Dec 16, 2013
Japan to buy 17 V-22s and 3 RQ-4s under new five-year Mid-Term Defense Program
Japan's new five-year Mid-Term Defense Program includes outlays for 17 new Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and three Global Hawk surveillance drones to help it respond to China's growing presence in the East China Sea.
The government plans to use the new aircraft to heighten its capabilities to protect remote islands and to monitor China's activities in waters and airspace near the disputed Senkaku Islands.
Further spending will include 28 F-35 Lightning fighter jets for the Air Self-Defense Force, as well as four new early-warning aircraft and three new air-refueling and transportation aircraft.
Since the government put the Senkaku Islands under state ownership in September 2012, Chinese government's vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japanese territorial waters around the islands, heightening tensions between the two countries.