WASHINGTON: The US Defense Department said on Wednesday it was tentatively planning to sell Singapore advanced Lockheed Martin Corp artillery rocket systems that could cost as much as $330 million.
Singapore has asked to buy 18 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers complete with nine medium tactical vehicle 5-ton trucks, communications sets and 32 XM31 Unitary High Explosive GMLRS rockets, the Pentagon told Congress.
The system, known as HIMARS, is designed to defeat artillery, air defenses, trucks, light armour and personnel carriers.
It would give Singapore a highly effective military capability critical to deterrence and national defense, the Pentagon's Defense Security and Cooperation Agency said. It said the total value could be $330 million if all options were exercised.
XM-142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)
HIMARS supplements traditional canon artillery by delivering high-volume firepower in a short time against time-sensitive targets, the notice to Congress said.
"The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress in Southeast Asia," the notice said.
On Aug. 24, the agency told Congress that Singapore was also seeking up to 84 precision-guided bombs for its F-15 fighter jet fleet as part of a military package valued at up to $200 million.
The notice of a potential sale is required by U.S. law. It does not mean a sale has been concluded. Congress retains the power to block a sale but rarely does so.