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Report: Japan Mulls Additional F-35A Fighter Jet Procurement

Japan plans to purchase over 20 additional Lockheed Martin-built (NYSE: LMT) F-35A fighter jets from the U.S. in the next six years, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Sources said the East Asian country may directly procure F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant from the U.S. for approximately $100 million each through a transaction that could potentially generate about $30 million in savings per airframe.

“In view of budgets and production schedules a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate,” one of the sources told the publication.

The Japanese air self defense force initially ordered 42 F-35As that are being produced at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-run final assembly and check out facility in Japan.

The Japanese military plans to field the first F-35A aircraft of the fleet to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan and considers procuring the F-35B vertical takeoff and landing variant, the report added.

“We have not yet made any plan and we are evaluating what fighter aircraft we need,” Itsunori Onodera, Japan’s defense minister, said Tuesday at a news briefing.

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