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Mitsubishi Heavy unveils F-35 stealth fighter assembled in Japan

Japanese company will build 38 of the 42 jets ordered by government

NAGOYA, Japan -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin unveiled on Monday the first of the F-35A stealth fighter jets to be assembled in Japan for the country's air force.

The Japanese government decided in 2011 to purchase 42 of the fighters as the successor to the F4. Under the agreement, four of them to be built in the U.S. and delivered as finished products, with the remaining 38 to be assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy in Japan under contract with Lockheed. The Japanese group has the task of welding the tail and fuselage and other components together and conducting the testing to confirm the stealthiness of the planes.

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