Thursday, September 21, 2023

Exercise Wallaby 2023 - All Angles Covered as RSAF F-16D+ Fighting Falcon Jets - Plus Airbus A330-MRTT - All Arrive into Rockhampton Airport - Plus More!

On Thursday 21 September, the much-anticipated arrival of four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16D+ (F-16D Block 52+ Version) Fighting Falcon jets into Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2023 (XWB23) was captured from all angles by quite a number of keen plane spotters!

This is their first time that the RSAF F-16D+ jets have been at Exercise Wallaby since 2015!

The four that touched down were identified as 677, 662, 665 and 679 and they all flew across from RAAF Base Darwin where they had arrived yesterday.  They were heard to use the radio callsigns of "Singa 3315A-D".

The four F-16s are of 20 that are flown by the RSAF's 145 Squadron 'Hornet' out of Changi Air Base (East) in Singapore.  The strike fighter squadron of the RSAF features the hornet as its mascot, and the squadron's motto is "Swift & Valiant".

The F-16s were supported by RSAF Airbus A330-243 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330-MRTT) aircraft with serial 761 which also flew across from Darwin to land at Rockhampton Airport but as SAF8331.

The A330-MRTT touched down and taxied in and parked on Bay 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron.

The A330-MRTT is one of six flown by the RSAF's 112 Squadron, whose motto is 'Determined To Deliver'.  

The RSAF A330-MRTT aircraft, like the RAAF's KC-30A's, can conduct air-to-air refuelling and airlift roles simultaneously.

UPDATE!  Early on Friday 22 September, the RSAF A330-MRTT '761' departed Rockhampton Airport back to Singapore again as SAF8331 - see Blog post above!

While also arriving into Rockhampton Airport, also on Thursday 21 September, was RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules with serial number '732', which also flew across from Darwin but as SAF6346.  It had arrived there from Singapore the previous day.

UPDATE!  Also early on Friday 22 September, the C-130H Hercules '732' also departed Rockhampton Airport for Darwin again as SAF6346 - see Blog post above for photos!

Finally, also on Thursday 21 September, and while we're talking about the RSAF action at Rockhampton Airport during Exercise Wallaby 2023, fellow C-130H Hercules transport aircraft '733' continues to complete sorties to and from the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) using the radio callsign of "Rider".

And spotted on dusk was the spectacular sight of SIX RSAF Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters which departed both Rockhampton Airport and 'Warriors Camp' (adjacent to Rockhampton Airport) for the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

The flight of six Chinooks departed out as "Diamond-Ruby x4" from Rockhampton Airport and "Concorde x2" from 'Warriors Camp" before they all flew as one flight as "Diamond Combined".

Be sure to stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for all the latest news and updates via our Facebook page:

Sincere thanks to the local plane spotters for sharing with us these great photos! 

Photos taken by Scott Harris, Daniel Bishop, John Lee, Darren Massie and Steve Vit  ©️

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