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.
The JASDF has ordered 147 F-35aircraft consisting of 105 F-35As and up to 42 F-35Bs making Japan the largest foreign customer. The first F-35A will go to Misawa along with nine others by the end of 2018. Because of restrictions barring military aircraft from operations at the Shimochijima Airport on Ryukyu Islands the longest runways the JASDF have decided to deploy the F-35B variant to airports with shorter runways. Using F-35Bs on Izumo-class helicopter destroyers is under consideration. Perhaps changing some F-35A orders to F-35B.