Procurement: Singapore Fights Smart

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August 2, 2008: Singapore has placed its order for weapons to equip the twenty F-15E fighters it ordered last year. The weapons list includes 200 AIM-120C AMRAAM radar guided air-to-air missiles, 200 AIM-9X heat seeking air-to-air missiles, 150 JDAM kits (to turn dumb bombs into smart bombs), and 60 AIM-154 JSOW (JDAM with wings, and the ability to glide 50-130 kilometers). In addition, maintenance equipment and practice missiles are also on order.

The first F-15Es will start arriving this year, with all 20 being delivered within three years. The Singapore aircraft are actually improved version of the F-15E, to be called the F-15SG. These are similar to the South Korean version (the F-15K.) The South Koreans have ordered 40 of the F-15K, and are happy with the initial batch. These aircraft can carry ten tons of munitions for several thousand kilometers, and employ smart bombs as well as the latest air-to-air weapons. Singapore's neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia, are buying MiG-29s and Su-30s. Malaysia and Indonesia are much larger (in terms of population and territory), and both are envious of Singapore's wealth, and position astride the Straits of Malacca (through which a large portion of the worlds trade moves). Singapore thus puts a lot of effort, and money, into its military.

The F-15E/K/SG is a two seat version of the F-15, optimized for precision, long range, bombing. The 36 ton F-15E was developed in the 1980s as a replacement for the two decade old F-111, and entered service in 1988. Costing over $100 million each, the foreign user version of the F-15E (including the Israeli F-15I) have been very successful.

 


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