Singapore to purchase four F-35 fighters for evaluation

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Photo c/o Shutterstock.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) confirmed that they will be ordering an initial four (4) units of F-35A Lightning II 5th generation fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin, which will be used by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) for evaluation purposes.

Another 8 units are to be placed as an option for follow-on to the earlier 4 units.

A Letter of Request (LOR) is expected to be issued by the Singaporean government to the US government, as sales of the F-35 to foreign countries will require US government approval. But based on US President Donald Trump's previous communications, it appears that the US welcomes Singapore's decision to consider the F-35 for its requirements. 

Singapore Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen also mentioned that based on their data, the acquisition of the F-35A would be similar to that of the F-15SG, which the RSAF currently operates. An estimate of between US$90 to 115 million was made on each F-35A, as prices are falling due to consistent and massive orders from the US armed forces and at least 10 other foreign air forces.

The F-35A was earlier identified by the MINDEF and Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) as the most suitable replacement for the RSAF's fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcons, which are expected to retire from service starting at around 2030.

[1] Straits Times
[2] Jane's Defence Weekly
[3] Defense News

Singapore to purchase four F-35 fighters for evaluation Singapore to purchase four F-35 fighters for evaluation Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on March 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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