First Operational JASDF F-35A Makes Its Debut At Misawa AB
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Blue skies and snowy mountains welcomed the first operational Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A Lightning II during an arrival ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Jan. 26.
Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman
In the upcoming Japanese fiscal year, nine more aircraft will join this one to incept the first fifth-generation fighter squadron as part of the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing.
"The F-35A will bring transformation in air defense power and significantly contribute to the peace for citizens and ensure security,” said JASDF Maj. Gen. Kenichi Samejima, the 3rd AW commander. “All service members will do their best to secure flight safety and promptly establish an operational [squadron] structure step-by-step."
The aircraft is a high-performance, multirole aircraft with advanced electronics designed to heighten situational awareness and distribute more information to pilots than any other fighter aircraft, giving operators a critical advantage over adversaries. Japan is one of 12 countries to purchase the F-35A in efforts to maximize air superiority.