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Singapore Buys AMRAAMs To Kill Pirates and Terrorists

Apr. 9, 2013 - 07:26AM   |  
By WENDELL MINNICK   |   Comments
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TAIPEI — The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved Singapore’s $246 million request for 120 air-to-air missiles and the U.S. Congress was notified of the sale on April 3.

The sale will include 100 AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) for $210 million and 20 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II All Up Round Missiles for $36 million.

The AMRAAM package will include AMRAAM Programmable Advanced System Interface Simulator (PASIS), 10 AMRAAM Spare Guidance Sections, 18 AN/AVS-9 (V) Night Vision Goggles, H-764G with GEM V Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM), and Common Munitions Built-in-Test Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE-Plus) in support of a Direct Commercial Sale of new Boeing F-15SG fighter aircraft.

Singapore currently operates 24 F-15SGs and could order more as F-35 program delays continue to develop.

The Sidewinder announcement does not mention the F-15SG. The package includes 8 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, 5 CATM-9X-2 Block II Missile Guidance units, and 2 AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical Guidance units.

The big winners in the deal are Raytheon Missile Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, ITT Night Vision, and ATK Defense Electronic Systems. The DSCA announcement indicated there were “no known offset agreements” connected to the sale.

The DSCA announcement for the AMRAAM sale cited Singapore’s “contributions to counter-piracy and counterterrorism efforts” that “continue to stabilize a critical chokepoint where much of the world’s goods and services transit en route to and from the Asia Pacific region.”

It is unclear how the Singaporeans will use 100 AMRAAMs against pirates and terrorists, and the DSCA announcement fails to mention other possible potential enemies, such as Indonesia and Malaysia who are also interested in procuring U.S. fighters and weapons.

Singapore has always shied away from identifying potential threats from Indonesia and Malaysia. As one U.S. defense analyst in Singapore said, “As I said to others, one AMRAAM could’ve taken out Johnny Depp and the entire Pirates of the Caribbean.”

“Transparency has never been the most important characteristic of Singapore’s defense acquisitions,” said a U.S. defense industry consultant.

However, the short-range Sidewinder announcement for just 20 missiles does indicate Singapore “requires these missiles to meet current and future threats of enemy aircraft.” The Sidewinders will also enhance Singapore’s “ability to operate with coalition forces in bilateral and multilateral exercises and potential air defense operations.”

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