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02:19 PM, May 6, 2016
Singapore To Invest $1.6 Billion To Gain Access To Australian Military Training Areas
Singaporean military troops (Image for representation)

Singapore will invest $1.66 billion to gain more access for its military troops to training areas in Australia for 25 years after the two countries signed a pact.

Singapore will expand military bases in northeast Queensland and increase number of its troops on rotation in Australia from 6,000 to 14,000, the Australian press reported Friday.

Singaporean troops will now be able to stay up to 18 weeks as compared to the current 60 days.

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said, "This precious training land allows thousands of soldiers from infantry, armour, artillery, aircraft and helicopters to hone their skills together, over an area 3 times the size of Singapore," on his Facebook page Friday.

"This training will sharpen the SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] to one of the most well-trained and proficient militaries in the region, to keep Singapore and Singaporeans well protected," he added.

The amount “is indicative and sets a cap on the life-cycle costs over 25 years for advance training facilities to be jointly developed and used by both militaries,” a spokesperson of Singapore's MoD was quoted as saying by the Straits Times.

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