10 February 2014
As the Singapore Airshow approaches, interest in the future global fighter market is growing. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is perhaps the favoured competitor in this market, but it also faces cost-benefit disadvantages that give other fighter jets an opening.
AS THE 2014 Singapore Airshow approaches, there is an upsurge of speculation surrounding the modernisation of regional air forces. In particular, there is much interest in the likely future acquisitions of new combat aircraft. Nearly every air force in Asia anticipates buying new fighter jets over the next decade, and every one of them wants to get the best fighter they can afford.
The options are numerous – the French Rafale, the Swedish Gripen, the Russian Su-30, to name but a few – but the standout fighter to beat has got to be the US-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). In almost any fighter acquisition competition that includes the JSF, it holds a tremendous advantage over its rivals; more often than not, it is the F-35’s contest to lose.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Programme Coordinator of the Military Transformation Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Formerly with the RAND Corp. and the Defence Budget Project, he has been writing on defence issues for more than 20 years. This commentary has also appeared in Defence News.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
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