combat aircraft

(Axel Boer) #1




Singapore Air Force
(RSAF) has concluded
22 years of Chinook
training at the Grand
Prairie Army Aviation
Support Facility in Dallas. The Peace
Prairie Detachment was inaugurated
in May 1996 to kick-start training
with the RSAF’s purchase of Chinook
helicopters. The original order of six
CH-47Ds was based there while 10
more advanced CH-47SDs purchased
subsequently were delivered to 127
Squadron at Sembawang.

The Peace Prairie detachment
o ered realistic  ying conditions to
supplement training in Singapore,
which is often hampered by
monsoonal weather and the lack of
suitable training grounds. Training
alongside the Texas Army National
Guard’s 149th Aviation Regiment,
the Peace Prairie detachment
participated in US Army exercises,
the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s)
unilateral Exercise ‘Forging Sabre’
in Phoenix and Exercise ‘Red Flag’
at Nellis. Helicopters and personnel
involved in the detachment

also took part in disaster relief
operations such as Hurricane
Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane
Harvey in 2017.
With the 20-year Peace Prairie
agreement already extended by
a further two years to 2018, the
RSAF sought to bring its Chinook
training to Australia. Under the
Oakey Agreement, the RSAF has
maintained a training detachment
of a dozen Super Pumas at the
Oakey Army Aviation Centre in
Queensland since 1997, with a 2012
treaty revision allowing the increase

in the number of helicopters and
the basing of Chinooks.
The drawdown of the Peace
Prairie detachment took place
over several months, culminating
in the shipping of  ve Chinooks
to Australia in June. Five CH-47Ds
arrived at the Port of Brisbane in
early June and were delivered by
road to Oakey. Apart from  ight
training, the new detachment
in Oakey will support the SAF’s
annual Exercise ‘Wallaby’ held at the
Shoalwater Bay Training Area, which
has typically seen Singapore-based


THE US STATE Department and
the Defense Security Co-operation
Agency has approved the potential
sale of four UH-60M helicopters
to Latvia. The package, which
includes training, spares and related
equipment, is valued at around
$200 million. The Black Hawks will
be delivered in standard US Army
con guration. Tom Kaminski


A C130T OPERATED by the Philippine
Air Force has been converted into
a maritime aircraft through the
installation of intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities
donated by the US. Manufactured by
Aerodyne Aerospace, the removable
special airborne mission installation
and response (SABIR) system includes
an Israel Aerospace Industries
EL-2202ML light airborne maritime
surveillance radar and an electro-
optical sensor turret. The modi ed
Hercules will be based at Mactan
Air Base in Cebu, around 350 miles
(570km) south of Manila and operated
by the 300th Air Intelligence and
Security Wing. The wing also operates
Cessna 208B Grand Caravans, which
have been modi ed for surveillance
missions. Tom Kaminski

F-16D Barak  ghters  ew in a
formation  ight with a pair of
Croatian Air Force (Hrvatsko Ratno
Zrakoplovstvo, HRZ) MiG-21bisD
 ghters in a  ypast on August
5 as part of celebrations for the
Croatian Victory and Homeland
Thanksgiving Day.
Marking the 23rd anniversary of
Operation ‘Oluja’ (‘Storm’), the  nal
major battle in the Croatian war
of independence, the four-ship
 ngertip formation involving
MiG-21bisDs serials 116 and 133
with F-16Ds serials 041 and 063
joined a total of 22 aircraft from

the HRZ, including OH-58D Kiowa
Warrior, Bell 206B JetRanger and
Mi-8 helicopters and Zlin 242L,
Pilatus PC-9M, Air Tractor AT-
and Canadair CL-415 aircraft. A
spare IAF F-16D, serial 023, was
on standby.
The three two-seat F-16D Baraks
were part of 109 ‘Valley’ Squadron
from Ramat David Air Base. They
arrived at Zagreb-Pleso air base
three days earlier, accompanied
by a 131 ‘Yellow Bird’ Squadron
C-130H Karnaf. The commander
of Ramat David AB led the Israeli
delegation. On August 3 he
 ew in the back seat of an HRZ

MiG-21UMD. Earlier, on April 9,
the Zagreb base commander  ew
in the back seat of an F-16D at
Ramat David.
Under a US$480-million deal,
expected to be o cially signed
soon, the Israeli government
will deliver 10 single-seat F-16Cs
and a pair of two-seat F-16D
Block 30  ghters to Croatia.
They will be supplied with
basic US air-to-air missiles and
ammunition, a simulator, an initial
spare parts package, ground
technical support, new hangar
infrastructure and a ‘train-the-
trainers’ program in Israel for
Croatian pilots, technicians and
engineers. One single-seater and
one two-seater plus the simulator
will arrive in Croatia in 2020. A
further six F-16s will be available
in 2021 and the last four single-
seaters should arrive in 2022.
The Croatian Ministry of Defense
expects it will be able to use
the multi-role F-16s for the next
25 years.
The  ying event over Knin
was concluded by an aerobatic
program by the HRZ’s Krila Oluje
(Wings of Storm) display team,
with  ve PC-9Ms. Immediately
after the  ypast, the IAF aircraft
proceeded back to Israel.
Antonio Prlenda

Israeli F-16Ds and
Croatian MiG-21bisD
jets fl ew in the joint
four-ship fi ngertip
formation, on the
Croatian Victory
and Homeland
Thanksgiving Day.
Goran Leš


20 October 2018 //^

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