Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has unveiled its first assembled F-35A stealth fighter Monday at its factory in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture.
Lockheed Martin is the main manufacturer of the fighter jet. Further the air self defense force (ASDF) considers deploying the fighter this fiscal 2017 that ends next March 31 at the Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture.
The jet features high stealth capabilities and mobility, and is expected to collaborate in surveillance activities with F-35 aircraft operated by U.S. forces, The Japan Times reported Monday.
The F-35 was jointly developed by nine countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia.
Even though the Japanese firms were not involved in manufacturing of the aircraft they played their role in assembly and other manufacturing processes.
The ASDF plans to buy 42 of the jets. Four will be supplied as finished products under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales program.
“It is important to acquire F-35 fighters with advanced capabilities amid increasingly tough security conditions” Kenji Wakamiya, a senior vice defense minister, said.
This move will strengthen technology in the domestic defense industry, Wakamiya added.
Mitsubishi Heavy will also assemble the remaining 38 planes with components imported from the United States.
The first Japan-assembled unit will be used for flight training in the United States for ASDF pilots.
The F-35A, which has a wingspan of 11 meters and is 16 meters in length, is equipped with advanced sensor equipment that is believed to have missile detection and tracking capabilities.
IHI Corp. produces engine parts for the jets that will be supplied to the ASDF, while Mitsubishi Electric handles production of radar components. Countries that plan to introduce the F-35 have adopted a system to share parts, including those made in Japan.
In 2013, Japan excluded domestically manufactured F-35 parts from its arms export ban, saying that Japanese companies’ participation in the production is indispensable for maintaining fighter jet operation and maintenance bases in the country.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has won a nearly quarter of a billion dollar US Navy order to buy air vehicle spares for the F-35 Lightning II for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and foreign military sales. "Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Fort Worth, Texas is being awarded a $244
Australia has signed a contract worth $37.5 million with Lockheed Martin to provide portable facilities which will house top secret systems and support staff for Air Force operations deployed overseas, primarily for the new Joint Strike Fighters
Canada has paid $30 million to develop its version of the F-35 fighter jet that could become insurance in the trade dispute between US's Boeing and Canada's Bombardier. The annual payment was made to the US military at the end of April, the Department of National Defence said in the Canadian Press Friday
Lockheed Martin has been awarded $137 million contract to cut the costs of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Department of Defense said in a press release. "Lockheed Martin Corp
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation of Japan announced changes to its organizational structure to strengthen the MRJ aircraft program. The changes which will take effect from January 1, 2018 include a newly established Program Management Division to reinforce the development and management of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) program, a company release said
Inmarsat has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the launch provider for the first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 fleet (Inmarsat-6 F1). The value of the contract has not been disclosed
Japanese Mitsubishi Aircraft posted a net loss of 51.1 billion yen ($454 million) at the end of March due to delays in the development of Japans regional jet
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The first F-35 fighter jet assembled in Japan has completed its two hours maiden flight. The aircraft's test flight from an airport in Japan's central Aichi prefecture took about two hours, Japan's NHK broadcaster reported
Israel's Ministry of Defense recently sent a letter to the US Department of Defense to complete the purchase of 17 F-35 jets, Israel's Walla News reported on Thursday. Each plane costs approximately US$100 million
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