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Singapore approves plan to procure F-35 aircraft

Singapore is considering the purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft to replace its ageing F-16 fleet.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) expects to buy a “small number” of the F-35 JSF aircraft for a full evaluation after it identified the jet as the “most suitable replacement” for its ageing F-16s, the Minister of Defense of Singapore, Ng Eng Hen announced on 18 January.

“The technical evaluation also concluded that the RSAF should first purchase a small number of F-35 JSFs for a full evaluation of their capabilities and suitability before deciding on a full fleet,” Minister said.

In a statement on Friday, Mindef said the RSAF and the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) have completed their technical evaluation to select the replacement for the ageing F-16s, which face obsolescence beyond 2030.

“However, the technical evaluation also concluded that the RSAF should first purchase a small number of F-35 JSFs for a full evaluation of their capabilities and suitability before deciding on a full fleet,” added the statement.

“In the next phase, Mindef will discuss details with relevant parties in the US before confirming its decision to acquire the F-35 JSFs for Singapore’s defence capabilities.”

No further details were given on the exact number or variants of the F-35s that will be acquired.

In a Facebook post, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote that the talks with the US government may take nine to 12 months before a decision is made.

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Read more here:: Defence Blog (Air)

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