Fighter Lockheed Martin F-35 is the best choice for future operational needs of the country of the rising sun, said Chief of Joint Staff of Self-Defense Forces Land of the Rising Sun Shigeru Iwasaki (Shigeru Iwasaki). This expression is made against the background of a possible revision by some countries, plans to purchase the F-35.
He also said that the nuclear and missile tests North Korea pose severe danger to the land of the rising sun and the country’s missile defense system should provide the necessary protection.
«When I was commander of the Air Force, I was responsible for the decision (for the purchase of F-35). Or, more precisely, we have developed a plan that was later approved by the Minister of Defense, «said Iwasaki, a veteran fighter pilot who flew in the F-15, which is currently the main combat aircraft land of the rising sun.
«There were different versions. But I still think that the F-35 is the best fighter, when we think about the future of Japan’s national security, «he said in an interview with Reuters.
Dutch order for the F-35 may be shortened, uttered by Reuters last week, sources close to the subject, citing cost overruns and delays in the program, the uncertainty of the Netherlands defense strategy and budget reduce costs in Europe.
U.S. fears Dutch reducing orders or other buyer and it can provoke «deadly loop» in military naikrupneyshim programmke Pentagon during the growth of the prices of other orders that will lead to the following cancellation.
Japan, one of the closest U.S. allies in Asia, has remained firm in its own plans to purchase 42 F-35 delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for 4 March 2017.
Iwasaki described the nuclear and missile tests of North Korea as «inexcusable.»
«I think, after a series of tests of their development reaches a certain level, which will allow them to develop missiles distant act. I think that it gets very severe situation when it comes to our national security, «he said.
In February, North Korea conducted a third nuclear test, although it still does not prove that the country took possession of nuclear weapons technology. But it threatens the U.S. naval base in the Land of the Rising Sun, which is in reach their medium-range missiles.
But Iwasaki said that Japan is quite protected its missile defense system consisting of interceptor Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3).
SM-3 missile can shoot down ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere, while the PAC-3 missile provide protection at least spare altitudes.