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Tip Of The Spear: 50 Years Of The RSAF Fighter Force

Tip Of The Spear: 50 Years Of The RSAF Fighter Force Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review April 2022 Title Tip Of The Spear: 50 Years Of The RSAF Fighter Force
Author Goh Yong Kiat Publisher 9VSpotter
Published 2022 ISBN 9789811819766
Format 240 pages, hardbound MSRP (SGD) SGD104


Since independence in 1965, Singapore military aviation has operated a wide, colorful swath of potent western warplanes.

Now Goh Yong Kiat surveys “50 years of the RSAF Fighter Force” in Tip of the Spear – a large, lavishly illustrated study of those Republic of Singapore Air Force assets.

Author Goh’s handsome hardback spans 240 picture-packed pages across six chapters chronologically charting the whole terrific tale:

  • Setting the Stage (1947-1968)
  • Taking Charge (1968-1979)
  • Going Supersonic (1979-1988)
  • Improving the Breed (1988-1998)
  • Strength and Resilience (1998-2008)
  • A Decisive and Deadly Force (2008-2020)

Modelers – especially small air forces enthusiasts – will love it.

Heaping helpings of eye candy season this savory stew. Color photos. B&W shots. Color profiles. Camouflage schemes. Unit heraldry. Insignia. Special markings. You name it: over a thousand images augment the account.

Coverage includes operational notes on aircraft, events, actions, units, equipment, personnel, and exercises – among many more subjects.

Technical topics further distill airframe, armament, propulsion, and avionics details. And allied commentary on Singapore’s robust, indigenous “engineering and modification” capabilities naturally enjoys special focus.

How about that upgraded Hunter F.74S with “enhanced weapons carrying capability”?

Steel yourself for surprises, too.

Like that 1970 McDonnell Douglas proposal for a single-seat RSAF F-4E Phantom II derivative. Or a Gloster Javelin FAW.9 in early RSAF livery. Or that Hawker Hunter in three-color, “air defense” raiment.

Nor is coverage confined to the RSAF alone. Remarks log, for instance, examples of British, Australian, New Zealand, American, Russian, and French military aircraft in Singapore skies. And text recounts RSAF deployments and visits to other countries, as well.

Notes on references, RSAF commanders, and abbreviations neatly conclude contents.

What a terrific tome. I savored every page of this sumptuous smorgasbord. And it carries my highest recommendation.

My sincere for this review copy! Copies are available from Kinokuniya Bookshop, Singapore.