It may be wishful thinking, but Defense News reports that a Boeing executive seems to think the Japanese government is pausing to reconsider before announcing a decision to buy F-35 Joint Strike fighters from the U.S.
“We think what they’ve done is taken another hard look at the full situation and have decided that if they do pick F-35 there are some things that they are not sure of right now, some risk in terms of cost and schedule,” said Phil Mills, Boeing’s lead salesman for the F-X contest during a Dec. 16 interview. “I personally think that they are taking another look at what’s the real, best move for Japan to make right now.”
Tokyo was supposed to announce the winner of the contest between the F-35, Boeing’s F/A-18E Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace two squadrons of aging F-4 Phantoms on Dec. 16. However, on Dec. 14 it was announced that Japan would delay the decision until Dec. 20 because officials in Tokyo “decided they need to go back and look at some more facts before they make a decision,” said Mills.
I think it's fair to say Lockheed Martin executives think the F-35 decision this is a done deal, or something very close to it and the champagne may be on ice. The company very badly wants some positive F-35 news to offset all that noise about delays and problems and cost increases.