Lockheed said Monday MHI operates the F-35 FACO in Japan with technical support from Lockheed personnel and oversight from U.S. government officials.
The launch ceremony was attended by Japanese and U.S. government and defense industry leaders, Lockheed added.
Japan’s defense ministry opted to buy 42 F-35As to serve as the Japanese air force’s next-generation fighter in 2011 following a competitive procurement process.
Lockheed delivered the first four F-35 aircraft to Japan from the company’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Japanese air force will receive the next 38 F-35As from the Nagoya FACO facility, Lockheed noted.
The Defense Department also selected the Japan-based FACO in 2014 to serve as the North Asia-Pacific regional heavy airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade facility.