Japan’s first F-35A arrived at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, on 28th November in preparation for the start of Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) pilot training.
The aircraft was welcomed by a joint delegation from the 944 Fighter Wing, 56th Fighter Wing, Lockheed Martin, and Japanese staff.
Over the next several years, Luke AFB will be training F-35 pilots from Japan, Israel and South Korea along with partner nations including Australia, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada.
The aircraft, the first of the 42 F-35As ordered by Japan, was rolled out on 23rd September. An initial batch of four aircraft built in Fort Worth is scheduled for delivery by the end of the year. The remainder will be assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) at the Final Assembly & Check-Out facility in Nagoya.