Signals from Singapore that the Lockheed F-35B purchase may fail
Singapore may not acquire the ordered Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II fighter jets. This is reported by the Greek online portal Ptisi Diastima. The reason is the hesitation of the Singaporean authorities about the right choice of fighter
A total of 12 F-35B fighters were ordered by Singapore to the US. This happened in 2020 when many experts said it was a surprise order. Against the background of the small territory, but with particular domestic problems, Singapore has an idea to replace its aging fleet of F-16 fighters with new F-35Bs.
The choice of the F-35B is not accidental. S ingapore intends to reconstruct its air bases. The dwarf country categorically intends to abandon bases with long runways. So Singapore settled on a STOVL fighter on the JSF takeoff version. The United States must deliver the ordered 12 fighters in four years – in 2026. Thus, the acquisition of full operational capability in 2029, as the government’s plan was, will be fulfilled.
Now, however, Singapore is eyeing another fighter jet. In other words, another version of the F-35, could derail the F-35B order. The information about the review of the decision to acquire the F-35B comes from a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Defense of the Asian country.
The source claimed that an observer from the Singapore Ministry of Defense had traveled to Japan. It aims to monitor Japanese Air Force bases and Marine Corps stations from which the F-35B is operated. Two other observers were sent to the USA and Australia, respectively, to familiarize themselves with the same operational processes, but for the F-35A fighters. The F-35A is the conventional fighter of the F-35 family, but it can also fly STOVL, which is an option for Singapore.
Rumor has it that Singapore will try to replace the F-35B with a CV F-35C version [carrier-based CV/CATOBAR F-35]. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the CV version of the F-35C is currently operated only by the US Navy, and this fighter has not yet been sold to another country. However, the CV F-35C has one advantage over its other “fellows” of the F-35 family – it can carry more fuel and has increased range and range.
There is no information from Singapore about the state’s intentions. This should not surprise us, as the Lilliputian state very rarely announces its defense and security intentions. What exactly happened in the meantime with the F-35B “order” is unknown, that is, whether they were ordered or not is also unknown.