JASDF's Next Generation Fighter
The F-35 Lightning II is designed and built to counter the most advanced airborne and ground-based threats – making it a perfect fit for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).
Japan’s program of record is 147 aircraft. In December 2018, the Japan Ministry of Defense announced its decision to increase its procurement of F-35s from 42 to 147. They stated the aircraft will be a mix of 105 F-35As and 42 STOVLS.
The F-35 possesses 5th Generation capabilities that are not found on legacy 4th Generation fighters: very low observable stealth coupled with full fighter performance, advanced sensors and sensor fusion, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. These attributes enable the F-35 to operate and survive in high threat environments, which will provide Japan with strong conventional deterrence and promote stability in the region.
Japan is one of four current U.S. Foreign Military Sales F-35 customers to date, including Israel, the Republic of Korea and Belgium. The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant as the next generation fighter of choice for the JASDF in December 2011, following the F-X competitive bid process.