20:39 GMT14 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US State Department has approved a possible $23.11 billion sale of 105 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to Japan, the Pentagon's Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.

    "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of one hundred five (105) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $23.11 billion", the release said on Thursday.

    The government of Japan has requested 63 F-35A variant aircraft and 42 F-35b variant aircraft, 110 Pratt and Whitney F135 engines, and related equipment, the release added.

    This potential sale will "help support US foreign policy interests" in the Asia-Pacific region by improving Japan's security capabilities, according to the statement.

    In December 2011, the Japanese government announced its decision to buy 42 F-35A fighter jets. In December 2018, the National Ministry of Defence decided to obtain 147 F-35 fighters - 105 F-35As and 42 F-35b short take-off and vertical landing aircraft. The F-35A stealth fighters have been assembled in Japan from US components at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility in Nagoya.

    In January, two other nations purchased F-35 from the US - the Polish government bought 32 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets for the cost of $4 billion in total and Singapore paid $2.75 billion to buy 12 F-35B aircraft.

    Lockheed Martin’s F-35 aircraft is a fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter. It is considered the most expensive weapons program in history, with a projected life cycle cost of between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion.

    Japan, F-35, United States
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