Last update 22/10/2020

The Fighter Group



   
The Group oversighs all the fighter Squadrons, this means at present: the 140th Squadron (with F-16C/F-16D),  the 143rd Squadron (with  F-16C/F-16D), the 144th Squadron (with  Northrop
    F-5S/F-5T)
, the 145th   Squadron (with F-16D+), the 149th Squadron (with F-15SG).
  The Group oversighs all the fighter Squadrons, this means at present: the 140th Squadron (with F-16C/
    F-16D), the 143rd Squadron 
(with  F-16C/F-16D), the 144th Squadron (with  Northrop  F-5S/F-5T), the 145th  Squadron (with F-16D+), the 149th Squadron (with F-15SG).




Squadrons

The Tigers originally bought allowed to establish two new units plus the conversion of one of the Hawker Hunter equipped Squadrons.

144 Squadron - Black Kites   - motto: Dare to Excel

The first Nortrthrop F-5E arrived at Tengah AB on 19-02-79; 144 Squadron was formed as first Tiger equipped unit on the same day. It replaced a detachment of 6 Australian AF Mirage IIIO based
a Butterworth AB in the air defence role, moving on 01-06-85 to Paya Lebar AB, where all other Tiger Squadrons were already based.
Its main role was interception, doubling as Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) operating single- plus all two-seaters.


First participation to Red Flag of the unit was in March 1982, supported by an Lockheed C-130 from 122 Squadron.

The Squadron also participated 1983 to Red Flag 83-2 exercise at Nellis AFB (USA), manning 1 loaned USAF Northrop F-5E and 3 new Northrop F-5F ordered in 1982. The same year/1983 saw the
transfer to Williamstown AB (Australia).


                         
            Northrop F-5E serial 823 seen on 23-09-83 without in-flight refuelling probe.                                              Northrop F-5F serial 852 at Williamtown AB on 27-09-83                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photos: Archive The Norhrop F-5 Enthusiast
The Squadron won the 1995 and 2005 the local "Best Fighter Squadron" award.

144 Squadron was the first to operate the ugraded STAe/Northrop F-5S and F-5T from 1996, maintaining its role as a fighter unit and as an OCU.
It reached Initial Operating Capability status on the "new" fighter at the end of 1997, full capability officially on 04 April 1999.


                                                                                  
             Photo: Archive The Norhrop F-5 Enthusiast
                                                                           
                                                                                                     
SiAi/Northrop F-5S 814 photographed in August 1999.

Best Topshot Squadron award was won by the unit in 2003, 2004 and 2010, Best Fighter Squadron in 2005, 2009, 2015, best Hotshot Squadron in 2011. Its main role was is air-defence, secondary
was ground attack. It was disbanded in September 2015 after retirement of the Northrop Tigers.
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149 Squadron - Blackite - motto: Steadfast


 

  Based at Tengah AB, this was the second F-5 unit to be formed on 01-06-85, when enough aircrafts were  available, equipped with single-seaters together with at least one double-seater.
  Primary role was air defence; secondary role (attack) was performed with AGM-65A Maverick  missile, unguided bombs and rockets. Transfer to Paya Lebar AB took  place in 1994. 
  It won the Best Fighter Squadron award several times; 1986, 1988 with Northrop F-5E.


Conversion 
to the more advanced STAe/Northrop F-5S and F-5T followed in 1998. Full Operational Capability was reached officially on 04 April 1999. It won the Best Fighter Squadron award several times:
2002, 2004, 2008, was detached to Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and participated to several exercises abroad and at home.


                                                                                 
               Photo: Australian DoD

                                                                                               STAe/Northrop F-5T 850 at Tindal AB (Australia) on 19-06-08.

The unit was selected to re-equip in 2010 to the incredibly more powerful Boeing F-15SG (quite a difference to the F-5 lightfighter!); first aircrafts arrived in Singapore in April 2010, the unit being officially
inaugurated on 05-04-10 on the new aircrafts.
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141 Squadron
- Shikra   - motto: Detect to Deter

This was the last Hawker Hunter FR. Mk74B and FGA/Mk74 equipped unit , based at Tengah AB. It disbanded in March 1992 upon withdrawal of these aircrafts and reformed at the end of
1994 at Paya Lebar AB with eight Northrop F-5E converted as reconnaissance-fighters (RF-5E) by STAero (programm initiated in 1991 with the help of Northrop) plus some "normal"
Northrop F-5E.

It was named Best Fighter Squadron 1997; its roles were described: patrol and maintaign sovereignity of air space, strike missions, escort missions; air-to-ground missions: strike ground
installations, ships, suppress enemy air defence, provide support of for friendly trops; additonally conduct F-5 pilot conversion.


The unit received again its Full Operational Capabity after re-equipping on STAe/Northrop F-5S on 04 April 1999, operating during its life few STAe/Northrop F-5S, STAe/Northrop F-5T and
the 8 STAe/Northrop RF-5S. It was finally disbanded in November 2005, its aircrafts being reassigned to 144 and 149 Squadron.


                                                                                 
           Photo: Peter Steinemann
                                                                          
141 Squadron Northrop RF-5E (seen in flight with F-5S 817) after having been converted to RF-5S
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Black Knights

   

   This is the aerobatic team of the Republic of Singapore; it flew 4 Haker Hunters until the 1978  season, restarting its show with 5 Northrop F-5E in standard camouflage for the 1981
   season  only, performing again with Hakwer Hunters in 1983.


                                                       
    Photo: J. Rehmann                                                                                 
                                                                                       
Exhibition of the Black Knights in Singapore on 12-01-81

Exercises           Few exercises, as well as training, can be held in-country due to the limited space available.

"Commando Sling"
This bilateral exercise began in 1991 and regularly involves (divided in several exercise) Singaporean Northrop F-5s, STAe A-4SU, General Dynamics F-16 and US units
deploying
General Dynamics F-16C/D, McDonnel F-15C/F-15D and/or US Marines McDonnell F/A-18.
Twenty Singaporean aircrafts, General Dynamics F-16, Northrop F-5, STAe A-4, Hawker Hunters completed in September 1998, together with 6 USAF General Dynamics
F-16C from
Osan AFB (Korea) 36th TFS, a two-weeks training exercise to give pilots air combat experience with dissimilar aircrafts. The 98-4 edition saw also the
participation of RAAF McDonnell A/F-18s.

 

The 2002 edition was held over the South China Sea from 28 Oct to 15 Nov 02, involving thirteen F-16s, eight F-5s, four A4-SU and six F-15s and approximately 200 personnel from the two
air forces

Exercise Commando Sling 2007 took place 5 January – 29 January with the  participation of four F-16 and four F-5 from the Singapore AF and six General Dynamics F-16 fighter from the USAF.


"Hotshot"
Is an annual competition among all fighter Squadrons, competing in air-to-air combat, air-to-ground bombing runs, aircraft maintenance and arming. In 2010 it took place at Tengah AB
between January 18th and 22nd.


"Torrent"
This important exercise (apart from the annual  Best Topshot and Best Fighter Squadron competitions) consists in the use of a stretch of highway modified to be used as an emergency runway, is held approximately
every five years.
The first one was on 16-04-86 by both Northrop F-5E and F-5F plus Douglas A-4, taking off and landing at the Lim Chu Kang strip; this was followed by others in 1990 and 1992.

The 1997 edition took plate on December 07 at the Lim Chu Kang strip; two STAe A-4SU, 2 General Dynamics F-16A and 2 Northrop F-5S (one from 144 Squadron) participated


                                                              
           
       Photo: Thomas Peter

                                                                     SiAE/Northrop F-5S serial 800, 144 Squadron landing at the Lim Chu Kang road strip on 07-12-97.
                                                                     Note missing in-flight refuelling probe.                                             


10 Nov 2002 saw the fifth edition of the exercise, lasting only 18 minutes, with the participation of all types of  fighter aircrafts in service (including STAe F-5S) and one 1 Grumman E2C AEW aircraft.

The sixth  exercise (named Torrent VI) was held on 29/30-11-08 at the Lim Chu Kang strip; four STAero/Northrop F-5S together with 8 General Dynamics F-16C/F-16D and 1 Grumman E2C aircraft participated.


                                                                    

                                                                             Information about the modifications needed on the highway to house Torrent VI exercise
                  
International exercises are vital for the Republic of Singapore AF, due to the very limited space available at home and to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding; Tigers have participated to an important
number of them.
144 sqn The year 2005 saw the participation to major exercises, including Bersama Shield, Bersama Lima; in 2006 to "Cope Tiger" exercise in Thailand (see below).

Some are listed hereunder in alphabetical order:


    "Air Thaising" a combined Air Defence Exercise over Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore involving the Five Powers Defence Agreement (Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and UK).
    ADEX 90-2 included Royal Malaysian AF and Singapore AF F-5E, cross deployed between Kuantan AB (Malaysia) and Singapore, four RAF Tornado F.3 (5 Sqn) at Buttwerwoth AB and RAAF F/A-18
    based at Singapore.

    Northrop F-5E belonging to the 144 Squadron participated to ADEX 91-2 from Tengah together with Singapore AF General Dynamics F-16A, STAe A-4S, Hawker Hunter from 141 Squadron,
    RAAF F/A-18 from No 75 Squadron, General Dynamics F-111C from No 1 Squadron, Royal Malaysian AF F-5E from 12 Squadron, Douglas A-4PTMs, Royal New Zealand Douglas A-4K from
    No 75 Squadron.

   
Flying training taking place at  Khorat Royal Thai AFB for the year. Northrop F-5E of 149 Squadron participated in 1992 to it, together with  Singaporean and Thai General Dynamics F-16s.
    The 1997 one day issue took place on 19 February saw the participation of Singaporean Northrop F-5E, General Dynamics F-16, STAero A-4SU, Malaysian MiG-29, BAe Hawk, Aermacchi MB.339,
                              Lockheed KC-130 plus transport and helicopters of both countries.


The name of the excercise was changed to Cope Tiger in August 1994, see below.
This is an exercise with the participation of the Royal Thai AF, flying training taking place again at  Khorat Royal Thai AFB.

"Bersama Shield"
This is an yearly, joint Air Forces/Navy exercise. 144 Squadron participated with ten STAe/Northrop F-5S in 2005 to this exercise.

The 2007 edition took place from 23-04-07 till 03-05-07 at Butterwoth AB (Malaysia) with the participation of 149 Squadron's STAe/Northrop F-5S together with Malaysian AF BAe Hawk, RAAF McDonnell F/A-18 -
General Dynamics F-111 and RAF BAe Jaguars plus various transport aircrafts and helicopters

The exercise took place over the Malaysian peninsula and the South China Sea in 2010 between 26-04 and 07-05, including six McDonnell F/A-18s from RAAF 75 Squadron and aircrafts from Malaysia, New Zealand
and the RAF.


"Bersama Lima"

This is en exercise where Navies and Air Forces participate. 
The 2004 issue took place between the 10th and the 25th September; 10 STAero F-5S/F-5T from 144 Squadron, 6 Singapore AF F-16C/F-16D, 4 A4-SU, helicopters, Maritime patrol, Aircraft Early Warning and tanker
aircrafts participated.

During 2005 it was 144 Squadron's turn.
Eight STAe/Northrop F-5S from 149 Squadron together with 18 General Dynamics F-16C/F-16D and 8 Australian McDonnell F/A-18, 3 General Dynamics F-111, 4 Malaysian McDonnell F/A-18D, 4 MiG-29, 6 BAe Hawk
articipated from 05 till 23-10-09 to this important exercise from various bases.


"Commando Sling"
This exercise started following an agreement in 1990 between Singapore and the USA to train USAF PACAF units, RAAF units took part to the exercise from 1998.
The September 1998 issue saw the participation of Singapore AF F-5s, F-16s and A-4SU, together with RAAF A/F-18s and USAF F-15s. STAe/Northrop F-5S of 144 Squadron participated to the exercise.
Singaporean F-5s, F-16s and A-4SU were present to several issues: Commando Sling 03-3 saw the participation of Alaska based USAF F-16s and US Marines F/A-18s in October 2003; issue 04-3 ran till June 2004,
Korean based USAF F-16s were among the participants to dissimilar air-to-air training.


 
"Cope Thunder"
exercise was attended at Clark AFB (Philippines) for the first time by 2 Northrop F-5E and 1 Northrop F-5F OF the 144th Squadron in 1984 to give a realistic air combat training.

 


   "Cope Tiger", is an annual multilateral exercise between Thailand, Singapore, US Air Force and Marines units stationed in the Far East to improve interoperability and sharpening
   air  combat skills. It is normally held at Khorat AFB (Thailand).   It was renamed from original Air Thai-Sin exercise.


  Singaporean Northrop F-5E and STAe/Northrop F-5S/F-5T regularly participated to many  editions.




Known years of participation are: 1994 August (first edition, which Squadron?)
                                       1998 (Northrop F-5E/144 Squadron)
                                       2000 (11th-27th January
, which Squadron?)
                                       2002 (14th-25th January, which Squadron?)
                                       2004 (11th-27th  February, wchich Squadron?)
                                       2005 (24th January-04th February, which Squadron?)
                                       2006 (when?, 149  Squadron)
                                       2007, 2008, 2009 (8 single-/double seaters from 149 Squadron)
                                      2010 (1 STAe/Northrop F-5S, 1  STAe/Northrop F-5T
144 Squadron; 1 STAe/Northrop F-5S, 1 STAe/Northrop F-5T 149 Squadron)
                                      2012
(March 12th till 23rd)  4 STAe/Northrop F-5S, 2 STAe/Northrop F-5T 144 Squadron
                                     
2013 (March 11th till 22nd) 4 STAe/Northrop F-5S, 2 STAe/Northrop F-5T 144 Squadron
       
                              2015 (March 11th till 22nd) 4 STAe/Northrop F-5S, 1 STAe/Northrop F-5T 144 Squadron.


"Elang Indopura"