Singapore says it will buy 4 F-35 jets in fleet upgrade

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore plans to buy four F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. with the option of purchasing eight more to replace its fleet of F-16s.

Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said Friday that the city-state will put in a request for the Lockheed Martin jets, which would be subject to U.S. congressional approval. He says the price has not been determined.

Ng notes the cost of the jet has been steadily falling due to healthy orders from the U.S. and other countries, with the current unit price ranging from $90 million to $115 million.

Singapore plans to retire its older F-16 fleet soon after 2030.

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The F-35 completed its first flight in 2006. Its buyers include Britain, South Korea, Israel, Italy, Australia, Canada, Turkey and Japan.