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Singapore - European/US jets make it to the top three of Singapore Mindef's Shortlist of Aircraft Manufacturers (11 Oct 2003)

European firms dominated the Mindef shortlist for the replacement of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) A-4U Super Skyhawk fighter bombers, with two out of three nominees from Europe. The two European representatives were the Typhoon, manufactured by the Eurofighter group and the Rafale manufactured by Dassault Aviation from France. The final candidate is Boeing's F-15T Strike Eagle from the US. It was a narrowing down to three from the original six aircraft manufacturers, as part of the tender to replace the Republic Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) aging A-4U Super Skyhawk fighter-bombers.

The deal is said to be worth more than US$1 billion (S$1.7 billion).

The remaining three jets that did not make it to the shortlist were- the F-16E/F Fighting Falcon from Lockheed Martin, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from Boeing and the SU-30MK from Sukhoi.

Mindef plans to acquire about 20 aircraft.

Final selection and the choice will be most likely be made in late 2004 or the year 2005.

Industry experts have noted that the early elimination of the Fighting Falcon could be because Mindef is interested in warplanes that can fly further and carry heavier weapon loads.

Several factors were considered in making the shortlist decision, such as, operational performance, the cost of operating the aircraft over its lifespan, the availability of spares and the ability for it to be upgraded.