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TOC Breaking News: Safety concerns cause US, Japan to ground F-15 fleet two weeks after Singapore buys 12 F-15s

This morning, (Nov 7) western media reports highlighted that the US grounded its entire fleet after a F-15 started to fall apart on a training mission. Japan soon followed suit by resting all 200 F-15 planes in the Japanese Self Defence Force. (Bloomberg)

On October 22, 2007, Singapore’s Ministry of Defense exercised an option on an existing contract with Boeing to purchase eight F-15SG aircraft and has ordered four more additional ones to make up a total of 12. (See Bloomberg report)

According to media reports, while the Missouri crash was the catalyst for the grounding, F-15 jets have been involved in three other accidents in recent months. Grounding an entire fleet is not common.

The original contract Singapore inked with Boeing in 2005 involved an estimated USD $1bn, excluding the option to purchase. Information on the original contract can be found here and here.

Singapore’s defense budget in the fiscal year ending March 2006 was 9.26 billion Singapore dollars, and accounting for almost a third of the national budget.

Local media has yet to report the news, and international media enquiries directed at Singapore’s Ministry of Defence as to the status of the Singaporean F-15 fleet have so far gone unanswered.