U.S. President Donald Trump, in Tokyo for a state visit, said that Japan has just announced its intent to purchase 105 brand new F-35 stealth aircraft. On the agreement, Trump said: “This purchase would give Japan the largest F35 fleet of any US ally.“
Not only Japan believes in the American single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighter: in October 2018, the Belgian Government announced the purchase of 34 F-35‘s replacing the Lockheed F-16 fighter jet, which has been in service in the Belgian Air Force for almost four decades.
The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. It has three main models:
- the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant,
- the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant,
- and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
The F-35 descends from the Lockheed Martin X-35, the winning design of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. It is built by Lockheed Martin and many subcontractors, including Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems. (Source: wikipedia Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II)