Monday, June 1, 2020

Circuit breaker Day 56 (last day) pix: Singapore Armed Forces SAF old warriors

Adieu Intrepid: The decommissioned Republic of Singapore Navy tank landing ship, RSS Intrepid, seen at the breaker's yard. Till the very end, the LST was kept shipshape as is evident from the condition of her internal compartments and bulkheads. 

We've made it to the last day of the Circuit Breaker (CB) period in Singapore! The past few months of the CB was aimed at keeping people in the city-state at home in order to break the chain of transmissions of Covid-19 in the community.

We hope the series of Circuit Breaker pictures and stories have kept you entertained during this period.

Our last instalment gives you a look at what happens to retired Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) platforms. Admittedly, not pretty. But just as new acquisitions excite us, the retirement and decommissioning of old platforms represents the last phase and a fact of life for Singapore's Life Cycle Management approach to defence acquisitions.

Unlike some defence forces, the SAF does not have a tradition of keeping decommissioned platforms in running condition. Perhaps as our armed forces evolves, it may be worth rethinking this policy. There are sufficient numbers of skilled and interested private citizens in Singapore who can contribute the time and expertise to keep old war machines in running condition, just as enthusiasts have been able to keep warbirds and old war machines going decades after they were retired.

Gone but never forgotten.
Resting place: After long and distinguished service as the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) most numerous warplane in the 1970s through till the 1990s, retired RSAF A-4 Skyhawk carcasses are stacked like logs at a scrapyard in Jurong in 1999. The RSAF has about a dozen A-4 airframes in museum-quality condition at Tengah and Paya Lebar.
Circle of life: Singapore Army AMX-13 SM1 light tanks are cut up for scrap in Singapore following their retirement in the 2000s. Steel from these tanks was recycled as rebar and sheet metal plates.


  1. Oh I always wondered why the A-4S never went on the old warbird market. The latter models would still have a lot of appeal to American defense contractors like Draken International, who fly ex-Kiwi A-4K and find their radars useful for adversary training.

  2. Hi David, thank you very much for sharing these photos through the CB period.
    Really enjoyed them and quite a few brought back memories.
    Thanks again and stay safe!

  3. I have seen those Skyhawk fuselages stacked up in a Jurong scrapyard in 2000. Could be the same scrapyard you photographed. It's a pity they and the Tiger IIs with their modernised systems were not sold to American adversary contractors for continued flying.

  4. David, thanks for entertaining us over the last 2 months! Really appreciate it!

  5. Hi David,

    Many thanks for the 56 days of CircuitBreaker Photos.
    Am sure you have more photos / stories to share!

  6. Our Skyhawks were progressively retired in the late 90s till 2000s.

    The earliest American adversary training companies were started only in the mid 2000s and only in recent decade did the USAF started to outsource DACT training to these companies. So the timing was not right to start with.

    Secondly, I suspect our Skyhawks would not interest these companies much because they were largely configured as strike assets, unlike to the RNZAF's A4s, which were more multi-role with their APG-66 radars.

  7. Served onboard RSS Intrepid (L203) before.