15 Jun 2017

First Japanese-built F-35A unveiled at MHI’s Nagoya facility

The first Japanese-assembled F-35A has been unveiled at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya.

The Japan F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from the original manufacturer and designer Lockheed Martin and oversight from the United States  Government.

Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony including Japanese and US government and defence industry leaders.

The Japanese Ministry of Defence competitively selected the F-35A as the JASDF’s next-generation air defence fighter in December 2011, with a Foreign Military Sales programme of record of 42 F-35As.

The first four JASDF F-35As were previously delivered from the Fort Worth, Texas, production facility. Subsequent deliveries of 38 F-35A aircraft will come from the FACO in Japan.

Additionally, the US DoD selected the Nagoya FACO in 2014 for the North Asia-Pacific regional heavy airframe Maintenance Repair Overhaul & Upgrade (MROU) facility.

The F-35 Lightning II is a next-generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and cutting-edge sustainment.

More than 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered worldwide and they have collectively flown more than 95,000 flight hours.

Vice Admiral Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said: “Seeing the first Japanese-built F-35A is a testament to the global nature of this programme.

“This state of the art assembly facility, staffed with a talented and motivated workforce, enables us to leverage industry’s unique talents and technological know-how to produce the world’s best multi-role fighter. 

“The F-35 will enhance the strength of our security alliances and reinforce long-established bonds with our allies through training opportunities, exercises and military-to-military events.”


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