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Singapore to replace its F-16s by F-35 JSFs

According to the website of the Singapore MoD, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) have completed their technical evaluation to select the next generation fighter to replace its F-16s. The F-16s will have to retire soon after 2030 and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), produced by Lockheed Martin, has been identified as the most suitable replacement to maintain the RSAF's capabilities.

F 35A AW1 FP18 02112 0056 PR.jpg.pc adaptive.990.medium F-35 Lightning II (Picture source : Lockheed Martin)

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. 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 (to replace its 60 F-16 C/D Block 52).

Singapore will then become the first country to acquire the F-35 in South-East Asia and the fourth in Pacific-Asia (after Australia, Japan and South-Korea). It will also become the first Air Force in the South-East Asia to acquire stealthy aircraft.