National Day Parade (NDP) 2018 of Singapore will be more exhilarating as the crowd favourite Red Lions will perform a wingsuit jump from an incredible height of 3,800 metres. So, get ready to make a date with NDP on August 9.
To make the event more memorable, Singapore Army’s parachute display team will also be executing the free fall segment with the Republic of Singapore Navy’s naval combat divers for the first time.
For making the wingsuit jump exciting and bringing it to perfection, 10 Red Lions participated in a special two-week wingsuit training programme in the United States.
On the D-day, the Red Lions will jump from a special C-130 and then they will glide at speeds of up to 200km/hr towards the Marina Bay floating platform before experiencing a minute-long free fall, which is double the time taken for their normal jumps.
First Warrant Officer (1WO) Ivan Low, team leader of the Red Lions for NDP 2018, said, “We've been doing (the free fall segment) for many years, so we've been looking ... how we can improve in the show and how we can even excite the crowd even more. We decided to stretch the benchmark a bit higher, so we can have a better show for the audiences.”
“We have the challenge of bringing the whole group right to the middle of the show area. The responsibility is a lot, but we have practised more than enough for this show,” he added.
Another attraction of the show will be the ‘free-fall’ of the eight-member Naval Diving Unit (NDU) from more than 1,800 metres towards the water from a Super Puma helicopter.
For executing the performance, the divers will deploy their parachutes at about 1,200 metres in the air before descending to a designated drop zone in the waters around the floating platform.
The divers will have to overcome challenges while performing the skill including battling water currents on top of the wind changes from all directions.
These professional divers have to do more than carrying a parachute on their descent as they have to wear tactical vests, and carry an assault rifle and dive fins, all amounting to about 50kg.