Singapore to announce F-16 replacement plans

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tbarlow

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Unread post01 Jul 2018, 02:48

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-singap ... &r=UK&IR=T

Singapore to announce F-16 fighter jet replacement plans in few months
By Dewey Sim and John Geddie

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore will announce in the next few months plans to replace its ageing F-16 fighter jets, its defense minister said, listing a number of manufacturers that could be in the running for a deal potentially worth billions of dollars.

Singapore's fleet of around 60 F-16 jets are at the tail end of their service and Ng Eng Hen told reporters it needs to make a decision to replace them soon because training pilots and building facilities for new models can take up to 10 years.

With Southeast Asia's largest defense budget, the wealthy city-state is a key prize for global arms companies as it looks to invest in new technology and upgrade its equipment.

"Whether it's Typhoons, whether it's F-35s, whether it's Sukhois, even now Chinese-made stealth fighters. I mean these are the usual suspects that you have to look at," Ng said.

He was referring to the Eurofighter Typhoon that is built by Britain's BAE systems and F-35s from U.S.-based Lockheed Martin. Sukhoi is a Russian manufacturer.

A modern fighter jet costs roughly about $20-$100 million depending on the manufacturer.

Singapore should make a decision in the next few months "to make sure that we can replace our F-16s in time," Ng added.

Singapore's F-16s first entered service in 1998. The country has typically used U.S.-made aircraft in the past, making the F35s - a variant of which appeared at the city-state's airshow back in February - a likely successor.

The head of Lockheed's international business said in February that Singapore was "seriously evaluating" a future purchase of F-35 jets - one of the world's most advanced fighters which start at around $80 million each.

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He said initial talks with Singapore were centered on the F-35B short take-off and landing variant, which he described as "a nice fit for a smaller land-constrained environment".

Media reports show that Singapore had intended to buy four F-35s by around 2022, with the option to purchase another eight, but held off taking a decision on this in 2016.

Other F-35 customers in Asia include Australia, Japan and South Korea.

Britain's BAE has offered Singapore's neighbor Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal to replace the country's combat jets with their Eurofighter Typhoon.

(Reporting by Dewey Sim and John Geddie; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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ChippyHo

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Unread post02 Jul 2018, 20:57

Is the competition anything more than a mere formality? Singapore tends to get the most sophisticated variant of whatever airframe /system they are purchasing.
How do any of the other non-F-35 candidates even compete?
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 01:12

Sometimes its an incremental approach e.g. KC-135s to A330, Challenger subs to new subs, L2 MBT to ?. Sometimes its also availability restrictions e.g. F-16 with J79 engines that eventually got offloaded to Thailand.

In the F-16 replacement, the choice between F-35A and B variant is more relevant in Singapore's case compared to other countries due to unique issues.
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Corsair1963

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 01:35

Clearly, Singapore will select the F-35. Only question is F-35A or F-35B???
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ChippyHo

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 03:18

weasel1962 wrote: Sometimes its also availability restrictions e.g. F-16 with J79 engines that eventually got offloaded to Thailand.


Huh??? Did I miss something in the history of the Viper???
AFAIK only a prototype F16/J79 was built - Never any production units
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h-bomb

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 05:23

ChippyHo wrote:
weasel1962 wrote: Sometimes its also availability restrictions e.g. F-16 with J79 engines that eventually got offloaded to Thailand.


Huh??? Did I miss something in the history of the Viper???
AFAIK only a prototype F16/J79 was built - Never any production units


Correct they purchased block 15OCU with PW100's
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Corsair1963

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 05:24

I was wondering the same thing..... :|
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weasel1962

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 06:58

ChippyHo wrote:
weasel1962 wrote: Sometimes its also availability restrictions e.g. F-16 with J79 engines that eventually got offloaded to Thailand.


Huh??? Did I miss something in the history of the Viper???
AFAIK only a prototype F16/J79 was built - Never any production units


What I do have in my records that Singapore actually signed an LOA for 8 J-79-equipped F-16s for $272m in April 1984, an FMS that was approved with the J-79 and a recollection of the bitter complaints over why Singapore could not get the better rated engine back then. What I do not have is an official record of what happened thereafter except deliveries in Feb 1988 in the US and back to Singapore in Jan 1990. Nevertheless, acknowledged on the J-79 history ie no production units with J79s. Noted also that the F-16C blk 25 started flying in June 1984 so its still a question of availability restrictions.
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kei80

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Unread post03 Jul 2018, 10:26

ChippyHo wrote:
weasel1962 wrote: Sometimes its also availability restrictions e.g. F-16 with J79 engines that eventually got offloaded to Thailand.


Huh??? Did I miss something in the history of the Viper???
AFAIK only a prototype F16/J79 was built - Never any production units


It is correct that F16/J79 was never built due to change in US govt policy allowing most countries to get the PW100 engine.
If there is no change in govt policy, Singapore, Thailand etc will still opt for the F16/J79.

I remember in some old books on Singapore Air Force on photos of the F16/J79 with Singapore Insignia pasted together with a Singaporean Team.

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