SINGAPORE: Singapore has upgraded its F-16 fighter jets with advanced capabilities, said its defence ministry.
The upgraded F-16s will ensure the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) readiness and capability to defend the country’s skies until the mid-2030s, said the ministry in a “Fact Sheet: The RSAF’s Upgraded F-16” statement issued here on Monday.
The F-16s have been equipped with six new advanced capabilities, namely Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA), Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, Air-to-Air Munition, Air-to-Ground Munition, Datalink Capability and Electronic Warfare Suite.
The ministry said the AESA radar represents a significant upgrade, enabling the aircraft to track and engage targets at a greater distance.
The F-16s also have been equipped with an all-weather ground-attack capability, enabling them to strike targets with more capable precision munitions, such as the Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition, it added.
“The upgrade also enhances the F-16s’ air-to-air combat capability with the ability to employ modern air-to-air missiles, such as the Python-5, which enables them to engage with a wider spectrum of air threats.”
The ministry said the new datalink system, coupled with the advanced helmet-mounted display, will provide pilots with a superior situational awareness that enhances safety, enabling them to maximise the use of weapons.
The Straits Times reported that the upgraded F-16s made their debut at the unilateral Exercise Forging Sabre being held from Sept 11 to 30 in Idaho, the US.
The RSAF’s F-16s first entered service in 1998.