Friday, August 22, 2014

Did Singapore buy extra F-15's?

Thanks to Superrhinoceront for the link!

via Janes.
Singapore appears to have quietly boosted the size of its F-15SG fleet from 24 aircraft to 40, according to Boeing financial statements, aircraft registration filings, and US congressional reports.
Singapore originally bought 12 F-15SGs - with an option for eight more - under a contract signed in December 2005. In October 2007 the city-state modified this option by buying 12 more to give it a total of 24.
These aircraft have all been confirmed as delivered and have US-type serial numbers running from 05-0001 to 05-0024. Several remain in the United States with the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) 428th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB) in southwestern Idaho, while the remainder are active in Singapore with 149 Squadron.
Aircraft operating in Singapore use four-digit serial numbers in the 83xx sequence, starting at 8301, although these do not run consecutively.
In January 2014, several aircraft with new serial numbers - 05-0025, 05-0028, 05-0030, 05-0031, and 05-0032 - were seen at Mountain Home AFB. These had not been previously reported and suggest that Singapore has obtained another batch of eight aircraft.
Read the entire story here.

Interesting.  The Singaporeans are known for having a strong defense AND being fiscally conservative.

What does the purchase of additional F-15's tell us?

To me it says that ....1.  They're not sold on the F-35 and promises of "bending the cost curve"...and/or....2.  They're not sold on stealth...and/or....
3.  They're going to continue to wait and see and need a backup in case the F-35 turns out to be the turkey that I believe it to be.

If any or all of the above is correct then this is another quiet blow to the F-35 program that NO ONE is talking about. 


  1. Singapore's main defence aim is staying one step of Malaya and they don't need anything more than F15 for that and any international "work" they undertake will be in a coalition probably against somebody who can't shoot back. I never bought the reasons why they were looking at F35. If things got that bad they needed to launch from hides and roads it would be already game over they have less depth than Israel!

    I keep saying but I think F35 won't be cancelled only B and C as the work the latter two are scheduled to do can be performed by other systems which are either trusted and established (F18, 5in, AH) or more innovative (UCAV and missiles.)

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  3. Well the Defense Minister had said we would have 80 eventually so I guess they are still following that. They first batch were originally bought to replace the A-4's. A follow up will cover for the soon to retire F-5's as well. They were mooting waiting for the F-35B (hence all the chatter earlier) but they have probably seen the writing on the wall and are taking a wait and see approach. We have some exceedingly smart but dull people working on military equipment procurement so they wont spend money on an unproven system. I see the F-15's flying around everyday from my office since we're on the landing path for the air base and I've long suspected we have quite a few more of them than publicly announced. At the moment my personal guess based on visual confirmation and internet chatter is that we have 48 of them. 20 at Mountain Home, 20 at Paya Lebar, 6 in Australia (Perth) and 2 as tech spares. Eventually we will have another sqd of 20 here once the F-5's go (which is soon) and probably a full batch of 20 in Australia as well. With the upcoming closure of Paya Lebar and resultant consolidation of assets at the remaining 2 bases (Tengah in the west and Changi in the east) I expect all the 3 F-16 sqds will group at Tengah (2 are currently there) and the 2 eventual F-15 sqds will group at Changi with all the transport assets. There's just not enough room here for much more than that.

    As for the F-35, on its original timetable it would be flying and "Combat Ready" by now and the thinking was that they would aquire at least 1 sqds worth (around 24 birds) to replace the F-5's by 2016. As that timetable is now anybody's guess they will end up buying more Eagles to cover the F-5 replacement and wait till around 2025 on the F-35 to eventually replace the oldest block of Vipers (if the program survives that long). The idea is they will wait till the system proves itself and matures before sinking money into it. Smart move and one I think all the international customers should follow.

    1. Unless you happen to be an international customer with two large expensive VSTOL carriers in build....

  4. You are welcome Sol.

    Singapore is just acting responsibly and professionally. It should be a good idea for them to buy some Silent Eagles.


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