The United States has approved the sale of 105 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment to Japan for an estimated cost of US$23.11 Bn.
The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 9.
Japan had requested to buy 63 F-35A Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, 42 F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, along with 110 Pratt and Whitney F135 engines, which includes 5 spares.
Japan is one of five current U.S. Foreign Military Sales F-35 customers to date, including Israel, the Republic of Korea, Belgium and Poland. The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant as the next generation fighter of choice for the JASDF in December 2011, following the F-X competitive bid process.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, and Pratt and Whitney Military Engines will be the prime contractors. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defence capability, a State Department official says.
The proposed sale of aircraft and support will augment Japan’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defence capability.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s F-4 aircraft are being decommissioned as F-35s are added to the inventory.
The F-35 possesses 5th Generation capabilities that are not found on legacy 4th Generation fighters: very low observable stealth coupled with full fighter performance, advanced sensors and sensor fusion, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. These attributes enable the F-35 to operate and survive in high threat environments, which will provide Japan with strong conventional deterrence and promote stability in the region.
“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” he notes.
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