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Singapore opens new air base to house F-16Ds

November 29, 2004 (by Anonymous) - Changi Air Base East was officially inaugurated by Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, this afternoon. The 145 Squadron which will be based there, oprates the F-16D block 52+ jets. These Vipers are state-of-the-art, and so is the airbase they operate from.

RSAF F-16D Block 52 #638 was the first aircraft delivered under the Peace Carvin II deal. All F-16Ds in this deal have the dorsal spine. [LMTAS photo]

The opening of Changi Air Base East is a milestone in the development of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) as it is a significant enhancement to their operational capability to defend Singapore's airspace. The base gives the RSAF greater flexibility in the dispersal of its assets while providing easier access to the training areas over the South China Sea.

A new 200-hectare military complex and runway has been custom-built from scratch on reclaimed land, packed with cutting-edge technology. The features at the base include an airfield lighting system and supervisory control and data acquisition system, anti-condensation system, energy conserving lighting management system, and ergonomically-designed consoles at the air traffic control tower.

At both ends of the 3-kilometer runway, hook cables and barrier nets can be deployed at a push of a button to trap any fighter jet in an emergency.

It has all been jointly developed by the defence ministry (MINDEF), air force and Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).

Besides 145 Squadron, Changi Air Base East will also house support squadrons like the Flying Support Squadron, the Air Logistics Squadron and the Airfield Maintenance Squadron.

Its location gives it an advantage over other airbases like Tengah or Paya Lebar. The F-16 jets from Changi can make a faster trip out to training areas over the South China Sea, compared to their counterparts from other airbases. The 145 Squadron can save as much as five to seven minutes in travel time, which means they also save on fuel and cut down on costs.