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Defense Ministry Chooses F-35 As Replacement For Aging F-16s

Source: Straits Times

January 18 2019


Singapore has identified the F-35 fighter jet as the best choice to replace its aging F-16s, reports the Straits Times (Singapore). 

The next-generation fighter jet was chosen after an evaluation by the Defense Science and Technology Agency and air force, the defense ministry said on Friday. 

The technical evaluation concluded that a small number of F-35s should be procured for a full evaluation before a decision is made on a full fleet, said a ministry release on Friday. 

The F-35 variant that would be purchased was not disclosed. Singapore is believed to be interested in the F-35B short-take-off-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, noted Channel News Asia. 

The review reportedly also considered the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian Sukhoi, and the Chinese J-20.

Singapore's current fleet of F-16s has been in service since 1998 and faces obsolescence after 2030, said Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen. 

The ministry will now conduct talks with the U.S. before confirming a purchase, the ministry said. This is anticipated to take nine to 12 months. 

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