Fighter jets take off from Lim Chu Kang Road in RSAF's Exercise Torrent

SINGAPORE: Fighter jets roared down Lim Chu Kang Road and took off into the skies as part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Exercise Torrent on Sunday morning.

Observing the exercise was Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, as well as other members of Parliament and officers from armed forces around the world.

The exercise saw a 2.5km stretch of the road converted into a temporary aircraft runway where planes took off and landed in quick succession. It is the seventh such exercise since 1986, but the first time that the new F-15SG planes have taken part.

Dr Ng said that the exercise shows the RSAF's confidence and operational readiness, as well as its ability to quickly convert a public road for its use if the need calls for it.

“Singapore is a small country, we must always protect our airspace and this capability to be able to launch today 12 fighter jets - F-16s, and F-15s for the first time off Lim Chu Kang Road - shows that we can convert a highway into an airstrip, and it gives us a lot of confidence that we will be able to protect our skies under all conditions," he said.

The exercise involved around 1,000 people, including full-time national servicemen, NSmen and regulars.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the exercise, Dr Ng also said that the outcome of the presidential election in the United States should not jeopardise Singapore’s defence ties with them.

"President-elect Trump was voted in and he will be the President, and we have to work with the administration to maintain the good ties that we have,” he said, adding that Singapore aims to establish mutual relationships with all its partners, including China, Japan and India.

Said Dr Ng: “Our defence policy’s starting point is what works the best for Singapore. We are a small country and we know what big powers do will affect not only Singapore but the entire region and indeed the world.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network.

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