Japan may incur an 86 Billion Yen (US$770 Million) maintenance hit on the US warplanes and drones it has bought or is planning to buy such as the F-35, Osprey, Global Hawk and E-2D Hawkeye.
The aircraft including the unmanned Global Hawk were purchased under the Pentagon’s foreign military sales (FMS) system and maintenance for it is to be performed by the American OEM.
Japan plans to introduce four types of U.S.-made aircraft: Osprey transport aircraft, F-35 stealth fighters, Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft, and E-2D early warning aircraft, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that the potential annual maintenance bill has so unnerved the Japanese military establishment that they fear this may hurt its ability to maintain or buy military assets.
Japan has received four out of 42 F-35 ordered and is considering the purchase of the other aircraft. Washington allows the sale of its most advanced weapons only to its closest allies that too under the FMS system in which the buyer dictates not only the price but also how the assets are to be deployed and maintained.
Japan has spent ten times in 2015 ($4.2 billion) more than what it spent in 2011 ($386 million) in Foreign Military Sales procurement from the US. Japan had earmarked ($4.3 billion) for 2016.