SPONSORED:

Lockheed Martin to offer F-22/ F-35 hybrid for Japan: report

Lockheed Martin to offer F-22/ F-35 hybrid for Japan: report
© Getty Images

Lockheed Martin wants to offer Japan a stealth fighter design based on its F-22 Raptor — which is currently banned from export — and its advanced F-35 Lightning II fighter, Reuters reported.

Two sources told Reuters that Lockheed has discussed the idea with Japanese defense ministry officials and plans to make a formal proposal.

Lockheed would need permission from the U.S. government to offer the sensitive military technology. The United States refused to sell Japan the F-22 ten years ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

The potential aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” according to one of the sources.

Japan has already ordered 42 F-35A aircraft, most made at a final assembly plant in-country.

In February, it was reported that Japan plans to buy at least 20 more of the stealth fighters over the next six years. 

The first order of the aircraft will help replace the country’s aging F-4 Phantom fighters, and the additional buy will allow Japan to retire some of its F-15s.

The island nation also wants to create another fighter to be introduced in the 2030s to deter Chinese and Russian jets. 

The Japanese stealth aircraft program, called the F-3, is expected to cost about $40 billion. The country seeks international partners on the aircraft so it can share the cost and gain access to technology it doesn’t have.