25 September 2009

Singapore Seeks More F-16 Training in U.S.

25 September 2009

F-16 C/D Block 52 of the RSAF (photo : Luhai Wong)

Taipei - The Singapore Air Force plans to continue F-16 pilot training in the United States.

On Sept. 9, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the U.S. Congress of two F-16 pilot training programs - a $250 million deal with Singapore to continue the Continental United States (CONUS) pilot proficiency training program for the Singapore Peace Carvin program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and a $75 million CONUS program at Springfield Air National Guard Base, Ohio, where the Singapore Air Force will lease U.S. Air Force F-16s.

The deal will include 35,000 20mm cartridges, aircraft modification kits, maintenance, participation in joint training exercises, flight training and logistical support.

"Singapore is a firm supporter of U.S. overseas contingency operations," a DSCA press release said. "This program will enable Singapore to develop mission-ready and experienced pilots through its CONUS training program to support Singapore's current and future F-16 aircraft inventory."

Singapore's 425th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the Black Widows, has about a dozen F-16C/D Block 52 fighters assigned to Luke. Singaporean F-16 pilots have undergone training under Peace Carvin at Luke since the 1990s.

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