Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Lockheed Martin had won a $914 million contract to upgrade Singapore’s air force’s F-16 aircraft.
While the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has long been looking to upgrade its aging fleet of F-16s from the 1990s with new and advanced capabilities, there had not been public confirmation about which company would be awarded the contract up to this point. The Pentagon contract announcement, issued December 1, confirms that Lockheed Martin has been selected. This comes as little surprise considering the firm’s decades-long partnership with the city-state on the F-16s program.
According to the announcement, the fixed-price incentive and cost-plus contract, awarded under the U.S. Foreign Military Sale (FMS) mechanism, is expected to be completed by June 30, 2023.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
No further specifics were provided. However, a Pentagon statement in May had announced an FMS the sale of $130 million worth of equipment related to the Singapore F-16s upgrade, including 50 joint helmet-mounted cueing system, 90 AN/APX-126 advanced identification friend or foe interrogator/transponders, and 150 LAU-129 missile launchers. It also included global positioning system/inertial navigation systems and other associated repair, support, and personnel training (See: “US Approves New Deal for Singapore’s F-16 Upgrades”).
Singapore’s defense ministry (MINDEF) has previously noted what some of these capability upgrades might include, such as the new Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar which would extend the aircraft’s detection range and boost its ability to track and engage multiple targets at greater distances.
Though the contract announcement did not include the number of F-16s to be upgraded, the earlier statement said that the request by Singapore was for the 60 F-16 combat aircraft in its fleet. The RSAF operates 20 F-16C and 40 F-16D Block 52/52+ platforms.
The upgrade for the RSAF’s F-16 fighter aircraft, MINDEF has previously said, will be conducted in phases beginning in 2016 and is expected to take place over five to six years.