United States Approves Selling F-35 to Singapore

United States Approves Selling F-35 to Singapore

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The United States government has recently approved Singapore to become the next country to purchase and operate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. No official sale has been made yet, however with the recent approval, the way towards a future purchase has already been paved.

The Singaporean Ministry of Defense has requested permission from the United States government to purchase four F-35B short takeoff and landing jets. Singapore’s intent is to purchase a total of 12 F-35Bs.

The estimated cost for Singapore purchasing the jets is expected by around $2.75 billion. However, up to 13 Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engines, electronic warfare and communication systems, training equipment, and mission planning software are all expected to be purchased by Singapore as part of the proposed deal.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” said a United States official. “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. 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 capabilities.”

Singapore tends to purchase its fighter aircraft in small batches, according to Defensenews.com. If the country ends up purchasing the multi-role fighter jet, it will likely use the F-35s to replace the country’s fleet of F-16s and more F-35s would have to be purchased.

If Singapore were to purchase the F-35s from Lockheed Martin, that would make Singapore the 12th country to purchase and operate the F-35. Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, Holland, Norway, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States all operate the F-35, with Canada being a partner in the F-35 program, however the country is yet to commit to purchasing any jets. Turkey used to be part of the program as well, however the middle eastern nation was booted from the program due to its decision to operate a Russian S-400 air defense system.