Japan Deploys First F-35A Stealth Fighter

Di Vincenzo Santo*

(Da The Diplomat del 30 gennaio 2018)

Tokio. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has deployed its first F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the aircraft, at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture in the northernmost part of Honshu on January 26, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced last week. […] The deployment takes place in the face of North Korea’s growing military capabilities and aggressive posturing on the Korean Peninsula. Japan plans to induct a total of 42 F-35As in the coming years. […]

The JASDFs first batch of four F-35As were all built in the United States, while the remaining 38 F-35A aircraft are currently being assembled in Japan. […] While the aircraft is assembled in Japan, it does not include any Japanese-made parts, which has led to some consternation among Japanese defense contractors. […]

The procurement was estimated at 9.6 billion yen ($88.5 million) for a single plane as of fiscal 2012, but the price tag rose to 17.9 billion yen in fiscal 2016, […] The F-35 will be armed with new long-range stand-off missiles, including the precision-guided JSM (Joint Strike Missile), originally developed as an anti-ship missile, with a range of about 500 kilometers (310 miles). “The JSM, co-developed by U.S. defense contractor Raytheon and Norwegian defense company Kongsberg Gruppen, is a fifth-generation cruise missile specifically designed to fit inside the F-35A’s weapons bay to maintain the aircraft’s stealth capabilities,” […]

The JASDFs first batch of four F-35As were all built in the United States

*Generale CA ris