Singapore boosts defense with F-35A fighter jets acquisition


The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will enhance its capabilities significantly with the acquisition of eight Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets.

This purchase expands Singapore’s F-35 orders to 20 aircraft, solidifying its position as a leading regional airpower and part of an elite group of nations operating both variants of the advanced fighter.

The move is part of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to modernize its fleet and replace its aging F-16s.

The F-35A offers greater endurance and payload capacity than the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant, which the RSAF initially ordered in 2020.

This mixed fleet approach provides maximum operational flexibility for the land-scarce nation.

Once operational, they will elevate the RSAF to the “premier league” of air forces, according to the defense minister.

The decision to acquire F-35A jets comes amidst increasingly competitive pricing for the aircraft due to a more robust global order pipeline.

Singapore’s expanded F-35 program further underscores the nation’s commitment to furthering defense capabilities, with defense spending expected to reach S$20.2 billion in the 2024/2025 financial year, a 2.5% increase from the previous year.

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