|Kenji Wakamiya, Japan's State Minister of Defense, addresses the ceremony audience as Japan's first F-35A aircraft is revealed at the Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 23. Photo: Lockheed Martin, Beth Steel
[Avionics Today 09-26-2016] Japan rolled out its first F-35A Lightning II for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) on Sept. 23. Japan's F-35 program includes 42 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales program.
The first four aircraft are built in Fort Worth, Texas, and the remaining 38 aircraft will be built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Final Assembly and Check-Out facility in Nagoya, Japan, where aircraft assembly is underway. Maintenance training for the first JASDF F-35A technicians is underway at Eglin AFB, Florida, and the first JASDF F-35A pilots are scheduled to begin training at Luke AFB, Arizona, in November.
Japan's first F-35A aircraft completed its maiden flight from Fort Worth on Aug. 24.