Italy joins ´the Japanese club´ – another joint air exercises over Land of the Rising Sun

On 25th July 2023, the Japanese Ministry of Defence informed about two more joint live-fly exercises to be held in the country´s airspace during the upcoming months. Those bilateral training activities, as stated in the official announcements, will be organized by the Japan Air Self Defence Forces together with the Italian Air Force (ITAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Last week we have informed about the training activity organized by the French Air and Space Forces (FASF) and the Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF). That joint exercise – the first ever in history of the both air forces – began on 26th July and was concluded today.

French deployment to Japan was related to previous activities of the German Air Force. In 2020, the JASDF launched the series of joint exercises with European partners, performing some bilateral trainings in the Indo-Pacific region with the Luftwaffe and its Eurofighter jets deployed there.

Now, Italy seems to be the next country to join ´the Japanese club´. The first-ever joint air exercise of the JASDF and the ITAF is planned to be held between 2nd and 10th August. Similarly to the previous training with the French fighters, the August exercise is aimed to improve the JASDF tactical skills and to promote mutual understanding, as well as to tighten further defence cooperation to realize a ´Free and Open Indo-Pacific´.

According to the Japanese MoD, the Italian deployment will include approximately 160 military personnel and nine aircraft, including: four F-35A Lightning II fighters from the 6th and 32nd Wings, three KC-767 air tankers, one G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning aeroplane and one C-130J Hercules airlifter.

F-15J Eagle of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (photo: © JASDF)

For that exercise, the JASDF will assign the force including four F-15J Eagle fighters from the 6th Air Wing, one KC-767 tanker and one control and warning aeroplane.

Two weeks after the Italo-Japanese exercise, the JASDF is going to hold another bilateral training, this time organized together with its long-time partner from the Pacific region, the RAAF. That training activity is planned to last from 23rd August to 15th September 2023.

Following information shared by the Japanese MoD, the Australian deployment will include approximately 140 military personnel and nine aircraft: six F-35A Lightning II fighters from the 81st Wing, one KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aeroplane, as well as one C-130J and one C-17 airlifters.

The JASDF will participate with six F-35As from the 3rd Air Wing, ten F-15Js from the 6th Air Wing, four F-2s from the 7th Air Wing and another six F-15Js from the Air Tactics Development Wing. The fighter formation will be supported by KC-767 tankers and the Central Aircraft Control and Warning Wing.

During the both abovementioned exercises, participating aircraft will be based at Komatsu air base. The training activities will be performed in the nearby airspace.

F-35A Lighning II of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (photo: © JASDF)

Cover photo: F-35 Lightning II, Italian Air Force. Photo 1 and 2 – © official JASDF website. Information from Japan Ministry of Defence press releases were used.