Pentagon approves Singapore to buy F-35B stealth fighter

Singapore buy F-35B
USMC F-35B takes off from HMS Queen Helizabeth aircraft carrier.

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of up to 12 F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft to Singapore for an estimated $2.75 billion.

According to US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Singapore Government had requested to buy four F-35B aircraft, with the option to purchase an additional eight more, and 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.

“This proposed sale of F-35s 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,” DSCA said

Singapore planst to replace the RSAF ageing F-16s, which have been in service since 1998 and will become obsolete after 2030. Even if the nation does not have an aircraft carrier, it could use STOVL capabilities to fly the F-35B from small, hard-to-find military bases and from ally’ ships.

Currently the "B" variant has been purchased by the United States, UK and Italy.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Royal Navy

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