Japan Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
The F-2 program was a necessary step in the learning curve and the entry price to pay for Japan to become a serious player in fighter jet development. Among all the aspirants like India, Turkey, S. Korea etc., Japan has the greatest chance of success because of her F-2 program.
Yes , maybe. But where's the end product? Apart for this F16 modification. I know some of you call this new plane. But what ever. Other nations have produced their own plane with that amount of money thrown in. Thinking of India, Korea, even Taiwan.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
India’s indigenous fighter program is hardly a success story, same for Taiwan. In both cases those are mostly bridges until they figure/figured out a longer term more powerful import solution. All three also are at best flight trainers replacing far older vehicles dating from the 1950s either in the form of Mig 21 (India) or F5 Tiger or T38 Talon. In the case of both the ROC and ROK they bought F16s because political winds shifted.
In the case of India they are looking at A number of medium weight fighters in both naval and ground based options.

T50 wasn’t entirely indigenous as LM was involved with the program and it builds of F16 in some ways. Not as directly as F2 but it’s not a totally Korean machine.

In the case of Japan, they got a arguably more powerful F16 in F2. Although it takes elements of the Agile Falcon concept they then gave it a total overhaul. Calling it a modified F16 it like calling the SU35 just a modification of SU27. Its true to a point but leaves a lot out of the equation. That’s not to say the program was flawless it could have been faster and less expensive has Japan and GD/LM not worked the deal they did with a lot of redundancy in the system.
 

Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
India’s indigenous fighter program is hardly a success story, same for Taiwan. In both cases those are mostly bridges until they figure/figured out a longer term more powerful import solution. All three also are at best flight trainers replacing far older vehicles dating from the 1950s either in the form of Mig 21 (India) or F5 Tiger or T38 Talon. In the case of both the ROC and ROK they bought F16s because political winds shifted.
In the case of India they are looking at A number of medium weight fighters in both naval and ground based options.

T50 wasn’t entirely indigenous as LM was involved with the program and it builds of F16 in some ways. Not as directly as F2 but it’s not a totally Korean machine.

In the case of Japan, they got a arguably more powerful F16 in F2. Although it takes elements of the Agile Falcon concept they then gave it a total overhaul. Calling it a modified F16 it like calling the SU35 just a modification of SU27. Its true to a point but leaves a lot out of the equation. That’s not to say the program was flawless it could have been faster and less expensive has Japan and GD/LM not worked the deal they did with a lot of redundancy in the system.
I appreciate your insight on this. So if my understanding is correct, to sum up:

India's end product is not up to much.
Both ROC and ROK is only a trainer.

So Japan's F2 is a resounding success. So much so, it is only the F35 that's stopped any further procurement.

But this begs the question, if it's so good, and they have gained so much experience, knowledge. etc from it. Then:

1/ Why don't they build more?
2/ Why don't they develop new models from their experiences?
3/ Why don't the USA buy it to replace their F16s?
 

Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
Yes , maybe. But where's the end product? Apart for this F16 modification. I know some of you call this new plane. But what ever. Other nations have produced their own plane with that amount of money thrown in. Thinking of India, Korea, even Taiwan.
The F-2 isn't nearly as close a twin to the F-16 as the J-11 is to the Su-27, so lets not undermine what major accomplishments these birds are the Japanese/Chinese military aviation industry, to make projections for the future on a "biased" model or "prejudice" has no chance of bringing us to the truth, or even solid facts???

Its the same formula that caused Japan to buy their F-35A's from LockMart, because LockMart can build them much more quickly and cheaply, although they are perfectly capable of building them themselves, but not with a cost or time framework that makes any sense for them to do so...

We always hear that China has large production capacity in reserve?? but that's really not the case in the military aviation manufacturing, which proceeds apace about like it does everywhere else.

My point in mentionioning my Brother's Cessna Cardinal in a discussion the other day was that even Cessna Aircraft, looking to update the C-172 with the C-177, badly miscalculated the difficulty of powering a very similar airframe with the same Lycoming 0-320 E2D, and although the weights are very similar, the Cardinal performed so poorly with it, that Cessna replaced the 150 HP O-320 with the 180 HP O-360.

In addition slots had to be cut into the stabilator in the field to assure the stabilator wouldn't "stall", allowing the nose to fall though and wiping out the nose gear and firewall... those are just two of the very important changes that Cessna aircraft fixed on already delivered aircraft in the field, and incorporated onto the assembly line. By 1970 the full cantilever "laminar flow wing" was replaced with a redesigned wing with a leading edge cusp to improve the low speed handling characteristics of the airframe, a third major change, if you want the full story, just look up the "Cardinal Rule" 23 serious redesigns retro-fit in the field on sold customer aircraft..

that whole issue caused the very lovely Cardinal, an amazing airframe, that actually flies beautifully, but differently, be discontinued after just 10 years of production..

remember, its not nearly as easy as it looks, and bystanders often make very poor observations when it comes to airframes and their manufacturing...
 
Last edited:

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
I appreciate your insight on this. So if my understanding is correct, to sum up:

India's end product is not up to much.
Both ROC and ROK is only a trainer.
Yes.
So Japan's F2 is a resounding success. So much so, it is only the F35 that's stopped any further procurement.
Obviously not.
But this begs the question, if it's so good, and they have gained so much experience, knowledge. etc from it. Then:

1/ Why don't they build more?
2/ Why don't they develop new models from their experiences?
3/ Why don't the USA buy it to replace their F16s?
1) The cost of non export and the way the deal was cut lead to a higher price than Japan could justify huge numbers for.
2) See number 1) add in that soon after the F22 and F35 were launched.
3) The US will replace F16 with F35. The Agile Falcon didn’t offer enough of a step up vs competition to push it to the top in the US with the rise of F22 and later F35 and the Japanese “Prime directive” export bans prohibited export. With the US not buying imported fighters and the F35 F22 coming it wasn’t enough to supplant F16
 

Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
Yes.
Obviously not.

1) The cost of non export and the way the deal was cut lead to a higher price than Japan could justify huge numbers for.
2) See number 1) add in that soon after the F22 and F35 were launched.
3) The US will replace F16 with F35. The Agile Falcon didn’t offer enough of a step up vs competition to push it to the top in the US with the rise of F22 and later F35 and the Japanese “Prime directive” export bans prohibited export. With the US not buying imported fighters and the F35 F22 coming it wasn’t enough to supplant F16
Ok. Bear in mind I'm no expert in this F2. So I'm trying to get am understanding on this.

So we pretty much agree that the other nations aircraft is not go to much.

But by my understanding is the F2 is not either. Yes it is a better aircraft than the F16, but not substantially so. And with the F35 coming, this effectively killed off further F2s. The "self-imposed" ban on exports didn't help to lower unit cost. (But this was known from the start).

Anyway, this all means it is not a resounding success as you put it "obviously not".

So the programme "success" is the learning and experience in building the F2.
But even now, that could be eroded with the purchase of F35.

So where does this lead to Japan's own fighter programme?
 

Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
The F-2 isn't nearly as close a twin to the F-16 as the J-11 is to the Su-27, so lets not undermine what major accomplishments these birds are the Japanese/Chinese military aviation industry, to make projections for the future on a "biased" model or "prejudice" has no chance of bringing us to the truth, or even solid facts???
Thanks, Brat. I appreciate it is not a copy and paste job. I wasn't trying to suggest that. I was trying to get behind the rationale of building the F2 as opposed to getting the latest F16 which seems to me to be similar in capabilities at a cheaper cost.
 

SamuraiBlue

Captain
Here is something to provide rationale with Japan's pursuit for F-3 and purchase of F-35 at the same time.

The F-35 Is Old News: Japan Is Already Reaching For 6th Generation Fighters

Key point: When Jane’s asked a Japanese official what the top five priorities were for the F-3, he listed “capability for future air superiority” first.

Japan’s 2019 Mid-Term Defense review quietly revealed that after years of hesitation, Tokyo has decided to press ahead with development of its own domestically designed sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 air-superiority stealth fighter, rather than purchasing an additional foreign stealth design to supplement its growing fleet of F-35s.

In February 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Defense explicitly
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
these intentions to Jane’s. Reportedly, F-3 performance requirements are set to be released in the 2020 budget, with development officially beginning in 2021 and a first flight targeted for 2030.

The new F-3 jets would then begin replacing Japan’s over one hundred home-built
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
—heavily upgraded (and over-priced) F-16s—starting in the mid to late 2030s.

Later, a Japanese television feature in March 2018
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
of advanced high-thrust XF 9-1 turbofan engines and Active Electronically Scanned Array radars under development for the F-3 program. The special also revealed a projected program development cost of 5 trillion yen—equivalent to nearly $45 billion U.S. dollars. Cost per-plane could easily exceed earlier-cited figures of 20 billion yen ($179 million).

Tokyo’s Stealth-Fighter Odyssey

In 2016, Japan achieved a technological milestone when it flew its Advanced Technology Demonstrator, the X-2 Shinshin. In development since 2007, the ATD cost $350 million and featured innovative composite ceramic/silicon carbide skin and powerful vector-thrust turbofans for extreme maneuverability and super-cruising flight speeds. The Shinshin, described in greater detail in
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, supposedly had a radar cross-section the size of a ‘
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.’

But the ATD was a tech-demonstrator, not a prototype for an actual fully-equipped fighter plane. When Tokyo initially balked at the estimated $40 billion, it froze further development and issued Requests For Information to foreign aviation firms.

The concept of a hybrid of the F-22 airframe with the F-35’s more advanced avionics seemed particularly attractive; but the bill for such a plane remained extremely high at an estimated $215 million per aircraft. Japan also courted Grumman, which decades earlier developed an
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, and British BAe, which is currently developing the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

Either option would have meant committing to build more fifth-generation fighters instead of looking ahead to sixth-generation designs such as the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
and European
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

Furthermore, advanced military aviation industries are very difficult to start up again after lengthy interruption as experienced engineers retire, factories close and technologies become outdated. If Japan didn’t start developing a stealth fighter now, it might become impossible to do so in the future, sinking Tokyo’s hopes of breaking its long-standing dependence on U.S.-based defense companies....... to read further,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
Basically the F-35s and the F-3 have two distinctive missions they will carry out. It's the same as the present situation where F-15Js carries out the superiority fighter role while the F-2 engages in the multi-purpose role.
 

Jura

General
Japan mulls anti-aircraft carrier gliding missiles for remote island defense
February 25, 2020
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


18.5 billion yen (spent in last two years according to that article) is about $168m, so let's wait and see what this money buy, and let's wait and see if they pour in additional money
 

SamuraiBlue

Captain
Japan mulls anti-aircraft carrier gliding missiles for remote island defense
February 25, 2020
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


18.5 billion yen (spent in last two years according to that article) is about $168m, so let's wait and see what this money buy, and let's wait and see if they pour in additional money
Yeah I read about it but it was only reported on one newspaper(Mainichi) so it could be just a rumor(unconfirmed news).
 

Top