The States Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore of up to twelve (12) F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$2.75 billion (S$3.71 billion), adding that it had notified Congress of the possible sale, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency news release on Thursday (Jan 9). 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.
In March 2019, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen revealed that Singapore would first buy four of the jets for complete testing, with the option of another eight. On 18 January, Ministry of Defence had identified the F-35 as the “most suitable replacement” for the Air Force’s ageing F-16C/D multirole combat aircraft. The Government of Singapore has requested to buy up to twelve (12) F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft (four (4) F-35B STOVL aircraft with the option to purchase an additional eight (8) F-35B STOVL aircraft); and up to thirteen (13) Pratt and Whitney F135 Engines (includes 1 initial spare).
Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence/Communication, Navigation and Identification (C4I/CNI) system, Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS), Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), F-35 Training System, Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features and Capabilities, F-35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center access and F-35 Performance.
This proposed sale of F-35s will augment Singapore’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability, adding to an effective deterrence to defend its borders and contribute to coalition operations with other allied and partner forces. Singapore will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces. Lockheed F-35B will not alter the basic military balance in the region. Singapore would be the fourth country in the Asia Pacific region to operate the F-35 – after Australia, Japan, and South Korea – should the sale proceed.
The B variant of the F-35 is a more sophisticated version that is able to perform shorter take-offs and land vertically. The fifth-generation fighter jet boasts some of the latest stealth, networking and sensing capabilities. The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas, and Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.