SINGAPORE: To mark five decades of bilateral defence relations, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) will execute a combined flypast on Sep 7 for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian president Joko Widodo during their Leaders’ Retreat.
The joint RISING50 flypast, which stands for “Republic of Indonesia and Singapore 50 years of bilateral relations”, will feature 10 RSAF F-16s and 10 TNI-AU F-16s in two flypast profiles over the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore, where both Mr Lee and Mr Widodo will witness the event.
On the day of the flypast, both squadrons will join up in the airspace southwest of Singapore and form the first profile - two arrowhead formations - with the RSAF leading the way to the Marina South area.
This will be followed by the second profile 20 minutes later, in the formation of ’50’. The TNI-AU is set to form the digit ‘5’ and the RSAF, the digit ‘0’.
Trailing the F-16s flypast will also be five RSAF F-15SGs that will execute a bomb burst manoeuvre as a salute to both nations and to signal the end of the event.
TNI-AU’s F-16s will then head back to the Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, where they are based, flying past Batam and leading the way for some Singapore F-16s to the post-flypast celebration.
The second formation in particular is a very complex manoeuvre that both sides have trained hard for.
Unlike the '50' formation during the National Day Parade, where the digits were aligned front and back, this flypast will be side by side. The pilots will only have approximately three minutes to get all the aircraft together.
In addition to many briefings and debriefings after combined training sessions, both air forces have also had to work out details concerning each others’ operating procedures for a seamless performance come Sep 7.
The Ministry of Defence said the RSAF-TNI AU combined flypast is an excellent testament to the strength of the bilateral defence relationship.
Indonesia’s and Singapore’s long-standing defence relationship is not only characterised by Exercise Eagle Indopura, the SAF’s longest-running bilateral exercise with a foreign military, it is also distinguished by the assistance rendered by both parties to each other in times of crisis.
These include how the TNI assisted in the search-and-rescue (SAR) operations after the 1997 Silkair crash in Palembang, and the SAF assisted in the relief efforts for the 2004 Aceh tsunami and the SAR operations following the 2014 crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501.
The RSAF and TNI-AU will be conducting a rehearsal for the combined flypast on Sep 5 from 2.30pm to 3pm, before the actual flypast on Sep 7 at the same time.
Both events can be viewed by the public from various vantage points in the Marina South area. Real time updates of the combined flypast as well as the flight route for the combined flypast can be found on the RSAF Facebook page.