JASDF's Next Generation Fighter
The Japan Ministry of Defense announced its selection of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the Japan Air Self Defense Force's (JASDF) next generation fighter aircraft on Dec. 19, 2011, following the F-X competitive bid process.Japan selected the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant of the Lightning II through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales process.
The F-35 was designed and built to counter the most advanced airborne and ground-based threats -- exactly the air defense environment that Japan faces. The F-35 possesses 5th generation capabilities that are not found on legacy 4th generation fighters: very low observable stealth coupled with full fighter performance, advanced sensors and sensor fusion, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. These attributes enable the F-35 to operate and survive in high threat environments, which will provide Japan with strong conventional deterrence and promote stability in the region. The first Japanese F-35A aircraft will roll off the Fort Worth production line in 2nd Quarter 2016 to be delivered later that year.