June 29: Today in Tokyo the Japanese defence ministry confirmed the order for their first 4 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter aircraft. The jets, scheduled for delivery by 2016, will have a unit price of 9.6 billion Yen (approximately US$ 121 million). Japanese officials have accepted the inevitability of the price increase for these aircraft.
In 2011 Japan selected the F-35 as it’s next generation fighter with initial plans for a total of 42 airframes. Other competing aircraft considered for the JASDF F-4 Phantom fleet replacement were the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The orders for the remaining 38 Japanese aircraft have yet to be confirmed.