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Japan to buy $23bn worth of F-35 fighter jets from U.S.

Christian Fernsby |
The US on Thursday approved a planned purchase by Japan of 105 F-35 joint strike fighters estimated to be worth $23 billion amid escalating tension in the South China Sea between China and U.S. allies.

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Topics: JAPAN    F-35    U.S.   

The approved package includes 63 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft and 42 F-35 short takeoff and landing variants as part of a December 2018 decision by Japan to increase its procurement of F-35s from 42 to 147.

Japan does not have a coast to the hotly-conflicted South China Sea, but views it as strategically important due to its role as a vital trading route.

If the sale goes through from congress, it will make Japan the biggest foreign customer of the Lockheed Martin-produced jet and the second largest operator after the U.S. at a time when the Asian nation has expressed an interest in joining the industrial base consortium as a full-fledged partner over a year ago.

Japan is one of five current U.S. Foreign Military Sales F-35 customers to date, including Israel, South Korea, Belgium and Poland.


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