The Japan Defense Agency (JDA) has given its parliament a breakdown of planned aircraft purchases over the next mid-term defence programme, which runs for five fiscal years starting in April 2002.

Under the plans, Japan's Air Self Defence Force is allocated Y490 billion ($3.99 billion) for 47 Mitsubishi F-2 support fighters, Y50 billion for 12 Kawasaki-built Boeing CH-47J transport helicopters and Y30 billion for the modernisation of 12 Mitsubishi-built Boeing F-15 fighters.

The Maritime Self Defence Force gets Y240 billion for 39 Mitsubishi-built Sikorsky SH-60J Seahawks and an additional Y10 billion for a pair of minesweeping helicopters of an unspecified type. Industry is expecting a Japanese mine-countermeasures helicopter competition towards the end of the next five year plan.

The Ground Self Defence Force has been earmarked Y240billion for 10 combat helicopters and a further ´30 billion for seven transport helicopters yet to be selected. Combat helicopters could refer to further examples of the Kawasaki OH-1.

Source: Flight International