RAAF's PC-9 and RSAF's PC-21 (photo : SSC)
SINGAPORE : Training its pilots in Perth, Australia has proved more cost effective for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean was briefed on this on Saturday when he visited the base.
The savings is through an outsourcing programme for trainee pilots. Under a contract awarded through the MINDEF Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Lockheed Martin has been providing the RSAF with a training package using the PC-21 trainer aircraft.
The company also supplies and maintains the fleet of PC-21 aircraft and a suite of ground-based training systems.
Mr Teo visited the Flying Training Institute (FTI) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce in Perth. It is home to the RSAF's 130 Squadron (SQN).
Pilatus PC-21 Trainer Aircraft (image : Compact PCI)
He saw for himself how the PC-21 Trainer Aircraft allows pilot trainees to build a strong foundation in flying, and how those with fighter flying aptitude are identified early.
The RSAF established the training institute in Base Pearce in 1993.
Mr Teo said such training arrangements are testament to the close and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and Australia.
"We are very grateful to the Australian government for allowing us to do our flight training here in Perth. We have a very good flying environment, a lot of airspace, and very good support from the RAAF. That enables our pilots to train effectively and efficiently in the shortest possible time. I was happy to see the new training system that is in place here for our flying training school in Pearce," said the Defence Minister. - CNA /ls
(Channel News Asia)