Singapore F-35 selection

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quicksilver

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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 02:12

“Has the rationale for why the -B model for Singapore been explained?“

Same reason the IAF has thought about it.
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steve2267

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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 02:16

quicksilver wrote:“Has the rationale for why the -B model for Singapore been explained?“

Same reason the IAF has thought about it.


We discuss everything F-35-related on here to death. I guess I missed the part where Singapore had mentioned or discussed the -B as being interesting to them from a basing / flexibility perspective. I get it, I just don't recall us picking that subject apart.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 02:20

Multiple reasons.

(1) The STOVL allows short take-off & vertical landing i.e. no need large base. That allows the Singapore government to redevelop an entire airbase (Paya Lebar airbase) into commercial & residential property in 2030. That redevelopment will more than offset the cost of the aircraft (and future aircraft). Cost will be a big election issue.
(2) This is aligned with their alliance requirements. FPDA means potential for cross basing with UK's CVs. Was it coincidence that Izumo was also in Singapore for Imdex (see pic)
(3) STOVL looks d*mn good for independence day celebrations - yet another election requirement
(4) Big recruitment incentive for future pilots.
(5) If coupled with LHD = more training locations unimpeded by neighboring sovereign issues.
(6) The small numbers & lesser "perceived" performance of the B vs A means less threat perceived by neighbors.
(7) Timed with the announcement of China's Shandong carrier commissioning...although offically no link.

LHD staffing is not really that big an issue. They operate 4 endurance LPDs which combined can staff 1 LHD. The LHD is already an announced project termed as the "joint multi-mission ship" or JMMS.

I raised this possibility 10 years back with all the explanations and considerations already mentioned in the thread below (firstly under the nick "slim10" before I changed to the weasel nick later in the thread.
https://sgforums.com/forums/1164/topics/355608/
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quicksilver

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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 02:37

steve2267 wrote:
quicksilver wrote:“Has the rationale for why the -B model for Singapore been explained?“

Same reason the IAF has thought about it.


I just don't recall us picking that subject apart.


I don’t know that we did.
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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 04:32

Just to explain a bit further how point (1) is relatively unique to Singapore. Land in Singapore is one of the most expensive in the world. (~US$5,000 per square meter average cost from 2015-2018).
https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-e ... velopments

If Singapore had bought the F-35A, they would have paid ~US$2 billion for 12 or roughly US$10 billion for 60 (to replace the 60 F-16s they have). They would have to keep the Paya Lebar airbase because they only have 1 other fighter airbase (Tengah) whilst Changi is the civilian airport.

By buying the F-35B, they pay US$2.75 billion for 12 or ~US$14 billion for 60. As the F-35B can take off from short runways, that adds 2 runways at the helicopter base in Sembawang, the UAV runway at Tengah and the civilian airport runway at Seletar i.e. adding 4 runways that can be used by the F-35B but not the F-15/16s or F-35As due to the shorter runway lengths. So now the MoD can afford to lose the runway at Paya Lebar airbase.

Paya lebar airbase's size is 800 hectares (8 km2) or 8 million square meters. At $5k per m2, that translates into potentially up to US$40 billion in land sales, not counting the added economic benefits to GDP of construction and development. So for the extra cost of $4 billion they get:

- 4 more runways for the loss of 1
- Significant economic benefits (US$40b +)
- A fully funded fighter replacement program + LHDs
- political electoral cover for spending on an expensive fighter program

The LHDs are just icing on the cake. It also hints at whether Singapore go for a 1 for 1 replacement for their F-16s.
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marsavian

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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 04:55

Has the government said it would sell an airbase or is that just a potential benefit you can see ? After all they may just justify it on security grounds i.e. more dispersed basing/runway options including new LHDs.
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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 07:24

The airbase relocation was announced in Aug 2013 (see pmo website link) with a planned date after 2030. That hinted that the F-35B plan had been hatched many years back already.
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/ ... -base-gone
https://www.pmo.gov.sg/Newsroom/prime-m ... 13-english

This also impacts the various US units housed at the base (mainly logistics units) that would shift to Changi airbase.
Operationally, there is some thought into whether the new Guam air force training arrangement ties into joint USMC-singapore training. So we might see F-35Bs flying there.
Many foreign F-16 training units at Luke have also been asked to shift out of luke. It is likely the Luke training arrangements will end. Interesting to speculate where the CONUS training will happen.

As to the LHD, the Government has been very coy on how the JMMS would look.
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/oms/navy/care ... pment.html

The USMC LHD that's stationed in Pacfleet regularly stopsover in Singapore. It would be interesting to see whether USMC LHDs might one day play host to international F-35Bs from UK, Italy, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

The previous modus operandi for the Singapore air force have been influenced by USAF doctrine. It now appears to be drifting towards marine conops. They have the himars and are heavily involved in the himars rocket munition program.
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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 09:49

“The USMC LHD that's stationed in Pacfleet regularly stopsover in Singapore. It would be interesting to see whether USMC LHDs might one day play host to international F-35Bs from UK, Italy, Japan, Korea and Singapore.“

Marine Corps LHDs. Does the CNO know about that yet?
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Unread post10 Jan 2020, 10:43

quicksilver wrote:“The USMC LHD that's stationed in Pacfleet regularly stopsover in Singapore. It would be interesting to see whether USMC LHDs might one day play host to international F-35Bs from UK, Italy, Japan, Korea and Singapore.“
Marine Corps LHDs. Does the CNO know about that yet?

Yep - theys the ones with LIGHTINGS/LIGHTENINGS onboard. You know the LIGHTING/enlightening/LIGHTENING CARRIER.
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 09:58

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/co ... s-12250968

Commentary: The road to getting the F-35s up and ready for Singapore

The US Department of Defence announced an approval of sale of up to 12 F-35s to Singapore on Friday. The Republic of Singapore Air Force will face challenges operationalising this advanced fighter jet once it takes delivery. Mike Yeo paints what the road ahead looks like.

MELBOURNE: As history has shown us, it is one thing for militaries to buy advanced, high-tech weaponry that look good at national parades, it is another to be able to use it effectively and decisively when push comes to shove.

From the decisive defeats Israel inflicted on the well-equipped Arab armies in 1967 and 1973, to the Saudi-led coalition’s ongoing struggle to defeat Houthi insurgents in Yemen despite the oil-rich kingdom being the world’s top arms importer between 2014 and 2018 - there is ample evidence showing militaries need to focus on adequately training and integrating new platforms to become an effective fighting force.

The challenge of gaining proficiency on, and integrating a new, technologically advanced platform is not new to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Singapore’s impending purchase of the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter will however present a new test of the SAF’s ability to successfully do so.

That purchase moved one step closer to reality when the US Department of Defence announced an approval of a sale of up to 12 F-35s and related equipment to Singapore on Friday (Jan 10).

A GAME-CHANGING FIGHTER JET

As has been described before, the F-35 suite of stealthy networking capabilities will be a game-changer, with the potential to radically transform how militaries operate not just in the air but in the land and sea domains as well.

The F-35B variant, which Singapore has requested to purchase, has also a lift fan, essentially a second engine that directs additional thrust downwards, that allows the fighter jet to take off and land vertically, without the need for a long runway.

For land-scarce Singapore, merging three airbases into two in the near future, this added capability will give the country a needed boost in its air power generation capabilities.

Coupled with the SAF’s push in recent years to transform itself into a networked force, the need to fully utilise the F-35’s game-changing technology and ensure it is fully integrated into the SAF will take on an added layer of importance and potential complexity.

THE TRAINING NEEDED TO GET PILOTS UP TO SPEED

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen has previously said Singapore’s F-16s will start to be phased out around 2030.

By this time, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)’s future F-35 pilots would have started training on the jet, with Singapore’s first handful of aircraft having already been delivered, almost certainly at an overseas training detachment.
At first glance, the prime candidate for this training detachment would appear to be Luke Air Force Base just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

So how would the F-35’s introduction to service look like?

The base is where the RSAF’s Peace Carvin II F-16 training detachment is located, having been there continually over more than two decades, and is also where the US Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command will train American and international F-35 pilots for the foreseeable future.

However, the USAF and most international users will operate the conventional take-off and landing F-35A variant.

Hence, it might make more sense to set up a training detachment at one of the US Marine Corps’ bases, given that the Marines are the service operating the F-35B and the RSAF can leverage on their experience on the unique capabilities of the F-35B – the same model the UK and Italy employ, and which Japan has also ordered.

Between 2015 and last August, the UK Royal Air Force operated a small detachment of its aircraft alongside a Marine F-35B training squadron at Marine Combat Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort in South Carolina for crew training purposes, before heading back home last year.

Given that the infrastructure, such as simulators and other support equipment at bases like Beaufort (or MCAS Yuma in Arizona where the Marines will also be basing F-35Bs at) will be specific to the F-35B, the case for the RSAF setting up a training detachment at these bases is stronger than anywhere else.

Training may also involve partnership programmes with friendly air forces that have purchased the F-35B variant – which on top of the US and UK, include Italy and Australia, countries that the RSAF have very friendly ties with and have training spaces in or made training deployments to.

THE ROAD TO FULL OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY

The setting up of an overseas training detachment will be followed by the first aircraft heading back to Singapore, to form the nucleus of the first locally-based RSAF F-35 squadron.

The next major milestone for the squadron would be attaining Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the F-35.
The criteria for IOC would be determined by the RSAF and differ from other operators, but it would likely be pegged to a certain number of aircraft delivered, the number of air and ground crew trained to perform an initial set of missions and roles, and the ability to deploy a pre-determined number of aircraft for operations.

Full operational capability (FOC) for the F-35 will follow, which is typically declared a few years after IOC.

By this time, the first RSAF squadron would have received its full complement of aircraft, a cadre of crew trained to carry out the full range of missions and the platform integrated into the RSAF.

The F-35 will have been integrated into Singapore’s Island Air Defence Network, a locally developed systems-of systems network that enables all air defence sensors and platforms to be linked under a single communication protocol.

The RSAF will also almost certainly have taken part in overseas exercises with the F-35 by this time, for benchmarking and interoperability training with foreign partners, in addition to integration training within the SAF itself.

Given the RSAF’s cautious entry into the F-35 programme following a history of development delays and cost overruns, the path towards IOC and FOC will have been well-trodden by other operators by the time it is Singapore’s turn, which will help the RSAF in gaining an understanding of how to tailor its own processes.

Using the Boeing F-15SG Eagle as a rough guide, the first RSAF jet arrived at the Peace Carvin V detachment at Mountain Home, Idaho in the US in May 2009, followed by the arrival of the first jets in Singapore in April 2010 to form the nucleus of 149 Squadron at Paya Lebar Airbase. The squadron then declared FOC in October 2013.

It is however by no means certain that the introduction of the F-35 will follow a similar timeframe. The time taken to reach the IOC and FOC milestones is dependent on several different variables, and the integration of the F-35 into the SAF may well be very different from its predecessors, given its complex suite of capabilities.

RENOVATED BASE INFRASTRUCTURE

Singapore’s air bases will also change with the arrival of the F-35 in Singapore. This goes beyond the base realignment that has already been announced so far, which will see Paya Lebar Air Base close in the 2030s to free up land for other uses and the aircraft, equipment and personnel moved to the expanded Tengah and Changi East airbases.

Work at whichever base(s) the RSAF’s F-35s will be stationed at will also need to take into account US security requirements for F-35 basing.

Essentially, an extra layer of fencing will need to be built around all F-35 parking areas, along with additional security arrangements.

These include limiting access to these areas only to personnel specially cleared to enter, essentially turning it into an airbase within an airbase.

Another upgrade would entail the building of landing pads to allow F-35B pilots to conduct vertical landing training and operations on. These pads would need to be specially reinforced to withstand the intense downward heat generated by the F-35B’s powerful engine as it lands vertically.

The F-35 looks set to transform the global air power landscape in the next few decades. It also has the potential to transform how Singapore will use air power and leverage technology to defend itself.

Introducing its capabilities into the RSAF would be a complex task, and one whose success is crucial to maximising its potential with the SAF.

Mike Yeo is the Asia reporter for US-based defence publication Defense News.
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 10:18

"...At first glance, the prime candidate for this training detachment would appear to be Luke Air Force Base just outside of Phoenix, Arizona...."

IF the 'singers' are buyin' BEEs then they'll go to MCAS Beaufort for USMC F-35B training and / or go to the OLD DART to train with UK F-35Bs at their CRAB base Marham. LUKE they will not go for F-35A training. DUH. I JUMPED THE GUN...
"...However, the USAF and most international users will operate the conventional take-off and landing F-35A variant.

Hence, it might make more sense to set up a training detachment at one of the US Marine Corps’ bases, given that the Marines are the service operating the F-35B and the RSAF can leverage on their experience on the unique capabilities of the F-35B – the same model the UK and Italy employ, and which Japan has also ordered.

Between 2015 and last August, the UK Royal Air Force operated a small detachment of its aircraft alongside a Marine F-35B training squadron at Marine Combat Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort in South Carolina for crew training purposes, before heading back home last year.

Given that the infrastructure, such as simulators and other support equipment at bases like Beaufort (or MCAS Yuma in Arizona where the Marines will also be basing F-35Bs at) will be specific to the F-35B, the case for the RSAF setting up a training detachment at these bases is stronger than anywhere else.

Training may also involve partnership programmes with friendly air forces that have purchased the F-35B variant – which on top of the US and UK, include Italy and Australia, [WUT!?] countries that the RSAF have very friendly ties with and have training spaces in or made training deployments to...."

There is a lot of wordy padding in this article and then we have this... OH Lordy Lordy Lordy… BAD MEME BAD MEME...
"...Another upgrade would entail the building of landing pads to allow F-35B pilots to conduct vertical landing training and operations on. These pads would need to be specially reinforced to withstand the intense downward heat generated by the F-35B’s powerful engine as it lands vertically…."

These pads are built to be able to last a long time and to have the surface ground down every now and then if required.
There is a thread of articles about this aspect of BUILDING an F-35B concrete VL Pad - worth finding if interested. I'm not.
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 15:34

I wonder if the RSAF will consider the feasibility of portable takeoff ramps?
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 16:49

spazsinbad wrote:There is a lot of wordy padding in this article and then we have this... OH Lordy Lordy Lordy… BAD MEME BAD MEME...
"...Another upgrade would entail the building of landing pads to allow F-35B pilots to conduct vertical landing training and operations on. These pads would need to be specially reinforced to withstand the intense downward heat generated by the F-35B’s powerful engine as it lands vertically…."



As I recall, the problem with the concrete pads for VL was that the temperatures involved could lead to spalling (any residual moisture in the concrete essentially boiling off (bad analogy, I'm sure)). But it wasn't some insurmountable object. I believe Dr. Bevilaqua discussed the topic briefly in one of the videos floating around of his JSF lectures. He may have also discussed it in a paper somewhere. Bottom line: yes, the concrete needs to be "speshul," but it is a non-issue.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 17:01

I'll repeat the phrase I do not like: "... intense downward heat …". This form of words is INTENSELY STUPID. Sure the pad is made SPESHFUL. One would hope so. As I said MADE SPESHUL TO LAST FOR A LONG TIME etc.
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Unread post12 Jan 2020, 18:24

Copy all...

I will be sure to send out a speshul memo to all make-believe journos... advising them they need to replace "intense downward heat" :drool: with "very high heat flux." :devil:

But then they are likely to become confused about what the F-35 hot exhaust has to do with a flux capacitor.

Actually, I dare anyone to ask the following question of an F-35B pilot if any inane aerospace reporters are within earshot:

"Is the extremely intense heat caused by the heat flux capacitor, or is it a function of the oscillation overthruster?"
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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