Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced on 26 January that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF’s) first F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter has been deployed to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan.
The recently deployed conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A was assembled and inspected at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan before flying to Misawa.
Onodera said the aircraft is the first of 10 F-35As that will be deployed to the base during fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018). Defense officials told Jane’s on 29 January that about 40 such fighter aircraft eventually will be stationed at the base to form two squadrons.
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