To deal with both conventional and unconventional threats in an uncertain landscape, the SAF will continue to develop overseas training areas and facilities where servicemen and units can receive effective training that makes the decisive difference.
Next-Generation Training Facilities in Australia
Under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Australia, the facilities being developed in Shoalwater Bay and Greenvale include modern instrumented training ranges, such as the Combined Arms Air-Land Ranges and Urban Operations Live Firing facilities, in an area approximately 10 times the size of Singapore. Significant progress has also been made with the completion of an ammunition storage building in 2019.
The training areas in Shoalwater Bay and Greenvale are expected to be ready for operation by 2024 and 2028 respectively. Upon completion, the SAF will be able to conduct integrated training across all three Services, involving up to 14,000 personnel and 2,400 vehicles over up to 18 weeks annually.
Training Opportunities and Capabilities for Navy
Last year, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) participated in Exercise Pacific Griffin and the inaugural Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise. This year, the RSN will take on a key leadership role in the world's largest multilateral maritime exercise, Rim of the Pacific Exercise or RIMPAC, alongside established navies in the Pacific Ocean. These overseas deployments help to validate the RSN's systems and benchmark competencies.
The last three of the RSN's fleet of eight Littoral Mission Vessels were commissioned last month. With the commencement of trials for the new Invincible-class submarine in Germany, her pioneer crew is undergoing work-up training.
New Fighter Training Detachment in Guam
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed last December by the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, a fighter training detachment will be established in Guam. Upon completion in 2029, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) plans to deploy F-15s, F-16s and supporting assets such as the Gulfstream 550 – Airborne Early Warning for training. The training airspace around Guam, approximately 80 times the size of Singapore, will allow the RSAF to conduct larger scale, more complex and realistic air-to-air and air-to-ground training to hone operational capabilities.
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Acquisition of F-35B Fighter Aircraft
Following last year's announcement on plans to purchase the F-35s, the SAF will acquire four F-35Bs and locate them in US for training and in-depth evaluation. The fifth-generation fighter aircraft is able to take off from a shorter runway and land vertically, an essential feature in land-scarce Singapore.