2008: Singapore has placed its order for
weapons to equip the twenty F-15E fighters it ordered last year. The weapons
list includes 200 AIM-120C AMRAAM radar guided air-to-air missiles, 200 AIM-9X heat
seeking air-to-air missiles, 150 JDAM kits (to turn dumb bombs into smart
bombs), and 60 AIM-154 JSOW (JDAM with wings, and the ability to glide 50-130
kilometers). In addition, maintenance equipment and practice missiles are also
F-15Es will start arriving this year,
with all 20 being delivered within three years. The Singapore aircraft are actually improved version of the F-15E, to be
called the F-15SG. These are similar to the South Korean version (the F-15K.)
The South Koreans have ordered 40 of the F-15K, and are happy with the initial
batch. These aircraft can carry ten tons of munitions for several thousand
kilometers, and employ smart bombs as well as the latest air-to-air weapons.
Singapore's neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia, are buying MiG-29s and Su-30s. Malaysia
and Indonesia are much larger (in terms of population and territory), and both
are envious of Singapore's wealth, and position astride the Straits of Malacca
(through which a large portion of the worlds trade moves). Singapore thus puts
a lot of effort, and money, into its military.
F-15E/K/SG is a two seat version of the F-15, optimized for precision, long
range, bombing. The 36 ton F-15E was developed in the 1980s as a replacement
for the two decade old F-111, and entered service in 1988. Costing over $100
million each, the foreign user version of the F-15E (including the Israeli
F-15I) have been very successful.