Japan Ministry of Defense chooses Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II for Japan Air Self Defense Force next-gen fighter aircraft fleet

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

FORT WORTH, Texas, 20 Dec. 2011. Japan Ministry of Defense officials have selected the Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) F-35 Lightning II as the Japan Air Self Defense Force's (JASDF) next-generation fighter aircraft. The initial contract calls for four F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant (CTOL) aircraft in Japan Fiscal Year 2012, which begins April 1, 2012.

The F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation fighter boasts fighter speed and agility, fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with principal industrial partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

"We are honored by the confidence the Japanese government has placed in the F-35 and our industry team to deliver this 5th Generation fighter to the Japan Air Self Defense Force," says Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer. "This announcement begins a new chapter in our long-standing partnership with Japanese industry and builds on the strong security cooperation between the U.S. and Japan."

The F-35 program includes nine partner nations--the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway; the global scale contributes to its success and affordability through economies of scale, says a spokesperson. The United Kingdom and Netherlands have ordered test aircraft; Italy and Australia have committed long-lead funding for initial operational aircraft. 

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