Singaporean F-16 Fighter Crashes During Take-off, Pilot Hurt

This incident marks the first RSAF F-16 crash in two decades
  • bureau
  • 11:18 AM, May 8, 2024
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Singaporean F-16 Fighter Crashes During Take-off, Pilot Hurt
F-16C fighter jet @Singapore Airshow 2022

A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 jet crashed at Tengah Air Base on Wednesday afternoon shortly after take-off, with the pilot successfully ejecting and escaping serious injury.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:35 PM local time when the F-16 encountered an issue during take-off, prompting the pilot to initiate emergency procedures, according to a statement from the RSAF. The pilot managed to eject safely from the aircraft before it crashed within the confines of Tengah Air Base.

The RSAF confirmed that the pilot, whose identity has not been disclosed, was conscious and able to walk following the ejection. Medical personnel promptly attended to the pilot, and there were no reported injuries to other personnel on the ground.

Ministry of Defence and RSAF officials have assured the public that investigations into the crash are already underway.

This incident marks the first RSAF F-16 fighter jet crash in two decades, with the last recorded occurrence taking place in May 2004 during a night training mission in Arizona, USA. Tragically, that incident resulted in the loss of the pilot's life, with a subsequent investigation attributing the crash to potential human factors.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, acknowledging the RSAF's historically strong safety record, expressed disappointment at the recent crash. "The goal for the RSAF must still be zero crashes," he emphasized.

Singapore's F-16 fleet had recently undergone significant upgrades to enhance its operational effectiveness until the mid-2030s. These enhancements include advanced capabilities such as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for improved target tracking and engagement, along with upgraded all-weather, ground-attack capabilities for precision strikes.

Looking forward, Singapore plans to replace its aging F-16 fleet with the state-of-the-art F-35 family of Lockheed Martin jets. In February, Singapore announced the purchase of an additional eight F-35A jets, supplementing an existing order of 12 F-35B variants.

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