G550 AEW of the RSAF (photo : Mindef)
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) sensor capabilities received a boost with the arrival of its first Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning (G550-AEW) aircraft at Tengah Air Base.
Explaining that the G550-AEW jets were acquired to replace the ageing E-2C Hawkeye as part of the RSAF's ongoing transformation into the 3rd Generation Air Force, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Joachim Lee, Commander Transport Group, Air Combat Command, said: "The E-2C has served us well for more than 20 years, but an improved platform is required to meet the demands placed on the RSAF for the conduct of air defence operations going forward".
System of G550 AEW (image : Militaryphotos)
Purchased in the mid-1980s and last upgraded in 2001, the E-2C Hawkeye forms part of Singapore's networked air defence system working in tandem with fighter jets and various ground-based air defence weapon systems, which are integrated with long-range sensors.
Equipped with a sophisticated mission suite that includes an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, the G550-AEWs will eventually assume the E-2Cs' role in providing airborne early warning.
With a longer endurance of nine hours and capable of flying at a higher operating altitude of 41,000 feet, this new platform also has a longer detection range of more than 200 nautical miles. By enhancing the RSAF's all-round radar coverage, the introduction of the G550-AEW jets will strengthen the Air Force's situational awareness and give them greater response time to deal with any aerial threat more effectively.
The delivery of all four G550-AEW planes is expected to be completed over the next two years, and will be stationed at Tengah Air Base under the command of 111 Squadron, while operating with the Air Defence and Operations Command during mission execution.