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Singapore abandons F-15SG training plans in New Zealand

08 January 2019
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Singapore had hoped to train its F-15SG pilots in the relatively open skies above New Zealand, but announced in early January that it had decided against doing so for unspecified reasons. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Singapore has abandoned plans to open a pilot training centre in New Zealand, with the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announcing on 7 January that both nations have mutually concluded that the proposal will not go ahead.

The MINDEF first disclosed that is was looking to use the relatively uncongested airspace of New Zealand to train Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) crews on the Boeing F-15SG Eagle combat aircraft in early 2017.

"As a small country with limited airspace, Singapore will always need overseas training space to maintain our operational readiness," the MINDEF said at the time.

A site at the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) base in Ohakea was assessed, and while no reason was provided for the project being abandoned there had been media reports that local inhabitants had objected to the effects of the base being used for fast jet operations.

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