WASHINGTON, (BM) – The US State Department approved the potential sale of 105 fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets and related equipment to Japan, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the Pentagon’s Department for Defense Cooperation and Security.
Read more: Japan joins hypersonic weapons race
According to Pentagon the total transaction amount could be $ 23.11 billion.
Tokyo intends to purchase 63 fighter aircraft of the standard version F-35A for the Air Force and 42 aircraft F-35B with a short take-off and vertical landing, created for the US Marine Corps.
“The proposed sale will contribute to US foreign policy and national security goals by enhancing the security of its main ally, which is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. For US national security interests, it is vital to help Japan develop and maintain a strong and effective self-defense potential,” the US Department of Defense noted.
The US administration has already notified the US Congress of its decision. Legislators now have 30 days to study this new military contract and approve or block it.
Note that this is Japan’s second purchase of fifth-generation fighter jets: a contract is currently being implemented for the supply of 42 F-35A aircraft by the Japanese Air Force.
Japan begins to develop a new own stealth fighter jet
A special group to develop the successor to the Japanese F-2 fighter was created by the Procurement, Technology and Logistics Agency of the Ministry of Defense of Japan as we reported in April this year.
According to the publication, the group was headed by a major general of the Japanese Air Force, and it included about 30 officers, engineers and other employees.
Japan plans to launch its next-generation fighter aircraft by 2035 and intends to create infrastructure by the end of the year for joint development and technical cooperation with the United States and Great Britain.
According to the requirements, the new fighter must have an advanced stealth sensor, electronic warfare (EW) and missile capacity equal to or greater than that of the modern stealth F-35 fighter-bomber (USA), as well as the ability to interact in joint missions with American military units.
About 11.1 billion yen has been allocated for the development of the newest fighter in the state budget of Japan for 2020.
Recall that the United States and Great Britain compete for the joint development of the successor to the F-2 fighter with Japan. In order to “defeat” a competitor in this struggle on the field of Japanese military industry, the United States agreed to disclose the source code for the F-35 fighter software (on the basis of which it is planned to create a new Japanese fighter), as well as to provide the possibility of replacing Japanese components in the new fighter with American ones.
Japanese scientist discover how F-35 fighter jet be visible by using of satellites
The American “invisibility” F-35 can be seen from satellites, said university professor Shizuoka Kazuhisa Ogawa on June 6 in an interview with RIA Novosti.
A military expert serving as an adviser to the three prime ministers of Japan noted that stealth fighters can be easily detected from space using satellites. The F-35 Lightning II is no exception.
Kazuhisa Ogawa explained that with a modern on-board computer, the opposing side pilot is able to determine the direction, height and speed of the “invisible” aircraft using satellite data. Moreover, the time of day does not matter for the battle.
The lack of stealth technology is due to the fact that the material absorbs and scatters the radar waves that hit the aircraft in front. However, they are powerless against satellites flying above aircraft.
A Japanese F-35 fighter crashed last year
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force confirmed Wednesday morning local time that a missing F-35A has crashed, pointing to debris sighted and recovered on April 10 by ships and helicopters searching for the aircraft.
The pilot remains missing. U.S. military assets have also joined the search, including a U.S. Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft on temporary duty in Japan.
The crashed aircraft, which the JASDF identified as serial number 79-8705, was the first of 13 Japanese F-35As assembled so far by Mitsubishi’s final assembly and check out facility in Nagoya. In addition to the 12 JASDF F-35As affected by the temporary Japanese grounding order, the 14th aircraft assembled, which is still at Nagoya and undergoing pre-delivery flight tests, has also been grounded.
Local media reported Tuesday that contact with the Lockheed Martin-made stealth fighter was lost just before 7:30 p.m. local time, with the aircraft’s last reported location identified over the Pacific Ocean about miles 85 miles east of Misawa city in Aomori prefecture, in the northern part of Japan’s main island of Honshu.
Japan’s national public broadcaster, NHK, quoting Japan Air Self-Defense Force officials, reported that the missing F-35A was one of four JASDF F-35As that had taken off from nearby Misawa Air Base for a training mission at 7:00 p.m. local time.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft and vessels quickly kicked off a search mission, with Japan’s Coast Guard sending two vessels soon after. Other JASDF aircraft, most likely search-and-rescue U-125A jets and UH-60J Black Hawk helicopters that are deployed throughout Japanese air bases, also reportedly joined the search efforts.
U.S. Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn told Defense News that the agency “is aware and monitoring the situation in Japan.”
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