Singapore Plans to Replace F-16 Fighter Fleet With F-35 Jets - Defence Minister

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said Friday that the country’s air force planned to replace the F-16 fighter jets it currently has in service with F-35 aircraft.

"The Republic of Singapore Air Force's [RSAF] F-16s that were in service since 1998 will have to retire soon after 2030, even after their mid-life upgrades… Happy to report that DSTA Defence Science and Technology Agency and RSAF have completed their technical evaluation for the replacement … They have decided that the F-35 would be the most suitable replacement fighter," the minister wrote on Facebook.

READ MORE: South Korea's First F-35s to Arrive in March Amid Easing Tensions With North

F-35 - Sputnik International
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He added that the responsible Singaporean agencies would negotiate with US counterparts to move the process forward, which may take up to one year before a decision is made.

The minister went on saying that the country wanted "to procure a few planes first, to fully evaluate the capabilities of the F-35 before deciding on the acquisition of a full fleet."

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is a fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter. It is considered by experts as the most expensive aircraft program in history with a projected lifetime cycle total cost of $1.5 trillion.

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