Singapore: The US government has given the green light for the possible sale of up to a dozen elite F-35 fighter jets and related equipment to Singapore for $2.75 billion, it was reported.
Last March, Singapore had announced its plans to buy the F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin Corp to replace its ageing F-16 fleet, which has been in service since 1998, The Straits Times reported on Friday.
Singapore's purchase of the F-35B jets, a pricier variant that can take off from shorter runways and land vertically, must still be approved by the US Congress, but it was expected to pass.
Congress was formally notified of the proposed sale on Thursday and will have 30 days to review it before it was approved.
In a statement on Thursday, the US Department of Defence said: "Singapore is a strategic friend and major security cooperation partner and an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region."
It said that Singapore haf requested to buy four F-35Bs with the option to buy eight more of the same aircraft, as well as up to 13 engines, electronic warfare systems and related support and logistics services.
Singapore would be the fourth country in the Asia-Pacific region to own F-35 jets, after Australia, Japan and South Korea.