Japan looking to buy more stealth fighters in 2015: Nikkei

Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:48pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Japan plans to seek funding to buy six F-35 stealth fighter jets in next year's budget to strengthen defense of remote southwestern islands against China, which has grown increasingly assertive at sea and in the air, the Nikkei reported.

The Ministry of Defense intends to ask that 124.9 billion yen ($1.21 billion) be set aside, the Nikkei said.

Air Self-Defense Force hopes to buy 42 of the aircraft in all to replace its fleet of aging F-4 fighters, the Nikkei said.

Japan has bought ten F-35s stealth fighters since 2012, but this will mark its first time buying six in a single year. The ministry will also seek 54 billion yen to buy three surveillance drones capable of extended flight, the Japanese daily said.

The ministry is also expected to request 58.8 billion yen for new airborne early-warning aircraft, the Nikkei added.

By the end of 2014, the ministry will choose between Northrop Grumman Corp's (NOC.N) E-2D and a Boeing Co (BA.N) plane, the daily said.

Defense-related budget requests for fiscal 2015 are also expected to include 13.7 billion yen for improving the capability of E-767 airborne warning and control system aircraft, 10 billion yen for repairing eight F-15 fighters, and 8.2 billion yen for buying surface-to-air missiles, the Nikkei added.

(Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore)

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Comments (1)
NPeril wrote:
Please recall the WWII military error in which Germany focused on complex, high tech war machines that took forever to build and even longer to replace while the Soviet Union concentrated production efforts on low cost, low tech, simple but deadly weapon systems. Germany was eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Where ever the balance between sophisticated technology and numbers lie; War Planners should not hope too much in one and not enough of the other. Will Japan or any Asian Nation, regardless of their affiliation with the US/EU really go to War over South China Seas resources? At the moment the US/EU are not prepared to protect their own interests much less gear-up to guarantee Allies security. (Stern lectures, weak sanctions, a small base on an outlying island and the re-tasking of an aircraft carrier or two doesn’t weigh heavy toward US/EU issued Security Treaties).

Aug 20, 2014 9:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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