The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced that the proposal for a long-term F-15 fighter jet training detachment at New Zealand’s Ohakea Air Force base has been cancelled.
The announcement was in response to a media query on the status of the proposed training exercise.
In a statement, MINDEF said: “The Singapore Ministry of Defence and the Republic of Singapore Air Force appreciate New Zealand’s support in assessing the feasibility of a long-term fighter training detachment in Ohakea.
“Both sides have mutually concluded that the proposal will not proceed. Singapore and New Zealand will continue to look for new opportunities to cooperate on defence and security activities.”
The proposal dates back to August 2017 when former New Zealand Minister of Defence Mark Mitchell revealed that Singapore asked the New Zealand Government to accommodate F-15 fighter jet training at the Ohakea base.
New Zealand hosted a Republic of Singapore Air Force flying training exercise involving F-16D+ fighter jets between August and September in 2017.
At that time, Mitchell said: “At the moment both countries are carrying out a range of studies to enable everyone to make an informed decision on a possible proposal. But we have similar values and it could be a good fit.
“This exercise is timely, in that it will provide valuable data for the process and how basing F15s at Ohakea might work for our airforce.”
In March, officials issued a joint statement at the second annual Singapore-New Zealand defence ministers’ meeting in Auckland that indicated New Zealand would continue to evaluate Singapore’s F-15 fighter jet training proposal.