Singapore has exercised an option for eight Boeing F-15SGs and ordered an additional four aircraft, bringing the total number that will eventually be in service to 24.

The decision, a follow-up to a 2005 contract for 12 F-15s, is part of Singapore's "continuing effort to renew its fighter fleet", says the country's ministry of defence.

The aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2010, it adds. Industry sources say that the 29,000lb (130kN) General Electric F110-GE-129 engine, which was selected to power the first 12 F-15SGs, has been selected for the second 12 as well.

F-15SG pic 
© Boeing

Integration and flight testing of the aircraft will be at Boeing's St Louis, Missouri and Palmdale, California sites from November, the company says. Both batches of F-15s will have similar configurations, but Singapore has not released details.

A US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification to the US Congress in 2005, however, said that the weapons included 200 AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles with six captive air training rounds, and 200 AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles with 24 CAT and dummy rounds.

For the air-to-ground role, the aircraft were to be supplied with 50 GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and 30 AGM-154A-1 Joint Stand Off Weapons both with BLU-111 warheads, and 30 AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapons.

Singapore was also to be supplied with 24 Link 16 multifunctional information distribution system/low volume terminals (fighter datalink terminals) and 44 pairs of AN/AVS-9(V) night vision goggles.

The aircraft are also likely to be fitted with the Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array radar, and the Data Device high-performance 1553 databus or HyPer-1553TM tested by the Boeing Phantom Works F-15E1 Advanced Technology Demonstrator aircraft.

It has been speculated that Singapore will work with Israel to modify and upgrade its F-15s. The Israeli F-15I Ra'am (Thunder) is equipped with an Elisra SPS-2110 integrated electronic warfare system, and its crews wear DASH helmet sights.

The F-15s will replace Singapore's fleet of McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawks. A new round of procurement decisions to replace ageing Northrop F-5s with a new tactical fighter are due to start in 2008, with Singapore to choose between more F-15s and the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

Singapore aligned with the JSF programme in 2002 at the "security co-operation participant" level, the lowest rung of the four-tier international team.

The F-35's development delays have kept Singapore waiting for nearly two years for data about the country's unique final configuration, but this is expected in early 2008 and will launch a review phase allowing the service to choose either the F-35 or the F-15 for its next fighter purchase.

Singapore also plans in 2008 to issue a shortlist for a requirement for advanced jet trainers, choosing among the Alenia Aermacchi M-346, BAE Systems' Hawk 128 and Korea Aerospace Industries T-50. It is also considering either a replacement or a mid-life update for its fleet of Fokker 50 maritime patrol aircraft.