US to sell 105 F-35 stealth fighters to Japan

WION Web Team New York, New York, United States of America Jul 10, 2020, 08.27 AM(IST)

105 F-35 stealth fighters Photograph:( AFP )

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Japan had asked to buy 63 F-35A, the traditional version of the electronics-laden fighter aircraft, and 42 F-35B, the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version for aircraft carriers.

The United States has approved the sale of 105 F-35 stealth aircraft to Japan for an estimated $23.11 billion. 

Japan had asked to buy 63 F-35A, the traditional version of the electronics-laden fighter aircraft, and 42 F-35B, the short-takeoff and vertical-landing version for aircraft carriers.

Washington approved the transaction, which will improve "the security of a major ally" in the Asia-Pacific region, the statement noted. 

"It is vital to US national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability," the State Department added. 

Japan's 2020/2021 defense budget is a record $50.3 billion, aimed at funding purchases of fighter jets and missile defense as the country eyes the threat from North Korea and China.

Japan has decided to acquire a total of 105 F-35A aircraft over the next decade, in addition to 42 F-35B aircraft. 

At the end of 2018, the Japanese government approved a five-year defense plan that includes the entry of two aircraft carriers into its arsenal -- a first since the end of World War II.