Lock­heed Martin and Ja­pan Cel­e­brate Roll Out of Ja­pan Air Self De­fense Force’s First F-35A

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

FORT WORTH. Se­nior Ja­panese and US govern­ment of­fi­cials joined Lock­heed Martin Septem­ber 23 to cel­e­brate the roll out of the first Ja­pan Air Self De­fense Force (JASDF) F-35A Light­ning

II, mark­ing a ma­jor mile­stone in Ja­pan’s en­hanced na­tional de­fence and strength­en­ing the fu­ture of the US-Ja­pan se­cu­rity al­liance.

T he cer­e­mony was at­tended by more than 400 guests from both gov­ern­ments, mil­i­taries and de­fence in­dus­tries. Kenji Wakamiya, Ja­pan’s State Min­is­ter of De­fense spoke at the event, say­ing, “With its low ob­serv­abil­ity and network ca­pa­bil­ity, the F- 35 is the most ad­vanced air sys­tem with cut­ting-edge ca­pa­bil­ity as a multi-role fighter. As the se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment sur­round­ing Ja­pan has be­come in­creas­ingly se­vere, be­cause of its ex­cel­lence, it is very sig­nif­i­cant for the de­fence of Ja­pan to com­mit to ac­quir­ing the F-35 year by year. Given that the United States Govern­ment has des­ig­nated Ja­pan as a re­gional de­pot in the Asia-Pa­cific area, in­tro­duc­tion of F-35A to Ja­pan is a per­fect ex­am­ple, en­hanc­ing the Ja­pan-US al­liance.”

Gen. Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, JASDF Chief of Air Staff, said, “The F-35A has re­mark­ably ad­vanced sys­tem. This highly so­phis­ti­cated 5th gen­er­a­tion fighter will bring a great de­vel­op­ment to air op­er­a­tions as a game changer. In in­te­gra­tion with cur­rent JASDF as­sets, it surely prom­ises to enor­mously con­trib­ute to not only the ben­e­fit of our na­tional de­fence but also re­gional sta­bil­ity.”

The first four air­craft are 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.

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