On Monday evening an entire contingent of the elite 145 squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) touched down at Bangalore’s HAL airport.
The 145 Squadron “Hornet” is a strike fighter squadron of the RSAF currently based at the new airbase Changi Airbase (East) which to the east of Singapore Changi Airport. With hornets as their motif and a motto “Swift & Valiant”, the 145 squadron is considered one of, if not the best squadron of the RSAF.
The 145 squadron operates 20 Lockheed Martin F-16D+ Fighting Falcons procurred during 2003~2004 under the Peace Carvin IV. The twenty aircraft of the squadron which are upgraded versions known as the Block 52+ or F-16D+, are equipped with state-of-the-art Conformal Fuel Tanks, extended spines which house a formidable radar, targeting pod, and ECM suite enabling the squadron to conduct precision day and night operations at a greater combat range and duration.
In many ways the F-16D+ looks very similar to the F-16IN SuperViper which Lockheed Martin is pitching for the Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender.
Six F-16D+ (tail numbers 661, 662, 669, 674, 678, 679) accompanied by the Boeing KC-135R Stratotankers (tail numbers 750 and 753) and Lockheed C-130H Hercules filled with ground support personnel transited through Bangalore on the night of 7th June. After an overnight stop, the whole fleet took off for Qatar, and most likely proceeding on to Europe.
I managed to capture some of the aircraft as they departed. First to leave were the two KC-135R tankers.
Observe the flight of F-16s in the background
Soon after came the six F-16D+. HAL airport has a 10,000ft runway, and these planes were airborne well before the centre point of the runway. Streaking across the sky with full afterburners, they were well above 400kts (800 kmph) even before reaching the end of the runway. In typical Singapore precision they even took off by tail number.
Sorry, it was a cloudy morning and with the high speed of the F-16s I could not achieve a high quality of the pictures.
Last to leave was the C-130H Hercules by which time the sun had come out of the clouds. Really beautiful looking aircraft.