Japan wants F-35 and Osprey
Japan adopted its first “National Security Strategy” Tuesday aimed at shaking off the restrictions of its pacifist Constitution to confront perceived threats from China by buying a vast arsenal of advanced U.S. weaponry to include MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and F-35 fighters.Japan is finally getting serious about its own security and has chosen some aircraft that will help it defend its islands that are being claimed by China..
The strategy approved by the Cabinet of nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted that “Japan is vigilant against China’s activities in the East and South China Seas to change the status quo based on claims that are inconsistent with international law.”
Under the plan, Japan would spend $240 billion over the next five years on new equipment for the military to include 17 MV-22 Ospreys, 28 F-35 fighters, three unarmed Global Hawk drones and 52 amphibious troop carriers to shore up the offensive capability of its Self-Defense Forces.
If fully implemented, the Japanese strategy would provide a major boost for Bell Boeing, maker of the Ospreys, and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. Both firms have struggled to attract interest from foreign buyers in their aircraft.
For years, Bell Boeing and the Marine Corps have stressed that there was growing interest from foreign buyers in the $70 million Ospreys, but solid deals never seemed to emerge in the effort to keep open the production line in Fort Worth, Tex., past the current phase out date in 2018.