Japan has received its first Lockheed Martin F-35A, marking the first delivery of a Joint Strike Fighter acquired via the foreign military sale (FMS) route.
The aircraft was officially rolled out in September and was handed over to the Japan Air Self-Defence Force on 28 November. Japan will use it for training at Luke AFB in Arizona.
“Today is a great day for the US Air Force Reserve Command, Luke AFB, the 944th Fighter Wing, and the Japanese Air Self-Defence Forces,” Col Kurt J Gallegos, 944th Fighter Wing commander, says. “We have a great team of airmen who have worked hard to set up an outstanding training program and are ready to train our FMS counterparts.”
The first four of a total 42 F-35s destined for Japan are being assembled in Fort Worth, Texas, while the remaining 38 units will be built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ facility in Nagoya, Japan.