Lockheed says it wants
Japan to do more work on the F-35
Send a link to a friend
[October 13, 2016]
By Tim Kelly
TOKYO (Reuters) - Lockheed
Martin Corp wants Japan to do more work on the F-35
program after earlier attempts to tempt Japanese
companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with
component supply contracts failed, a senior Lockheed
Marillyn Hewson, Chairwoman, President and CEO of
Lockheed Martin, speaks at a key note speech session
during Japan Aerospace 2016 air show in Tokyo, Japan,
October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
"There are industrial opportunities that are still available for
Japan. The action is on their side of the ledger right now,"
Steve Over, director of international business development for
the F-35 program, said in an interview at the Japan Aerospace
2016 show in Tokyo.
Japan has ordered 42 F-35 to replace its fleet of aging F-4s.
Most of those will be put together by Mitsubishi Heavy at a
final assembly and check out plant in Japan.
Japan's government and its companies declined to join the F-35
build at the start of the program as constraints on arms exports
at the time meant they could not make components for defense
equipment that would be used by foreign militaries.
Prime Minister Shinto Abe's government lifted that export ban in
April 2014, but it was too late for Japanese industry to join
the F-35 as top tier profit sharing partner. Subsequent talks
for Mitsubishi Heavy to supply aft fuselage parts for BAE
Systems Plc <BAES.L>, one of the F-35 partners, fell through
Japan, Over said, could still do that fuselage work or bid for
other contracts if it wants to.
"In our heart and soul we would like to have more opportunity in
Getting Japan more involved in the F-35 could bolster Lockheed's
chance of selling more of the stealth fighters to Japan.
Japan's military is planning to retire around 100 older F-15
fighters in the coming years and will need a replacement jet.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Nick Macfie)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.