Losses and Aviation Safety

First Japanese-assembled F-35A has crashed. Twelve remaining JASDF F-35As grounded.

The mishap aircraft, F-35A #79-8705 (construction number AX-05), is the first Japanese-assembled F-35A, and was rolled out in Nagoya on Jun. 5, 2017.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-35A belonging to 302 Hikotai from Misawa Air Base that went missing on Apr. 9, 2019 has crashed. Debris of the wreckage of the JASDF Lighting II was localized two hours later after it disappeared from radar.

Unfortunately, the pilot has not been found yet.

The mishap aircraft, F-35A #79-8705 (construction number AX-05), is the first Japanese-assembled F-35A, and was rolled out in Nagoya on Jun. 5, 2017.

The stealth fighter crashed while on a training flight 135km away from Misawa Air Base. It was flying over the Pacific Ocean then.

As we have reported, the Maritime Self-Defense Force, Coast Guard dispatched aircraft and ships to conduct search for the missing pilot. A US Navy P-8A is involved in the search and rescue operation over the Pacific too.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35A Lightning II 56th OG, 61st FS, LF/12-5050 / 2014

According to Scramble Magazine, currently, the twelve remaining F-35As of the JASDF are grounded.

#79-8705 was unveiled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Nagoya. The Japanese F-35 FACO is operated by MHI with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin and oversight from the US Government. The aircraft was flown to the US after its roll-out, and was temporarily assigned to the 944th OG at Luke AFB (AZ). It returned to Japan in May 2018.

Ten F-35As were delivered to Misawa Air Base last year.

Tokyo ordered a total of 42 F-35As in late 2011, with the existing order updated to include 63 more F-35As and 42 F-35Bs by late 2018, with Japan becoming the second-largest buyer of Lockheed Martin’s fifth generation stealth fighter.

This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

Photo credit:  Japan Air Self Defense Force

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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