The Lockheed F-35 is an advanced stealth fifth generation fighter combining speed and superb agility. There are three variants; F-35A, B and C. The F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and has four internal weapons stations in two weapons bays plus three optional external weapons stations. The F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant while the F-35C is a CV (Carrier Variant). The F-35 will replace the USAF A-10 and F-16, the F/A-18 for the USN and the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the USMC.
F-35A 69-8701 USAF 14-5114, AX-01 was completed on November 17, 2016 and delivered to the USAF 944 OG for training Japanese pilots. In July 2018 69-8701 (AX-01) along with AX-02, AX-03, AX-04 and AX-05 arrived at Misawa where they joined Rinji F-35A Hikotai which would become 302 Hikotai. These 5 new F-35As will join AX-06 (89-8706 and AX-07 (89-8707) hadn’t been used for training and arrived earlier. As of July 13, 2020 the JASDF operates 17 F-35A Lightning IIs operated by 302 Hikotai at Misawa Air Base.