21 Desember 2015
P-8A Poseidon of the VP-16 Squadron of US Navy (photo : US Navy)
VP-16 brings P-8A Poseidon to Singapore
SINGAPORE - The “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) visited Singapore this month to display the multi-mission capabilities of the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Senior military and government officials of Singapore were able to ride onboard the P-8A during several demonstration flights, providing a small glimpse of the capabilities that the aircraft has to offer. As part of a United States and Singapore bilateral exchange, VP-16 personnel toured the Republic of Singapore Air Force base operations command while visiting.
The P-8A Poseidon, a militarized version of the Boeing 737, is primarily designed to conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions, but is outfitted with additional equipment that allows it to perform a variety of other missions. A critical asset in the 7th Fleet Area of Operations, the P-8A ushers in tactical improvements based upon the operational history of its predecessor, the venerable P-3C Orion. While Singapore has expressed interest in the ASW capabilities of the aircraft, officials were keenly interested in the ability of the aircraft to conduct Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) missions, another mission set that the P-8A excels in.
The 121 Squadron of the RSAF role Maritime Patrol and Utility Transport, since 1993 has been operate nine Fokker F-50 Utility Aircraft (UTA) and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) based at Changi Airbase (West), they can be quickly re-armed with the Harpoon Anti-ship missiles or EuroTorp A244/S ASW torpedoes (photo : Andrew Hunt)
“It was a pleasure being able to display our capabilities in Singapore,” says Lt. Joel Gillquist, one of the senior Tactical Coordinators of VP-16. “I look forward to our future visits.”
The recent visit by VP-16 enhances the relations between the United States and Singapore, further opening the door for continued operations. Although it remains unclear whether Singapore plans to purchase the P-8A, the militaries of the United States and Singapore are excited about working together during future coordinated operations.
Captain Rich Prest, Commander Task Force 72, remarked “Last week’s detachment was a great success, and I’m excited to continue building upon the strong relationship the U.S. Navy has with Singapore. Future temporary detachments in Singapore will allow the U.S. maritime patrol and reconnaissance force to enhance our operational and crisis response reach in this vast area of responsibility while also improving interoperability with the Singapore Armed Forces and Republic of Singapore Navy. We have common interests and goals. I’m confident that future detachments will further support the Singapore-U.S. partnership while promoting maritime security throughout the region.”