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Japan Air Self-Defense Force's 5th Generation Fighter

The F-35 Lightning II is designed and built to counter the most advanced threats – making it a perfect fit for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

Program Stats

As a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) participant, the JASDF has an established program of record of 147 F-35 Aircraft, consisting of 105 F-35 A models and up to 42 F-35 B models. Japan is acquiring the most F-35s of any international customer.

Japan’s FACO and MRO&U Facilities

Nagoya, Japan is home to one of three final assembly and check-out (FACO) facilities for the F-35 Lightning II program. In partnership with Japanese industry, the FACO facility performs  the final assembly and check-out of F-35A aircraft to be delivered to the JASDF. Japan’s F-35Bs will be produced in the U.S. at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

To ensure the global readiness of the F-35 fleet well into the future, the F-35 Enterprise is standing up Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade (MRO&U) sites around the globe. With the Initial Depot Capability declared in June 2020, the site is now conducting MRO&U activities for the North Asia region, providing component repair and maintenance for the growing global F-35 fleet.

Base Locations

Japan operates the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) and 301st TFS, part of the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing, at Misawa AB.

Program Milestones
  • 2011: Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant as the next generation fighter of choice for the JASDF
  • 2016: First Japanese F-35, known as AX-1, took flight in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2016: First Japanese aircraft was delivered to Luke AFB, Arizona
  • 2018: First JASDF F-35 was delivered to Misawa Air Base, Japan
  • 2018: Japan announced as part of the Mid-Term Defense Plan (MTDP) an additional 105 F-35 Aircraft to their program of record
  • 2019: JASDF declared Initial Operational Capability with the 302nd TFS
  • 2020: Initial Depot Capability was declared for the F-35 MRO&U Depot at Komaki
  • 2020: JASDF activated their second F-35A squadron, the 301st TFS