Japan’s National Security Council and Cabinet authorized acquisition for 105 additional F-35 aircraft beyond the already approved 42 F-35s in the Japan Program, on Dec. 18, 2018.
Total procurement is now established at 147 F-35 aircraft which will make Japan the largest international customer on the F-35 Program.
On Dec. 20, 2011, Japan originally selected the F-35A to replace Japan’s aging F-4 aircraft. Japan’s latest decision to further extend the requirement by another 105 F-35s to replace 100+ pre-MSIP F-15Js reflects Japan’s confidence in the aircraft’s transformational 5th Generation capabilities and further promotes Japan’s increasing role in promoting regional stability and enhancing the US-Japan security alliance.
In addition to the 42 F-35As already authorized, Japan also approved for the first time, acquisition of a STOVL version. Expected mix of the additional 105 aircraft will be 63 F-35As and 42 STOVL jets to be produced and delivered in the future.