Japan Military News, Reports, Data, etc.

Gatekeeper

Senior Member
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

Senior Member
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?
 
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...
 
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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

Senior Member
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

Senior Member
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.
 
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