Public gets rare chance to see how RSAF pilots 'engage and take down' enemy aircraft

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots taking part in an air combat simulation during an event by the RSAF in celebration of its golden jubilee. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Visitors to the exhibition got to experience manoeuvring an F-16 fighter aircraft using two hand controllers. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
There is also a photobooth where visitors get to don RSAF uniforms. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Called RSAF50@Heartlands, the event has brought demonstrations and simulations to five different heartland locations. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Alerted to two unidentified aircraft in Singapore's skies, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) "dispatched" an air combat team to engage the bogeys.

Two RSAF fighter jet pilots were set in motion to trail the unknown aircraft, urging them to comply with the pilots' instructions.

But when these attempts to communicate went ignored, a plan was swiftly put into action to take down the enemy aircraft.

This was just one of the scenarios the RSAF trains its pilots to tackle and the public got a rare chance to catch this in a simulated air combat on Saturday just outside Bedok Mall.

"All hostiles destroyed. Our airbase is safe, we are clear to return to base," said one of the pilots after completing the mission in a simulator with cockpit controls.

This air combat simulation was part of an event by the RSAF in celebration of its golden jubilee.

Called RSAF50@Heartlands, the event is on a two-day stop in Bedok that ends on Sunday (May 13).

Visitors to the exhibition got to experience manoeuvring an F-16 fighter aircraft using two hand controllers.

Another simulation was for the RBS-70 missile system, in which users could target and fire missiles at other aircraft.

A child trying out the RBS-70 missile system simulation. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

"We want the public to know that RSAF is a competent and professional force, and we are committed to the defence of Singapore," said Captain Ng Pei Shun, who led the air combat simulation team. "We also want to inspire the younger generation, for those who are interested in flying...but also in other vocations at RSAF."

Besides flight simulations, the public could also learn how to perform resuscitation on a mannequin at the search and rescue operations booth.

Madam Ang Moi Hong, 66, had specially brought her grandson to the RSAF exhibition knowing that he is interested in aircraft. He would always talk about his love for planes, and build plane models out of lego blocks, she said

"Next time, I'm going to be a pilot," quipped the six-year-old, Oliver Kok.

Visitors can catch the air combat simulation at two time slots on Sunday: 11.30am and 2pm.

The two-day exhibition at Bedok will end on May 13, 2018. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Some 40,000 people are expected over the event's two days in Bedok.

The event has been to three other heartland locations before this, and Jurong East residents can look forward to the fifth and final instalment of RSAF50@Heartlands on the last weekend of May.

Meanwhile, another related event was held on Saturday - the 12th edition of the annual Singapore National Airfix Aeronautical Model Engineering competition.

The contest, held at the RSAF's Air Force museum, has participants pit the aircraft models they built against one another.

From 131 entries, 37 winners were selected.

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