Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Japan set to choose F-35 even as DoD recommends production cut

Various reports, citing the Japanese media, have said that the Japanese Defence Ministry is set to select the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter as the winner of the country's F-X next generation fighter competition. Japan's requirement is for 40 aircraft, with delivery expected in 2016. That delivery schedule might not happen, as a special U.S. Department of Defence review has recommended a cut in early F-35 production due to 13 ongoing or likely future design problems.

Aviationweek's Bill Sweetman has a takes a deeper look into the latest JSF issues, with the DoD's "Concurrency Quick Look Review" full report available here.

Meanwhile, on a (slightly) related note, the 195th and final F-22 Raptor has been delivered to the U.S. Air Force, which means the production will now be closed. You might recall Japan looked at the F-22, only to be rebuffed due to the type not being cleared for export.

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