Japan Decides to Procure F-35B Fighters from U.S.
Tokyo, Aug. 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry on Friday announced the selection of the U.S.-made F-35B cutting-edge stealth fighter as a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft model it plans to introduce.
The ministry plans to renovate the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Izumo-class destroyers into de facto aircraft carriers to host the F-35Bs.
The Japanese government decided last December to procure 42 STOVL aircraft to strengthen the country's air defense capabilities in the Pacific side of the country where the number of air bases with long runways is limited.
The procurement plan was included in the government's new defense policy guidelines and medium-term defense program, both compiled late last year.
Selection work started in March, and the F-35B, recommended by the U.S. government, was the only model proposed in the process, according to the ministry.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]