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US firms eye $3.1b Singapore F-16 order

Published on Jan 23, 2014 12:56 AM
This 2008 file photo depicts a F16 fighter jet as it prepares to land on the Lim Chu Kang road during a military exercise held by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). -- PHOTO: SPH

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Defence Department has notified Congress that it had approved the sale to Singapore of upgrades for 60 F-16 fighter jets, setting off a potential competition for an order valued at US$2.43 billion (S$3.1 billion).

The Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, said Singapore had requested an upgrade of 60 aging F-16 jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp to improve their reliability and effectiveness in combat.

US lawmakers generally have 30 days to block a sale, although such action is rare.

Lockheed, which built the original F-16s, and BAE Systems Plc, a key supplier and subcontractor, are increasingly focused on capturing upgrade orders given reductions in US and European military spending.

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