Thursday, November 11, 2010

Decision on new fighter jets up in the air:Japan

The Defense Ministry will not specify which type of next-generation FX fighter jet it plans to purchase for the Air Self-Defense Force in a new midterm national defense program to be compiled next month, according to sources.The ministry will be unable to name the fighter because of insufficient information on the performance of the F-35, a leading candidate to become the ASDF's new mainstay fighter that is being jointly developed by Britain, the United States and seven other countries.Delays in development of the F-35 will likely force the U.S. military to postpone its own deployment of the jet until 2016 or later.Other candidate fighters are the Eurofighter jointly developed by Britain, Germany and two other European countries, and the F/A-18E/F manufactured by the United States.However, because of the delay with the F-35, the ministry will set up a committee in April or later that will select one of the three candidate fighters based on performance comparisons.

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