US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin on Wednesday rolled out the first of 40 F-35A fighter jet of South Korea in a ceremony held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.
The remaining fifth-generation stealth fighters are expected to be the delivered to South Korea over the next three to four years. Under the 2014 deal, South Korea agreed to pay about $7 billion for the planes.
"Today is a truly meaningful day as we celebrate the roll-out of ROKAF's first F-35A, the world's best fighter jet, which will secure the sovereign airspace of the Republic of Korea," the Republic of Korea's Minister of Defense Song Young-moo said in a previously recorded message. "The deployment of the F-35 will serve as momentum to enhance the combined operations of the ROK-U.S. Air Forces, and advance ROKAF's support capabilities for ground operations."
The South Korean military is also considering procuring 20 additional F-35A jets sometime in mid-2020.
“It‘s true that a preliminary study is under way at the request of the military (for additional procurement),” Kang Hwan-seok, spokesman for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration was quoted as saying by Korean herald. “Once it’s done, we will craft an acquisition program strategy”.
If deployed as scheduled, the F-35A is expected to bolster South Korea’s capability to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missile threat. Equipped with precision strike capabilities, the stealth fighter will better destroy North Korea’s missile launch sites and command-and-control facilities.
“Based on advanced stealth capabilities, the F-35A will make a huge contribution to deterring the war as it can conduct selective strikes by sneaking into the enemy’s territory without further reinforcements,” the DAPA said in a statement.
The F-35A stealth fighter is capable of carrying precision-guided bombs such as Joint Direct Attack Munition and other devices for electronic warfare. Those capabilities allow the F-35A to operate deep in the North Korean territory without being shot down by the heavily-dense anti-missile system in Pyongyang.
The United States Forces Japan welcomed the first operational Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft to the Misawa Air Base during a commemoration ceremony, held on February 24. This is the second aircraft assembled at Mitsubishis facility in Nagoya, Japan
The Japanese government is considering purchase of additional 25 or more Lockheed Martin-built F-35A aircraft, to be directly purchased from the US plant rather than assemble locally. "In view of budgets and production schedules, a new acquisition of around 25 planes is appropriate," a Japanese official told Reuters Wednesday
The first F-35A stealth fighter jet of Japans Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) is expected to be commissioned to the Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture on Friday, Japanese media said quoting Defense Ministry officials Monday. The fighter was assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd
Norway takes delivery of first three F-35A Lighting II aircraft from the US firm Lockheed Martin in a ceremony at Ørland Air Base, on Friday. “We mark the start of a new era for the Norwegian Armed Forces,” said Norways Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen
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Lockheed Martin has won a $171 million worth contract for performing work on F-35 Lightning II air system, the Department of defense announced Tuesday. “Lockheed Martin Corp
South Korea scrambled F-15K fighter jets to intercept a Chinese reconnaissance plane when it entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) at around 7:10 a.m on friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will take delivery of the first of 30 US-built F-35 fighters on June 21 in a ceremony that will be held in the U.S
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Seoul has begun dismantling loudspeakers used in propoganda warfare with Pyongyang while the latter has promised to do the same following an inter-Korea summit between the leaders of both states. South Korea on Monday announced a plan to remove propaganda loudspeakers along the border with North Korea
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