Milestone Unlocked: H225M and CH-47F helicopters attained Full Operational Capability status

11 Apr 2024

The H225M and CH-47F helicopters have achieved Full Operational Capability status! This is a significant milestone for the RSAF, signifying the helicopters’ readiness, capability and effectiveness. This momentous occasion was celebrated in a ceremony held on 11 April 2024, at Sembawang Air Base, officiated by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen. 

Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen unveiling the H225M and CH-47F FOC status commemorative plaques.

The new H225M and CH-47F helicopters will be able to meet the SAF’s lift requirements more efficiently with fewer helicopters and less manpower. This includes troop lift, underslung, search and rescue, aeromedical evacuation, counter terrorism and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.

Achieving the FOC status is also a testament to the hard work and close-knit collaboration between DSTA and the RSAF. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng commended on the strong Operations-Logistics and Operations-Technology partnership between the RSAF and the Defence Community that operationalised not one, but two technologically-advanced aircraft platforms within a few short years. 

Dr Ng spoke about how the new H225M and CH-47F helicopters will enhance the capabilities of the RSAF in his speech during the ceremony.

Dr Ng interacting with DSTA staff, Li Zhi Ke and Melissa Nicole Teoh Jin-Li, Senior Programme Managers, Air Systems, who were involved in delivering the helicopters.

Together with RSAF pilots, system manager and base maintenance officers, the multidisciplinary team from DSTA harnessed their proficiencies in aircraft, avionics and specialised mission systems to manage and integrate advanced communication systems and self-protection electronic warfare suites onto the aircraft that enable the helicopters to be more effective, flexible and capable in meeting operational demands. 

Capability display of the H225M and CH-47F.

Reflecting on the journey, Lim Wee Kheng, Head Capability Development (Helicopters), Air Systems shared that the success was only possible with the communication, trust and teamwork among the team and industry partners, especially during COVID-19 that resulted in travel restrictions. They had to devise new means of conducting programme activities across geographical boundaries and time zones, relying on novel approaches such as remote testing to ensure that aircraft integration, testing and even acceptance schedules could progress.

The DSTA team at the ceremony.

He added, “I am proud of what the team has achieved. We have come a long way and I’m excited to see how the new helicopters will contribute in their vital roles in enhancing the RSAF’s mission capabilities!”