Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at a ceremony to mark the attainment of Full Operational Capability (FOC) status by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)’s A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) aircraft. The ceremony was held this afternoon at Changi Air Base (East). As part of the event, Dr Ng received a brief on the capabilities of the A330 MRTT, interacted with service personnel from the RSAF and Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), and thanked them for their dedication and commitment to Singapore’s defence. Dr Ng was accompanied by Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Heng Kee, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong Su Kiat, Chief of Air Force Major-General Kelvin Khong Boon Leong and other senior officers from the Ministry of Defence and the SAF.
The A330 MRTT is a next-generation tanker aircraft capable of conducting Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) and airlift roles simultaneously. The A330 MRTT has better endurance, cargo and passenger capacity, and provides more fuel to other aircraft compared to the KC-135R aerial tanker. Its enhanced AAR capability extends the endurance of the RSAF’s fighter aircraft, and enables the RSAF to be more effective and capable in meeting operational demands. The A330 MRTT provides the RSAF with greater operational flexibility and enhances the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s ability to contribute to international Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief missions and Peace Support Operations. The RSAF’S A330 MRTT crew has undergone extensive training to operate and maintain the platform, and has validated the capabilities of the aircraft in local and overseas exercises and missions.
Speaking at the event, Dr Ng highlighted that the A330 MRTT’s FOC is a part of ongoing efforts to sustain and improve the RSAF’s capabilities to meet operational needs. He said, “The attainment of FOC by 112 Squadron for the Airbus A330 MRTT obviously marks a significant milestone in the capabilities of the RSAF. The MRTT marks another step up in extending the range of RSAF’s fleet of planes. Dr Ng also highlighted how the strong ops-tech collaboration between the RSAF and DSTA has been pivotal in delivering capabilities. He said, “Their expertise and persistence enabled operational and technical problems to be addressed…DSTA engineers worked with the original equipment manufacturer to resolve the problem and their proposed modifications are now being assessed and promulgated across the global fleet of MRTTs. This is quite an achievement and is the fruit of consistent and effective tech integration by our engineers working alongside our servicemen.”