Japan deployed its first F-35A stealth aircraft this Friday and sent it to the Misawa Air Base , in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, to monitor the latest movements of North Korea.
The decision is the first step to a more ambitious plan by the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. According to reports, it plans to deploy a total of ten F-35A to the military base during the next fiscal year that begins in April .
“The deployment of the high-performance F-35 aircraft is important for the safety of Japan at a time when neighboring countries have been rapidly increasing the capabilities of their air forces in recent years,” said Itsunori Onodera , the Minister of Defending.
The Japanese objective is to acquire a total of 42 F-35A aircraft, which stand out for their ability to evade detection by radar . Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp., the F-35A aircraft is the successor of F-4 fighter aircraft.
In addition, Japan has allocated funds for the purchase of long- range JSM (Joint Strike Missile), the only ones of its kind that can be integrated into the internal bays of the F-35A. They have the capacity to attack naval and terrestrial targets.
However, “the introduction of the missiles is not aimed at attacking the enemy’s military bases, we depend on the attack capabilities of the United States to attack enemy bases and this will not change ,” Onodera warned.
Before flying to the base, the F-35A deployed at Misawa was assembled and inspected at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plant in Aichi Prefecture, in central Japan.
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