Thursday, February 22, 2018

Got Stealth? JASDF Orders Additional F-35's

This week it was announced in Japan Today that the JASDF will be purchassing an addition 20 F-35A 5th Generation Stealth Fighters. Unlike the previous 42 advanced fighter planes whose final assembly is done by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, these will come directly from Lockheed Martin in the United States. Sources state issues with production time tables for this reason and not trade tarrifs imposed by the Trump Regime. The going pricetag for Japan is $100 Million each. Buying direct will save Japan an estimated $30 million per plane. How that works out is not so readily explained but then again we know Beijing is reading and watching. Any realist will tell you that such an upgrade should not be the cause of alarm due to the lack of significant numbers of orders. This generation of Stealth fighters replaces 50 year old F-4 Phantoms and the first of many aging F-15 fighters. Japan will eventually have it's new home grown Stealth Fighter people are calling the F-3 (aka the ATX-D-F3) but that won't be available for another decade. In the meantime, Japan must have a ready force to meet the growing threats from North Korea and troubles on the South China Seas. We hope they will keep Japan safe and contribute to stability in the region.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018