- 7 أبريل 2017
The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to be built in Japan was rolled out on 5 June.
The conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A for the Japan Air Self-Defense force (JASDF) was unveiled at the site of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Nagoya in central Japan.
Japan is one of only two F-35 customers outside of the United States to have a FACO production facility, with Italy being the other. The JASDF is to receive 42 F-35As, of which 38 will be built by MHI at its FACO (the first four aircraft are being built by Lockheed Martin at its Fort Worth facility in Texas). Designated AX-5, work on this first Japanese-produced aircraft began in December 2015.
As well as assembling aircraft, the FACO will also provide maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade services to F-35s based in the North Asia-Pacific region from about 2018. The FACO at Nagoya is part of a wider industrial F-35A package for Japan that includes airframe parts manufacture for MHI, engine assembly for the IHI Corporation, and the production of electrical components by Mitsubishi Electric.