The United States’ Lockheed Martin F-22, F-35 fighter hybrid proposal for Japan’s collaborative development of a new fighter jet to replace its F2 aircraft will cost Tokyo a whopping $178 million per unit.
Doubts have begun to rise in terms of cost effectiveness on the Lockheed Martin’s development proposal, Yomiuri reported Tuesday.
About 90 F2 fighters that are now deployed will start retiring from 2030. Since it takes 10 years to develop fighter aircraft, the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) intends to specify concrete development policy by the end of the year so that it can be included in the mid-term defense capability development plan.
Japan intends to develop a high-performance stealth aircraft with F-35’s electronic equipment based on the F-22 fighter aircraft. Among other contenders, Boeing has proposed F-15’s technology, the United Kingdom’s BAE Systems’ scheme to utilize the technology of the typhoon fighter "Typhoon" is emerging.
In the three plans, the Lockheed draft is a favourite because of its stealthiness and flight performance, and the MoD has been looking forward from the information gathering stage. However, according to the official proposal Lockheed showed on the 13th, the price per machine was over 20 billion yen ($178 million), the forecast by the Ministry of Defense, which was considered to be 15 billion yen ($133 million), and the price of F35 about 13.1 billion yen ($116.5 million). The estimated price of Lockheed Martin’s proposal is significantly higher than the results. A senior official of the Ministry of Defense says, "It's too expensive, I cannot accept it as it is."