The Japanese F-35 that crashed off the coast of Japan has been found, and recovery efforts are underway, a U.S. Air Force commander has said.

“The aircraft’s been located. It’s now in the recovery aspect,” said Charles Brown, Commander Pacific Air Forces, in a briefing for reporters in New York yesterday.

Since the Japanese-built jet disappeared early in April, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force and the US military have poured searched for its wreckage as it could expose sensitive military technology if retrieved by China or Russia.

The Japanese National Security Council and Cabinet recently authorised acquisition for 104 additional F-35s beyond the already approved 42 F-35s.

Total procurement is now established at 147 F-35 aircraft which will make Japan the largest international customer in the F-35 Programme.

Japan originally selected the F-35A to replace Japan’s aging F-4 aircraft. Japan’s latest decision to further extend the requirement by another 104 F-35s to replace 100+ pre-MSIP F-15Js reflects Japanese confidence in the jet, say Lockheed.

In addition to the 42 F-35As already authorised, Japan also approved for the first time, acquisition of a STOVL version. Expected mix of the additional 102 aircraft will be 62 F-35As and 42 STOVL jets to be produced and delivered in the future.

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Mark Forsyth

Is there a typo in the 3rd paragraph “Japanese built jet”?
I googled it, but found no mention of the F35 actually being built in Japan !


Japanese F-35s are assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi. The Japanese got that benefit due to their defense ties with DOD and Japanese companies being so involved in American aerospace industries.


Shame we couldn’t get to build them in the UK being such a high level partner in the programme.


I suspect that would mean a bigger cost per plane if built here under license, which would be difficult to sell to treasury. However the added tax income and capability always get omitted from the cost v benefit analysis. Or do we even have a cost v benefit analysis? Everyone else seems to push for home built in all manner of defense programmes (India, Turkey, Australia, Canada etc) and we always think that just the base cost is the main factor.


We build 15-18% of every single f35 produced much more work in that contract than us building 100% of our f35s

Mark Forsyth

Elliott, cheers for the update.

Michael Briggs

There is conflicting information suggesting that the missing aircraft has not been located. Can you update the article to reflect this?

andy reeves

how many f35’s do we have?

Paul T

16 at the last count,not sure if there are any more deliveries planned for this year though.

Nigel Collins
Leonardo García

It’s good for the USAF and the JASDF.
But what about the pilot?


Rest in Peace to the pilot of that aircraft…



Yes sadly the news piece doesn’t mention the pilot. Strange omission.