U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Japan plans to buy almost 105 new F-35 Lightning ll stealth fighter jets.
“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,” Trump said at a press conference, announcing Japan’s intention to buy 105 US-made stealth warplanes, giving it the largest F-35 fleet of any US ally.
According to the American leader: “(They’re) stealth because the fact is you can’t see them.”
The U.S. Defense industry is developing and fielding a family of fifth-generation strike fighter aircraft integrating stealth technologies with advanced sensors and computer networking capabilities for the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy, eight international partners, and four foreign military sales customers.
The family is comprised of three aircraft variants. The Air Force’s F-35A variant will complement its F-22A fleet and is expected to replace the air-to-ground attack capabilities of the F-16 and A-10. The Marine Corps’ F-35B variant will replace its F/A-18 and AV-8B aircraft. The Navy’s F-35C variant will complement its F/A-18E/F aircraft.
As of December 2018, the prime contractor has delivered 264 production aircraft.
The Japanese government first placed an order for 42 F-35As in December 2011. Still, by the time December 2018 rolled around, the existing order was updated. At the time it was reported that Tokyo would be adding 63 F-35As and 42 F-35B variants to its order, in addition to the already placed request for 42 F-35As.