The Japanese Ministry of Defense has announced plans to buy six F-35As next year, and they’re asking for a $1.21 billion budget to do it.
The news comes only days after a consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries unveiled a mock-up of the country’s first indigenously made stealth fighter aircraft.
Called the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X, or ATD-X, the aircraft has similar technology to the F-35 stealth fighters with a prototype set for a test run in January.
Following the initial flight, the jet will undergo about two years of testing at the defence ministry with Tokyo set to decide on whether to buy the plane by early 2019.
The MoD has been struggling with rising costs and various difficulties with the troubled F-35 stealth fighter program. The Air Self-Defense Force hopes to buy 42 of the aircraft in all to replace its fleet of aging F-4 fighters, the Nikkei said.
Japan has bought ten F-35s stealth fighters since 2012, but this will mark its first time buying six in a single year. The ministry will also seek 54 billion yen to buy three surveillance drones capable of extended flight, the Japanese daily said.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi will not supplying parts to F-35 manufacturing project due to an intra-governmental spat over investment. Nearly $97 million is required by Mitsubishi in investment for plant and equipment to meet plans to produce 24 F-35s for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and foreign militaries annually.
The company asked the government to shoulder the investment required to produce the fighters for foreign clients, but the Defense Ministry refused, ministry sources told Asahi Shimbun.
The program is likely to be scaled down as Mitsubishi Heavy’s participation in the project as a parts supplier now remains “nowhere in sight,” according to a senior Defense Ministry official.
The project was authorized as an exception to Japan’s self-imposed ban on arms exports before the Abe administration eased the restrictions in April.
The international collaboration involved companies from United States, Britain to supply Lockheed Martin with parts that are to be assembled in the US, Italy and Japan.
In fiscal 2013, the Defense Ministry reached agreement with IHI Corp. to build engine parts for the SDF models and with Mitsubishi Electric Corp. for the supply of electric components.
The two companies started supplying the parts to Lockheed Martin and other partner companies that fiscal year. They also plan to export parts for F-35s to be deployed in foreign countries.
A team of Japanese aircraft-makers plan to flight test the countrys first indigenously made stealth fighter aircraft, according to reports. The consortium -- led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- is developing a jet that has similar technology to US-made F-35 stealth fighters, with a prototype set for a test run in January, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said
Japan will display a maritime patrol seaplane before the Indian Navy during the ongoing Malabar maritime exercise. The maritime exercise involves Japanese, Indian and US navy off Nagasakis Port Sasebo scheduled from 27 to 30 Jul 14
Japan has adopted a new strategy which calls for collaboration with other nations in procurement of weaponry and improved capability to monitor and defend the nations outlying regions, according to Asahi Shimbum website. The previous basic policy, set in 1970, stipulated the Self-Defense Forces to use arms developed by Japanese companies to boost domestic defense contractors
Japan is reportedly early talks with top global helicopter makers and their Japanese partners regarding a deal worth around $2 billion to build transport aircraft for its military that would also be sold overseas, according to Japan Times. The project, dubbed the UH-X, is meant to replace around 150 of Japans aging fleet of troop-carrying Huey helicopters, which date from before the Vietnam War and were designed by Bell Helicopter, a unit of industrial conglomerate Textron, the report said
The United States will send Japan additional two Aegis-equipped ballistic-missile defense ships by 2017, making a total of seven ships owned by the region. The US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement on Monday during a joint press conference with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera after the two leaders met earlier to discuss a range of alliance issues, including the threat posed by North Korea
The Indian Navy is considering a $1.65 billion proposal to acquire 12 US-2i aircraft from Japanese company ShinMaywa in 2015, under the ‘Buy and Make (global) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure 2013
Japan announced on November 20 that it would buy US made aircraft and vehicles including V-22 Osprey tiltrotors and RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drones and amphibious vehicles. The purchase is a part of Tokyos evolving strategy in response to the increased Chinese military activity along the countrys south western sea border
Raytheon was awarded a multi-year bulk buy contract totaling over $200 million to provide Phalanx Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) upgrade kits, support equipment and hardware spares to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). The CIWS is an integral element of Japan's Ship Self-Defense Program
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has reportedly begun sea trials of its largest helicopter carrier, the JS Izumo on September 29. Izumo and another unnamed ship will replace the JMSDFs two Shirane-class destroyers JS Shirane and JS Kurama respectively
The US Navy is in negotiations with Japan to acquire its retired fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons, according to reports. The Navy wants to harvest the old helicopters for parts to help keep its own Sea Dragons flying until 2025, the Virginian-Pilot said in a report
The leaders of the multinational F-35-program will meet in Norway on September 25, Norway Ministry of Defense reported Tuesday. This is the second JSF steering board meeting with all nine partner nations in the program taking part
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