The Japanese government is considering purchase of additional 25 or more Lockheed Martin-built F-35A aircraft, to be directly purchased from the US plant rather than assemble locally.
"In view of budgets and production schedules, a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate," a Japanese official told Reuters Wednesday.
According to the report, Tokyo is looking to save about $30 million per plane if the plan to acquire directly from Lockheed's US-based plant takes place.
At present, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant in Komaki, Japan, is already developing thirty-eight of the 42 F-35A aircraft under a contract signed in 2011.
It was reported in December last year, that Tokyo was also considering the possibility of acquiring US-made F-35B fighter jets in future, as it is looking into remodelling Tokyo’s Izumo helicopter carrier.
However, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the government was not taking any concrete steps towards refitting the Izumo.
"Regarding our defence posture, we are constantly conducting various examinations. But no concrete examination is under way on the introduction of F-35B or remodelling of Izumo-class destroyers," Onodera said.
Japan's first F-35A aircraft are deployed in northern Japan to conduct surveillance on North Korea and protect Japanese airspace. It replaces aging F-4 Phantom fighters that date back to 1960s. The next batch will allow Japan to retire some of the aging 200 F-15s flown by the ASDF that are the main interceptor workhorse of the nation's air defences.
The first F-35A stealth fighter jet of Japans Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) is expected to be commissioned to the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture on Friday, Japanese media said quoting Defense Ministry officials Monday. The fighter was assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd
The US Navys amphibious assault ship USS Wasp upgraded to deploy new F-35B stealth fighter jets will soon arrive at Sasebo naval base in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The U
The Japanese government is considering the possibility of acquiring US-made F-35B fighter jets in future, as it is looking into remodelling Tokyos Izumo helicopter carrier. The 248-metre (814-feet) Izumo, Japan's largest warship equipped with a flat flight deck, was designed with an eye to hosting F-35B fighters
US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin on Wednesday rolled out the first of 40 F-35A fighter jet of South Korea in a ceremony held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The remaining fifth-generation stealth fighters are expected to be the delivered to South Korea over the next three to four years
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co is being awarded a $1,463,152,389 modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract for long lead material and parts for low rate initial production (LRIP) of F-35 Lightning II air systems. The contract is in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-U
Japan is eyeing proposals for its new advanced jet fighter worth around $40 billion based on existing western aircraft and has issued a third request for information (RFI) to American and European nations. "Japan expects specific proposals for designs based on existing aircraft," said one of the sources
The United States Forces Japan welcomed the first operational Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft to the Misawa Air Base during a commemoration ceremony, held on February 24. This is the second aircraft assembled at Mitsubishis facility in Nagoya, Japan
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