A multi-billion euro defence contract to buy a new generation of fighter jet is being pursued by Japan. It has to provide air superiority against China and Russia and be capable of working alongside the US air force. This briefing looks at the choices Japan faces.

JAPAN will make a decision by the end of 2011 which will redefine strategic air superiority in East Asia.

The country has to replace its ageing fleet of fighter jets with a new generation of aircraft costing up to US$8billion (€ 5.6 billion).

Japan has a small but expertly trained air force (ASDF) consisting chiefly of 362 fighter jets of the types F-15, F-4 and F-2, which opera...

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Dr. Stefan Lippert
Washington is Japan’s main ally and the ASDF must work closely with the US military. Using the same or similar equipment makes that easier. Japan has never used a European-made fighter aircraft
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