15 July 2010

M-346 Trainers for Singapore?

StrategyPage has announced that Singapore will be buying 48 Aermacchi M-346 trainers. 48? Really?

I wonder as to the reliability of this article. I checked the Ministry of Defence website but saw nothing mentioned there.

Has there been a leak?


I did more checking and found that piece of news on Wikipedia and upi. Upi.com's source is apparently from an article from Defense News. Hmm.. The upi article quoted an unidentified source as did the Defense News article.

Addendum II

This is open news. Every media in the world except the local media had reported on it. On the 12th of July, in Jane's, it is stated:

"The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has selected Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 aircraft ahead of Korea Aerospace Industries' (KAI's) T-50 Golden Eagle to meet its advanced jet trainer (AJT) requirement, a MINDEF official revealed to Jane's on 7 July.

Colonel Darius Lim, the director of public affairs, said that MINDEF is currently seeking to enter discussions with Alenia Aermacchi about the purchase of the aircraft, although he gave no indication as to when these negotiations might commence."

In an article in Flight Global on the 8th of July:

" "The South Koreans have been informed that the T-50 is no longer in contention, even though Singapore has not yet signed a contract with Aermacchi," says an industry source familiar with the discussions."

And in an entry in a blog about Korea:

"Official announcement won’t come until mid-July, but top industry sources indicate that an agreement is pretty much a done deal."

" July 8, 2010: Singapore has reportedly shot down Korea Aerospace Industries and chosen Alenia Aermacchi for military jet trainer aircraft, DefenseNews reports from Seoul."

""I've been told that the T-50 suffered another defeat apparently, as the M-346 has been picked up as the preferred bidder for the trainer jet contest in Singapore," the report quoted an unidentified industry source. "The Singapore government has yet to make public the result of its decision … and is expected to announce it soon."
The report said KAI spokesmen were unavailable for comment and an Aermacchi spokesman offered no information. A spokesman for Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration couldn't confirm the report."

The local media has absolutely nothing on it. There was hardly any mention of a competition of for a trainer. Given that this is a major purchase and a major use of the taxpayers' money, one would think that there would be more coverage.

Oh well. I know why one can't rely only on the local media.

No comments: