U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Japan plans to buy almost 105 new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jet from U.S.
Mr Trump, in Tokyo for a state visit, said Japan “has just announced its intent to purchase 105 brand new F-35 stealth aircraft… This purchase would give Japan the largest F-35 fleet of any US ally”.
The Aircraft are stealth because the fact is you can’t see them.”
“The United States supports Japan’s efforts to improve its defense capabilities, and in recent months we have sent them a large amount of military equipment”
In 2018 Japan was one the world top purchases of American defense equipment
The arms deal would give Japan the largest F-35 fleet among Washington’s allies, Trump told reporters following talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The upcoming deal, which may reportedly cost Japan a whopping $10 billion, has been discussed since December 2018 as Shinzo Abe’s government approved an increase in the country’s order for Lockheed Martin’s stealth fighters.
Tokyo previously planned to procure 42 F-35A models. However, a source close to the program confirmed that Japan will be adding 63 F-35A models, as well as 42 F-35B models, for a total of 147 F-35 fighters.
Meanwhile, Japan’s existing fleet of F-35A fighters has been recently plagued by technical problems resulting in at least seven emergency landings during the past two years.
See Details: Five Japan’s F-35 fighter jets reportedly made seven emergency landings before the crash
The latest incident, which occurred in early April, saw a combat plane disappearing off radars and crashing in northern Japan due to cooling and navigation issues.
See Details: Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II fighter jet reportedly crashes over Pacific
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions.
It has three main models:
- The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant
- The F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant
- The F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.