JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii—The Singaporean Ministry of Defense sees its possible purchase of F-35s only as part of “long-term” plan. The country is looking at? the prospect of an F-35 fleet in the “2030 and beyond” timeframe, said Ng Eng Hen, the country’s minister of defense, during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations informal meeting on Sept. 30 in Hawaii. In the meantime, the country is instead looking at upgrading its F-16s and continuing use of F-15s. The current fleet will last for another one to two decades and the ministry is still discussing its F-35 future, Hen said.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.