It is likely that Singapore is finally about to order F-35Bs, The last of the F-5S/Ts will be retiring, and continuing the practice of having 3 different types of fighter jets in its ORBAT, RSAF will definitely start to look into the F-35Bs sooner rather than later.SAF acquires new fighting machines to do more with less, will reveal replacement for F-16 fighter jets soon
Singapore is clossing in on the F-16 replacement. Potentially one of the biggest or even the biggest Air Force defence project in South East Asia on next decade.
F-5S/Ts yet retired and replaced in this Sqn by F-15SG and new A-330 MRTT nice !It is likely that Singapore is finally about to order F-35Bs, The last of the F-5S/Ts will be retiring, and continuing the practice of having 3 different types of fighter jets in its ORBAT, RSAF will definitely start to look into the F-35Bs sooner rather than later.
The F-16 Blk 52+ C/Ds will progressively be upgraded to the V standard, so the reason taunted by Ng Eng Hen is to explain why Singapore needs a new fighter type given that the fleet of the Vipers and Eagles are still relatively young.
Singapore to announce F-16 fighter jet replacement plans in few months
Thanks for updating this thread and agreed on a pattern of creeping incremental purchases for the F-35 (likely to be the B). This is a post 3G SAF purchase or NEXT GEN SAF plan.Singapore to buy 4 F-35 fighter jets with option for 8 more; price comparable to F-15SG
Singapore looking for 4 F-35 with 8 option tender offering. Interestingly Singapore also begin their F-16 procurement with small batch of 8 F-16 A/B Blk 15, before gradually come to present 60 F-16 Blk 50.
Thus seems gradually procurement will still being pursue on this F-35
I would prefer B only purchase - not sure what the SG Government would do in the end. That way the 6 A330 MRTTs can focus on supporting F-15SGs and other aircraft during a conflict. We need all the tankers up and flying to support the required air tasking - to service the number of targets we need to hit with each wave of strike aircraft. With Bs, an enemy can’t hope to shut down the Republic of Singapore Air Force through even an air field denial exercise. Too many basketball courts - which can serve as landings spots (for vertical landing).OPSSG, it's interesting to me that Dr Ng put the range of USD 90 mio to USD 115 mio of F-35 procurement cost. 90 mio if not mistaken is A cost and 115 is B cost.
Is Singapore wants to procure both A and B just like Japan do ? or just B as so far the Media told that's where Singapore interest is.
My preference is not to have a mixed fleet of As and Bs for the F-35s, as we are only replacing 3 squadrons of F-16s, if price is not the only concern.The key to understanding the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is that Singapore is a status quo noteworthy rising power, sitting at a major maritime chokepoint (that is interested in limited sea control for specific purposes and supportive of freedom of navigation through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore). The Singapore Navy is a green water navy, with some special features, including being used as a tool for diplomacy. Through the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Singapore's land based air power dominates these chokepoints, as a status quo power. The hard power that controls the adjacent land to the chokepoint, also controls passage of vessels. The ability to operate via FOBs and disperse forces, gives the SAF flexibility in the conduct of its defence, at a place and time of its choosing. Compounding its geo-strategic vulnerability, Singapore is the smallest country in land size within ASEAN.
Having been dealt a geo-strategically disadvantaged hand at the country's formation on 9 August 1965 in the mist of tension with its ambitious neighbours, Singapore has to build military capabilities that it needs, first, and that has been the country's singular focus since August 1967. The SAF is not an expeditionary army, nor is the RSN a blue water navy; but it is the world's smallest country with a tertiary air force. Singapore's lack of depth has resulted in a clear focus on the building the basic force structure for regional over-match, if threatened; and the RSAF's capabilities serve to deter larger powers from acting unilaterally and buys valuable time for the citizen soldiers should they be required to engage in the forward defence of Singapore.
A F-35B acquisition would enable the SAF (and its rapid deployment division - 21st Division, which is supported by 4 LPDs) to operate more like the US Marines (but without a LHD). Dispersion of forward deployed Singapore forces via FOBs is possible through the exploitation of the proposed acquisition of the F-35B, the refurbished KC-130 tankers, and the existing AH-64D Apaches, supported by Singapore's CH-47SDs. Dispersion allows RSAF aircraft to conduct flight operations for several days from numerous sites like stretches of highway, or expeditionary airfields using matting (eg. San Carlos Harrier FOB, built by the British in 1982 on the Falkland Islands - the runway length was 260m long). A main base located in the rear would provide logistical and maintenance support for ongoing operations and subsequent overhauling and repairing of aircraft. Since only some of the surveyed sites would be occupied, enemy targeting would be reduced to a complicated shell game.
For the 2004 Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami, commander 21st Division (a 1 star) and his command staff were deployed to support operations in Indonesia. SAF operations at Meulaboh, with over 1,500 troops was a brigade sized command at work in humanitarian assistance / disaster relief operations. The SAF has been observing the US Marines and their concept of operational maneuver from the sea. The SAF's conduct of operations at Meulaboh, was live demonstration of this capability at reinforced battalion size level (in multiple phases, supported by the Naval Diving Unit and Engineers for the beachhead pushing supplies to shore from 3 LPDs) and with the brigade HQ (operating like a mini-US Marine MEU, but with lesser resources and people), under a Colonel (who speaks fluent Bahasa), controlling the heli-mobile element (our our terminal air guidance teams set up multiple LZs) to deliver aid to the Indonesians. The then Colonel that was in command at Meulaboh, is now in the Singapore Government (after retiring as head of Tradoc, at a 1 star level).
By dispersing the SAF's air assets, Commander 21st Division can circumvent some of the restrictions of sea-based flight operations due to the limited aviation capabilities of the Endurance Class LPDs. The synergy that will result from dispersing RSAF aircraft (the proposed F-35Bs and the exisiting AH-64Ds) on land and/or on sea will provide the Commander 21st Division with air support that can be exploited at the time and place of his choosing in support of his subordinate Brigade Commands in their operational maneuver from the sea (OMFTS). OMFTS has the potential to force an enemy to defend a large area in the face of 21st Division's heli-mobility and ability to come by the sea (to conduct power projection in the face of light opposition).
The acquisition of the F-35B, if it occurs, will give an augmented 7SIB the combat power of a reinforced US Marine MEB, without its ability to sustain the force. Without a LHD/LHA to sustain the F-35Bs, Singapore has limited ability to sustain the force (but the intent is to fit our force into a coalition, rather than go it alone).
I think the idea of operating the F35Bs off the Freeways would be a good way to go for Singapore. Not just using them as Runways for the Aircraft but also the Ground Crews can use them to rapidly deploy Fuel Tankers, Ammo and Supply Vehicles.I would prefer B only purchase - not sure what the SG Government would do in the end. That way the 6 A330 MRTTs can focus on supporting F-15SGs and other aircraft during a conflict. We need all the tankers up and flying to support the required air tasking - to service the number of targets we need to hit with each wave of strike aircraft. With Bs, an enemy can’t hope to shut down the Republic of Singapore Air Force through even an air field denial exercise. Too many basketball courts - which can serve as landings spots (for vertical landing).
My preference is not to have a mixed fleet of As and Bs for the F-35s, as we are only replacing 3 squadrons of F-16s, if price is not the only concern.
By way of clarification, I don’t know if Singapore will buy the A or B. But if MINDEF releases pictures of A, and mentions that a LOA will be signed for 4x F-35s (with an option for 8 more), I would assume it’s a buy of 4 F-35As at this moment.The F-35 photo used by Mindef on their Facebook page (Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF)) depicted an F-35A.
Whilst it does not mean the order for the 4+8 F-35 is definitely the A variant, I think DefMin Dr Ng Eng Hen's comment about the proximity of the price of one is close to that of the F-35, I think this comment is strongly suggesting that it would be the A variant, which currently is running just under US$90mil. Estimated cost of the F-15SG (2009 money) was roughly round US$79mil (ref: CO09047 | F-15SG: The Last Manned Fighter for the RSAF? | RSIS)
RSAF conducts Ex Torrent at regular intervals and at the last one held in 2016, they operated both F-16s and F-15SGs on a freeway. Singapore will be able to operate the F-35A or F-35B off these roads that are designated as alternate runways. Given that Singapore’s interest in the F-35B is to reduce the RSAF’s need for long runways to generate airpower, it would further add to the need for the RSAF to assess the variant’s capabilities in such scenarios. That Singapore has also asked for information on the other variants of the F-35, the Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) F-35A and the F-35C for the US Navy’s aircraft carriers, also suggests that MINDEF is cognisant of some of the trade-offs designers have had to make for the F-35B in exchange for its STOVL capability, which enables an F-35B loaded with weapons and fuel to take off from a runway as short as 183m according to its official design requirements.I think the idea of operating the F35Bs off the Freeways would be a good way to go for Singapore. Not just using them as Runways for the Aircraft but also the Ground Crews can use them to rapidly deploy Fuel Tankers, Ammo and Supply Vehicles.
I had a read and it seems like their decision was reasonable.Cabinet documents on the proposal to base Singaporean F-15s at Ohakea have been released. Haven't read them yet.
Singapore Proposal to Base F-15 Fighter Jets at Ohakea Base – 2018 Cabinet Documents
If you don’t mind, let me share a frank perspective.I had a read and it seems like their decision was reasonable.
They concluded it would be a big plus on strategic/foreign policy grounds, and would have limited economic and tactical benefits (more opportunities for the army/navy to train with fast jets).
It’s an airport - more flights means more CO2 (the foot print of Changi and our skies are more crowded), which can be mitigated by purchase of local green credits. We can restrict use of flares if that is a concern (it’s just a little less realism in training). Do you drive? If you do, you have a carbon foot print.It would have required a runway extension, the purchase of several properties due to unreasonable noise levels, significant investment in noise insulation on base and in the surrounding town, and increased pollution from noise, fuel burn, munitions and countermeasures. There were also reservations in the NZDF regarding the challenges of operating fast jets and slower training/rotary wing aircraft from the same base, and concerns that the limited development real estate at NZ's major airbase would be taken up.
Why? We want to train with NZDF and increased realism via close air support is good training value. NZDF defended us, when we as a country was much less capable of defending ourselves. We just want to give back and the local Mayors want this.It sounds like short terms visits from Singaporean F-16's at least will continue, and options for development of a more permanent base for them elsewhere (i.e. Waiouru) considered. I wouldn't hold my breath on that front though.
I don't think this decision should be interpreted in that light. The document specifically mentions that the decision will not negatively impact on our two countries "strong bilateral relationship" so I think it the decision was made in close consultation with Singaporean officials, and our relationship remains strong.Why? We want to train with NZDF and increased realism via close air support is good training value. NZDF defended us, when we as a country was much less capable of defending ourselves. We just want to give back and the local Mayors want this.
Just to make sure we are on the same wave length, I am speaking from a Singaporean perspective.I don't think this decision should be interpreted in that light. The document specifically mentions that the decision will not negatively impact on our two countries "strong bilateral relationship" so I think it the decision was made in close consultation with Singaporean officials, and our relationship remains strong.
I personally would have loved to see fast jet's return to NZ skies, and hope that alternative arrangements can be made. After reading the document I can understand why they made the decision they did though.