NO FORMAL DEAL YET
Burbage said Lockheed officials were engaged in a close dialogue with Singapore about its interest in buying some of the F-35 fighter jets, and often visited the Asian country.
But he said Singapore had not made any formal agreements to buy the jets, or when such purchases could occur.
Defense consultant Loren Thompson said China’s military expansion was putting increasing pressure on Singapore and other countries in the region to buy next-generation fighter planes.
“Every time China tests a new fighter it’s a wake-up call for countries like Singapore,” Thompson said.
Chinese media last week published images of a second Chinese stealth fighter jet after it made its maiden flight in the northeast province of Liaoning.
Aviation experts said the plane bore a strong resemblance to the F-35, fueling U.S. concerns about Chinese espionage efforts that were underscored in a draft of the 2012 report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Singapore will also host the first U.S. littoral combat ship, “Freedom,” which was also built by Lockheed, for a 10-month deployment next year.
Singapore is strategically located along the Strait of Malacca, the chief link between the Indian and Pacific Oceans through which about 40 percent of world trade flows.