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Singapore at-sea deployment of F-35Bs can overcome airfield dependency

22nd March 2023 - 15:30 GMT | by Norbert Neumann, Giovanni Rasio in London

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The RSAF is one of the strongest and most well-trained air arms in the region, but its air bases are all in close proximity to each other. (Photo: US DoD)

Singapore could potentially deploy F-35Bs from its Joint Multi-Mission Ship to overcome airfield dependency and improve air defence as part of its apparent new security strategy.

After comprehensive evaluations, Singapore recently confirmed it would purchase eight more F-35B fighters, bringing the fleet to 12.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) selected the F-35B in 2020 as the initial successor to its F-16C/D, with the latter set to begin withdrawal in 2030.

Singapore is going to be the first Southeast Asian country to receive the B variant of the Lockheed Martin fifth-generation jet in 2026.

Singapore is also unique in that it is the only customer with no plans to deploy the short-take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B from a ship – not officially, anyway.

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Norbert Neumann

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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Giovanni Rasio

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Giovanni Rasio


Giovanni Rasio is a Senior Naval Analyst at Shephard’s Defence Insight business intelligence service. Before …

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