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Singapore Airshow 2022: Singapore air force reviews maritime security requirements

A Republic of Singapore Air Force Fokker-50 aircraft. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has upgraded its fleet of Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) and is working with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) to review the country's security requirements in the maritime domain.

The matter was revealed by RSAF chief, Major General Kelvin Khong, in a written reply to questions that have been sent to the service in the run-up to Singapore Airshow 2022.

The RSAF operates a fleet of five Fokker-50 airframes in the maritime patrol configuration, while a further four aircraft have been configured for general utility roles. The aircraft were first delivered in 1993 and all airframes are based with the RSAF's 121 Squadron.

When operated as a maritime patrol aircraft, the Fokker-50 is typically crewed by two pilots and a loadmaster from the RSAF, and three system operators from the RSN. Meanwhile, the utility transport aircraft variants can accommodate up to 39 fully equipped paratroopers or 21 casualties on stretchers with two attendant medics.

In his written reply, Major General Khong revealed that the RSAF's fleet of Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft underwent a life extension programme in 2017 to replace components facing obsolescence.

As part of the service's modernisation, the RSAF is working with the RSN to “review air capabilities necessary to meet requirements in the maritime domain”, said the general, who provided no further details on what the life extension programme entailed.

“We will continue to operate the Fokker-50, but will upgrade or acquire new systems if required to ensure we remain operationally capable and effective,” he added.

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