Looks like Singapore is emulating Taiwan's practice of landing its fighters on its highways in case its main airfields have been knocked out during war, though in this case the Singaporean jets are just doing this for show.(the R in the acronym RSAF acronym actually stands for Republic, not Royal, even though Singapore is also a Commonwealth member country)
Fighter jets to land on Singapore road
First Posted 10:02:00 11/29/2008
SINGAPORE -- First, there was F1. Now come the F-16s.
After a Formula One (F1) Grand Prix auto race in September, Singapore streets on Sunday will see something even faster -- F-16 fighter bombers.
The jets and other military aircraft are to take off and land on a stretch of road which has been converted into an alternative runway, the Ministry of Defense said.
The exercise, which helps prepare the air force in case normal runways become unusable, hones its readiness "to deliver uninterrupted air power at all times," a statement said.
"The aircraft will be executing a series of take-offs and landings along a stretch of Lim Chu Kang Road, 2,500 meters long (1.6 miles) and 24 meters wide," the ministry said.
Singapore is an island nation of just 3.6 million citizens and permanent residents which was ejected from the Malaysian Federation in 1965 over ethnic issues.
The security-conscious city-state, one of Asia's wealthiest, also has one of the region's most modern armed forces.
All able-bodied 18-year-old male citizens are eligible to be conscripted for two years of full-time active service in the military or emergency services.
Military planes and helicopters often roar over parts of the city on their way into and out of air bases.
"In war, runways are one of the key targets for the enemy," Colonel Tan Kah Han, who is overseeing the exercise, was quoted as saying in The Straits Times.
The exercise will involve more than 10 aircraft including F-5 jets and E-2C early warning planes as well as F-16s, the defense ministry said.
Troops will set up a mobile control tower, lights, and cables to help stop the planes when they land, it said.
The Straits Times reported that about 400 air force personnel have been removing lamp posts, road signs and bus shelters in preparation.
The six-lane road on the far west of the island has been closed since Thursday and will reopen on Monday, it said.
This is the sixth exercise of its kind in the past 22 years, the ministry said.
Singapore staged Formula One's first night race in September on a circuit which snaked through the city's streets.