Japan unveils first domestically assembled F-35 fighter

Huang Panyue

TOKYO, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Japan unveiled on Monday the first domestically assembled F-35 fighter at the Komakiminami factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Aichi Prefecture.

The company is scheduled to assemble and test-fly two F-35 fighters and deliver them to the Defense Ministry by March, according to local reports.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force has planned to procure a total of 42 F-35 fighters. Four of the fighters were manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. and have already been delivered to Japan's Defense Ministry, while the remaining 38 will be assembled domestically.

Local manufacturers will supply engines and some parts for the fighters, and Mitsubishi Heavy will assemble and test-fly them, according to the ministry.

The fighter jets will be deployed at Misawa Air Base in Aomori prefecture, northeastern Japan in succession from the end of fiscal 2017, according to the ministry.

F-35 fighter jets are a family of single-seat, single-engine fighters that feature high stealth capabilities and mobility, and are designed to perform ground attack and air defense missions.

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