Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters at the air show that the United States was the “feature country” at this year’s event, the first time organizers have made such a designation.
U.S. military aircraft participating in ground displays and aerial demonstrations included two F-16 Fighting Falcons, two MV-22 Ospreys, a P-8A Poseidon, a C-17 Globemaster III, a KC-135 Stratotanker and a C-130J Super Hercules.
“The U.S. is honored to be the feature country,” Kendall said. “We have strong economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and Singapore is a valued partner nation. We are in the process of rebalancing our national security focus to this region, and our participation in the Singapore Air Show is of the highest importance to the U.S.
“It is also important that while here,” he continued, “we have an opportunity to meet with industry, government and military leaders and discuss how we can work together to ensure security, stability and prosperity in the region.”
The undersecretary added that the trade show portion of the event gave the Defense Department the opportunity to promote U.S. security cooperation programs and foreign military sales.
“We see ourselves as the ‘provider of choice’ and want to assist our partners who see a need to improve their military capabilities,” he said. “We also want to ensure technical and operational interoperability with our partners; this can be critical during times of crisis and helps strengthen our military-to-military relationships.”
Formally known as the Changi International Air Show, the Singapore air show started in 2008 as a partnership between the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and the Defence Science and Technology Agency. It is among the most prominent air shows in the world, and is Asia’s largest aerospace and defense exhibition.
This is the fourth edition of the biennial aerospace and defense event, with more than 1,000 companies from 50 countries exhibiting, including 163 from the United States, the largest number ever.
The 2012 air show hosted more than 120,000 visitors. Singaporean officials and event organizers said they expected even more visitors to attend this year. The air show, held at Changi East International Airport, was open to the public February 15–16.