Monday, October 3, 2016

Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatics team in SG Thurs 13 Oct'16

Photo credit: Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom

Stick around Marina Bay Sands and look skyward next Thursday around noon if you want to see the Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows in Diamond Nine formation (as above).

The Red Arrows will fly into Singapore on 13 Oct'16 as part of their visit to the Far East, including countries like China, India and Malaysia.

While no aerobatic displays are planned while the Reds are in town, it is understood that photo calls involving the nine-aircraft team will be staged around the Singapore waterfront and, possibly, over the Kranji War Memorial. The team flies the BAE Systems Hawk T.1 aircraft, which is the RAF's advanced fast jet trainer. While in Singapore, the Red Arrows T.1s will roost at Paya Lebar Air Base.

The RAF has deployed to the region in strength this year as part of a capability demonstration codenamed Eastern Venture. The deployment will underscore the United Kingdom's continued ability to project and sustain frontline air power from the UK to the region at short notice and in strength.

Eastern Venture harks back to the 1988 strategic deployment of four 29(Fighter) Squadron Tornado F.3 fighters from RAF Coningsby to Singapore under the banner of the Golden Eagle deployment.

The first phase of Eastern Venture involves fielding eight Typhoons and two C-130 Hercules aircraft for Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) war games, codenamed Bersama Lima (Malay for Five in Unity). 

The FPDA war games involving air forces from Australia, Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore will run from tomorrow till 21 October 2016. After Bersama Lima, the RAF Typhoons will then deploy for exercises in Japan and South Korea. Eastern Venture is expected to reward RAF pilots with substantial experience in dissimilar air combat training when pitted alongside and against warplanes from host nations during air warfare exercises. 

The Typhoons from 1(Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, arrived at TUDM Butterworth in Malaysia yesterday. The fighter deployment was made possible via multiple mid-air refuelling brackets with Voyager tanker/transports.

Wing Commander Mike Sutton, Commanding Officer 1(Fighter) Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth, said:“ We are really looking forward to Exercise Bersama Lima and we are really grateful to Malaysia for hosting this exercise. Every day we will be conducting large training missions with all of the air forces. This exercise provides us with a fantastic opportunity to train and improve our integration and effectiveness with all the participating countries”.

British High Commissioner HE Scott Wightman said, “We are excited by the visit of the Red Arrows and their participation in a number of activities in Singapore that will deepen the strong ties between Singapore and the UK. Their visit, alongside that of eight RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft and two C130 transporters to the Bersama Lima exercise, underscores our commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) and the UK’s capability to exercise with our allies around the world”.

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