The first Japanese-assembled F-35A was unveiled out of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility on Monday.
The Japanese F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin and oversight from the US Government.
New F-35 program executive officer Vice Admiral Mat Winter attended the milestone event.
“Seeing the first Japanese built F-35A is a testament to the global nature of this program,” he said. “This state of the art assembly facility, staffed with a talented and motivated workforce, enables us to leverage industry’s unique talents and technological know-how to produce the world’s best multi-role fighter.”
The Japanese Ministry of Defense competitively selected the F-35A as the JASDF’s next-generation air defense fighter in December 2011, with a Foreign Military Sales program of record of 42 F-35As. The first four JASDF F-35As were previously delivered from the Fort Worth, Texas production facility. Subsequent deliveries of 38 F-35A aircraft will come from the local FACO.
Additionally, the US Department of Defense selected the Nagoya FACO in 2014 for the North Asia-Pacific regional heavy airframe Maintenance Repair Overhaul & and Upgrade (MROU) facility.
More than 220 operational F-35s have been built and delivered worldwide and they have collectively flown more than 95,000 flight hours.
The Italian FACO in Cameri, Italy, rolled out its first F-35A on 12 March 2015. It also rolled out the first F-35B in May this year. The first production F-35 rolled out of the Fort Worth, Texas FACO on 20 February 2006.