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Japan likely to buy Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighters: media

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Finally some good news!

-4 ( +5 / -8 )

I would cross my fingers. Don't Japan have to fund its reconstruction as a priority and resolve decades of economic problems first?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

But planners have long been concerned by the increasing age and expense of maintaining the fleet—along with Japan’s ability to match the improving air capabilities of its neighbors.

Seeing that this is to replace the aging F-4 Phantom, a good all-round attack and air combat plane, I wonder why J-gov is selecting a plane focused mainly on attack.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rich Japan. Those are expensive jets. Even the U.S doesn't want to buy them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yep, as I predicted. A political decision, based on political pressure.

Sayonara, well-earned tax money. As far as military hardware goes, there were cheaper and really existing options available. But instead they are funding a US pie in the sky scheme with an open-ended invoice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rich Japan. Those are expensive jets. Even the U.S doesn't want to buy them.

rich nation of poor people.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If Japan is that flush with cash then I want my taxes lowered PRONTO!

IDIOTS!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is a rich country, right? You can do it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan has too much reserve (surplus) tied with US Treasury that is losing a face value every day. This may not be a bad idea as long as it is not an open-ended invoice as WilliB stated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

at a time when the country is falling down economically and 40% of grads can find a job, i dont think buying fighter jets is in the interest of the people

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The F22 is a better plane.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The F22 alas is NOT for sale though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Seth Farjan

"at a time when the country is falling down economically and 40% of grads can find a job, i dont think buying fighter jets is in the interest of the people" interesting point!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They went with the Raptor over the Eurofighter -- why go for economy when you can pay for First Class? That said, I think the Eurofighter is a sexier looking plane. The Raptor is butt ugly but it kicks butt.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This was a no-brainer. With a rising China and aggressive North Korea, Japan obviously chose to go with the best fighter they could buy. You don't do bargain shopping for national defense.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@It"S ME

I know but the fact remains.

@Noripinhead

Eurofighter? Please. Also, you got your fighters mixed. The F22 is the Raptor, the F35 is called Lightning II

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the Eurofighter is a sexier looking plane. The Raptor is butt ugly but it kicks butt.

You are so funny, a sexier looking plane? How about painting F35 in pink with a sign of "Pussy Cat" instead of sign of "Demon: or "Devil". that will work. Thank you, you made me laugh to tears. This is the best post of the day for me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed the Pentagon's frustration with the skyrocketing costs of the F-35 program when he said "The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint." Focusing his attention on the troubled VTOL F-35B Gates ordered "a two-year probation", saying it "should be canceled" if corrections are unsuccessful.However, Gates has stated his support for the program. Some private analysts, state that the whole F-35 program is becoming a money pit. Former Pentagon manager Paul Kaminski has said that the lack of a complete test plan has added five years to the JSF program.[68] As of February 2011, the main flaws with the aircraft are engine "screech", transonic wing roll-off and display flaws in the helmet mounted display. The current schedule has the delivery of basic combat capability aircraft in late 2015, followed by full capability block three software in late 2016.The $56.4 billion development project for the aircraft should be completed in 2018, several years late and considerably over budget. In May 2011, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer Ashton Carter said that its new $133 million unit price was not affordable. In 2011 The Economist warned that the F-35 was in danger of slipping into a "death spiral" where increasing per aircraft costs would lead to cuts in number of aircraft ordered which would lead to further cost increases and further order cuts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Glad to hear I made you laugh, globalwatcher. I still think the Eurofighter is sexier looking. Something about the French design sensibility. Le Elegance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where the article states "and has support from allies including Britain, Australia, Canada, Israel and several European nations. " that is not true at least as far as Israel is concerned. Israel did not want this expensive Turkey, but Hillary went to Tel Aviv and practically shoved down their throat.

As for the cost of thing, actually nobody knows it yet, since it is not ready for use and it unsure when it will be.

Say Sayonara to a huge chunk of our tax money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Once it gets involved in the program, Japan could also benefit as an exporter of F-35 components

Once it gets involved in the program, could Japan also benefit as an exporter of F-35 secrets?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Noripinhead:

" I still think the Eurofighter is sexier looking. Something about the French design sensibility. Le Elegance. "

Fascinating. Especially because the Eurofighter is a UK/Germany/Italy/Spain project, based on the German TKF-90 concept. The French are not part of this, they have a competing design.

So maybe you are adminring German sexiness? Or British?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Let me guess -- our taxes STILL need to be raised to cover the rising cost of social services and to cover reconstruction of the Tohoku area, but Japan can still afford all of these very expensive jets on the side? Are they going to justify it by saying it will help the people of Tohoku rebuild?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan is expected to buy 40 to 50 jets for as much as $8 billion, though the value of the deal depends on what package Japan chooses.

Sorry, no 'makey' under license this time... You buy them, lock, stock and barrel from the U.S.

Japan's share of the assembly... The seat cushions...

Trade isn't only a one way affair.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan's version will be the F-35A built for the USAF. (F-35B USMC, F-35C USN)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fascinating. Especially because the Eurofighter is a UK/Germany/Italy/Spain project, based on the German TKF-90 concept. The French are not part of this, they have a competing design.

Oh, mon mistake! But I see some similarity between the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Mirage, which is another sexy plane.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

let me guess there gonna use the tsunami funds to fund the jets?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gotta wonder what the under the table agreements are for this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's version will be the F-35A built for the USAF. (F-35B USMC, F-35C USN)

That's fine, Japan only misses out on the only STOVL capable 5th gen fighter available.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More wasteful spending, linning the pockets of a select few again, when will this rubbish end ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why didn't they go for the Eurofighter Typhoon which would have been just as formidable and would also save millions. http://www.eurofighter.com/

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

tokyokawasaki.

I agree but the USA has Japan(as they do other nations) by the short and curly via treaties, etc and thus they are forced to buy American or American approved stuff.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smithinjapan

Let me guess -- our taxes STILL need to be raised to cover the rising cost of social services and to cover reconstruction of the Tohoku area, but Japan can still afford all of these very expensive jets on the side?

Just pay and be happy. It's what you insist Americans do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tokyokawasaki:

" Why didn't they go for the Eurofighter Typhoon which would have been just as formidable and would also save millions. "

Political reasons. The Europeans have no military bases in Japan, taking care of Japan`s defense needs. The US does. So, the Euro plane was out from the beginning. It was only there for show. However, the Americans were also offering a proven, existing, high-performance plane for a faction of the cost of this clunker.

The Japanese could have chose that. But of course, the US politicos prefer the expensive option, no doubt about that. They are happy now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

unreconstructed: "Just pay and be happy. It's what you insist Americans do."

Once again, you fail to make any sense nor post on the topic at hand. And how is it I 'insist Americans do', exactly? I appreciate that you think I have you under my thumb and all, though. You need a little more self-confidence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@noripinhead - the Rafaele is the French plane that resembles the Typhoon/ Eurofighter - both have distinctive canard wings. The Mirage is nothing like it...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If China, such a low tech country that builds cheap crap, could design a fighter plane, then surely Japan can design and build one better than the F-35. Buy Japan !

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@tokyokawasaki - the running and maintenance costs of the Typhoon are very high, it is has limited range without tanker support, and has only just had a strike capability added to it - a sort of bolt-on pack. The RAF raids on Libya using Typhoons and tanker aircraft were very expensive, compared to sending up a cruise missile from a submarine, but the UK and BAE were desperate to show the world it could be done. Even now, some of the older Typhoons are being cannibalised for parts for the newer models, and pilots are complaining of a lack of cockpit time in them.

The Typhoon is basically one of the last gasp efforts to keep a UK armaments industry alive...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Long term cost is a contentious issue. It's been argued that the Eurofighter, even if manufactured in Japan, would cost the taxpayer far more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good choice by Japan. Millitary spending when living next door to to an aggressive giant is only wasteful if you have nothing to protect or lose.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

smithinjaoan. I agree 100% +.

Anyone else see a connection with Tohoku ?

Not to push a totally paranoid agenda but..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good decision! the F-18 are very dated...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rich Japan. Those are expensive jets. Even the U.S doesn't want to buy them.

rich nation of poor people.

That's not the point,why people can't see "political matters" sometimes... Japan is buying US jet...in the same period of the trouble with the tpp? That's clearly a political move (probably a 'forced' one) to keep US calm.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Umm F22.... F22..... F22.....

F..35??????

Why? Why?Why?

Doesn't F35 have problems with cracks and stuff?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If China, such a low tech country that builds cheap crap, could design a fighter plane, then surely Japan can design and build one better than the F-35. Buy Japan !

Japan is not allowed to build war planes since the lost of ww2. Japan has the best radar technology in the world. Also the stealth tech actually was developed in Japan by NTT.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What a ridiculous waste of money in a such a dire time for Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The F-35B's STOVL capability was the only appealing feature of the jet, and Japan refused to get that one..

WHY?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, F-35 is worse (believe me, MUCH worse) than F-22 (even VTOL doesn't save it), and F-22 is a bit worse than PAK FA (though it's still in development).

Good job, continue wasting tax money. /sarcasm

Another day, another crack in my heart.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

T_rexmaxytimeDec. 13, 2011 - 10:31PM JST

Japan is not allowed to build war planes since the lost of ww2. Japan has the best radar technology in the world. Also the stealth tech actually was developed in Japan by NTT.

Incorrect. Japan has licence-built many warplanes, and even built one completely on its own - the Mitsubishi F-1.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

wanderlust Dec. 13, 2011 - 07:52PM JST

@tokyokawasaki - the running and maintenance costs of the Typhoon are very high, it is has limited range without tanker support, and has only just had a strike capability added to it - a sort of bolt-on pack. The RAF raids on Libya using Typhoons and tanker aircraft were very expensive, compared to sending up a cruise missile from a submarine, but the UK and BAE were desperate to show the world it could be done. Even now, some of the older Typhoons are being cannibalised for parts for the newer models, and pilots are complaining of a lack of cockpit time in them.

The Typhoon has a similar range to the F-18 - tankers were needed in Libya to keep planes up in the air on patrol. The strike capability is a development, not a bolt-on.

As for the cannibalization and lack of flight time - these are problems with a lack of procurement of spares and economizing on training. Japan need not suffer these if she's prepared to not be a miser.

As for the running costs and maintenance - first I've heard of that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has licence-built many warplanes, and even built one completely on its own - the Mitsubishi F-1.

It's licensed built... It's not the same thing as a company creating their own war bird...

ok but there hasn't been much since the F-1

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow, a completely factual post by me being given the thumbs down in minutes.

For the thumbs downer, a link for the Mitsubishi F-1, it should be educational: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_F-1

1 ( +1 / -0 )

T_rexmaxytime

Yup, not much since the F-1. There were plans in the late 80's to build a home-made fighter, but they plonked on F-2 instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Uncle Sam should give them to Japan and then close a few dozen US bases. It would be cheaper.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan does not build it's own military planes now, not because they can't, but because they would be restrained in any ability to sell them outside of Japan. This in turns means, among other things, that R&D resources will suffer. Japan has continured, for he most part, to choose the economically, as well as strategically sound method of purchasing from the United States through licenbsing agreements.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighters

I don't know why but, to me, it just doesn't seem to have a nice ring on it. Are they still being haunted by the ghost of Kakuei Tanaka???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only real move available to the Japanese. It is the only fixed wing aircraft that will be able to operate off of the 22DDH and perhaps even off the Hyuga class "destroyers." It will give Japan a force projection capability greater than most of the countries in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is the only fixed wing aircraft that will be able to operate off of the 22DDH and perhaps even off the Hyuga class "destroyers."

Only if Japan bought the F-35B or F-35B. Chances are they'll go with the cheaper F-35A, which is not capable of flying off carriers.

I would have preferred the Typhoon as a cheaper but proven and capable aircraft. But if Japan gets the F-35 that's good too. I always expected it to buy some to replace the F-15s. The question is, will the F-35s be delivered in time to replace the F-4Js? I'm not sure that they will be, in which case Japan will have a big hole in its airforce for years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Something worth reading regarding the F35 : Trillion-Dollar Jet Has Thirteen Expensive New Flaws http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/joint-strike-fighter-13-flaws/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan must buy from Chinese built Chengdu J-20 .first....its cheaper and far better than F-15 and F-4..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The F-35 is a boondoggle, and once the maintenance, parts and training is factored in this deal will perhaps reach the 100 billion mark.

What a waste, these crappy planes will never see action anyways.

Money could be way better spent elsewhere, ie tax cuts or Tohoku support

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Security usually comes before productivity. So, this is essentially a good move. Any export of military technology to the US is reasonable as a major ally and security partner. But, anything more, though perhaps not technically impossible, raises the warning flags of a potential slippery slope appearing in the military/industrial sector. Japan's sufficient, yet de-emphasized and minimalist military machine and involvement is a significant part of the nation's beauty and appeal which also functions as a role model in the world.

Nice paint job, by the way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great. More jet noise. Just what we need here in Kanagawa...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the JASDF will be getting themselves a top notch jet

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kanagawa and many other areas have too much aviation noise. Close the base or whatever is there is. American taxpayers have no idea what they fund. Move out. Yankees come home is the new mantra of the USA taxpayer. Iraq is an example. Japan needs to prepare for less subsidies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Buying new warplanes is an onerous task for any nation that seeks to defend itself.

That's ironic, because Japan doesn't make the serious effort to defend itself, instead they rely on the Americans who willingly comply and make their presence on Japanese soil in the interest of regional security.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those who gave me -2, some charts: http://www.ausairpower.net/JSF-vs-FA-22-Chart.gif and http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/661/f22vst50.jpg

JSF is the other name for F-35.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Arthur,

ausairpower is a bit of a one-sided site, and a bit of a joke in aviation circles. However, I do agree that as an Air Superiority fighter the F-22 is far superior to the F-35. Speaking of Air Superiority, I'd place the current JASDF contenders as Typhoon better than F-35, and F-18 E/F.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Already predicted this would happen. The F35 maybe not as capable as the F22, but it is a relatively versatile aircraft with strong anti-naval weaponry and decent dog fighting capabilities. Furthermore, with its Vertical take off capabilities, the aircraft can be launched from helicopter carriers (i.e. Hyuga), effectively making these boats an "aircraft carrier" of sorts. Really no brainer, considering all the parts and previous contracts that Japan has with the Boeing/Lockheed Martin arms companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hmmm stealth

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yup, Hmm? Stealth...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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