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Japan to acquire 105 additional F-35 aircraft

The Japanese government has announced its intention to purchase 105 additional F-35 aircraft for its national Air Force, leading the amount of their new acquisitions to a total of 147 brand new F-35 multirole aircraft.

Japan to acquire 105 additional F 35 aircraft F-35 Lightning II (Picture source : Lockheed Martin)

Japan had already purchased 42 F-35As, produced by Lockheed Martin, and is now about to purchase 63 additional F-35As and 42 F-35Bs which are the Short TakeOff Vertical Landing (STOVL) version of the F-35. This purchase has been decided to gradually replace more than 100 pre-MSIP F-15Js aircraft.

The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy (radar-evading), supersonic, multi-role fighter aircraft designed to meet United States' and the United Kingdom's requirement for an affordable next generation fighter. It will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft currently in service in both these countries, but also abroad. It can be armed with 1 GAU-12/U 25 mm cannon (F-35A mounted internally with 180 rounds, F-35B/C mounted as an external pod with 220 rounds) and 4 AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-9X Sidewinder, or AIM-132 ASRAAM or 2 2,000 lbs. air-to-ground munitions (2 x 1,000 lbs. in F-35B).

The F-35A version of the F-35 is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) multirole, supersonic, stealth fighter that has extraordinary acceleration and 9-g maneuverability and agility.

While the F-35B version combines stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing capability and supersonic speed, giving it the ability to operate from small ships, roads and austere bases.