Wednesday, February 29, 2012

F-35 purchase may be cancelled if prices rise: Japan defense minister

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said Wednesday that the purchase of the F-35 stealth jet, which Japan picked as its next-generation mainstay fighter, may be cancelled should there be a delay in the aircraft's delivery or an increase from the initial price tag.

"If the U.S. proposal falls through, we should eye the possibility of cancelling the contract or selecting a new aircraft," Tanaka told a parliament session.

The Defense Ministry has indicated in a letter dated Feb. 13 to the U.S. Department of Defense on possibly halting the F-35 purchases if prices skyrocket from the initially agreed figure.

Japan announced in December that it had decided on the F-35, which is being developed by an international consortium led by U.S. aircraft maker Lockheed Martin Corp. Read More