The F-35 is the most expensive and one of the most controversial weapons systems in U.S. history, is on the way to Japan to become a "cornerstone" of American defense in the Pacific. The first of the marine Corps, the U.S. F-35 left Arizona on Monday on initial deployment abroad for stealth aircraft.
These planes are sent to marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, near Hiroshima, on the Japanese main island of Honshu. Dispatch aircraft in Iwakuni shows that Washington "is ready to protect Japan with the most capable and modern equipment in the inventory of the United States," said an email to 1st Lieutenant Carolyn Ft of marine expeditionary group III in Japan.
"It will be the cornerstone of a reusable joint force with improved flexibility and the ability to effectively destroy both air and ground threats," said Ft. The Marines are touting the versatility of the F-35, calling it "a true force multiplier."
"The unique combination of stealth, advanced radar and sensor technologies and electronic systems of warfare gives access to and lethality capabilities to the fifth generation fighter", the statement said the Marine. Single-engine F-35 comes in three variants. Version for the USAF, the B version for the Marines, and version C will join the fleet of the U.S. Navy. The F-35 also sold and manufactured by American allies around the world, including Japan, which received its first unit in December.
The F-35B for the marine corps differs from other versions in that it is capable of taking off vertically below the aircraft could operate from amphibious ships essentially small aircraft carriers. It replaces the AV-8B Harrier, which has been in operation since the late 1970-ies.
The Marines said that the deployment in Japan is part of the rotation of the Obama administration in Asia and not associated with any of the current specific situation. Representatives of the Ministry of defense say that the F-35 has advantages over Chinese stealth fighters such as J-20, which Beijing has demonstrated to the public for the first time in November.
sections: Politics, World News, Accidents