Japan buying JSF aircraft helps Australia

Dec. 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Japan buying Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters assists Australia, an Australian Ministry of Defense spokesman said.

Tokyo's purchase of F-35s will assist Australia by decreasing the price Australia will pay to acquire and operate its own $10 billion fleet of the fifth-generation stealth fighters, The Canberra Times reported Thursday, citing an unnamed source.

Australia's 2009 defense white paper advocated that Australia buy 100 JSFs for an estimated cost of about $13 billion.

Japan has placed an initial order for four JSF jets to be delivered in 2012, with an additional order of 40 aircraft in 2014, with a total of 200 JSFs over the life of the program.

While Australia has initial agreed to purchase 14 F-35s at an estimated cost of roughly $3 billion, analysts says the announced Japanese, and possibly another from South Korea, deal will keep the JSF production the line operating at a capacity that is expected to reach four planes a month by mid-2012, potentially lowering costs through the increased scale of production.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
One arrested after Philadelphia college lockdown
Boehner delays House vote for new speaker
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
Snowden: U.S. won't respond to offers to serve prison time
FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer