SINGAPORE – The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) celebrates its 50th anniversary at Tengah Air Base on Saturday (1 September) with a 480-strong parade, a flypast and an exhibition of 20 aircraft and weapon systems, including the latest aircraft purchase.
The new Airbus A330 Multi-role Tanker Transport (MRTT) tanker of the new generation, which will replace the KC-135 aircraft, has been in use for more than 20 years.
Premier Lee Hsien Loong will perform during the RSAF 50th anniversary parade, which marks the crown of the year-long Golden Jubilee party of the RSAF.
The parade is attended by about 1,400 guests, including Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, Chief of Lieutenant General Defense, Melvyn Ong, Head of Air Force Major General Mervyn Tan, former air force chiefs, Asean Air Force chiefs and former Air Force force soldiers.
The central point of the static display is the MRTT, which can simultaneously run air-to-air tanks and air transport rollers. It can transport 111,000 kg of fuel, which can be used for refueling both with a hail-fueled and with a fork-topped aircraft.
In comparison with the KC-135 tanker that it replaces, the MRTT has better endurance, cargo and passenger capacity. It can carry cargo of up to 37,000 kg or 266 people.
Unlike extending the flight time of combat aircraft, the MRTT will also strengthen the RSAF's ability to contribute to international humanitarian and disaster response missions and peace support operations.
If necessary, the aircraft can also be equipped with medical equipment for aeromedical evacuation missions.
Colonel Lau Boon Ping, chairman of the RSAF50 Parade, told reporters after a rehearsal on Tuesday (August 28) that the parade contained elements from the past, the present and the future with the theme "Honoring the past, celebrating the present, and Inspiring for the future ".
Closer to the meaning of Tengah Air Base, Colonel Lau said that the base has a rich history and was the first hunting ground base that Singapore had inherited from the British.
It was also where the memorial parade of the RSAF is usually held every five years.
He said: "This parade is bigger, with more people in the contingents, more planes in the static view. The flypast this year is also more extensive, as these are our golden jubilee celebrations."