Japan chooses F-35 jet as air defence mainstay

Fantino welcomes Tokyo’s pick

A mere two days after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Il was pronounced dead, Japan has announced it will be buying 42 U.S.-made fighter jets to boost its air defence fleet, the BBC reports. The jets are made by American defence giant Lockheed Martin, and were chosen over the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. In addition to fears of regional uncertainty emanating from North Korea, Tokyo is said to be increasingly concerned about China’s military capacity. Japan has said it is heightening coastal security as a result of stepped-up Chinese naval activity in the region. The decision to rely on American-made aircraft was largely seen as a tribute to the U.S., Japan’s main security ally. Associate Minister of Defence Julian Fantino welcomed Tokyo’s choice, which, he said, “demonstrates that the F-35 is the best aircraft available to replace our aging fleets and address future threats to our sovereignty.” Canada’s purchase of 65 F-35 fighter jets, at an estimated cost of $16 billion, has been mired in controversy.


National Defence

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