politics

Lockheed Martin to propose stealth hybrid of F-22 and F-35 for Japan

30 Comments
By Tim Kelly and Nobuhiro Kubo

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30 Comments
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Amazing photo!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The headline is missing ... "at 90% creamy margin"

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Amazing photo!

Yeah - and totally worth its mind-boggling price tag!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Why is that plane all smokey? Is that normal? Well, more tax dollars spent enriching the producers of people killing technology instead being invested in finding cures for cancer and lots of other diseases, or invested in education etc etc etc.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This is a good idea. Japan needs a twin engine model. Lockheed may be able to offer a better price than either self development by Japan or a multinational collaboration. Let's see what happens.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Why is that plane all smokey? Is that normal?

That's water vapor.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The proposed aircraft "would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them," said one of the sources.

So if they consider that possible now, why on Earth would anyone buy the F35? And why aren't they designing and building them already? Why does it need Japan as a potential customer. The U.S government should be filthy in the knowledge that Lockheed apparently thinks it can create something better than all the jets in the U.S inventory and that Lockheed is still selling the U.S government inferior F35 jets along with all U.S allies.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Amazing news! So happy to read this. And build by Mitsubishi too, so big boost for economy. Japan needs to spend a lot more of the budget on military to match China.And recruit more young men to fly these fighter-jets too of course!

Great news!

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Amazing news! So happy to read this. And build by Mitsubishi too, so big boost for economy. Japan needs to spend a lot more of the budget on military to match China.And recruit more young men to fly these fighter-jets too of course!

Great news!

I suspect its pie in the sky thinking to be honest and given how long Lockheed took to develop the F35 and the ridiculous, stark raving insane levels of money required to finally get the thing flying, I would be extremely wary of signing up to any development programme with Lockheed. Just 12 years to get planes in sufficient quantity in the air and in the meantime, you can bet that China fields 6th generation fighters in that time.

Is this going to be a 6th generation aircraft? Can the specs outperform what China will field? Keep in mind that France, Germany etc are now committed to working on a joint 6th generation fighter. I would not discount the Europeans entirely either.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The headline is missing ... "at 90% creamy margin"

Yes, because that's how capitalism works.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

These machines are only worth a couple of million each. The rest of the money is shared out between buddies or spent on "other things"

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Glad to see Lockheed are (potentially) going to be helping Japan modernise its air force. Would be nice if BAe would do the same as well, but I won't get my hopes up. Having something based upon the Eurofighter in the JASDF could be potentially quite useful, especially in responding to Chinese and Russian jets. So that and an F-22/F-35 hybrid would really strengthen Japan's air defence capabilities.

@Matt Hartwell: the answer to that would most likely be because US Congress doesn't want to develop an F-22/F-35 hybrid. The F-35 has been nothing but a major headache for them, so they're not likely to approve hybridising it, even with the highly successful F-22. Letting Japan do that fusion though is more likely, and if it turns out that Japan gets good results, then Congress might approve funding to develop something like that. Or they'll focus on an entirely new and unique 6th generation design that would surpass even this proposed hybrid.

In response to your other comments about China and 6th generation fighters, I don't think there's all that much for Japan to worry about there. China isn't exactly strong at domestic development of military assets. Much of its airforce and naval warships are based strongly on Russian assets. Some of them actually are Russian. But with Russia not having a well funded military, I find it highly unlikely that they'll field a 6th gen fighter any time soon, leaving China high and dry. They can try developing something from scratch, but it won't be anything especially high quality, compared to what the US and Europe (particularly the UK) will be fielding. This proposed hybrid is likely to meet 6th generation standards, and will be more than a match for China's designs. Not sure why you'd talk about not discounting the Europeans since most European countries are looking to work more closely with Japan, especially in the defence industry. Perhaps Japan may even join in on the joint development of a 6th generation fighter. I wouldn't rule out the possibility, though I acknowledge it could be unlikely.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The closer you send this piece of technology to China, the easier for them to get it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/lockheed-martin-wants-merge-f-22-f-35-1-fighter-japan-it-25509

The proposed hybrid won’t match the US requirements for a future fighter so Japan will not only pay for development (hundreds of billions of dollars), testing (billions), and production (a few more billion), but won’t find any customers for it - the US won’t allow them to sell it overseas and the US won’t want to buy it.

As GanbareJapan almost says, Good for Abe and his cronies; not good for Japan’s deficit-heavy budget. (But who cares about the people of Japan, anyway? Besides, the people will be forced to pay for it - more taxes - while Abe’s friends will make millions.)

4 ( +8 / -4 )

And recruit more young men to fly these fighter-jets too of course!

I assume you've got no children in Japan so are not concerned about the effect of Japan's phenomenal national debt or increased military tension in the region may have on the next generation of Japanese adults.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

we should buy chinese fighters.reasons...1. cheaper. 2. if pushed to war, we understand the technology. 3. american planes crash, have technical problems and inflate the price adding maintenance. 4. american planes have software giving information to america.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The closer you send this piece of technology to China, the easier for them to get it.

So true.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In order to be able to out fight the Russian and Chinese air Superiority fighters your new jet will need to have high Stealth, Twin engines, Speed over Mach 2.5, high manouverability at speed, well trained pilots and superior ordinance.

Being sub standard in any one of those areas will lead to an inferior plane.

F35

High stealth, Single engine, Speed of mach 1.61

SU-35 Air superiority fighter of choice for Russia and China.

Moderate stealth, Twin engine, Speed mach 2.25

The above is the reason the F35 multi role fighter needs an Air superiority fighter to protect it against the SU-35.

America has the F22 but will not export it, so its allied nations need to find their own air superiority fighter to counter the SU-35.

Either buy your own SU-35 or develop something new to defeat it and the newer PAK 50.

But remember these are needed now, not in 12 years as the SU-35 is already prowling the sky's.

Pressure the US to reopen manufacturing of the F22 with tech upgrades, with selected allied assistance.

Australia also needs F22's and would help apply pressure for their export.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

S-500 is the best option.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Lockheed Martin to propose stealth hybrid of F-22 and F-35 for Japan

I don't see that's going to happen for several reasons - but here's a couple...I'm quite sure there's much more (not going to get into that now...I'm feeling lazy to type up a long-winded message):

It's not going to be exportable outside of the USA - Seriously, do you really think the USA ITAR State Department folks are going to just allow LM to sell and/or manufacture a top-secret hybrid F-22/F-35 fighter-style jet that the current US DOD military doesn't already own? That's a total non-starter from the get-go, and the hardliners within the Pentagon would consider this a treasonous act. Why would a friendly-foreign nation to the USA be privy to a better technologically advanced military jet than what they (i.e. The Pentagon) can't get their hands of first? That make absolutely no sense from either a strategic / tactical military supremacy purpose.

There's aspects of F-22 / F-35 that will remain classified for more than 40 / 50 years - There's subsystems within either platform that are required to remain classified and restricted to any exportable conditions by The US Congress - not sure what aspects of F-22 can be declassified as it's still less than 13 years old. Wasn't that the intent of F-35, was to make an "exportable" version of the F-22? After all, both the Japanese and Australians REALLY wanted the F-22 over the F-35 - so why would the USA allow a "better than" version of the F-35 be exportable when there's not such a version already available to the US military?

I'm sure some trolls can't resist the bait and will throw down their counterclaims - don't worry I ignore messages I initially type up, as life's too short to dwell on a single topic. Just tossing my observations - they're hardly gospel - and not claiming they are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What Japan really wants is a twin engined F-35... and China already has it.

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19619/China_Offers_FC_31_Stealth_Fighter_At_Half_the_Price_of_US_F_35__Paris_Air_Show_2017

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does it create its own smokescreen?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why bother?

Why spend that much money on smoke and mirrors to say we have a better plane than China when no war is going to be decided in a few dogfights. Everything is done by drones these days in the safety of an air conditioned KK (shipping container) house with wifi and netflix.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

watching TopGun tonight!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, that's "unlikely" to happen. First, the US has refused to sell the F-22 airframe or ANY part of it to anyone, even the British. Second, you don't just slap f-35 sensors in the new plane, it would take time and a WHOLE lot of money. 3rd, As someone pointed out, the U.S. needs to sell as many f-35s as possible to get the unit cost down.

I agree that Japan's fighter fleet needs an upgrade, but the off the shelf f-35 a (and maybe b versions) will meet its needs at a much lower cost than this proposed franken-plane (oh, I like that one. I'm trademarking it!)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Stealth hybrid of F-22 and F-35" hard to say. How's about... "Stealth F-28.5"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

we should buy chinese fighters.reasons...1. cheaper. 2. if pushed to war, we understand the technology. 3. american planes crash, have technical problems and inflate the price adding maintenance. 4. american planes have software giving information to america.

Oh boy. The only thing you've got right there is number 1, and all that says is 'you get what you pay for.'

Number 2... what? That doesn't even make sense, not to mention if pushed to war with China, good luck getting support for your cheap Chinese technology.

Number 3: Google 'Chinese military plane crash' and enlighten yourself.

And Number 4, probably the funniest claim of all. No, China won't steal information. Nope, they're totally trustworthy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The kindest thing Lockheed can do for Japan is refuse to help make these aircraft.

The cloud above the wings is caused by a rapid reduction in air pressure forcing moister in the air to condense into a cloud. This is very common on aircraft when the conditions are right.

The F-22 isn't sold to anyone except the USGovt. I suspect they don't want a repeat of the F-15 tech getting out world-wide. Having close access to a stealth fighter lets non-friendly nations learn the capabilities to a much greater extent than what Jane's says.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them" If it is the case, why F-22 exports are still banned?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan will probably copy it and try to sell their own version of the tech to some other country, so yes, LHM will need to Milk Japan for as much as they can get before that happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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