SHAH ALAM: Alternate Runway Operations. I know this a website on Malaysian Defence but sometimes we need to look outside the box. In this case, down south, where the RSAF had conducted Exercise Torrent 2016, the alternate runway operations.
The alternate runway exercise was conducted on Sunday where four F-15SGs, four F-16 C/Ds and four F-16D + took off and landed from a public road which had been converted into a temporary runway.
The RSAF fighter jets also alternated between take off and landings on the Lim Chu Kang Road to the adjacent RSAF Tengah airbase, which actually ran pararel to the road. It is actually possible to convert the road as the third and fourth runways, if the Singapore authorities wishes to do so.
The last time Exercise Torrent was held was back in 2008 so the Strike Eagles were still not around. So this year they made the belated debut.
RSAF had started alternate runway exercise in 1986 and this was the seventh exercise to be conducted. At this year’s exercise, RSAF also debut their mobile arresting gear which acted as the same system on board aircraft carriers.
The use of the mobile arresting gear – which is meant to stop aircraft during emergencies – is interesting as it make it perfectly suitable for our F/A-18D Hornets to take part in such an exercise. The big question is whether RMAF will be interested even if RSAF come asking?
There are several other roads in Singapore which can be turned into runways in emergencies but normally they will choose the Lim Chu Kang road, probably not to create too much havoc in the island republic.
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