The radar station on top of Bukit Gombak Hill was built in 1964. Working in tandem with air traffic controllers at RAF Tengah, it offered aerial protection for Singapore during the days of the Indonesian Confrontation. I had a perfect view of the radar blades spinning 360 degrees because my house faced one of the ridges of Bukit Gombak.
Site of former RAF Gombak radar station viewed from my house
Bukit Gombak was less dense than it is today and the radar installation was a very prominent object on the skyline as shown in the picture here. Promptly around noon each day, I could hear the screaming sounds of British Javelin aircrafts flying over our house in the direction of Bukit Batok. I was not sure where it came from; I could only suspect that it must have been from RAF Tengah because it was the nearest British air base close to my place.
After 1968, I thought I saw a missile pad at the present MINDEF building site. It was distinctly a missile painted in either grey or white color. I later found out whilst reading the “Straits Times” that it was the “Bloodhound” type. The Straits Times article that year mentioned that the British and Singapore Governments had reached an agreement for the transfer of the radar facility and missiles to the Singapore Armed Forces. I could not locate the original site of the radar installation after I got married and left my “hometown”. After spending many hours gazing at the same skyline again after 40+ years, I think I could have found the same site although it is now a protected area under the SAF.
Site of former RAF Gombak radar station viewed from Jalan Darmawan
Site of former RAF Gombak radar station viewed from Dairy Farm Road
Read more about the Javelin fighter aircraft here:
Read more about the Bloodhound surface-to-air missile (SAM) here:
Ideas@Work: Tapping Employee Ideas for higher Productivity - My book on Staff Suggestions Systems Ideas@Work: Tapping Employee Ideas for Higher Productivity (165 pages, 6” x 9”, perfect bound) is now available in Sin...