Saturday, July 24, 2010

Potential Market in Asia for F-35 JSF Could be More Than 500 Fighters

By WENDELL MINNICK, JUNG SUNG-KI and PAUL KALLENDER-UMZEU

The potential market in Asia for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) could be more than 500 fighters in the next two decades, with Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan paying the closest attention.Sources indicate Singapore's Air Force could procure up to 100 fighters to replace its roughly 60 F-16C/Ds beginning in 2020.Japan has a requirement for 200 to 250 fighters for the F-XX competition set to begin in 2020.South Korea also has expressed interest in the F-35, which often has been referred to as a front-runner by military officials for South Korea's F-X III program for 40 to 60 fighter aircraft.Taiwan defense officials have openly expressed an interest in the F-35 as a replacement for aging fighters. At present, Taiwan has roughly 60 F-5s and 60 Mirage 2000-5s scheduled for retirement within the next 10 years.

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