The US Department of Defense has notified Congress of the possible extension of Singapore’s Lockheed Martin F-16 training programme in Arizona.
A release by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency has said the five year, $251 million contract would extend the Singapore air force’s Peace Carvin II detachment at Arizona’s Luke air force base.
The package includes a broad range of equipment and services including training, captive air training missiles, jet fuel, air-to-air tanker support, and other elements related to hosting a contingent of fighters in the continental USA.
“Singapore needs this training and equipment to support its F-16 aircraft,” says the DSCA. “The continuation of this training program will enable Singapore to develop mission-ready and experienced F-16 pilots. The well-established pilot proficiency training program at Luke Air Force Base will support professional interaction and enhance operational interoperability with US forces.”
Singapore is an important operator of the F-16, with Flightglobal’s World Air Force’s directory showing that it has 60 F-16 C/Ds.
It plans to upgrade these aircraft with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and new avionics. Lockheed Martin and
Singapore also has a long term interest in obtaining the F-35 joint strike fighter, and is believed to have a preference for the F-35B short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) variant.