Lockheed Martin is working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on a local final assembly and checkout line for the F-35 Lightning II. The first Japanese-produced F-35 is scheduled to roll off Mitsubishi’s Nagoya line in 2017, says John Balderson, director of Japan F-35 business development for Lockheed Martin.
“We are greatly honoured that Japan chose the F-35,” he adds, speaking to Flightglobal on the sidelines of the Japan Aerospace show in Nagoya. “We have tremendous faith in their industry.”
Last December, Tokyo selected the F-35 in its F-X competition for 42 aircraft to replace its obsolescent McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms. The stealthy type won the bid against competitors Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
For the complete story by Flightglobal’s Greg Waldron, click here.