As China increases naval pressure near Taiwan, US F-35B Lightning II aircraft with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121 land at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Jan. 18, 2017, to begin the aircraft’s first overseas mission. The F-35s are expected to replace the F/A-18 and AV-8 Harrier aircraft currently deployed in Japan.

The F-35B Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter, which is the world’s first operational supersonic short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft. The F-35B brings strategic agility, operational flexibility and tactical supremacy to III MEF with a mission radius greater than that of the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier II in support of the U.S. – Japan alliance.

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