Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced on social media that the F-35 has been selected as the successor to the existing fleet of F-16 jets.

Singapore has followed the F-35 programme since joining as an observer in 2004.

The US offered Singapore participation as a ‘Security Cooperation’ participant during the System Development and Demonstration phase of the programme, allowing it access to project briefings.

The Ministry of Defense announced in a statement that the Republic of Singapore Air Force would first procure an unspecified “small number” of F-35 jets for full evaluation of their capabilities and sustainability before deciding on a full fleet.

In late 2013, Singapore said they were in “no particular hurry” to buy the F-35, and that they were focusing on upgrading their F-16s in the near-term.

It was speculated that Singapore has specific interest in acquiring the F-35B STOVL variant due to the use of road bases adjacent to airfields, most shorter than 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

It was also speculated in 2013 that Singapore could be buying up to 100 F-35 jets however any initial buy will likely be very small.

The F-35 was conceived from the start of the project as having participation from many countries, most of which would both contribute to the manufacture of the aircraft and procure it for their own armed forces.

While the United States is the primary customer and financial backer, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark have agreed to contribute $4.375 billion toward the development costs of the programme.

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captain P Wash.

Speculation in 2013 that they could buy up to 100 F35’s. Not bad for a Country of less than 6 million. Then again they have a Good Economy and a defence spend of 4.9% of GDP. Their Navy Isn’t too shabby either.

Lee1

That is what being part of a common market and high immigration gets you…

captain P Wash.

Well I’m pleased it all works so well for them at least.

Steven

Lee1, more like the absence of socialism.

Watcherzero

Indeed they’ve done well from ASEAN and have just joined the EU free market as well.

expat

Another example of where the 4+th gen fighters are not convincing proposition for customers. Whilst its a plus for the UK with our stake in the F35 but my fear is we will not get enough Typhoon orders to keep the lines open. Just like with Astute subs it will cost to regain the capability later and may be cost prohibitive. Producing parts for the F35 is not the same as building the entire aircraft. We could bring Tempest forward but the risk would be it may only be a 5+ gen fighter as tech has not matured enough, which… Read more »

Harry Bulpit

Tempest hasn’t even been designed yet. It was just a concept model and will probably look nothing like that in the end.

BB85

I agree, I don’t see Typhoon winning any more exports, the Saudi’s where its only realistic customer and I don’t think Germany will approve any sales to them in the short term, this might encourage them to place a follow on order with UK if they plan to upgrade the radar and sell the Tranche 1 aircraft. If it keeps things ticking over until Tempest and whatever the Germanys are planning in 2030.

Paul T

BB85- I cant see how the German Government can veto further Typhoon sales to Saudi Arabia,unlike the Leopard 2 purchase (subsequently cancelled) being in a 4 Nation co-operative,the UK was obviously the lead in the original sales. If the follow-on batch of 48 goes through this can only be an advantage for the longevity of the production line.

BB85

That’s the problem with being in a 4 nation collaborative though, it just takes one country to say no and all of a sudden you only have 75% of an aircraft.
I don’t even think the British government would be brave enough to sell to the Saudi’s right now, which is why I think the UK and Germany might consider ordering additional units if it keeps the production line open until the mid 2020’s.

Watcherzero

Germans have a 30% work share in the fighter, namely they build the fuselages.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/dae/articles/communiques/Typhoon%20workshare.jpg

expat

The problem is to maintain skills we need keep the production lines going to early 2030’s when the first Series production of the next UK fast jet will start. That’s a lot of orders and the Typhoon hasn’t won a single order when going against the F35. Boeing are also improving the F15 and the F18, Rafael is getting updates so the Typhoon has tough competition and some customers want tech transfer and local production which doesn’t help the UK keep skills. We may have to face the fact that UK fast jet production could be dead by mid 2020s… Read more »

Paul T

BB85-Apparently when the Saudi’s purchased the original 72 Typhoons there was a belief that some local manufacture would be involved but this was not taken up,although extensive maintenance facilties were built so that obviously stays in-house.If another batch were indeed sanctioned ( process ongoing from what I have read) it might be the case that the Saudi’s could just manufacture the German share of the build.Would the UK Government be brave enough to sell at this time,with Brexit looming id say yes,it would be too big an opportunity to miss,time will surely tell.

expat

It may never exist as to my point we may stop fast jet manufacture before we complete the design making it too expensive to upskill again.

On the design. To be true 6th Gen its more likely to be dependant on what’s under the skin. Things like engine, sensors and AI computing are what will make an aircraft 6th Gen as well as new manufacturing techniques like additive manufacturing or use of new materials, graphene could be a good example.

Who knows Harry. The pre Typhoon technology demonstrator was pretty close in appearance to the final product. In reality i think that Tempest was just a morale booster for Brexit in attempting to show that the UK has the ability to go it alone. The F 35 will dominate for decades to come so any real future for Tempest is a long way down the line. Sweden and Japan could be potential partners. On an historical note(or should that be a historical..?) the Fairey Delta could have been described as Mother of BAC Lightning and in many respects its delta… Read more »

Steve R

Best bet then would be to sell our Tranche 1s to Saudi and replace them with Tranche 3s all built here in the UK. Increase the numbers too as that’d mean more building as well as greater military capability with more airframes.

I also think that if we were to get more than the 138 F35s then we should negotiate to licence build them here. Should keep the skills base going.

We should not give up too soon on possible new orders for Typhoon. There are still a few good leads for this awesome aircraft. There are many nations out there that don’t need the sophistication of the F 35. Could a simpler build variant be produced at acost attractive enough to supply to these countries. The ROI comes to mind. A small number of Typhoons the Economy model would enable them to provide for their own Air Defence and at the same time relieve them of the terrible trauma they feel every time a RAF Typhoon enters their airspace!!

Patrick

With the price of an F-35A already down to under 90 million USD and expected to drop to 80 million USD by 2020, I don’t see how other western aircraft will be able to sell at all. Typhoons and Rafales are over 130 million USD and have dual engines which increase costs… spare and replacement parts for the F-35 should be dirt cheap once there are massive amounts in service,

GWM

The sticker price of F35 may be attractive but operating cost and availability are not and they tend to be more important.Typhoon with the upgrades now coming is pretty attractive but politics plays as much as anything into buying decisions and the U.S. has a big Orange baboon on their side.

Patrick

Operating costs are going down and availability is going up, as is usual for a new aircraft type.

GWM

Well they will but the support model for F35 is very complicated,deep maintenance in Italy,engines in Turkey etc this will impose significant cost and availability issues on the small UK fleet.We also have no real control on updates so are forced to take whatever the U.S. decide to do.

Watcherzero

The Unit price isn’t the end all, you also have to buy into the F35 consortium which costs a couple of billion before you can even purchase any units.

Pacman27

I dont care if another Typoon is never sold, our replacement for this (or should I say BAES replacement) should have been designed and sold into the EU 5 years ago at least. Where the game is for the UK at present is in getting Magma/Taranis out there and working. This is something we can fund, build and export on our own. Yet we aren’t and the F35 is just better than the typhoon – it really is that simple. I actually like the Typhoon, it still has a lifespan and some upgrades that will make it very relevant for… Read more »

Ivan Kalot

Wen wee is joyn NATO, wee hast Stiff Weapons two, wee flie too Mosgo an dump off muscles inn Krmlin bonk yard an day know knot wear day cum frome.

Daniele Mandelli

I really hope Ukraine does not join NATO!

I don’t want WW3 thank you.

Mr Bell

I thought Ivan might be from Kazakhstan? he definitely struggles with written English. He probably knows a famous chap from that lovely country called Borat