Japan's Destroyer Conversion, Larger F-35 Order with China in Mind

As the Japanese government sets out its new National Defense Program Guidelines defense capability target policy that will guide the upcoming Medium-Term Defense Program (Japan's military acquisition plan), two major considerations are in play that are intended to complement each other.

The first involves an $8.8 billion (JPY1 trillion) purchase of up to 100 more F-35 stealth combat aircraft to supplement Japan's 42-unit planned buy. This legacy order involves the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, which will serve as the successor to the aging F-4EJ Phantom fleet brought into service in the early 1980s.

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