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Japan's military chief says F-35 is "best fighter"
Reuters ^ | Mar 27, 2013 | Kiyoshi Takenaka

Posted on 03/28/2013 9:57:51 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Japan's military chief says F-35 is "best fighter"

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighters are the best choice for Japan's future operational needs, the nation's highest-ranking uniformed officer said on Wednesday, in a vote of confidence for the state-of-the-art U.S. warplane.

His comments follow reports that some nations that have placed orders for the F-35s may reconsider their plans.

Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' Joint Staff, also said advancement of North Korea's arms technology in a series of nuclear and missile tests posed a serious threat to Japan, but its missile defense system should provide the country with sufficient protection.

"When I was the head of the air force, I spearheaded the decision (to procure F-35s). Or, rather, we drew up a plan, which was then approved by defense minister," said Iwasaki, a veteran fighter pilot who used to fly F-15s, Japan's current mainstay combat aeroplane.

"There were various candidates. But I still believe the F-35 is the best fighter, when we think about Japan's future national security," he said in an interview with Reuters.

Dutch orders for F-35 warplanes are likely to be cut back, sources close to the discussions told Reuters last week, citing cost overruns and delays in the program, uncertainty over the Netherlands' defense strategy and budget cuts across Europe.

U.S. officials fear cuts in orders by the Dutch or other buyers could trigger a "death spiral" in the Pentagon's biggest arms program by driving up the price of remaining orders, leading to more cancellations.

Japan, one of the closest U.S. allies in Asia, has remained steadfast in its plans to buy 42 F-35s, with the first four planes scheduled for delivery by March 2017.

Iwasaki described North Korea's nucle

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; f35; japan; jasdf

Shigeru Iwasaki, Japan's Self Defense Forces' chief of Joint Staff, poses with a model of F-15 fighter aircraft before an interview with Reuters at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo March 27, 2013.

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

1 posted on 03/28/2013 9:57:51 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Someone got to him.


2 posted on 03/28/2013 10:02:45 PM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: sukhoi-30mki; Hardraade
From the photo, it looks like the critical point in his evaluation is how the model would look when hung on fishing line for its battle with the Daikaiju.


3 posted on 03/28/2013 10:13:04 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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