Ambitious plans for modernising Singapore's defence forces were confirmed by Dr Tony Tan, the country's deputy prime minister and minister of defence, at a press conference yesterday in the Asian Aerospace/Reed Aerospace chalet. Singapore intends to replace its ageing McDonnell Douglas A4 Skyhawks with modern fighters by the end of this decade, and to achieve that timetable will issue a formal request for information this year. Expected candidates, says Tan, include the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18, Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 and Sukhoi Su-30. The initial order will be for 'at least' one squadron of 20-24 aircraft. The country also expects to make a decision on new helicopters by the end of 2002.

While he was at the chalet - which is also the home of Flight Daily News - Dr Tan also discussed the plans for the Asian Aerospace 2002 show with its managing director Jimmy Lau and senior members of his team. The show, which will be held in Singapore on 26 February-3 March next year, will have major new features including two new conferences and national participation for the first time from the Indian industry.

Source: Flight Daily News