The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 9 January that the State Department has given approval for the potential sale of up to 12 F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft.

After an extensive series of evaluations, Singapore announced last March that it intends to replace its ageing F-16s with the LIGHTNING II. The government has now requested potential procurement of four aircraft, with options covering a further eight. Also covered in the request are 13 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines, plus unspecified electronic warfare, communications and logistics support equipment, including the Autonomic Logistics Information System, used for maintenance and mission planning functions.

If approval turns into sale, Singapore will become the fourth regional operator of the F-35, after Australia, Japan and Korea.

An F-35B taking off from the USS AMERICA. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

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