Singapore remains interested in the F-35 joint strike fighter, but does not expect to procure the fifth-generation jet until the 2030 timeframe, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said Sept. 30.This is ominous for the F-35 program. Foreign sales were suppose to help it ramp up production and now we hear Singapore won't buy until 2030? This is telling. Defense News buried the geo-political bombshell that the Singaporeans put down. Check this out.
“The F-35s are considered form a timeframe of 2030 and beyond for our defense needs, and in that light we are not in a hurry and we are still evaluating,” Ng said here following a meeting of the ASEAN defense ministers. “It’s a good plane, but our needs aren’t so urgent at this point and time.”
Asked if there was a geopolitical situation in the region that could spur the country to speed up a procurement decision on the jet, especially given the turmoil in the South China Sea, Ng replied confidently that the current plan is the right one.This is huge news.
“It will not be influenced by what happens in the south china sea, nor China’s military might,” he said. “We’ve acknowledged China is a military power. It is really dictated by what we feel is our needs, as well as how we can contribute to defense globally.”
Singapore is taking a middle road. They will align and work with anyone in the region. They are seeking friends and will not be dragged into a fight between China and the US.
The idea of forming partnerships in the region to act as a buffer against China is failing. Where Singapore goes, we can expect others to follow. The pivot to the Pacific is in serious trouble.