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

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    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

    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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    Tags:
    fighter jets, F-35A, Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Singapore
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