F-15J and F-2A fighters of the Japan Air Self Defense Force.
Popular Mechanics: Japan Is In the Market for 100 New Fighter Jets
The purchase will be Japan's biggest in decades.
Japan is set to issue a tender for up to 100 new fighter jets, a program the country hopes will help rejuvenate its aging air force. As reported by Reuters, the contract is expected to be worth at least 40 billion dollars.
The new fighter program, known as F-3, will be a homegrown Japanese design with considerable input from foreign defense contractors. American firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing are early favorites, as Japan considers interoperability with U.S. forces a vital part of its defense.
Japan currently has one of the largest, well-trained air forces in the world. The Air Self Defense Force, as it is known as, has nearly 200 F-15J air superiority fighters, the second largest number of F-15 Eagles outside the United States. It also has a smaller force of approximately 80 locally-produced F-2 fighters and 40 F-4EJ Phantoms.
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Update: Japan plans July fighter jet tender seen worth $40 billion as China tensions simmer (Reuters)
WNU Editor: This is just more evidence that an arms race is now underway in Asia. But even with this 100 jet fighter purchase, it will still lag behind what China is doing.