SHAH ALAM: Just Wanna Have Fun. As I am leaving for a day trip to Labuan airbase for an RMAF Media Day, I might as well post pictures of the fighters involved in the Firepower Exercise 2017 last Monday.
At Labuan, I will be able to take more pictures of RMAF assets though the interview with the service chief will be embargoed until June 1.
To recap, five RMAF aircraft were involved in the Firepower Exercise, three Hornets and two Hawks.
As this was an Army exercise, I decided not to use too many pictures of the air force contribution lest I got complaints over it.
Its not like the air force had upstaged the Army, like it did previously, though it was not their fault. Actually, the air force show was over in less than five minutes as they only had two bombing run on the range. Most of the pictures here are from the flypast (prior to the bombing run) and the show finale which closed the indirect fire support portion of the exercise.
Two of the Hornets dropped six Mk 82 general purpose bombs on the range while the Hawks fired FZ rockets. The BAE Systems Mk108 Hawks were fitted with two FZ rocket launchers each.
The third Hornet did not drop any bombs as it was supposed to be lead aircraft guiding the other planes on to the targets by communicating with the ground forward air controllers.
It also served as the decoy for the “anti-aircraft” gunners on the ground. From the pictures, I could identify two of the Hornets – M45-06 and M45-01 – while the Hawks are M40-08 and M40-04. I missed the third Hornet as I was “target fixated” on 06 and 01, unfortunately.
I also failed to get the pictures of the Hornets dropping their ordnance as I was expecting them to dive as in previous years. This time around the Hornets climb up to 6,000 to 8,000 metres before dropping their their bombs, the toss or loft bombing methods. The Hawks fired their rockets in a single salvo after a shallow dive.
From the pictures, one could also surmise the fighter boys were enjoying themselves in the exercise. Why wouldn’t they? They are flying and using live munitions. Live could not get any better.
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