30 Juli 2011

Singapore Seek Aerial Refuelers

30 Juli 2011

RSAF's KC-135 tanker aircraft (photo : Scramble)

In Asia, Singapore is actively working toward finding replacements for its four KC-135Rs. Industry executives say Singapore’s ministry of defense has been speaking to aircraft manufacturers about this. One industry executive says a tender is expected to be issued next year, with a decision likely in early 2013.

An important requirement is that the new tankers will assist the Singapore air force’s Boeing F-15SGs to fly between Singapore and its overseas detachment at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, industry executives say. Singapore’s air force also has an overseas detachment of Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds at Luke AFB, Ariz.

Close ties between the Singapore and U.S. air forces would ordinarily mean Boeing would be the frontrunner to win the Singapore contract, but this time around the Airbus Military A330MRTT is the favorite, according to industry executives outside of Airbus Military.

Besides Airbus Military, another possible contender is Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Singapore and Israel have close defense ties and IAI’s Bedek Aviation has a program that converts Boeing 767s to tankers.

There is also a competition in India for six tankers, with the A330MRTT and the Ilyushin Il-78 tanker shortlisted, as Boeing has already decided to rule itself out of that competition.

Full Article :
Asians, Europeans Seek Aerial Refuelers

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