Japan has confirmed the purchase of 40 American F-35B STOVL aircraft

The Japanese Defense Ministry has formally announced on July 17, 2019, the selection of the American-made F-35B cutting-edge stealth fighter jet as part of its plan to acquire Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft.

Japan has confirmed the purchase of 40 American F 35B STOVL aircraft 925 001 An F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, loaded with a Joint Direct Attack Munition and a laser guided bomb, prepares to take off during an aerial gunnery and ordnance hot-reloading exercise aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1), Solomon Sea, August 4, 2019.(Picture source U.S. Marines)

The Japanese Ministry of Defense has taken the decision on Friday, August 16, 2019, the decision to acquire 42 F-35B STOVL aircraft to strengthen the country’s air defense capabilities on its southern islands. The F-35B will be acquired according to a plan to renovate the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo-class helicopter carriers into de facto aircraft carriers to host the F-35Bs.

The F-35B is short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) in the F-35 family and the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. It is designed to operate from austere bases and a range of air-capable ships near front-line combat zones. It can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways on major bases.

The F-35's low observable stealth allows it to safely enter areas without being seen by radars that 4th generation fighters cannot evade. The combination of the stealth features, the F-35’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology, and the aircraft’s ability to carry weapons internally means the F-35 can engage ground targets at long ranges without detection and use precision weapons to successfully complete air-to-ground missions.