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  • ​Seoul to receive four more F-35As, as Tokyo confirms F-35B

​Seoul to receive four more F-35As, as Tokyo confirms F-35B

South Korea is set to receive four additional Lockheed Martin F-35As, bringing the number of the type on the Korean peninsula to eight.

According to a report by official news agency Yonhap, quoting military sources, the four aircraft will arrive later this week. By the end of 2019 the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) will have ten examples on the peninsula, out of a total order for 40.

The first pair arrived in March 2019, and a second pair in July. The entire fleet is to be delivered by the end of 2021.

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An F-35A operated by the US Air Force

USAF

Separately, Tokyo formally confirmed that it will obtain 42 F-35Bs, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the fighter, for use aboard its pair of Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, which will be modified to accommodate the jets.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense made the announcement, which had been expected, in a brief statement on its web site on 16 August. The F-35B is the only fighter available for equipping the Izumo class ships.

"The F-35B satisfied all the requirements for the Air Self-Defense Force's short-range takeoff and vertical landing fighter," it said.

These will add to a fleet the approximately 105 F-35As that the Japan Air Self-Defence Force will operate.

South Korea is also reportedly looking at a new class of landing ship that will be able to accommodate the F-35B. The proposed LPH (landing platform helicopter) will displace 30,000t, larger than the 27,000t displaced by the Izumo class, and could be launched sometime in the late 2020s.

Seoul has no orders for the F-35B.

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