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Singapore-New Fighter Jets To Be Determined Soon (2 Apr 2003)

The Programme for the replacement of the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) current fleet of A-4SU Super Skyhawks is likely to involve six contenders, initially.

These six contenders for new fighter planes will most likely be narrowed down to about three, later in the year.

Defence Science and Technology Agency's Chief Executive Officer Richard Lim, however, commented that two to four contenders would be short-listed after June, followed by the final choice made probably next year. He also added that his Agency is transitioning from being a fast follower to a creator of new technologies.

The six contenders are Lockheed Martin's F-16C/D Block 60, Boeing's F-18E/F Super Hornet and its F-15E Strike Eagle, Sukhoi's SU-30MK, Eurofighter's Typhoon and Dassault's Rafale.

The exact budget and size of the planned purchase has not been disclosed but industry sources quoted that the Programme would involve twenty aircrafts worth an estimated value of US $ 1 billion (S$1.77 billion).

Regarding a decision on helicopters, Mr. Lim said it would likely to be made this year.