Singapore has secured an approval from the US State Department to buy up to 12 F-35 fighter jets and related equipment at an estimated $2.75 billion. The development was confirmed by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency via a statement on Friday. The agency said that it has already delivered the required certification which is pending approval from the Congress.
This definitely is good news for Singapore which has been trying to strengthen its operational aircraft inventory for a while now. Moreover, it seems to be a good deal for Singapore given that the Pentagon last October slashed the cost of the jet in a bid to attract other countries to buy the prized fighter aircraft.
More into the deal
On Friday, U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved the sale of up 12 F-35 fighter jets to Singapore. The approval comes just a few months after Singapore had said that plans to bolster its operational aircraft inventory and wants to replace its aging F-16 fleet with F-35 jets.
The approval will now need a further clearance from the Congress for which the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has already forwarded the necessary documents. A statement from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency read: "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible foreign military sale to Singapore of up to twelve F-35B ... aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.750 billion."
A big boost for Singapore's air force
Singapore had last year said that it initially planned to buy four F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin followed by another eight. US Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Friday confirmed that the sale will involve equipment manufactured by Lockheed Martin and also from Pratt and Whitney. The defense ministry of Singapore said that formal terms of the sale negotiations would get negotiated only after the Congress' approval.
The US and Singapore, according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, are "strategic friends" and considers Singapore as a major force in maintaining peace in the Asia Pacific region. Needless to say, the addition of F-35 fighter jets will give Singapore's air force the much-needed boost. Moreover, the approval comes just two months after US decided to slash the price of its F-35 fighter jets by almost 13% in order to attract more countries to purchase the aircraft. This deal definitely bodes well for Singapore.