July 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible $23.1 billion sale of 105 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to the government of Japan, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Thursday.
According to the DSCA, Japan's government asked to buy 63 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, 42 F-35V short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft and 110 F135 engineers, including five spares.
The Japanese government announced plans to buy 105 F-35s in 2018.
In 2019 Lockheed Martin was awarded a $25.2 million contract to build a maintenance repair and upgrade facility in Japan for the country's fleet of 42 F-35 fighter planes.
The deal would also include support equipment, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and other aspects of logistics support.
"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region," the announcement said. "It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability."
The deal's prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin and Pratt and Whitney.