The U.S. State Department has given the green light for Japan to buy F-35A Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) and F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, a deal that could be worth about $23.11 billion.
Congress was notified of the sale July 9, according to an announcement posted to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website. Congress is required to approve the deal.
The sale will include 63 F-35A, 42 F-35B stealth fighter jets, 110 Pratt and Whitney F135 engines, Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence/Communications, Navigation and Identification; Autonomic Logistics Global Support System and communications systems and equipment.
The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas; and Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut.
“The proposed sale of aircraft and support will augment Japan’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability,” the DSCA said. “The Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s F-4 aircraft are being decommissioned as F-35s are added to the inventory. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.”
In 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump said 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.
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.