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Japan cleared to sell F-35B fighters for on-board deployment



An F-35B Lightning II fighter with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). US MARINE CORPS / Cpl. Isaac cantrell

ARLINGTON, Virginia – The US State Department has approved the possible sale of 105 F-35 Lightning II attack fighters, including 42 short-take-off / vertical-landing F-35B versions that Japan could deploy aboard ships to expand considerably its naval air capabilities.

In a potential $ 23.11 billion deal, Japan would purchase 63 conventional take-off and landing versions of F-35As and 42 F-35Bs, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement. July 9 press release.

The F-35B is operated from aircraft carriers or amphibious assault ships by the US Marine Corps, the British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and the Italian Navy. The F-35 is built by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth, Texas. The aircraft’s F135 engine is built by Pratt and Whitney Military Engines of East Hartford, Connecticut.

The F-35As would replace the old F-4 Phantom II fighters of the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

In addition to the 105 aircraft, the planned purchase would also include 110 F135 engines (including five spares) as well as mission systems, logistics support, spares, engineering and technical support, and other services. .

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