SINGAPORE: Singapore's proposal for a long-term training exercise in New Zealand for its F-15 fighter jets "will not proceed", the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in response to media queries on Monday (Jan 7).
"Both sides have mutually concluded that the proposal will not proceed," the statement 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," it added.
Both countries will continue to look for new opportunities to cooperate on defence and security activities, MINDEF added.
Singapore had asked the New Zealand government to consider accommodating F-15 fighter jet training at its Ohakea Air Force base, former New Zealand defence minister Mark Mitchell said in August 2017.
He mentioned this while announcing that New Zealand would be hosting a Republic of Singapore Air Force flying training exercise involving F-16D+ fighter jets from Aug 30 to Sep 25 that year.
He said that the exercise, which involved air to air and air to ground training in both day and night conditions, was "timely" as it would provide "valuable data for the process and how basing F15s at Ohakea might work".
The minister added that both countries were carrying out a range of studies to "enable everyone to make an informed decision on a possible proposal".
In March last year, in an update following the second annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers' Meeting in Auckland, MINDEF said that New Zealand would continue to evaluate the proposal.
Both countries have collaborated on overseas peace-support missions, including in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan as well as in Iraq as part of the Defeat-ISIS coalition.