TAIPEI—Japan has formally selected the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning for an acquisition program for 42 short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) fighters, going through the motions of acquisition procedures even though it had no alternative. The selection opens the way for a possible F-35B order in the defense budget for fiscal 2020, which will begin on April 1, 2020. The reason for the selection was “The F-35B satisfied all the requirements for the [Japan] Air Self-Defense ...

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