The US and Japan have reached a confidentiality agreement on the F-35 fifth-generation multirole stealth fighter system to become the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force’s (JASDF) main next-generation fighter.

The US’s twin-engined F-22 Raptor was Japan’s initial choice, but it settled for the F-35 jet due to the US export ban on the fighter’s highly classified technology.

The Japanese Government is also looking for other options that include the multirole, single-engine Eurofighter and the carrier-capable US F/A-18 Hornet.

The F-35 family of single-engine, single-seat stealth fighters are expected to replace JASDF’s outdated F-4 fleet, according to the Xinhua News Agency.