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Japan grounds F-15 fighter fleet after crash

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46 Comments
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abandon F15 and explore new models. No, Japan unlikely to buy expensive models now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How many is a "fleet?" Japan needs to start considering a stronger, more modern self defense before it is decided by the cut-backs that are coming in the US Congress.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

How may? The article says 202. I'm just guessing here but that sounds suspiciously like a fleet to me. Why would Japan need to spend billions on more or new of these kind of fighter jets? Is there a risk of an invasion? I don't think so!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A 40 year old plane, fighter plane must have been subjected to years of G-forces. Pilot was a Major so you have to assume he had years of experience. A catastrophic failure, poor guy, probably happened in seconds. Replacing the fleet? F-22 is not for export and requires 80hrs maintenance for 1 hr flying, not a reliable front line fighter. Fantasic plane but not a mainstay. F-35 huge cost set to increase and years away from being proven. European makers have some great value for money models. Or Russia cheep reliable and what the threats Japan faces uses. A Few upgrades and not such a lavel playing field. Maitanace on the F-15s is increasing as they age. Replacing them costs a lot. ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cricky. 5 people work 2 ,8 hour days straight on a jet and it can only fly for one hour? That's 80 hours.. No lunch breaks

Sad to hear about this pilot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still it's a long turnaround, it flys for 8 hrs = 640 hrs and a lot of skilled technicians. It is a mission aircraft not a " fighter ". Really expensive fantastic aircraft, can even fly in rain now. America cut short the production due to prohibitive costs. Not exportable anyway. With you on the pilot, takes years to get where he did and a lot of money, can always make more money, can not make a person return. Even a dedicated one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! An airplane that can fly when it rains! I want me one of those... How much are they - second-hand of course!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hope they find the Pilot.

The F-15 is old as are most of the current F-18's, in better shape though due to upgrades, etc.

As for replacement, I would like to see some european planes here. But like with russian or chinese planes it won't happen as the USA will push theirs strongly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan, with 202 F-15 fighters, is the biggest foreign user of the popular U.S.-designed planes but is currently looking for a newer aircraft to replace its aging fleet.

I wonder who the F-15 fighter planes are popular with?

Not the guys getting hit by them I bet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What ever happened to the FSX model that Japan was developing with the US?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Popular.... You said it, johninnaha! 40 year-old planes that need constant maintenance to get them up and now even start dropping out of the sky. I can understand a guy wanting to spend that much time and money on an old car, but to use that kinda scrap to "protect" a country... Hmmmm.... Popular with the pilots? Don't think so. Popular with mechanics you bet! Who are the guys getting hit by them by the way - steel cutouts stuck in the sand at the shooting range? LOL Japanese wouldn't shoot at a seagul out of fear for creating an international incident. Oh no wait, that's the US and Korea. Stop spending billions on warfare toys and use it on what really needs to be done!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

FS-X is inservice as Mitsubishi F-2, basically an F-16 with a bigger wing area. Also my apologies F-22 requires 3 hrs maintenance per 0.97 flight time. I was out of date earlier. Go European, cheeper, but something American will be chosen Super Hornet I will bet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you think F-15s are old, then you should look at the F-4s!! Japan had finally placed a biding process to replace these vintage planes of the Vietnam war era . The planes that made the short list are F-35, F-18 and the Eurofighter Typhoons. Replacements for F-15s would probably need another 15 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forget the F-35, the program is on official probation, cost blow outs and lack of progress. F-18 little disappointing on range and payload also serious questions about it agility vs modern Migs. Got a shock last year during war games with India. Have to get a new fleet, that will be relevant for 30 years and not endanger the pilots. The F-4s are not even useful as trainers. This should have been addressed 15 years ago. If you don't have the tools you can not do the job and in this case is dangerous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So if China flies into the Japan zone, the Americans will scramble into the clouds, while the Japanese scramble eggs in their canteen?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Raptors need a lot more maintenance than that given that the fleet's still grounded I believe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yep, horrible... then there are a billion people that can barely get lunch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese F-15s falling out of the sky??? WOW, no complaints from the Okinawans?? Hey that's dangerous.....Japanese made. We were lucky this time, cause it was out at sea.

Where is VoiceofOkinawa? Why so quiet now? Only 16 comments so far? Really?

Lets talk about the safety of Japanese military aircraft. All's fair in love and war and here's another salvo.

It's a good idea to ground the whole F15 fleet. Thank goodness the Americans are here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thank goodness for what? What are the Americans gonna do? Shoot at Chinese aircraft? North Korean misdiles? What are they even doing here? Their mere presence in the region keeps the "conflict" alive. Good for American warfare businesses. Nothing more, nothing less.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cricky, the oldest one is about 30 years old with most being less. Planes crash it is a fact of life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe that yes the F-22s are below 50% ready rate, if as you say grounded. Can not find it on the net so I went with what I could find. They are delicate due to their stealth structure. Australia has gone with the Super Hornet against Air force advise -as a stop gap...until the f-35! Robert Gates said 1hr=8 hr overhaul but that was 2 years ago, I used Wiki for the last comment. Japan needs at least the appearance of a viable air force as stated above F-4 Phantoms and F- 15s just don't cut it in 2011. Even the F- 2s are at the end of their life and have a very limited range.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't recall the F-22 being an option for Japan or even being offered. F-35 yes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Crashes are a fact of life, a catastrophic one is due to wait and see. The design is 40 yo I'm over 40 and never been subject to continuous G forces, I can tell you I worry some of my parts will fall off if I move too fast. Lost my hair running too fast already.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan deploying F-15s flight over the east China sea is a sign that they are going to escalate the tensions with China!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, hopefully the guy is ok, but what are Japanese planes doing anywhere in the East China Sea? This is routine? No wonder the Chinese are angry. It's very close to Taiwan, and only a few kilometres from China's mainland. If China had THEIR planes operating there (or at the same distance to the Japanese coast) we'd be hearing about China's "aggression" and "asserting its power" etc. BTW, 200 of those planes is quite a formidable force, even if they're a bit old. They've still got high tech gear, and work. If we did a comparison we'd find the Chinese can't match that yet they send a fishing boat a few months ago & suddenly they're trying to conquer the world.

Someone said "Japan needs to start considering a stronger, more modern self defense before it is decided by the cut-backs that are coming in the US Congress."

First militaries are for war, not defence. Japan hasn't been invaded in centuries (like Kublai Khan in 1274, 1281). Japan used its MILITARY & conquered half of Asia just a few years ago - not China. Message: when China does it it's bad; when Japan does it it's good. This is Orwellian. BTW, they'd love to say that plane is no longer any good so the companies can sell a few hundred to Japan for a nice profit. That's what it comes down to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You ask what Japanese F15s are doing in the East China Sea... I'm asking what the Americans are doing in Okinawa which is in the East China Sea...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One F-15 goes down. They ground the fleet until the problem is found which is SOP and the google generals here work up a lather. The F-15 is a fine platform and even after all these years it is still an incredible machine.

The Japanese will be getting the F-35 soon as a replacement. The F-35's are starting to be delivered to American units in the states and the Japanese will have them soon too. The F-35 will be a complete game changer and the Japanese are smartly setting up to take full advantage of it when it come out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What F-35s will SOON be be available! I am sorry but no! they are years away! And unless you have extra information? Latest prototypes are not ready to be produced, not nearly ready for active deployment...$350,000,000 a plane is also a little steep.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Crikey they are being delivered now. Google it boss.

And with no disrespect you know nothing of the F-22 either. "F-22 is not for export and requires 80hrs maintenance for 1 hr flying" is just crap. I see the Raptors flying here all the time and have some nice talks with their pilots, great planes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, I am just going by what I can find on the Internet and they are not being sold to foreign governments, congress has banned their sale, so sorry boss you too should google it. 22 have been deployed to American bases in Japan. Also I did correct myself Robert Gates said 2 years ago 80 hrs , but I as above apologized and corrected myself. they are great planes! Just mission specific and not air dominance. 8 to 1 makes it a challenge, that's 8 to 1 . But they are prone to lengthy down time. There are only 186 odd and more than half are in the shop at one time, dude you do more research too. I make mistakes and apologize. They won't be sold to Japan anyway as the production has ceased. How do you know there is a pilot in the room...he will soon tell you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Just mission specific and not air dominance." Do you even understand what you are typing?

You also don't seem to understand how much of a game changer the F-35 is going to be. The Japanese and Koreans understand and will soon have force projection capabilities greater than Europeon nations. The F-35 will be a great compliment to current JSDF F-15’s and F-2’s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The f-35 on paper is a game changer, but the facts are it's a lame duck for now. Way too expensive and nowhere near production. Check you tube or better Congressional Reports. Most countries involved have started to buy " fill in aircraft" As I said The whole program is on probation and looks likely to be axed. Do you understand what you are typing...I think not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sold to other countries...who? Mate you lost the plot. They are not out of development phase? It's 20 years away at current estimates at best! I love the idea but it's not going to happen soon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan have not committed herself in purchase of F-35, as I had posted before the short list for replacement for F-4s are F-35, F-18 and the Eurofighters. Concerning the time constraints and other requirements it's probably be a showdown between F-18 and Eurofighters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eurofighter has better stats, but America will win with modifications and with building rights for Mitsubishi Heavy Industry

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan have not committed herself in purchase of F-35

Look at how completely committed the Japanese are with their DDH program. It will not work with the F/A-18 or Eurofighter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well they are stuck with out of date and ineffective air superiority, best to ram! F-4s go go go

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are in major need of an overhaul..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Latest prototypes are not ready to be produced, not nearly ready for active deployment...$350,000,000 a plane is also a little steep.

This is why it is hard to take anything you say serious. Go to Google, click on news, type in F-35, hit enter, discover new reality, enjoy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All day mate, all day! You might be reading the makers sites. Great Governments are backing away, and they have the pay check.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did it and the words unaffordable and unknown time frame told the story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Double checked still ... No one has got a delivery. No one has an active flight group. But I am tired, you win?. I look forward to reading abut the newly equipped squadrons, where did you say they were?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah I win. Your imagination just couldn't keep going.

It's 20 years away at current estimates at best!

Very interesting version of reality kept me lol'ing all night.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I think Japan should make its OWN planes and scrap the deal with the US firms! Before Japan was planning to develop advanced planes that could take off verticaly and with stealth capability. BUT the US didn't agree Japan develop such advanced plane alone, and OBLIGED Japanese to develop together such plane (=next generation planes of the US with a part made in Japan). Perhaps US convinced Japanese with some blackmail and "remember the war and alliance speech". THIS INFO is from an (american-english) public source.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, I think Japan should make its OWN planes and scrap the deal with the US firms!

Japan is playing it smart by taking the middle road. Building a new fighter is incredibly expensive but not doing anything is just plain foolish. Japans self-developed and licensed built planes such as the F-1, F-15J and T-2 are perfect for Japan, they keep their technology up to date but can pass the massive development cost on the USA. Just the sophistication of the home built HUD on the F-2 is quite amazing.

Before Japan was planning to develop advanced planes that could take off verticaly and with stealth capability.

I don’t know about VTO aspect (three paddle thrust vectoring is not the same) but I am pretty sure the F-3 project is still going strong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Double checked still ... No one has got a delivery. No one has an active flight group. But I am tired, you win?. I look forward to reading abut the newly equipped squadrons, where did you say they were?

First delivery was July 13. I guess your google hate sites were wrong about that 20 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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