The Japanese National Security Council and Cabinet authorised acquisition for 105 additional F-35s beyond the already approved 42 F-35s in the Japan Programme.

Total procurement is now established at 147 F-35 aircraft which will make Japan the largest international customer in the F-35 Programme.

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 Japanese confidence in the jet, say Lockheed.

In addition to the 42 F-35As already authorised, 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.

Lockheed Martin is committed to offering each variant of the F-35 aircraft at the lowest price possible year over year and in the most cost efficient manner. The company said in a statement:

“As the F-35 aircraft system continues to mature and demonstrate outstanding mission effectiveness and survivability in today’s operational environment, we are also laser focused on lowering overall life-cycle cost of operating and sustaining the aircraft as well.

We’ve already reduced costs by more than 60 percent since the first production contract and are on a path to deliver and sustain the F-35 for equal to or less than legacy, less capable aircraft. We’re proud to partner with the U.S. and Japanese governments, as well as our industry partners, to deliver and sustain additional F-35s to meet their critical defense and security needs.”


  1. That’s been known for a while now. Waiting to hear a statement from Gavin Williamson regarding the Typhoons and F35’s. Looks to be Upgraded Radar and systems but Hopefully some sort of Increase in numbers or speeding up of orders. ( not holding my breath ).

    • We need to order more Typhoons otherwise the UK production line will dry up. If there no more foreign orders then its going to need to be 100+ to keep lines and therefore skills going until 2035.

    • I think the RAF should get atleast a couple front line F35A squadrons, The Navy and RAf both need different jets for different flying operations and conditions. The RAF need the better range ect from the A model so they can fly operations from land better and it would replace the tornado. And they are cheaper to buy than B model. We used to have multiple different jets in the navy and RAF when we were a far poorer country!.So we can afford it if we spend the money in the right places. I like Gavin Williamson he’s far better than the idiots we used to have but the government permenantly telling us we have a huge defence deficit (that’s entirely made by them btw) means I can’t see the RAF getting the A model, but stranger things have happened. I hope we do get an increase in fast jet numbers though, and not the cut and shut squadron increase either making squadrons smaller but more of isn’t the dam answer.

      • If the MoD were to do that then they’d better act quickly; increase the order to around 180 aircraft (combined fleet of a&b variants) with 4 frontline squadrons plus one reserve/OCU of the A variant plus the same for the B version.

        48 frontline aircraft each for RAF & FAA: 96 total.
        2 OCU squadrons: 24 aircraft total.
        60 spares; 30 of each variant
        180 total airframes.

        I think it’d be doable and wouldn’t break the bank. Just needs a reasonable defenexspending increase and some reworking of the order; pretty sure neither LM or US government would mind as we’d be increasing our total order.


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