09:36 GMT +312 December 2019
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    An F-35 Lightning II performs a test flight near Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

    US Plans to Deploy 16 F-35 Fighter Jets in Japan in 2017

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    The Japanese government informed the city of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture that the United States plans to deploy 10 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters at the US military base located in the prefecture in January and another six combat jets in August next year, Japanese media reported Monday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) According to Kyodo News, high-ranking officials from Japan's defense and foreign ministries visited Iwakuni and informed the city Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda as well as Yamaguchi Governor Tsugumasa Muraoka of the plans. The news agency noted that the Lockheed Martin's F-35 deployment in Japan would make the first US stealth aircraft stationing overseas.

    In 2014, the CNBC news network described the F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, as the most expensive project in the history of the US military amounting to as much as $1.5 trillion over 55 years of service.

    The F-35 is the most advanced military aircraft, combining radar-evading and radar-jamming capabilities, supersonic speed, tight maneuvering and a helmet that gives pilots 360-degree vision.

    In April, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that US F-35 fighter jets would soon start their operations in Japan and South Korea. In March, US President Barack Obama pledged protection from the so-called North Korea's nuclear threat to Tokyo and Seoul.


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