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- The first Japanese-manufactured F-35A was rolled out Monday in Nagoya, Japan. The aircraft was unveiled at Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out, or FACO, facility, which is operated by Mitsubishi with the assistance of F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin and oversight from the U.S. government.
- The unveiling event was attended by more than 200 people, including leaders in the defense industry and Japanese and U.S. governments.
- “Seeing the first Japanese built F-35A is a testament to the global nature of this program”, said Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 program executive officer. “The F-35 will enhance the strength of our security alliances and reinforce long-established bonds with our allies through training opportunities, exercises, and military-to-military events.”
- The former F-35 program head, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, said in 2014 that Japan invested its own funds into the building of this facility and it was a big factor in their selection.
- Lockheed Martin has delivered four F-35As from its Fort Worth line to the Japan Air Self Defense Force, but the JASDF’s remaining 38 F-35s will be assembled in at the Nagoya FACO.