Lockheed Martin has rolled out the first F-35A Lightning II for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The ceremony took place at the company’s Fort Worth, Texas facility on 23rd September.
Japan’s F-35 programme includes 42 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales programme. The first four aircraft are being built in Fort Worth and the remaining 38 aircraft will be built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Final Assembly & 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.
The U.S. Air Force declared F-35A Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on 2nd August.