A Japan Defence Agency (JDA) advisory panel has declared the new Mitsubishi F-2 support fighter ready for deployment, with the first aircraft due to enter operational service by the end of this month.

According to the JDA, the decision requires approval from the JDA director-general Kazuo Torashima, but the intention is to deploy one F-2 at the Japan Air Self Defence Force's Misawa air base on 26 September. The agency still plans to deploy 19 F-2s at Misawa in the fiscal year ending in March, despite repeated delays to the entry-into-service date.

According to the JDA, Torashima is expected to grant final approval for the deployment on 25 September.

Source: Flight International