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A-4SU Super Skyhawk


The Singapore Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk is a major upgrade of the A-4S Skyhawk attack aircraft developed for the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Design and development

In total, around 150 airframes, all A-4Bs and Cs, were purchased by Singapore. They joined the Republic of Singapore Air Force in 1974 and were upgraded as the A-4S. In 1984, the RSAF chose to upgrade the A-4S/TA-4S rather than replace them. Frawley, Gerard. The International Directory of Military Aircraft. Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd., 2002, p. 155. ISBN 1-875671-55-2.

For the modernized A-4SU and TA-4SU versions, the original J65 turbojet was replaced with the F404 turbofan with 29% more thrust, resulting in 30% less takeoff time. Max speed at sea level is 610 knots (1130 km/h), and max cruise speed at 30,000 ft is 446 knots (826 km/h).

After 31 years of operations, the RSAF officially withdrew its fleet of A-4SU Super Skyhawks from operational combat service in Singapore on 31 March 2005. The A-4SU's achievements included flying directly from Singapore to the Philippines, incorporating the RSAF's first air-to-air refuelling mission in 1986, as well as the aerobatic display of the 'red and white' Super Skyhawks flown by the RSAF Black Knights during Asian Aerospace 1990. A month before its retirement, the Skyhawk squadron won the top honours in a strike exercise against its more modern F-16 and F-5 counterparts.

In 1998, the French government offered the use of facilities at Cazaux AB in the south of France. A 25-year lease for basing rights of 18 A-4SU aircraft and approximately 250 RSAF personnel and their families was signed later that year. Back in Singapore, 142 Sqn was disbanded in 1997, and its aircraft were handed over to 150 Sqn, which had given up its SIAI Marchetti SF.260 basic trainers. The new squadron then took up the role of advanced jet training, using its aircraft as a lead-in fighter trainer for RSAF pilots. This made it the prime candidate for moving to France, and the first of 18 aircraft were "packed" and sent to France by ship in mid-1999 as part of the RSAF's Advanced Jet Training Program. The four remaining aircraft are scheduled to retire in 2007.

On 5 October 2005, one A-4SU Skyhawk was delivered to Singapore Polytechnic as a teaching aid. Subsequently, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Technological University would each receive a A-4SU Skyhawk as well.

Variants

;A-4SU Super Skyhawk

Upgraded from RSAF A-4S.

;TA-4SU Super Skyhawk

Upgraded from RSAF TA-4S trainer.

Operators

;

Republic of Singapore Air Force

*143 Squadron

*150 Squadron

*Black Knights aerobatic team

External links

A-4 Republic of Singapore Air Force page on Skyhawk.org

Skyhawks bow out on a high note

The Singapore Skyhawk Story

A4D (A-4) Skyhawk Foreign Sales on Global Security.org

Singapore Drops Eurofighter from Critical Contract

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article A-4SU Super Skyhawk


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