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US approves $2.75 billion sale of 12 F-35B aircraft to Singapore

The U.S. Department of State approved the $2.75 billion sale of 12 F-35B joint strike aircraft to Singapore, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Thursday.

Singapore requested four F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft with an option to purchase an additional eight; up to 13 Pratt and Whitney F135 Engines, including a spare; communications and training equipment; electronic warfare systems; and the F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System, which integrates data on aircraft training and maintenance, the January 9 DSCA release said.

The primary contractors are Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney.

Singapore’s defense ministry said in March 2019 that it would request four of the planes from the U.S. with the possibility of later buying eight more.

Developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, the F-35B is a short take-off and landing variant of the joint strike fighter.

“This proposed sale of F-35s will augment Singapore’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability, adding to an effective deterrence to defend its borders and contribute to coalition operations with other allied and partner forces,” the DSCA said.

Singapore currently possesses several dozen F-15Es and F-16 Fighting Falcons and maintains a strategic defense relationship with the United States.

The U.S. has sold the F-35 to nearly a dozen allied countries so far.

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