Thursday, February 28, 2013

F-35: Japan restates its committment to the F-35

What is it that Japan and Israel understand about the capabilities of the F-35 that critics just don't seem to be able to wrap their heads around?  Apparently quite a bit.  Recently, Japan's Defense Minister reiterated Japan's commitment to the F-35:
Japan is confident Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will overcome its development setbacks and expects to accept an initial order of four planes on schedule in 2016, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said.

“Problems tend to occur when a plane is in development,” Onodera said today in an interview at his office in Tokyo. “We have heard nothing from the U.S. to say there will be a delay. We think the end result will be a good product.” 
Apparently, with China on its doorstep and North Korea lurking offshore, they find it hard to believe that all future wars will be "asymetric".  

They also seem to be able to understand how modern fighter aircraft are developed and have confidence in the outcome of the program.

And they also realize that their current 4th generation fleet is woefully inadequate to their future defense needs.  Remember, Japan was not an original allied nation (nor was Israel) involved in the development of the Joint Strike Fighter.  They're a nation that made the decision to buy outside that partnership.

One would certainly have to ask, given the level of criticism in some quarters, why both Japan and Israel - neither nation is known to buy poor defense products - have ignored the criticism and opted for the F-35?

The answer, it would seem, is obvious.


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