Japan and the United States are close to finalizing the workshare arrangement supporting the production of Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft for the Japan Air Self-Defence Force.
A spokesman from the Japan Ministry of Defence (MoD) told IHS Jane’s on 31 October that the two parties are negotiating the details of the workshare, which covers specifics related to the components that Japanese industry will produce under licence, and that a conclusion is expected to be finalised by the end of 2012.
Japan agreed in December 2011 to purchase four F-35As, with deliveries from 2016, and plans to eventually acquire 42 aircraft. While initial F-35As are likely to be built by prime contractors in the United States, the Japan MoD expects aircraft scheduled to be purchased from Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) to be constructed in collaboration with Japanese industry.
“With regards to the F-35As that are to be procured after FY13, it is planned that the ministry will procure aircraft manufactured through participation of domestic industries,” the MoD spokesman said.
By Jon Grevatt