Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Japan to buy F-35 jets at $240 million each

Japan's Self-Defence Forces will buy 42 F-35 jets for $10 billion, or about $240 million per plane, according to a Kyodo News Agency report in The Japan Times.

The report stated:

Japan will pay an estimated $10 billion (¥802 billion) for its order of 42 F-35 stealth jets at a cost of roughly $240 million (¥19.2 billion) per plane, the U.S. Defense Department reported to Congress, revealing price projections for the first time.

Tokyo has selected the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter produced by a U.S.-led consortium as its next-generation mainstay fighter over various other candidates, including the Eurofighter Typhoon that was aggressively promoted by a European group.

Japan is hoping to procure four F-35s by March 2017, and the Pentagon is expected to start mass producing them at domestic plants in 2019 at the earliest.

While the final, official sales price has yet to be disclosed, the Defense Ministry estimates the fuselage alone will cost around ¥8.9 billion [$111 million]. The sales price per unit includes training and other costs.

Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka has already said Tokyo may cancel the order if the jets' delivery is delayed or the price tag hiked.

Estimates of the costs of Canada's F-35 fleet of 65 jets range from $14.7 billion ($226 million per aircraft), the figure proposed by the Conservatives in last year's election, to $25 billion ($384 million per aircraft), the figure given by the Department of National Defence in 2010 and recently cited by the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus