Singapore – The Bush administration is ready to sell Singapore F-15 Strike Eagle warplanes and weapons worth US$741 million - if the US Congress approves it and Singapore wants it. Singapore is currently shopping around for new fighter aircraft to replace its ageing A-4 Super Skyhawks. It is now mulling over whether to buy either the F-15 or the French-made Dassault Aviation Rafale.
The Pentagon on Aug 22 notified Congress about its plan since the law requires the legislative branch to approve weapon sales to other countries. The notification is a formality undertaken in preparation for a potential sale - and is not an indication that Singapore's Ministry of Defence has selected the F-15.
The Strike Eagle package that the Pentagon is offering includes 50 guided or "smart" bombs, 200 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and 200 short-range Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The latter allows Eagles to engage enemy planes from about 32km away, while the Sidewinder is valued for its lethality in dogfights.
The Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which manages foreign arms sales, said the arms package will "significantly improve" Singapore’s military capability. It added that the proposed sale provides Singapore with a credible "self-defence capability that will deter aggression in the region" and will ensure inter-operability with American forces for coalition operations.
* US hopes to sell S'pore F-15s with 'smart weapons' (The Straits Times, Aug 24)