Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No surprise as Japan selects F-35 JSF; to buy 42 aircraft

In a widely-predicted move, Japan has selected the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter as the winner of it's F-X next generation fighter program. In a statement, the Japanese cabinet has said that 42 F-35As will be purchased to replace approximately 70 F-4EJ Phantoms currently operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

The F-35 beat off competition from the Boeing-made F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon to win selection.

EDIT: According to Asahi's Japan Watch, Japan's MoD says that "the first delivery (of F-35s) will be on time.” The cynic in me takes this to mean that Japan will get a small handful of F-35s to play with by 2016 (Japan's target date for F-X delivery), with a note to "Don't ask about the remaining airframes. It happens when it happens."

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