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June 29, 2012

Japan commits to buying first F-35s

Japan today committed to buying its first batch of four F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, the first of at least 42 the county expects to purchase from Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government.

Defense News has a good summary of the deal here including Japan's acceptance of a nearly 10 percent price increase since it initially made the decision to buy F-35s in December.

An official from the defense ministry said Japan would now pay 9.6 billion yen ($120 million) per aircraft, up from the $110 million originally earmarked.

He added U.S. officials had said the price rise was unavoidable and Tokyo accepted the situation.

“We learned that the reason for the price hike is because the United States decided to postpone its domestic procurement of 179 aircraft in the next five years due to its tight budget,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We accepted it as it is understandable. It would be hard for them to offer a lower price only to Japan, given that the jet was co-developed by nine countries,” he said.

- Bob Cox


 

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