Japan and F-35 Production


2013-10-04 In addition to building a Final Assembly Line similar to the one in Italy, Japanese firms are building parts for the global supply chain.

According to an October 3, 2013, UPI story:

The Japanese government has confirmed three domestic companies will manufacture parts for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighters destined for Japan’s air force.

Under the $893 million deal, IHI Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric will manufacture engine and radar parts.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will lead the final assembly process, Japan’s Kyodo News reported.

MHI gets the lion’s share of the work, worth about $651 million. IHI will get $185 million worth of work and Mitsubishi Electric’s share will be worth about $57 million on the 42 aircraft on order.

The contracts follow the government’s decision announced in March to allow local companies to join F-35 parts production.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at the time that Japan will uphold its long-standing ban on arms exports, the Kyodo report said.

But Japan would allow domestic companies to make parts for the F-35 only on the grounds the United States controls shipments.

Later in the story it was reported that:

A report by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun in August said the U.S. government had authorized 24 components for the aircraft’s engine and radar system to be produced in Japan.

Japanese-made parts will account for about 10 percent of the aircraft’s value and the door has been left open for more parts and systems made in Japan.

Asahi Shimbun said the United States agreed to allow Japanese companies to supply a maximum of 40 percent of the components, but using more Japanese-made parts would push up the price for the aircraft by 50 percent.

For Japanese companies to manufacture more parts, the government and private sector would have to invest millions of dollars for tooling up factories.

The newspaper also reported that the Defense Ministry said IHI will manufacture 17 parts for engine fans and turbines, while Mitsubishi Electric will produce seven radar system components, including signal receivers.

(Editor’s Note: The reference is to the Japanese purchased F-35s.)

For the rest of the story go to the following link: