The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will be participating in Exercise Red Flag – Nellis, an advanced multilateral air combat exercise hosted by the United States Air Force (USAF) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States. Held from 7 to 18 March 2022 (US time), the exercise will see participating air forces engage in a series of realistic and challenging air-to-air and air-to-ground training missions under day and night conditions in complex scenarios to hone their combat readiness and sharpen their operational capabilities.
The RSAF will be deploying nine F-16C/D fighter aircraft and more than 100 personnel from its Peace Carvin II detachment in Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to participate in the exercise. The exercise will also involve the Royal Saudi Air Force’s F-15SA fighter aircraft as well as the USAF’s F-15E, F-16C, EA-18G fighter aircraft and B-1 bomber aircraft. A total of about 55 aircraft will be involved in the large-scale air combat exercise.
The RSAF has been participating in Exercise Red Flag – Nellis since 1982. The RSAF’s participation in the exercise underscores the excellent and long-standing defence relationship between Singapore and the US. The exercise also enhances the professionalism and cooperation among the participating forces, and provides the RSAF with an opportunity to benchmark itself against other advanced air forces.
The RSAF uses five air bases domestically but also has overseas detachments, most notably in Australia, Thailand and France and U.S.. In 2021, the RSAF had a strength of 8,000 active personnel and 319 aircraft. The backbone of the RSAF is formed by 6 F-16 Block 52/52+ Fighting Falcons and 40 F-15SG Strike Eagles. F-16 is armed with US-supplied AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles and LANTIRN targeting pods, laser guided munitions and conformal fuel tanks for long-range strike. The F-15SG is a variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle and is similar in configuration to the F-15K sold to South Korea.