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Japan considers dropping plan to procure U.S.-made anti-ship missiles

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Government should really stop wasting money buying these US weapons. Maybe invest more into developing homegrown ones instead. Otherwise we just keep relying others by buying it from overseas.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

It does help the balance of trade. American workers need to eat as well.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

To avoid buying weapons, Japan needs to make friends not foes in Asia. You do not need to defend yourself from a friend.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

And they want the bases all closed.

A Great Wind and Storm will not stop modern China's air sea and land forces

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Electronics component costs have really increased. All are in short supply worldwide. Saying "cancel" is a negotiation tactic. Delay and reduce is probably closer to the truth.

Weapons systems are integrated with the weapons platforms. It is very difficult to create weapons for a platform that isn't owned by the the weapons creators these days. It will certainly increase the workload on the flight crew, which can be the difference between life and death. But that is a decision for Japan.

It may be much easier if there is already lots of Japanese-made avionics in the F-15s. The integration between the sensors, avionics and missiles is a non-trivial problem to solve. If China/NK/Russia decided to force a war, the Japanese F-15s will be the first line of defense. How much land/Ocean is Japan willing to lose before anyone else can come to aid? For a tiny skirmish, none of this really matters. Japan will not shoot at any opponent until there is no other choice.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

This is a strategy change. Not cost savings. Expect a rise in military spending in the first budget after the next election. This is to cover the replacement for the F-15 system with the F-35 platform system. I see the existing the F-15 fleet and system lend least onto the Philippines.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

YuriOtaniToday  09:06 am JST

To avoid buying weapons, Japan needs to make friends not foes in Asia. You do not need to defend yourself from a friend.

Yes of course, but then there would be a drastic reduction in defense spending, which would not sit well with the military-industrial complex and furthermore would weaken the justification for US military bases...obviously not an option for vested interests.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Hiro

Government should really stop wasting money buying these US weapons.

1) US weapons are way cheaper than Japanese weapons. This is why US weapons import has been soaring in recent years.

2) But bankrupt Japan can't even afford cheaper US weapons.

@John-San

Expect a rise in military spending in the first budget after the next election.

You shouldn't given the dire state of Japanese government finances.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

The less spent on expensive weapons systems is welcome. The entire façade, based on some nonsensical 'defense' against the ominous Chinese dragon is absurd ad infinitum. As if China is going to invade Japan or rain down missiles upon its cities.

Japan, remains a client-state of the USA, which is approaching the century mark. The politicos in the LDP are lapdogs for the USA, which employs Japan as a military outpost on the edge of Asia.

As if the mighty airforce, the fleet of F-15s or the rather bogus F-35 will stave off an invading force of the imagination. Or a barrage of missiles will keep the enemy at bay.

The model for Japan should be Switzerland, not some bizarre fevered dream of Empire, supposed by former PM Abe and its discount version Suga.

In any altercation with China, cultivated by the USA and its pivot to Asia, Japan would be flattened and turned into dust. Foreign policy should be base on economics and 'friendly' alliances. China, India and Russia are on the rise, the USA in decline.

The weapons industry in the USA is exactly that - purchasing armaments from a dying empire is a peculiar stratagem - especially over-priced systems with built complexities bound to fail at its base design.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

It's because Japan has started in developing an stand off anti-ship missile already with the ASM-3 with 200Km and ASM-3A which will obtain a range of over 400Km.

ASM-2 will also be boosted in range when the land launched variant type 12 surface to ship missiles will extend it's range to 900Km around 2025.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Richard Gallagher

The model for Japan should be Switzerland

Swiss model doesn't apply to Japan because

Switzerland has no natural enemy. Japan has 3 countries willing to go to war with to settle past historical disputes.

Switzerland has no territorial disputes with its neighbors. Japan has territorial dispute with all its neighbors.

Switzerland is neutral. Japan is a staunch ally of the US and hosts 50K US troops.

especially over-priced systems

Over-priced yet still cheaper than Japanese-made systems.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Whether JAPAN become rich or poor, China (and possibly Korea) will swallow Japan alive. The animosity and hatred never diminished ever since.... they are just waiting for the perfect timing. China will take over the WHOLE EAST CHINA SEA giving Japan just 12 miles of water from Okinawa and Kagoshima Islands between Kyushu and Okinawa. That is CHINA's DREAM LONG TIME AGO. So Japan must be armed to the teeth with capable of hitting back China up to the Gobi desert. Japan must posses many long-range missiles and cruise missiles. The strategy or philosophy of DEFENSE IS DEFENSE is already obsolete.... the best defense is having OFFENSIVE CAPABILITY. Of course, SOSUS-like anti-submarine warfare should be top priority. Chinese submarines must be destroyed at the bottom of the ocean.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

This is great news, for China. Watch and see how it is interpreted as a sign of weakness, and the Red Navy becomes more assertive and aggressive.

None of the islands in the South China Sea will be considered off limits, Okinawa included.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's not just Japan. As mentioned before, US-allied nations are coordinating their responses to contain China. No doubt this cancellation was done after consultation with the US. Japan's role can be conducted effectively and more cheaply with the weapons they have on hand.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"The model for Japan should be Switzerland"

In other words: armed to the teeth.

Just like Switzerland.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

To avoid buying weapons, Japan needs to make friends not foes in Asia. You do not need to defend yourself from a friend.

You cant make friends with bullies. You do exactly what they want you to do, when they want you to do it or be punished. That is not called friendship, it is called subservience.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Of course, everyone wants peace, but the ability to protect one's self is crucial to keeping the peace.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Don't worry. The US is capable of taking care of Japan on its own.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Expect that the US will sanction Japan by some nefarious means to force Japan to buy more US weapons to lower the trade deficits.

1) US weapons are way cheaper than Japanese weapons. This is why US weapons import has been soaring in recent years.

2) But bankrupt Japan can't even afford cheaper US weapons.

You have angered a lot of Japanese nationalists here.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

They won't scrap it, though. They could use the money to pay for the education of all children in Japan, but they won't. Instead, they'll still buy the weapons, but raise taxes to pay for this and other major money pits in the works.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Or, you can cancel everything and learn to speak chinese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Peeping_Tom

In other words: armed to the teeth. Just like Switzerland.

Nope, Swiss Model is neutrality and geographic advantage(high ground), not armed to the teeth.

After all, Switzerland has an air force that operates a small fleet antiquated F-5 from 8 to 5; after business hours, France scrambles Switzerland air space on behalf of Switzerland. Switzerland maintains its survival through maintaining good relations with all its immediate neighbors, something Japan refuses to do.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-02-17/invading-switzerland-try-before-8-or-after-5

Invading Switzerland? Try Before 8 or After 5

@Triring

It's because Japan has started in developing an stand off anti-ship missile already with the ASM-3 with 200Km and ASM-3A which will obtain a range of over 400Km.

1) ASM-3 was never deployed due to F-2's antiquated avionics system unable to operate it.

2) ASM-3ER is under development, but its target is F-3, which may not be developed due to huge cost. Money is a scarce resource that JSDF doesn't have anymore.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Government should really stop wasting money buying these US weapons. Maybe invest more into developing homegrown ones instead. Otherwise we just keep relying others by buying it from overseas.

But what if you then decide to occupy and attack countries ...I think it is better for everyone this way .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

VERY wise.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan should develop its own, anti-ship/anti-submersible/anti-* capabilities. Home defense will be a worthy growth Industry upon which tax payer monies should be spent in order to create jobs at home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Recent largely unsuccesful Palestinian missile attacks on Israel suggest Japan should acquire a system similar to Iron Dome. It is rather cheap, one Tamir or Shekel (I don't remember the name) missile costs about 100kUSD,

and I guess the system (network of radars+missiles+good computing system) can be easily developed domestically.

A successful attack of Azerbaijan on Armenia showed importance of cheap Turkish drones and loitering munition. It goes without saying it can be developed domestically too...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I imagine the name "Lockheed" causes some worries for Japanese politicians. I'm going back some way, but it occupied a lot of political discussion when I first lived in Japan in the the 1980s. For any youngsters, search "Tanaka Lockheed".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Weapons systems are integrated with the weapons platforms. It is very difficult to create weapons for a platform that isn't owned by the the weapons creators these days. It will certainly increase the workload on the flight crew, which can be the difference between life and death. But that is a decision for Japan.

That is not true at all. JASSM, JASSM-ER and its cousin LRASM are manufactured by Lockheed Martin but are currently integrated with multiple Boeing combat jets. LRASM is integrated with various versions of F/A-18 for Australia and Finland, along with the F-15E (which is larger and very different from earlier Eagles) B-52 and B-1B in the US. Poland is integrating JASSM on their F-16s. It is usually a straightforward process. An airplane as big as an F-15C or D could carry four LRASM. For Japan what adds cost is that nobody else has integrated LRASM into an F-15. If Japan operated F/A-18s it would be an easy software and minimal hardware upgrade.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is to cover the replacement for the F-15 system with the F-35 platform system. I see the existing the F-15 fleet and system lend least onto the Philippines.

No. Even if Japan gives them the airplanes for free with no strings attached the Philippines cannot begin to afford the cost per flight hour of an F-15. They are almost three times as costly per flight hour as an F-16 and closer to the cost of an F-35A per flight hour. That is why you don't see more air forces flying them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recent largely unsuccesful Palestinian missile attacks on Israel suggest Japan should acquire a system similar to Iron Dome. It is rather cheap, one Tamir or Shekel (I don't remember the name) missile costs about 100kUSD,

Iron Dome was built to deal with a specific threat. It is effective against the kinds of simple unguided rockets flying a purely ballistic trajectory at speeds right around Mach 1, which describe the kinds of rockets Hamas and even Hezbollah use against Israel. It is cheap because it has a limited capability defined by a specific low end threat. Against a modern IRBM or ICBM it is completely useless. The interceptor missile used doesn't begin to have the speed and range necessary to intercept an IRBM warhead screaming in at Mach 8-10. As I understand Iron Dome the radar and fire control computer calculate the rockets trajectory based on a ballistic profile and fire an interceptor into that trajectory. The missile doesn't have a seeker that homes on the enemy rocket. It is programmed to explode at the expected intercept point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's because Japan has started in developing an stand off anti-ship missile already with the ASM-3 with 200Km and ASM-3A which will obtain a range of over 400Km.

A 400km range means the launch platform will have to get through the Chinese aircraft carrier's air wing and their outer ring of HQ-9B missiles to reach their launch point. Good luck with that! HQ-9B alone has a range beyond 400Km. Since the launch platform is 4th gen at best and the missile requires higher launch altitudes (artwork of the weapons employment show it is a high diver, not a sea skimmer) the Chinese are going to see the Japanese airplanes coming from a long way away. It won't be a surprise attack. When they have their CATOBAR carriers in service they will have an E-2D equivalent flying and thus an even greater radar horizon that will likely extend the range of HQ-9B further. It will be the same scenario as the Chinese trying to attack a US CSG with their fast high divers, or Soviet bombers back during the Cold War. It's a suicide mission. They do not have enough range to be launched outside the range of the carrier's considerable air defenses.

The great value of LRASM is that it has more than enough range to be launched outside of Chinese ship's sensors detection range, it flies extremely low, has many low observable features and uses only passive sensors to find its targets. The Chinese should not know they are under attack until the missiles are too close to do anything about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I imagine the name "Lockheed" causes some worries for Japanese politicians. I'm going back some way, but it occupied a lot of political discussion when I first lived in Japan in the the 1980s. For any youngsters, search "Tanaka Lockheed".

The press is sometimes prone to exaggeration. Remember the Lockheed P-3s "$600 toilet seat?" Incidentally the Japanese paid a cool $1000 for the same item. Well guess what, it wasn't just a toilet seat. In fact as a brand new Ensign getting a tour of a P-3C I had to ask, "I want to see the $600 toilet seat". The crew all laughed. What that $600 bought was a completely sealed chemical toilet assembly. A normal airline toilet would not work in the P-3C. Why. Well, when a P-3C is stalking a submarine they fly 200 feet over the water and execute hard turns using up to 90 degrees angle of bank. A standard airline toilet would be spraying its contents all over million dollar electronics. So the P-3Cs commode has to be 100% water tight when not being used while the airplane banked violently from side to side chasing submarines. If you saw it $600 was a bargain for the nature of the equipment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert TortoiseToday 06:02 am JST

A 400km range means the launch platform will have to get through the Chinese aircraft carrier's air wing and their outer ring of HQ-9B missiles to reach their launch point. Good luck with that! HQ-9B alone has a range beyond 400Km. Since the launch platform is 4th gen at best and the missile requires higher launch altitudes (artwork of the weapons employment show it is a high diver, not a sea skimmer) the Chinese are going to see the Japanese airplanes coming from a long way away.

The HQ-9b is a land based missile, the ship launch variant HQQ-9 only has a range of 200Km.

ASM-3's speed is above Mach 3, it will reach it's target within 5 minutes, so PLAAN will have a hell of a time to engage and shoot down a barrage of ASM-3s.

At cruising height of 5000m the line of sight is beyond the horizon the ship will only see the missile coming is when it reaches 252Km. If the missile cruising height is 1000m they will only identify it when the missile reaches 112Km, in which case they will only have around 1 minute to react.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is someone asleep at the switch? Anit-ship missiles, and lots of 'em, seems to be exactly what Japan needs, especially these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Samit BasuJune 20 09:19 pm JST

1) ASM-3 was never deployed due to F-2's antiquated avionics system unable to operate it.

2) ASM-3ER is under development, but its target is F-3, which may not be developed due to huge cost. Money is a scarce resource that JSDF doesn't have anymore.

ASM-3A was developed with the F-2 in mind as the platform. JASDF used the F-2 in developing the ASM-3 dxmmy.

The ASM-3A with a range of 200Km has started large scale manufacturing this fiscal year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan should think twice before giving the Chicoms even an inch of advantage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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