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Japan, U.S. struggle to find crashed stealth fighter jet and its 'secrets'

25 Comments
By Shingo Ito

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© 2019 AFP

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A true "Stealth" Fighter Jet.... you can't even find it.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I wonder what the true number of on-site search assets is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Newly developed aircraft crash all the time, especially cutting edge new concept models like the F-35. (Remember the U2, F-14, Harrier, etc..)

The US has a policy of being open about issues and incidents involving military equipment, as part of an effort to display its problem-solving capabilities.

Russia and China on the other hand, hide any problems with their equipment (sometimes from the operators themselves) and overplay the specifications.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The US has a policy of being open about issues and incidents involving military equipment, as part of an effort to display its problem-solving capabilities.

Er is that why just a few weeks ago the US was still denying anything was wrong with the 737 Max in the face of convincing evidence to the contrary until literally every other country in the world had grounded them?

The US is just as eager to cover up its mistakes as everyone else is.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Russia and China collaborated to take down the plane and to search for every single screw. Let’s just keep going and see how far we can take this.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Find it before China or Russia do. They would love to use this technology of F35-A against USA and Japan or copy it.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@rainyday

The 737 in question is not a military aircraft. Boeing has as much incentive to cover up as Takata did with their airbags.

What I meant was that the US makes information about issues and incidents with its military equipment public as part of a show of force to boast its problem-solving capabilities.

Rival nations aren’t stupid. They also know the difficulties and issues involved in fielding any new equipment. If the US can show that it is capable of “working out the inevitable kinks” in new equipment, it shows the technical prowess of the US and acts as a deterrent.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Strange that one of the most sophisticated aircrafts ever built, holding significant top-secret technology and probably lots of other sensitive stuff as well, apparently has an ineffective transponder / tracking system.

The disappearance of Malaysian MH370, a civilian aircraft, was a shock to many who thought all aircraft could be tracked.

But a super hi-tech military craft involved at the highest global security level can't be accurately located?

I'm sure they will, but as I said, all seems a little strange that at least the exact location has not been identified.

Salvage will take longer of course.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's the risk of having a single engine, rather than the fourth generation twin engine jets, that fly on if one engine goes down. However, I'm jumping the gun....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There could be numerous reasons for the disappearance of the stealth fighter jet. The worst scenario that might have happened is that the Chinese counterpart now has both the fighter jet intact and the pilot unharmed.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Don't forget it's a big ocean and it's almost a mile deep where the plane crashed

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan: "Find it before China or Russia do. They would love to use this technology of F35-A against USA and Japan or copy it."  Yes China and Russia always want failed US technology.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The 737 in question is not a military aircraft. Boeing has as much incentive to cover up as Takata did with their airbags.

> What I meant was that the US makes information about issues and incidents with its military equipment public as part of a show of force to boast its problem-solving capabilities.

Yes, but the F35 is not just any military aircraft, it is a massive export product for Lockheed Martin being sold around the world. Its the most expensive military production program in history, with hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts (or potential contracts) riding on the line. The incentives to downplay any design flaws (which have plagued the program from its outset) that may have contributed to this accident is immense for everyone involved. The parallel with the 737 are extremely hard to miss despite one being a civilian and the other a military aircraft.

So while yes, the US does make information about military aircraft accidents more available than say China, and it has an incentive to boast its ability to fix problems, the individuals involved have differing incentives which will entirely be driven by the need to convince everyone that the F35 is fine and this was just an isolated incident caused by something easy/cheap to fix. Of course it might in fact be an isolated incident that is easy/cheap to fix. But it is equally plausible that they will find a design flaw that requires the entire fleet to be grounded pending something expensive and time consuming being done to fix all the aircraft they have sold around the world (a la 737 Max scenario) in which case the incentives for openness and transparency are going to go out the window.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Did Japan buy insurance or a warranty? If you’re going to invest $120,000,000 a plane and 105 of them, wouldn’t you get a warranty? Product liability is not even being discussed at all. That’s crazy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Find it before China or Russia do. They would love to use this technology of F35-A against USA and Japan or copy it." 

Yes China and Russia always want failed US technology.

Yeah, they want to study it to know what NOT to do...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Did Japan buy insurance or a warranty? If you’re going to invest $120,000,000 a plane and 105 of them, wouldn’t you get a warranty? Product liability is not even being discussed at all. That’s crazy.

I guarantee that is being discussed, just not in public. If the accident was caused by pilot error, Lockheed Martin wouldn’t be at fault, while if it is caused by a design flaw they would be. So figuring out what caused the crash is the first step to determining liability.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Find it before China or Russia do. They would love to use this technology of F35-A against USA and Japan or copy it." 

Yes China and Russia always want failed US technology.

Russia and China don’t wanna to copy an overpriced, badly designed, outdated accident prone jet. Just they wanna get more knowledge on how to shoot them down. But as the US is too scared to use them in Syria because of S-400s, nobody knows how stealth they really are.

for the conspiracy theorists, there are a load of Chinese and Russian subs in those waters. I actually saw one from a ferry to SK.

why no tracker, no pilot ejection, no radar tracking? Too many parameters. Japan should cancel all sales and wait for the next generation. All existing owned jets should be returned for a refund.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

" that the Chinese counterpart now has both the fighter jet intact and the pilot unharmed."

Maybe one of JT "experts" can explain how could China come in, well inside Japan's territorial waters and take both a sunken wreckage and a pilot? This did not happen thousands of miles, in international waters outside of Japan.

All of this whilst undetected by the very same country deemed (by no other than the US of A) more than capable of undertaking underwater surveillance of the red army's navy.

Never mind China/Russia trespassed into Japan's waters, close to the coast , they still showed their prowess while Japanese and American air and navy started rummaging the area, certainly well before you read of the crash on JT.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why would China or Russia want to copy such a faulty aircraft like the F35? Knowing how much accidents it caused, they probably don't even need to find a way to shoot it down.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There's already a nuclear bomb deep in the ocean south of Japan, when an A4 rolled off the deck of the USS Ticonderoga back in 1965. It has never been recovered, at least by the owners, nor the plane and pilot. It was not until 1989 that the Pentagon revealed the loss of the one-megaton bomb. The revelation inspired a diplomatic inquiry from Japan requesting details.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe the pilot is still alive, faked a wreckage, and absconded with the aircraft to the highest bidder - like in the movies?

"F-35 stealth fighter that crashed off Japan didn't send distress signal before Pacific plunge"

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/11/national/f-35-stealth-fighter-crashed-off-japan-didnt-send-distress-signal-pacific-plunge/

Why would China or Russia want to copy such a faulty aircraft like the F35? Knowing how much accidents it caused, they probably don't even need to find a way to shoot it down.

Are you confusing it with another aircraft? The F35 has only had a few accidents, and this is the first crash in more than a decade of operation

http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-database/F-35/mishaps-and-accidents/

"F-35 fighter jet: Programme suffers first crash"

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45688255

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@GoodLuckToYou.... you're probably right about the overall design of the plane's skin and such, but the internal electronics is always something other countries enjoy acquiring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hi tech is always a prize to our adversaries, it would help cut their R&D time significantly .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strange that one of the most sophisticated aircrafts ever built, holding significant top-secret technology and probably lots of other sensitive stuff as well, apparently has an ineffective transponder / tracking system.

The disappearance of Malaysian MH370, a civilian aircraft, was a shock to many who thought all aircraft could be tracked.

But a super hi-tech military craft involved at the highest global security level can't be accurately located?

Um, well perhaps trackable transponders and flashing strobes and colored lights should be fitted at all military aircraft....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan and The U.S.A. have probably ALREADY FOUND the fuselage of the jet and are just "stringing people along" while they decide when they will reveal that information and what they are going to tell us, IF they tell us. Any time the military is involved in salvaging crashed aircraft you already know they aren't going to fully disclose all the relevant information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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