Defense and security ties between Tokyo and Canberra continue to expand at a rapid pace, with Japan set to send its F-35 fighter aircraft to northern Australia next week on their first-ever overseas deployment.

An Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) contingent of four F-35As, supported by an aerial tanker, three transport aircraft and about 160 personnel, will take part in a long-range navigation and aerial refueling training exercise from next Monday through Sept. 2, the ASDF announced earlier this week.

The deployment will see the aircraft fly via Andersen Air Base on the U.S. territory of Guam and then continue to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) Tindal and Darwin bases in Australia’s Northern Territory.