Singapore Acquires (Again) Eight F-35B Stealth Fighter Jets, Total Becomes 12 Units

Singapore Acquires (Again) Eight F-35B Stealth Fighter Jets, Total Becomes 12 Units

Apart from news from Malaysia regarding the decision to acquire 18 units of light attack jets FA-50 from Korea Aerospance Industrie, on February 24 there was also news worth listening to from Singapore. 

Speaking before parliament, Singapore's Minister of Defense Ng Eng Hen said that Singapore would acquire (again) eight units of stealth fighter jets F-35B Lightning II.

With the acquisition of eight additional units, the number of F-35Bs that will be operated by the Singapore Air Force will reach 12 units. Singapore will take delivery of eight F-35Bs from Lockheed Martin by the end of the decade," Ng Eng Hen told lawmakers, quoted from (24/2/2023).

In 2019, Singapore announced the acquisition of four initial F-35Bs, which are on track for delivery in 2026. According to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) press release, the purchase is valued at around US$2.75 billion. Interestingly, there is also a deal that includes an option to buy eight additional F-35Bs.

The Singapore Armed Forces' decision to take the option of an additional eight F-35Bs was taken after extensive evaluation. As part of its defense 2040 vision, Singapore will also increase training using virtual reality technology.

"The Ministries of Defense and Air Force have concluded that the F-35B is the best choice to meet our present and future defense needs," Ng Eng Hen told Parliament.

Singapore's Ministry of Defense has the largest spending estimate of any ministry, namely for the 2023 fiscal year, which is S$17.98 billion. This is a 5.6 percent increase from FY2022.

So far, Singapore's Ministry of Defense has not provided a breakdown of costs for the acquisition of the Army's aircraft, submarines and platforms, as this could give an indication of combat capability.

Following the initial purchase of the Singaporean F-35s in 2020, a team consisting of members of the Singapore Air Force and the Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) were given exclusive, users-only, access to F-35 information and facilities to carry out further evaluations.

The Ministry of Defense of Singapore said it was focusing on three main areas in its evaluation, namely How to leverage the full range of capabilities of the F-35 to enhance its operational excellence, and How to integrate the F-35 with other Singaporean military warfare systems.

The evaluation involves professional training and exchange with other F-35 users, including the use of a high-fidelity simulator. There are also in-depth technical discussions with F-35 manufacturers and users from other countries.

In an interview with the media, Colonel Daxson Yap, head of the RSAF's Air Plans Department said the air force had "at least 10" F-35 training and exchange opportunities in recent years.

For example, last year's Exercise Pitch Black in Darwin, Australia, demonstrated the ability of Singaporean Airbus A330-200 MRTT tanker crews to carry out air refueling operations for US Marine Corps (USMC) F-35Bs. Using the option for the current eight F-35Bs serves to increase the economies of scale from the current order line, as well as hedge risks or issues from the supply chain.

Follow Daily Post on Google News to update information quickly. Thank you for visiting our website..!! Don't forget to share any information to help develop our website

Read Also:

Post a Comment