The RSAF's first Super Puma arrived in 1985 and the Chinook in 1995. Since then, the two platforms have been deployed with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in numerous Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations and multinational exercises worldwide. Integral workhorses of the RSAF, these helicopters have been in service for more than two decades, and the time has come to replace them. We take a moment to look back at the missions that the Super Pumas and Chinooks have taken part in in recent years, and appreciate the services they have provided to Singapore and beyond.
Boxing Day Tsunami 2004
A 9.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the west coast of Indonesia on 26 Dec 2004, resulting in a tsunami that left over 200,000 people dead and many more injured. Eight Chinooks and four Super Pumas were sent as part of the SAF's disaster relief efforts.
Hurricane Katrina 2005
On 29 Aug 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept across the United States (US) and killed more than 1,000 people, making it the deadliest US hurricane since 1928. Shortly after the storm dissipated on 31 Aug, the SAF disaster relief team quickly landed at the scene within 24 hours
Nias Earthquake 2005
Not long after the devastating earthquake that hit Aceh, Indonesia suffered yet another disaster on 28 Mar 2005, when an 8.7-magnitude earthquake struck the west coast of northern Sumatra. Within 24 hours, the first SAF humanitarian aid team boarded the Chinooks and touched down in Indonesia.
Fighting forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia
To help get the worsening haze situation in the region under control in October 2015, Singapore activated two C-130 aircraft and a Chinook to assist Indonesia in fighting the fires in various hotspots.
ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism Exercise 2016
Participating countries enhanced the capability and inter-operability of their different military forces to tackle terror and maritime threats through realistic sea and land training. The SAF deployed four Super Pumas and two Chinooks for the exercise held in Brunei and Singapore this May.
Special Operations Task Force troopers rope down from a Super Puma to raid a building that terrorists are using as their headquarters. The helicopters allow soldiers to have more mobility in offensive situations, providing an alternative means of speedy insertion.
Two Super Pumas were deployed for this exercise in 2012, which aimed to strengthen inter-agency collaboration to protect Singapore s waters. It covered the protection of ports, vital maritime infrastructures and important offshore installations to safeguard the nation s maritime security.
A Super Puma escorting a merchant vessel to protect the cargo on board. This exercise helps to foster a strong working relationship among the different agencies as they communicate with each other to ensure the ship arrives safely at the port.
An annual exercise in Australia that gives the SAF training space for large-scale exercises, Exercise Wallaby also provides a realistic training ground for the Chinooks and Super Pumas to test their capabilities.