Tag Archives: Republic of Singapore Air Force

Singapore’s F-16s and F-15SGs at Nellis Air Force Base for Red Flag 14-3

Among the aircraft deployed to Nellis Air Force Base for the Red Flag 14-3 last summer, were the Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SGs, and F-16s. All painted with various special designs on the tails.

Red Flag exercises always offer a good opportunity to see U.S. stealth planes, Aggressors, heavy bombers, SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defense) and Electronic Warfare aircraft, take off or land at Nellis Air Force Base, or engage one another inside the Nevada Test and Training Center.

Along with the American hi-tech combat planes and the supporting planes, Red Flags attract many interesting foreign participants.

F-15SG. 05-0030:MO 428FS. Rep SNG AF. recovers to Nellis 17.07.2014

The 14-3 edition held last summer featured, among all the others, even the RSAF F-16s and F-15SG currently working and training with the 56 FW at Luke AFB, Arizona, and the 366th FW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho.

F-16D. 94-0283:LF. 425FS. Rep Singapore AF. Recovers to Nellis AFB. 17.07.2014

Four of these combat planes sported special tails.

F-16C. 97-0112:LF. 425 FS. Rep Singapore AF

The images in this post were shot by The Aviationist’s photographer Tony Lovelock in July, as the aircraft recovered to Nellis at the end of their RF 14-3 missions.

05-0005:428 FS-MO. F-15SG. Republic Singapore Air Force. Nellis AFB. 17.07.2014

96-5034:LF. F-16D. 425 FS. Rep Singapore Air Force. "Merlion". 20th Anniversary markings

96-5035:LF. F-16D. 425FS. Republic of Singapore Air Force. Nellis AFB. 17.07.2014

F-16C. 94-0273:LF. 425FS. Rep Singapore AF

Even this RSAF Chinook was deployed to Nellis AFB.

88182. CH-47. Rep Singapoe AF. Red Flag 14-3. Nellis AFB. 17.07.2014

Image credit: Tony Lovelock

 

[Photo] M-346 Advanced Jet Trainer flies with three fuel tanks

The M-346 “Master” Advanced Combat Trainer is getting a new type of fuel tank.

Taken at Decimomannu airbase by The Aviationist’s contributor Gian Luca Onnis, the above picture shows an M-346 “Master” advanced combat trainer carrying three 630l (450kg) external fuel tanks

Interestingly, the shape of the fuel tanks is different from that of the drop tanks initially carried by the Master prototypes (as those shown in the image below) which resembled th 500l (380kg) type carried on outer wing pylons by Italian Air Force AMX light fighter bombers.

Previous tanks

Although the new type of tank was showcased as part of the external loads of the M-346 at international air shows in the past, the plane was rarely spotted flying with this kind of tanks, let alone three of them.

The M-346 has been selected by the Italian Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force, Polish Air Force, and the Israeli Air Force that will use the “Master” to replace the A-4 Skyhawks.

Image credit: Gian Luca Onnis

M-346 advanced combat trainer flying with a pair of Sidewinder air-to-air missiles

Taken at Decimomannu airbase last week, the following picture shows an M-346 “Master” advanced combat trainer with two dummy AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles at the wing tip launchers.

Serialled CP X617, the first IPA (Initial Production Aircraft) is involved in a testing campaign which follows the one conducted last April at Decimomannu airbase when the aircraft flew with BRD (Bombs and Rocket Dispencer) for Mk-106s thin-cased cylindrical bombs used to simulate the high-drag (retarded) Mk-82 Snakeye bombs.

The M-346 has been selected by the Italian Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and  the Israeli Air Force that will use the “Master” to replace the A-4 Skyhawks.

[Read also: Here’s the M-346 in Israeli Air Force colors]

Image credit: Gianni Maduli

Israel buys M-346 combat trainers from Italy. Italy buys G550 Airborne Early Warning planes from Israel.

On Jul. 19, Finmeccanica group company’s Alenia Aermacchi signed a contract worth 1 billion USD, with Israeli Ministry of Defence to supply 30 M-346 advanced combat trainers to replace the Israeli Air Force’s aging fleet of A-4 Skyhawks.

On Jul. 20 (the following day), it was announced that Israel’s IAI will supply the Italian Air Force with  two Gulfstream G550 Eitam conformal airborne early warning (CAEW) aircraft (as well as ground support equipment and logistical support services) under a deal worth 750 million USD  that is part of “a larger larger Government-to-Government agreement between Israel and Italy that includes aircraft, engines, maintenance, logistics, simulators and training, provided also by other Israeli and international companies.”

Indeed, under an additional agreement worth 182 million USD, IAI will also develop, manufacture and supply an observation satellite to Italy’s Telespazio.

The official announcements didn’t come unexpected: the M-346 had been selected by the Israeli MoD in February 2012, whereas the long-awaited mini-AWACS had been on the Italian Air Force’s “wish list” since it took part to the 2010 and 2011 edition of the Vega multinational exercise in Decimomannu, in Sardinia.

What’s curious is that, with the recent sales, both the Italian Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Israeli Air Force will soon be (at least momentarily) the only operators of both the M-346 and the G550 planes.

[Read also: Here’s the M-346 in Israeli Air Force colors]

Anyway, maybe it’s time to add Israel’s flag to the following M-346 on static display at the Finmeccanica park at Farnborough International Airshow 2012).

Farnborough 2012: A flight with the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 simulator. Including a taste of the Master's Helmet Mounted Display

Among the most interesting things you might happen to do at Farnborough International Airshow, there’s a ride in a combat plane simulator.

During the Day 2 of FIA12 (#FIA12 or #FARN12 for the Tweeps), I had the opportunity to try the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 simulator, one of the two hosted inside the large Finmeccanica Pavilion.

Although simplified a little bit in terms of consoles and instruments, the Master’s simulator is absolutely realistic in terms of flight model and mission systems thus giving the “pilot” (a journalist in this case…) the opportunity to test the aircraft’s handling capabilities, performances and systems.

The simulator runs the OFP7 software release, the one currently installed on the six Italian Air Force M-346s.

The demo started on Farnborough runway, with the aircraft lined up and ready for take off, after a very detailed briefing by Gabriele Sgarbi, an engineer at Alenia Aermacchi’s Integrated Training System department.

I slammed the throttle to the maximum thrust to begin the take off roll. The aircraft accelerated quickly and I had only to use a bit of rudder to keep the nose aligned with the runway centerline.

At 100 knots I pulled the stick for a steep climb. The aircraft continued to accelerate and I had to be quite fast to retract the landing gear and the flaps. General handling of the jet is quite easy and you can find all the information you need on the three large MFD (Multi-Function Displays) that showed the Flight Director, the ADI and engine parameters.

Obviously, the Head Up Display provides all the required data through the typical HUD symbology.

After a couple of turns I used to get used with the HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) cockpit, at an altitude of 3,000 feet and just above 300 knots, I started a looping that I ended at the same altitude, after pulling 4.5 Gs.

After few more aerobatics, Gabriele suggested me to set the throttle to Idle and keep the nose high to see how the aircraft handles at High AOA (Angle Of Attack). Once again, the M-346 behaved just like the most modern combat planes, reaching 25° AOA and keeping a significant flight controls’ authority.

After flying around Farnborough for a few more minutes I headed back to the airport for a touch and go. I throttled back to Idle and extracted the air brakes using one of the switches on the throttle.

As I reached 250 knots, I extended the landing gear and as the air speed went below 240 I selected the Take Off flaps.

I selected full flaps on the downwind leg, flew the final approach at 130 knots and, with a gentle flare, I touched the runway. As soon as the nose gear went down, I once again throttled to the maximum thrust and took the air again, for the second part of the demo.

Gabriele showed me [at the simulator what can be actually done on the real M-346]: the aircraft can be quickly reconfigured to simulate different payload configurations, both air-to-air and air-to-ground, to be used to train student pilots.

Since all the aircraft can be connected through the use of data link, simulated scenarios can involve both real planes and virtual ones. For instance, an Instructor pilot on the ground can generate simulated aerial and ground threats and targets as his student pilot is flying a sortie.

After playing a bit with virtual AIM-9 and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles I was given the opportunity to give the new Targo HMD a try.

Designed by the VSI, the same firm that produces the JHMCS and F-35’s HMDS Gen. II, the Targo is a lightweight helmet built around the HGU-55P. It has a night module, designed to be fitted to the standard NVG eyepiece kit that works by overlaying the HMD symbology to that of the NVG imagery.

It was my first experience with an HMD and I found it really interesting. The projected symbology was sharp and clearly visible, thus increasing situational awareness of the pilot, improving safety too.

A really interesting and advanced tool for a combat trainer!