While Lockheed Martin’s proposal for F-22, F-35 hybrid is most suitable, the price is much higher than the $133 million per aircraft that Tokyo is willing to fork out
The Yomiuri Shimbun revealed that the Lockheed Martin F-22 with F-35 avionics proposal for Japan is being sold at $177 million for each aircraft.
An anonymous defense official says while Lockheed’s proposal is most suitable, the price is much higher than the $133 million per aircraft that Tokyo is willing to fork out.
As we have previously reported Lockheed Martin plans to offer a new fighter jet that “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” to Japan for the latter’s new fighter competition.
The country, that is already buying the F-35 stealth fighter bomber to modernize its inventory, would like to field a new air superiority fighter from 2030 to deter intrusions into its airspace by Chinese and Russian aircraft.
Japan’s ambition to build its own stealth fighter was in part spurred by Washington’s refusal a decade ago to sell it the twin-engined F-22, which is still considered the world’s best air superiority fighter.
Although the F-3, as the Japanese stealth aircraft program is designated, was conceived as a domestic effort estimated to cost around $40 billion, Tokyo has recently sought international collaboration in a bid to share the expense and gain access to technology it would otherwise have to develop from scratch.
The Japanese government in March issued a third RFI for the F-3 to foreign defense companies and sent a separate document outlining its requirements in more detail to the British and U.S. governments.
In addition to a proposal from Lockheed, Japan is hoping for responses from Boeing, which makes the F/A-18 Super Hornet, and BAE Systems, which is part of the consortium that built the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Northrop Grumman instead has already responded to Japanese requests for information and has held preliminary talks with Japanese defense industry officials.
The company has provided Japan with a menu of technologies it could contribute to next generation F-3 fighter project, but no specific proposals were made to Japan.
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