US Gives Singapore the Nod for Possible F‑35 Sale

 In Australia, Singapore, Uncategorized, Air, Information

WASHINGTON: The pro­cure­ment of the F‑35 fight­er by the Singapore gov­ern­ment seems to be immi­nent as the sale was given the approval by the United States gov­ern­ment. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a Jan 9 state­ment said that the State Department has “made a deter­mi­na­tion approv­ing a pos­si­ble Foreign Military Sale to Singapore of up to 12 F‑35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) air­craft.”  

Singapore first announced plans to buy the F‑35 fight­ers from Lockheed Martin to replace Republic of Singapore Air Force’s ageing F‑16 in March last year, after a long series of eval­u­a­tions. The DSCA state­ment said that Singapore request­ed to pro­cure four F‑35B fight­ers with the option for eight more of the vari­ant. Also includ­ed in the pro­posed deal are up to 13 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, unspec­i­fied elec­tron­ic war­fare and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems, train­ing equip­ment, and the Autonomic Logistics Information System used for mis­sion plan­ning, main­te­nance and other logis­tics func­tions.

The pro­posed sale, accord­ing to DSCA, will aug­ment Singapore’s oper­a­tional air­craft inven­to­ry and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defence capa­bil­i­ty, adding to an effec­tive deter­rence to defend its bor­ders and con­tribute to coali­tion oper­a­tions with other allied and part­ner forces.

“This pro­posed sale will sup­port the for­eign policy and nation­al secu­ri­ty objec­tives of the United States. Singapore is a strate­gic friend and Major Security Cooperation Partner and an impor­tant force for polit­i­cal sta­bil­i­ty and eco­nom­ic progress in the Asia-Pacific region.”

If the sales come through, Singapore would be the fourth coun­try in the region to employ the fight­er in its fleet after Australia, Japan and South Korea.  

The F‑35B fight­er cost $115.5 mil­lion a unit, com­pared to the F‑35A model, which has con­ven­tion­al take-off and land­ing capa­bil­i­ties and a $89.2 mil­lion price tag, accord­ing to Lockheed Martin’s web­site.

Source: Asian Defence Journal

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