Singapore Grounds F-16 Flights Following Crash

On May 8, a RSAF F16 crashed shortly after taking off from Tengah Air Base.
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  • 07:52 AM, May 13, 2024
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Singapore Grounds F-16 Flights Following Crash
F-16 fighter aircraft @MINDEF

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has announced the continuation of its temporary suspension of training flights for its F-16 fleet following a recent crash at Tengah Air Base.

This decision will remain in effect until investigations conclude that it is safe to resume operations.

The incident, which occurred on May 8th, involved an RSAF F-16 crashing shortly after take-off. Fortunately, the pilot executed a successful ejection and escaped serious injury. This marked the first F-16 crash for the RSAF in two decades, the last being in May 2004 during a night training mission in Arizona, USA, which resulted in the loss of the pilot's life.

In response to the recent incident, the RSAF has retrieved the flight data recorder from the aircraft and is collaborating closely with the manufacturer of the F-16 fighter jet, Lockheed Martin, to analyze the recorded data. Additionally, the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau from the Ministry of Transport is providing support for the investigation.

A safety time-out was initiated on May 9th, during which commanders across the RSAF conducted comprehensive reviews of safety practices and contingency procedures. The RSAF resumed flight training on May 10th, 2024, with the exception of the F-16 fleet pending investigation outcomes.

Singapore's F-16 fleet recently underwent significant upgrades aimed at enhancing operational effectiveness until the mid-2030s. These upgrades included advanced capabilities such as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar for improved target tracking and engagement, as well as upgraded all-weather, ground-attack capabilities for precision strikes.

Looking ahead, Singapore plans to replace its aging F-16 fleet with the 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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