14 Desember 2015
Exercise Forging Sabre 2015 (image : Sing Mindef)
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited Exercise Forging Sabre 2015 (XFS 15) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, earlier today (Singapore time). The integrated strike exercise, conducted from 1 Dec to 16 Dec 2015, involves about 600 personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as well as assets such as the F-15SG and F-16C/D fighter aircraft, AH-64D Apache and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, and Heron-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). This is the fifth instalment in the series which began in 2005.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (right in white) viewing personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces executing an integrated strike mission at the Command Post for Exercise Forging Sabre 2015 (XFS 15). (photo : Sing Mindef)
During his visit, Dr Ng witnessed an integrated live-firing by multiple sensor and shooter platforms, executed by servicemen from the RSAF and the Singapore Army at the exercise command post. Also present to witness the exercise were Chief of Air Force Major-General Hoo Cher Mou, and other senior SAF and US Air Force officers.
The Heron-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is participating in XFS 15 for the first time, where it employs cooperative lasing with the fighter aircraft and attack helicopters to strike multiple mobile targets in a single pass. (photo : Sing Mindef)
XFS 15 sees the use of advanced munitions, such as the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), Laser JDAMs, Hellfire missiles, and GBU-10 and GBU-12 Laser Guided Bombs, to destroy static and mobile targets in day and night mission scenarios. This is also the first time that the Heron-1 UAVs are participating in an integrated strike exercise. Besides providing enhanced Air Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities, the UAVs also conducted cooperative lasing with the fighter aircraft and attack helicopters to destroy multiple enemy mobile targets in a single pass.
A Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG fighter aircraft taking off for a mission during XFS 15. (photo : Sing Mindef)
Speaking about the exercise, Dr Ng noted that XFS 15 has provided the 3rd Generation SAF with an excellent opportunity to validate its integrated strike capabilities in a challenging environment. He said, "The ability to detect real-time targets, track them, and destroy them when they are moving is something very difficult to do militarily. To incorporate the Heron-1 UAVs and conduct cooperative lasing with the UAVs, fighter aircraft and attack helicopters to destroy multiple mobile targets is a notch more complex. Being able to execute such complex missions successfully speaks of the professionalism of the SAF. We have come a long way and it gives us a lot of confidence in the abilities of the SAF."
The AH-64D Apache helicopters launching for a mission at XFS 15. (photo : Sing Mindef)
Dr Ng will witness an integrated strike mission on board an F-15SG fighter aircraft by the fighter aircraft and Heron-1 UAVs as part of the overall integrated strike operations, as well as meet SAF personnel participating in the exercise and family members of RSAF personnel from Peace Carvin II F-16C/D training detachment tomorrow (Singapore time).
Training in the US allows the SAF to build up its operational capabilities and readiness. The US' support for XFS is also a reflection of the excellent and long-standing defence ties between Singapore and the US.