Singapore’s Steps: Modernizing the RSAF’s F-16 Fleet

The US DSCA details Singapore’s official request to upgrade 60 F-16C/D+ Block 52 fighters

17th Jan 2014


Singapore’s Steps: Modernizing the RSAF’s F-16 Fleet


The US DSCA details Singapore’s official request to upgrade 60 F-16C/D+ Block 52 fighters to something like the F-16V standard, at a cost of up to $2.43 billion ($40.5 million per plane).

That’s about 2/3 the cost of buying similar F-16E/F Block 60 aircraft new off of the production line.


Upgrades would include:


• 70 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA). Note that no pick is being made here between Raytheon’s RACR (South Korea) or Northrop Grumman’s SABR (Taiwan, US ANG).
• 70 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS)
• 70 LN-260 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS)
• 70 APX-125 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Combined Interrogator Transponders
• 1 AIS Interface Test Adapters for software updates
• 1 Classified Computer Program Identification Numbers (CPINs)
• Site surveys and construction. Note that Singapore is busy consolidating its air bases after removing Paya Lebar.


• Also included: flight test of the new configuration; aircraft ferry services with aerial refueling support; a Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); Modular Mission Computers, a software maintenance facility, cockpit multifunction displays, radios, secure communications, video recorders; maintenance, repair and return, aircraft and ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, tool and test equipment; engine support equipment, publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment, and other forms of US Government and contractor support.


They also want a set of test weapons:


• 3 AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles. Singapore already fields AIM-9X on its F-15SGs.
• 3 TGM-65G Maverick Missiles for testing and integration. GM-65K is the latest standard.
• 4 GBU-50 Guided Bomb Units (GBU) for testing and integration (2,000 pound laser-guided bunker-buster)
• 5 GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions for testing and integration (500 pound GPS)
• 3 CBU-105 (D-4)/B Sensor Fused Weapons for testing and integration (GPS anti-armor cluster bomb)
• 4 GBU-49 Enhanced Paveways for testing and integration (500 pound GPS/laser)
• 2 DSU-38 Laser Seekers for testing and integration
• 6 GBU-12 Paveway II, Guidance Control Units (used in 500 pound laser-guided)


Contractors aren’t mentioned specifically, implying that they’re still to be chosen by Singapore. In terms of overall priorities, Minister for Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen said recently that the F-16 fleet’s condition and prospective upgrades meant that they were in “no particular hurry” to make an F-35 decision, though it’s a “serious consideration.” Sources: DSCA #13-67 | Defense News, “US: Singapore To Buy Upgrade For Its F-16 Fighter Jets”.

 

Defence Review Asia at a glance