F-35 for Japan


JASDF's Next Generation Fighter

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

Japan’s program of record is 147 aircraft. In December 2018, the Japan Ministry of Defense announced its decision to increase its procurement of F-35s from 42 to 147. They stated the aircraft will be a mix of 105 F-35As and 42 STOVLS. 

Program Stats

  • Aircraft Variant: F-35A / STOVL
  • Program of Record: 105 F-35As / 42 STOVLs
  • Aircraft Delivered: 13
  • Flight Hours: 2,500+
  • Pilots Trained: 18
  • Maintainers Training: 210

Economic Impact

  • MROU: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and IHI host FACO and MROU facilities

Base Locations

  • Misawa Air Base

Program Milestones 

  • 2011: The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant as the next generation fighter of choice for the JASDF
  • 2016: The first Japanese F-35, known as AX-1, took flight in Fort Worth, TX
  • 2016 - First aircraft delivery was October 2016 to Luke AFB, AZ
  • 2018: The 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.