According to Jane’s Information Group, an authoritative publishing company specialising in military and aerospace affairs, Singapore has been quietly expanding its F-15 fleet from 24 to 40 [Link].
Jane’s came to the conclusion that Singapore has increased its F-15 fleet after going through Boeing financial statements, aircraft registration filings, and US congressional reports. F-15 is built by Boeing.
Singapore originally bought 12 F-15SGs – with an option for eight more – under a contract signed in December 2005. In October 2007 the city-state modified this option by buying 12 more to give it a total of 24.
“These aircraft have all been confirmed as delivered and have US-type serial numbers running from 05-0001 to 05-0024,” Jane’s said.
“Several remain in the United States with the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF’s) 428th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base (AFB) in southwestern Idaho, while the remainder are active in Singapore with 149 Squadron.”
Jane’s reported that in Jan this year, several F-15SGs with new serial numbers – 05-0025, 05-0028, 05-0030, 05-0031, and 05-0032 – were seen at Mountain Home AFB.
“These had not been previously reported and suggest that Singapore has obtained another batch of eight aircraft (i.e, number 25 to 32),” said Jane’s.
On 26 November 2012, a letter from the US State Department to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner under the Arms Export Control Act talked about the “sale, modification, and follow-on support of eight F-15SG aircraft to the Government of Singapore”.
Figures released by Boeing also showed that eight F-15s were delivered to an unspecified customer in 2012, Jane’s noted. Boeing financial data also showed that a total of 93 F-15s were delivered from 2005 to 2012. South Korea has confirmed that it received 61 and Singapore that it received 24 for a total of 85, leaving eight unaccounted for in public records.
Hence, based on the above evidence, other than the official 24 F-15SGs MINDEF acquired earlier, Singapore apparently acquired another eight sometime in 2012, giving it 32 in all.
Jane’s then reported that earlier this month (5-6 Aug), Boeing took out civil aircraft registrations for what it described as F-15SG aircraft: N361SG, N363SG, N366SG, N368SG, N373SG, N376SG, N378SG and N837SG. This means that there are another eight F-15SGs to be acquired by MINDEF this year.
Neither Boeing nor MINDEF would confirm whether Singapore had acquired 16 more F-15s than the previously disclosed 24. But Boeing and MINDEF did not deny it either, Jane’s said.
A MINDEF spokesman told Jane’s, “The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) bases our procurement on the assessed long-term defence needs, and the RSAF has purchased sufficient F-15SGs to meet our defence requirements.”
Jane’s described Singapore as “the best equipped military in Southeast Asia”.
It has been estimated that each F-15SG costs about US$125 million [Link]. Hence, the additional 16 unannounced F-15SGs would cost Singapore easily an extra US$2 billion.
Meanwhile, the government said it will only spend about $430 million a year to subsidise premiums in the recently announced MediShield Life [Link]. The premium subsidies include:
Pioneer Generation subsidies
Subsidies for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans
Additional Premium Support on a case-by-case basis for the needy