MELBOURNE, Australia — Singapore has informed the U.S. Air Force it needs to co-locate its Arizona-based F-16 coaching detachment with its future F-35 coaching unit, with 5 places within the U.S. shortlisted as potential websites for coaching worldwide F-35 operators.
In an announcement to Defense News, U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek stated the service “plans to establish an F-35 Foreign Military Sales training Center in the Continental United States which could accommodate up to 36 F-35 aircraft.”
“Based on negotiations with our foreign military sales customers as well as airspace and weather considerations, the Air Force is considering five candidate locations. Those include Buckley AFB, Colorado; Fort Smith Airport, Arkansas; Hulman Field, Indiana; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan,” she added.
In an announcement asserting that Fort Smith Regional Airport was into account, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton stated that Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett signed a memorandum July 6 to ascertain the coaching middle.
He additionally revealed that Singapore — which is a Foreign Military Sales buyer for the F-35B, having been cleared earlier this yr to buy 4 plane with an possibility for eight extra — needs to co-locate its F-16 squadron, at present primarily based at Luke Air Force Base, with its F-35s as a “long-term Foreign Military Sales location.”
The Air Force’s Stefanek defined that that is “to make room for additional USAF/Partner F-35s at Luke AFB,” and that after the brand new FMS F-35 coaching location is chosen, that location may also be thought of for Singapore’s F-16 coaching detachment.
Defense News understands that the long run F-35 FMS coaching base would host some nations and their jets on a rotational foundation, whereas others would possibly preserve a everlasting presence. The latter group would probably embody land-scarce Singapore, which already maintains everlasting plane coaching detachments within the U.S. along with the Luke AFB-based F-16s. The Asian nation can be organising a rotating coaching presence in Guam for its fighter plane.
Most of the shortlisted bases at present host few or no everlasting flying models, and none of them are at present earmarked to function F-35s sooner or later. It will take important capital to arrange an F-35 FMS coaching facility as a result of present infrastructure will want modifications to assist the fifth-generation stealth fighter’s operations.
Luke AFB, which is situated on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, will attain its plane internet hosting capability within the coming years. Its resident U.S. Air Force squadrons are set to transform from F-16s to the F-35A, and the bottom itself will proceed to be the coaching location for F-35 worldwide accomplice nations.
This means the 2 worldwide F-16 coaching detachments at present on base — Singapore and Taiwan — must transfer. Taiwan’s F-16 jets have been set to maneuver to the close by Arizona Air National Guard base in Tucson, however native media reported in August 2019 that the nation is as an alternative in search of to maneuver to a base nearer to the Pacific coast to higher accommodate Taiwanese pilots coaching with U.S. Navy provider strike teams.