Friday, April 26, 2013

Republic of Singapore Navy's Navy Open House to feature Sea-Air Integration demo?

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Three more weeks to the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Navy Open House (NOH) and defence enthusiasts have started guessing about the capability demos that visitors will be able to see.

Sea-Air Integration involving the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) could be a likely theme at NOH 2013. The open house at Changi Naval Base (CNB) from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 19 May will be the first one since the S-70B Seahawk naval helicopters (above) returned home from CONUS,which makes the Seahawk a likely show-and-tell candidate.

Each of the RSN's six Formidable-class stealth frigates can embark one Seahawk. The helos extend the reach of the frigate's underwater and surface warfare capabilities and sharpen the warship's situational awareness beyond the horizon.

The display could involve a RSAF S-70B Seahawk from 123 Squadron demonstrating how it deploys and recovers its dunking sonar from a low hover. This anti-submarine capability demo was last seen during the National Day Parade in 2011.

Another item could see a Chinook heavy-lift chopper from 127 Squadron swooping in low over CNB basin to deploy combat divers from the elite Naval Diving Unit.

If this script is to be executed safely and with panache, a rehearsal is likely.

Bear in mind that CNB will be a busy place in the week preceeding the open house as foreign warships steam into the base for the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) naval show. This takes place from 14 to 16 May 2013. Pencil in the media day on Monday 13 May and the fact that foreign warships are expected from the weekend before the show.

This timetable suggests that the RSAF could fly in anytime before the weekend.

We put our money on Thursday 9 May as staging it on a Friday leaves no room to manoeuvre if Thursday's outing is scrubbed by bad weather.

Having the event on Thursday 9 May would deconflict NOH 2013 pre-publicity with the curtain raisers for IMDEX, with TV coverage on 9 May evening and print news the following morning.

Stay tuned for more as we continue our wild speculation on NOH 2013 highlights!

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