Wednesday, January 2, 2013

F-35: Pacific "pivot" may mean more F-35s

 As the North Korean and Chinese threats continue to grow, the aircraft many of our asian allies are looking at seriously is the F-35:
The highest-profile U.S. offering now is Lockheed Martin's radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, whose three variants make up the Pentagon's costliest arms program.
Japan already has selected the F-35 to replace aging F-4s as its next mainstay fighter, a deal valued at more than $5 billion.
The F-35 is being considered by Singapore and South Korea, which is also weighing rival bids from the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle. The Korean competition is for a 60-plane order valued at more than $7 billion.
U.S. arms sales to India, now at a cumulative $8 billion from near zero in 2008, are expected to keep on booming. India plans to spend about $100 billion over the next decade to upgrade its arsenal, partly as a counter to China. India and China fought a brief, high-altitude border war in 1962.
As sales are added and the aircraft continues to mature, the price will also continue to drop.  Neither of the 4th generation fighters under consideration come near offering the capabilities of the F-35.

As these capabilities become more fully appreciated and understood, look for more sales in Asia.


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