JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.91


Unveiling of the F-35A Fighter
(First Airframe Made in Japan)

Unveiling of the F-35A Fighter (First Airframe Made in Japan)

On June 5th, the first F-35A airframe constructed in Japan was unveiled after the completion of its final assembly and checkout (FACO) at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Aichi Prefecture.

The F-35A is a cutting-edge fighter aircraft that will replace the outgoing F-4 fighters. Since 2012, agreements have been made to acquire 42 F-35As. The airframe shown to the public on this occasion is the first to have completed assembly in Japan (it is the fifth overall airframe after the four already obtained by the JASDF under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program). The unveiling ceremony for the first airframe made in Japan was attended by State Minister of Defense Wakamiya, who stated that he was pleased to see the friendly relations between Japan and the United States result in the joint production of the F-35A, and that he has high expectations for the future of the aircraft. This airframe will now undergo detailed testing in the United States before it is deployed with the JASDF in the future.

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