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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

Posted by theonlinecitizen on November 7, 2007

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.


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

  1. Robert HO said

    1. American work ethic and quality control is BAD. When SilkAir’s MI185 crashed in Palembang in 1997 and the wreckage autopsied, it was found that DOZENS of rivets were never fitted into many parts of the fuselage. American workers deliberately left the rivets unfitted and American quality control did not rectify it!

    2. Recently, it was discovered that American workers building the space shuttle deliberately vandalised key parts of the space shuttle by cutting many wires critical for the safety and functioning of the shuttle. Proving yet again, the delightful American trait of can’t care less attitudes. Even if lives are lost. Americans have no regard for others’ lives or safety.

    3. However, this F15 fiasco is probably due to design or manufacturing error since it is total and widespread. Americans can goof up, too!

    *Comments edited by moderator.

    **To Robert Ho: Please stop posting your complain about the “rigged elections” in Cheng San in your comments. You post that at the end of every one of your comments. If you do not stop that, we will not allow anymore comments from you to be posted. We have been requesting you to stick to the issues in the article you’re commenting on many times already. So, please do so. There will be no further requests from us. This is the last time we are asking you.

  2. John Lee said

  3. MadHatter said

    One question that’s been on my mind over the SAF’s selection of the F-15 was “why did they select an aircraft that’s so old ?”. Quality control debate aside, the F-15, battle-proven as it is, was a response to the then-superfighters of the now-defunct Soviet Union and first flowin in the early 70’s. Technological upgrades aside, surely it’s closer to the category of obsolescence than many of its other contenders, especially the Rafael and Eurofighter-Typhoon?

    Furthermore, even regarding it’s battle-proven track record there’s been some debate over how effective it’d have been against similarly capable opposition – so far, if memory serves me well, most of the arena in which the f-15 has been deployed was against significantly inferior opponents.

  4. […] to raise further? [Part 2] – All and Sundry Singapore: Singapore Maid Abuses – The Online Citien: Safety concerns cause US, Japan to ground F-15 fleet two weeks after Singapore buys 12 F-15s – Insane Polygons: Can You Handle The Truth? – Insane Polygons: War- What Is It Good For? – […]

  5. sarek_home said

    Aircraft asides, we have to factor in the electronic and weapon system as a package in choosing the aircrafts. I think electronic and weapon system are more important factors in choosing the aircrafts in Singapore context.

  6. Panaroid Peasant said

    *Comments deleted by moderator.

    **Paranoid Peasant, please restrict your comments to the issue in the article. Your comments have nothing to do with the grounding of the F15 jets.

  7. The physical age of those fighters is a contributing cause – the fighter that crashed was over 20 years old. Note that Korea, who has a lot of new F-15Ks, has not grounded their fleet.

    The F-15SG will be the world’s most advanced F-15. While it may concede an edge to its finalist opponent the Rafale in air-air combat, it has 2 very important advantages from Singapore’s point of view:

    [1] Range. If you want to threaten targets an aggressor values, that matters.

    [2] Much wider weapons compatibility, allowing a range of air-air and air-ground options that extend its effectiveness.

    Even so, the F-15SG, as good as it is, is very likely outclassed in a number of areas by Malaysia’s SU-30MKM. The problem was that taking it on in the air on even terms requires a Eurofighter (couldn’t fulfill strike requirements, lacks range, disqualified), F-22 (not for sale), or SU-30MKI from India (not in competition, some questions about India’s production dependability, restricted number of weapons).

    The F-15SG, plus weapons options, plus better training and coordination, will have to be enough. Though Boeing is a Meteor missile partner as well, and this long-range AAM might be a prudent addition for Singapore’s F-15s once the missile is ready.

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