18 F-2B aircraft were damaged by the tsunami that struck Matsushima Air Base in 2011. Of these, 13 are being repaired. Source: PA Photos
The Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) rolled out the first of 13 F-2B fighter aircraft to undergo repairs to damage caused by the March 2011 tsunami.
A ceremony to mark to the completion of repairs on the first aircraft (serial number 03-8106) by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Lockheed Martin was held at MHI's Komaki South Plant on 21 April.
According to the JASDF, this aircraft will be used for pilot training at Misawa Air Base, before being transferred to Matsushima Air Base.
The JASDF suffered serious damage to 18 of its 31 F-2B aircraft in the tsunami that inundated Matsushima Air Base on the northwest coast of Japan, about 300 km north of Tokyo. Work to fix 13 of these began in December 2013, with the remaining five deemed to be beyond economic repair.
Once repairs are complete, the JASDF will have 28 twin-seat F-2B and 63 single-seat F-2A aircraft in its inventory.
The F-2, which is based on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, entered JASDF service in 2000. As well as the repairs being carried out on the tsunami-damaged aircraft, the fleet is being upgraded to improve its air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities.
Japan completes repairs on first tsunami-damaged F-2B fighter - IHS Jane's 360