Singapore’s MINDEF to Acquire 8 New F-35As

March 2024

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is acquiring eight new F-35As, in addition to 12 F-35Bs, which have been bought and announced previously. Designed for greater endurance and the ability to carry payloads of higher capacity, the F-35A variant will complement the F-35B’s short take-off and vertical landing capability to provide greater operational flexibility in land-scarce Singapore.

These new fighter jets will replace the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF’s) F-16s, which will be drawn down progressively from the mid-2030s. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will receive the first four F-35Bs in 2026 and the remaining eight in 2028. The F-35As are estimated to arrive around 2030. This means that the RSAF will operate the F-35As, F-35Bs and F-15SGs after the retirement of the F-16s.

These acquisitions are part of the SAF’s sustained defense investments over the years, which prefers steady long-term defense spending that allows platforms and capabilities to mature over the required timeline, thereby enhancing synergy and enabling the realization of efficiencies.

Defense spending has increased slightly by 2.5% in 2024 because MINDEF is gradually resuming projects and activities disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Source: MINDEF)

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