Republic of Singapore Air Force
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) purchased 47 refurbished Skyhawks (40 A-4B and 7 A-4s for two seat conversion) from United States of America. The aircraft were re-designated A-4S for single seat and TA-4S for those single seat aircraft converted to two seat trainers. The "T" version of the RSAF Skyhawk was unique in that, rather than the single "clam shell" canopy common to other TA-4 models, each TA-4S cockpit had a separate canopy.
1984 to 1989:
The RSAF conducted a Skyhawk service life extension program. The 8,400-lb-thrust J65 engines were replaced with 11,000 lb. thrust F404-GE-100D turbofans. Other upgrades included modified engine air intakes; new structural mounts to accommodate the F404 engines; installation of new refrigeration, hydraulic pumps, air turbine starters, and oil coolers; new sensors, cockpit instrumentation, and state-of-the-art avionics; engine and environmental control systems; higher output electrical generators; and improved air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance carrying and control capability.
In 1986 a upgrade program for the A4S-1/TA4S-1 fleet was initiated by the RSAF. This included a new engine, a non-afterburning General Electric F404-GE-100D turbofan. Engine inlet changes were made to accomodate the new engine. Other improvements were and turbine starter, improved hydraulics, improvided air and oil cooling. , Singapore gave the new model the designation A4S-1/F404, but it was sometimes referred to as the "A-4U". Later the aircraft's avionics package was upgraded, which included a Ferranti 4510 HUD, and a laser seeker.
19 SEP 1986:
First flight of the improved model A-4SU was made by aircraft 919.
A-4SU "Super Skyhawks" become operational.
Re-designated as the A-4SU "Super Skyhawk," the refurbished Skyhawks became operational in 1988, and Skyhawk pilot training was fully operational in March 1989. With the total RSAF inventory of about 60 aircraft, the three Singapore Skyhawk units (142, 143, and 145 Squadrons), operating from Tengah Air Base, made up a numerical majority of that country's military aircraft.
An RSAF aircraft demonstration team, the Black Knights, performs with six A-4SU Super Skyhawks until the year 2000.
The RSAF Skyhawk training unit (143 squadron) was disbanded as part of a new advanced jet training effort. The former 143 Squadron A-4SUs were shipped to southwest France in September 1998 where, at Cazaux Air Base, 150 Squadron was established for advance training of RSAF pilots. The French site was selected because of available practice bombing ranges and airspace over the North Atlantic for ACM training, as well as opportunity for electronic warfare technique practice.
31 MAR 2005:
RSAF "offically" retires the A-4SU Skyhawk from its front-line squadrons. The last RSAF Skyhawk Squadron, the 142 Squadron, was dis-established on 01 APR 2005.
12 APR 2005:
The SAF Advanced Jet Training Detachment (150 Squadron), currently operating from Cazaux, France, is scheduled for dis-establishment in Y2007.
21 JAN 2010:
BuNo 147797 150 Squadron 928 being restored in France.
"According to a mechanics who helped us to reassemble the plane, it took part in the Black Hawks RSAF display team and was withdrawn from use in 2004."
"For now, the cockpit is empty, guns and refuelling probe removed, we hope to recover some parts in the future when the last specimen will be definitely retired."
Webmaster Conservatoire de l'Air et de l'Espace d'Aquitaine
Webmaster Fédération Française des Ailes Anciennes
I'm in contact with the French liaison officer of RSAF 150th Sqn, I hope to receive information about plane history in RSAF. According to a mechanics who helped us to reassemble the plane, it took part in the Black Hawks RSAF display team and was withdrawn from use in 2004.
About the travel from Singapore to France of SAF Advanced Jet Training Detachment (150 Squadron) the I found on a RSAF document : "The aircraft were first prepared and wrapped in Tengah Air Base. Under the supervision of a team of safety officers and specialists, they were then towed down the streets of Singapore to Jurong Port. From there, the aircraft were moved onto a ship, and together with a maintenance crew, they embarked on an arduous 23-day sea journey to France. Upon arriving at Cazaux Air Base, the aircraft were unwrapped, and they took to the skies of France without a hitch. Just when you thought everyone in the squadron could heave a sigh of relief and celebrate, more challenging tasks lay ahead." According to witnesses at Bordeaux port , the aircraft were disassembled and transferred from the ship to trailers and finished the 80 km trip to Cazaux by road.
|RSAF 142 Squadron||RSAF 143 Squadron||RSAF 145 Squadron|
|RSAF 150 Squadron
|RSAF Flying Training School
RSAF KNOWN BuNo information. (updated 16dec2011)
Known Singapore Losses. (updated 16dec2011)
- JAN 2002: 142131; 149916 906; 145063 939 in France.
- 142778 606 in museum.
- 142850 in a display.
- JUN 2005: 142881 TA-4SU 908; 145041 907; 148528, 905 in France.
- JUN 2005: 145033 TA-4SU 950 in France.
- 147823 A-4S 938 in France.
- Y2005: 142936 TA-4SU in France.
- JUN 2007: 145041 TA-4SU 907 in France.
- JAN 2010: 147797 928 for display in France.
- Y2011: 144977 933; 147779 TA-4SU 927 in France.