Japan Prepares to Build a Final Assembly Line for the F-35

2013-03-24

Similar to Italy, Japan is going to build a FAL similar to what Italy has built, according to Jane’s. 

According to Jon Grevatt in an article posted on 3/22/13:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is preparing to invest billions of yen to construct an assembly line to support its licensed production of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, according to reports in Japan. 

MHI has neither confirmed nor denied the development. An MHI spokesman told IHS Jane’s on 21 March that the reports were not based on the corporation’s own announcements, but declined to comment further. 

Citing MHI sources, however, Japanese news agencies said the group will commence the construction of the F-35 manufacturing site later this year at its Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works Komaki Minami Plant in Aichi Prefecture. This plant was also the centre of MHI’s production of the F-2 multirole fighter aircraft, developed in the 1990s in conjunction with Lockheed Martin. MHI ended the serial production of the F-2, which is based on the F-16, in September 2011. 

Reports said the F-35 manufacturing plant will be completed by 2016, around one year before the first Japanese-produced F-35 is scheduled to be delivered to the Japan Air Self-Defence Force. It is also possible that in future years the Nagoya site will become an F-35 repair facility for US Air Force F-35s based in the region.

http://www.janes.com/products/janes/defence-security-report.aspx?ID=1065977433

We earlier wrote about the Italian facility and that report can be found here:

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-italian-f-35-faco-a-key-asset-in-the-global-f-35-support-system/

As we pointed out there, and reinforce here, this is an example of how global investment works in the F-35 program.  Nations invest in their own needs and US forces in their respective regions can benefit from a new maintainence and repair facility in those regions.

What is not to like about leveraged investment the roll out of 21st century capabilities?

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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