politics

Japan, Britain and Italy to establish new organization to develop jet fighter: sources

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By Tim Kelly

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The three countries plan to choose Britain as GCAP's headquarters

That pretty much sums it up; GCAP is a British fighter with Italian and Japanese subcontractors.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Watch the US nip this in the bud.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

We already bought 126 F-35s that crash and have 200 technical problems. Ospreys too. Now this.

if japan really wants self defense, affordable, best, we should just buy Russian SU-25s.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

@quercetum

Watch the US nip this in the bud.

Japan is looking to buy Boeing MQ-28 combat drone to appease the US left out of this deal.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/c93d37cdc7061a7c8225f3f1568492653963869b

空自「次期戦闘機」の相棒、「ボーイングの無人機」が有力か? 米豪の激推し機 日本の出る幕は

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Excellent! More weapons!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Do we have a budget?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

quercetum

Watch the US nip this in the bud.

No, they have no intention of doing so. It is actually to their benefit; having a variety of combat aircraft facing your enemy makes it more difficult for them rather than only having to cope with one set of parameters.

Stefan

We already bought 126 F-35s that crash and have 200 technical problems. Ospreys too. Now this.

if japan really wants self defense, affordable, best, we should just buy Russian SU-25s

F35, one out of 126 aircraft being flown at their limit, not bad.

The SU25 is a ground attack Close support aircraft that is old, outdated, no longer made and far too busy being blown out of the sky in Ukraine to be flogged to Japan. Wouldn’t fulfil the combat requirements of Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Watch the US nip this in the bud.

They never have in the past. Rubbish statement.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@deanzaZZR

Do we have a budget?

Japan can make the budget by either raising taxes, cutting back social welfare programs, or both.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Japan is looking to buy Boeing MQ-28 combat drone to appease the US left out of this deal.

MQ-28 is an Australian product, their Loyal Wingman program for their F-35s. It is made by Boeing Australia for the RAAF. To my knowledge the USAF isn't buying them.

The USAF is looking at something smaller, less costly and less capable that can be bought in very large numbers and is "attritable", meaning you don't mind losing a bunch because they are cheap and can be made in large numbers. That something is probably going to be the XQ-58 Valkyrie or similar.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We already bought 126 F-35s that crash and have 200 technical problems. Ospreys too. Now this.

More nonsense. The F-35 is the first an only fighter the US or any other nation ever developed that made it all the way to operational use and never experienced a crash during its development.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The SU25 is a ground attack Close support aircraft that is old, outdated, no longer made and far too busy being blown out of the sky in Ukraine to be flogged to Japan. Wouldn’t fulfil the combat requirements of Japan.

The people praising Russian combat jets while calling US combat aircraft junk never flew and don't know the hardware. The Indian Air Force flies what is probably the most capable version of the Flanker made, the SU-30MKI, most capable because it is the only one with thrust vectoring. The IAF brings them to Red Flag every year but they do not dominate. Some of the Russian stiff can turn and burn, but they don't go as many hours between engine changes, their radars are maintenance nightmares with very long depot turn around times (the IAF has aircraft sitting for over a year waiting on radar system repairs) and their airframe hour limits are lower than western designs. Aircraft that are down for engine changes and broken radars cannot fight. If you look at the first Gulf War western air forces were flying three sorties a day on their combat jets and over Afghanistan US combat jets were staying aloft for ten hours at a time with multiple in flight refuelings. The Russian stuff cannot do that. They need more and more frequent maintenance.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The British shared their jet engine invention with General Electric but the Americans with ingratitude kept pressing for repayment of funds while the UK was broke. I think they had to sell the company and technology to the Soviets.

 It is actually to their benefit; having a variety of combat aircraft facing your enemy makes it more difficult for them rather than only having to cope with one set of parameters.

It has more to with sales. You need your allies to buy your planes not make their own.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

More nonsense. The F-35 is the first an only fighter the US or any other nation ever developed that made it all the way to operational use and never experienced a crash during its development.

Why do you add “during its development.” The F-35 crashed off the coast of Aomori or was that not during its development so it doesn’t count?

At $100 million a plane it’d better to develop your own. You all actually think Lockheed Martin will sit quietly and not put up a fight, at all?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why do you add “during its development.” The F-35 crashed off the coast of Aomori or was that not during its development so it doesn’t count?

What I am saying is that the F-35 to this point has the best safety record of any new fighter aircraft. If you look at the development programs of aircraft from WWII forward, you don't find any that made it all the way through their development program without experiencing some losses. The F-35 program didn't lose a single development asset. There were no losses until they started to be used by fleet operators. If you look at the rate of Class A mishaps (death or loss of aircraft) for all the fighters in the USAF, the F-35 has the lowest mishap rate of any current combat jet. Note how much greater the mishap rates were for legacy combat jets like the F-4 Phantom, A-7 Corsair II, FB-111 Aardvark and the F-105 Thunderchief. Notice too the high-ish mishap rate for the C-130 Hercules, much greater than that for the Air Forces CV-22 Osprey fleet. All those old aircraft we aviation types revere were much more dangerous and demanding to fly than our latest designs. We do learn from our mistakes and do better with each new design. Too many of you who don't live in this arena sneer but we take this stuff very very seriously.

F-16: 8.15 per 100K hours

F-15: 3.2 per 100K hours

A-10: 2.14 per 100K hours

F-22: 3.6 per 100K hours

F-35: 0.23 per 100K hours

F-4/RF-4: 4.64 per 100K hrs

A-7: 5.7 per 100K hrs

FB-111: 4.04 per 100K hrs

U-2: 0.56 per 100K hrs

CV-22 (USAF Only): 0.32 per 100K hrs

C-130: 2.45 per 100K hrs

C-17: 1.19 pwe 100K hea

F-117: 0.24 per 100K hrs

F-105: 55.00 per 100K hrs ( ah the good old days )

Real world data, not opinion.

https://www.safety.af.mil/Portals/71/documents/Aviation/Aircraft%20Statistics/B-52.pdf

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At $100 million a plane it’d better to develop your own. You all actually think Lockheed Martin will sit quietly and not put up a fight, at all?

Lock-Mart can't build aircraft fast enough to satisfy their current order book. They can barely meet the demand for the F-35 and they are unable to produce F-16s as rapidly as their foreign customers want them. People forget the F-16 is still in series production even as many air forces are replacing their older F-16s with F-35s, and the demand right now is greatly outstripping Lock-Mart's ability to produce them. And there are separate NGAD programs for the Air Force and Navy on deck and neither service is announcing who will build theirs.

I think the US military is more than happy to have additional unique designs in the air with them. If you think about countermeasures, it takes a great deal of time and effort to study an adversary system and devise effective countermeasures. And the countermeasures that work against one aircraft probably don't work against another. In fact that countermeasure that works against one aircraft might just light up the sensors on another different aircraft with a different sensor package. There is a lot to be said in favor of having multiple aircraft types with their different characteristics and sensors in the air together. It greatly complicates the enemy's defenses.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Don't make flying craps like the US Osprey...

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

So, I guess it will have good fuel economy, a bad electrical system, but sound great accelerating?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So, I guess it will have good fuel economy, a bad electrical system, but sound great accelerating?

I was thinking it would be great to look at, have only 12 major parts shipped for final assembly by all the different subcontractors, and add in whatever the Brits bring - left hand-steering or Royce engines? IDK.

DT - USAF loss numbers are different from USN numbers for similar aircraft.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Desert Tortoise

It is made by Boeing Australia

Like you said, it's made by Boeing Australia, so Boeing gets the job and money. Boeing MQ-28 sale to Japan is directed at the White House level.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/10/26/asia-pacific/politics/australia-us-japan-biden-albanese/

U.S. and Australia seek military drone cooperation with Japan

The leaders of the United States and Australia agreed Wednesday to expand defense cooperation with Japan to include unmanned aerial vehicles as Washington continues to bolster relations with its Asia-Pacific allies and partners to maintain its edge in the face of China's growing military might.

Following a meeting at the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the three-way partnership aims to enhance interoperability and accelerate technology transfer in the rapidly emerging field of “collaborative combat aircraft and autonomy,” — a U.S. Air Force concept referring to autonomous drone operations and manned-unmanned teaming.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

DT - USAF loss numbers are different from USN numbers for similar aircraft.

Flying from a ship is a lot more difficult that flying from a runway. I know, I flew the V-22s predecessor the hoary old CH-46, aka the Phrog. That was another helo that all the knowitalls claimed was a "widowmaker". It wasn't. The Marines abused them and broke them early in their production life and gave the aircraft a bad name. If you respected the limits in the flight manual they were safe. By the time I started flying them their whole flight control system was updated to a digital system shared with D model Chinooks and they were fabulous flying helicopters. That is why I get annoyed with people here who never flew, and especially who never tried to fly at night from the back of a ship claiming this or that aircraft is inherently unsafe. The nature of the mission drives some of this and changing the aircraft won't change the hazards inherent in the mission. Do't forget flying in a marine environment drives a lot of daily corrosion control that you don't need to worry about with a land based machine. Because the power plants on combat ships get first dibs on fresh water, fresh water is always in short supply so opportunities to wash your aircraft in fresh water are rare at sea. If the "Chang" (Chief Engineer) says no, then you don't wash your bird. We would go looking for rain showers to clean the helo. Often the aircraft sit out on deck all day and night in the salt spray. It is a different environment than flying from land bases.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Samit, manned unmanned teaming is the future. You will see all the F-35 operators doing it eventually probably with multiple systems. But as far as I understand the USAF is pursuing a different path with smaller, cheaper and more expendable UCAVs like Valkyrie.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Watch the US nip this in the bud.

They never have in the past. Rubbish statement.

The Avro Arrow begs to differ

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

Here is how it went.

Joe Biden : Since Japan's buying fighter jets from Britain, Japan must buy lots of stealth AI drones from Boeing as a compensation.

Kishida : Hi! Wakarimashita! 200 Boeing MQ-28s on order!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

DockSeeToday  01:58 pm JST

The Avro Arrow begs to differ

That was more of the Canadian PM at the time, Diefenbaker, who felt that future Soviet strategic threats would come from ICBMs and less from strategic bombers thus the need for a high speed, high altitude interceptor wasn't a priority. He was right in that respect as Soviet bomber missions were greatly reduced in the 60's. But there was certainly some kowtowing to the US.

However, the Jaguar, Tornado, and Typhoon jets are all examples of programs where the countries and governments involved successfully produced aircraft and didn't resort to buying US made.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

StefanToday  07:19 am JST

We already bought 126 F-35s that crash and have 200 technical problems. Ospreys too. Now this.

if japan really wants self defense, affordable, best, we should just buy Russian SU-25s.

I really hope that you're not serious......LOL!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I greatly admire the beautiful aerodynamic shapes and the roaring sound at air shows, but always with a bit of a bitter aftertaste when I think about, what they are made for.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I am saying is that the F-35 to this point has the best safety record of any new fighter aircraft. 

Thanks for the perspective. Just one crash off the coast of Aomori.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MQ-28 is an Australian product, their Loyal Wingman program for their F-35s. It is made by Boeing Australia for the RAAF. To my knowledge the USAF isn't buying them.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/first-image-of-mq-28-ghost-bat-in-the-united-states

"Last year, the Pentagon confirmed that it had acquired at least one MQ-28 to be used to support U.S. Air Force advanced uncrewed aircraft and autonomy efforts. Earlier this year, it also emerged that Boeing has at least put forward the idea of a carrier-capable variant of the Ghost Bat."

Apparently the US has already purchased one and is looking at more and for a varied number of uses. It makes sense as they are designed to be expendable and quickly replaced using off the shelf parts.

Collaboration can be an effective tool. Japan, Italy and Britain are simply putting that concept into practice. If the US can use something designed and made in Australia, rather than spend its own dollars copying what is already available, then it can direct its R&D dollars elsewhere. Working together is what AUKUS is about. Not all military collaborations end up working with many breaking up after years of investments, but some do bear fruit.

Lets just wait and see what the outcome will be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Boeing gets the job and money. Boeing MQ-28 sale to Japan is directed at the White House level.

Actually it is at the Canberra level. The funding is jointly between the RAAF and Boeing Australia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DT said: It is a different environment than flying from land bases.

I was just pointing out that the data you posted was from USAF, not USN (including Marines). The numbers are higher for USN, due to the conditions. I posted those a few days ago in another article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Japan's development of the next generation of fighter jets, the previous FS-X project was nearly derailed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and lawmakers pandering to its ideas.

On February 2, 1989, Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita was invited to Washington, D.C. by President Bush, who was inaugurated as a new administration in January, and he emphasized the importance of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and the U.S. FS-X. Cooperation with the plan should have been loudly praised. However, it was canceled that morning due to a letter sent to the White House by 12 leading senators opposing the FS-X project. On February 14, 24 bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter to the president stating, ''If the government requests approval for the transfer of F-16 technology to Japan, we will respond by submitting a resolution disapproving it.'' President Bush set a review meeting within the government with a response deadline of March 10th, and finally decided on March 20th to ''move forward with joint development.'' However, the following additional matters were attached.

Restricting the provision of F-16 source code

Aim to maximize the U.S. share of labor at the production stage

Establish a guarantee that technology from Japan will be provided.

Technology to manufacture the main wing by integrally molding a new material (carbon-based composite material)

The latest radar technology (phased array radar)

Stealth/CCV technology

Despite a series of unequal treaties and bashing in Japan, they managed to reach an agreement. Because of this background, there is no guarantee that the United States will not interfere this time as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In this joint development, the UK is expected to work with Japan on the design of the engine and airframe, while Italy will incorporate avionics and Japan will incorporate stealth and radar technology.

In terms of operation, Japan also aims to operate fighter jets and multiple unmanned AI aircraft as a single unit, which is what the United States and China are aiming for.

Since they are not buying fighter jets from the UK and are considering operating them in conjunction with AI, it is natural that they have plans to purchase a large number of MQ-28s.

Although I believe that the deficit can be covered by the government's debt, the weaker yen has increased the trade surplus, and a path to refocusing on the semiconductor industry is beginning to emerge.

I am looking forward to seeing if we can get through this without a tax increase.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

However, the Jaguar, Tornado, and Typhoon jets are all examples of programs where the countries and governments involved successfully produced aircraft and didn't resort to buying US made.

Don't forget General Dynamics helped Mitsubishi design the F-2. Based on some of the stuff one reads here you would have thought GD and the US Government would want to bury the F-2 so it could "force" Japan to buy F-16s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apparently the US has already purchased one and is looking at more and for a varied number of uses. It makes sense as they are designed to be expendable and quickly replaced using off the shelf parts.

The US military evaluates countless prototypes of things that it never buys. The Textron Scorpion is an example. It was cute but there was no mission for it that something else either didn't do a lot better and / or for less money. A few years ago the US Army evaluated pretty much every big self propelled 155 mm howitzer made but in the end didn't select any of them for procurement. General Dynamics gave the Army a prototype they built on their own dime of an update to the M-1 Abrams tank called AbramsX featuring less weight, a new main gun capable of both direct and indirect fire (indirect fire is what Howitzers are for and something few if any tanks can do). more power and a battery electric hybrid propulsion system. The Army looked at it but isn't buying it. But not long after testing it the US Army announced the cancellation of the M-1A2SEPv4 program stating they instead will build still more advanced M-1 variant they are for now calling M-1E3. Experience in Ukraine have made it clear that the M-1 series is too heavy and it seems AbramX showed the Army a lighter tank is possible without giving up protection. But then Japan already did this with the Type 10 ......

During my active duty I remember Boeing built a really cool new tandem rotor helo prototype called the Boeing Model 360. They offered it to the Navy and Marine Corps as a CH-46 replacement (I think they were hedging in case the V-22 program failed). It was super innovative and really fast, over 200 knots in testing, but like the Textron Scorpion only one was ever made and the military never bought them.

So the Air Force will evaluate a bunch of different UCAVs before they decide on one to buy in any numbers. But from what the Air Force has been saying lately they want something cheap and expendable that can be built in very large numbers over the next two years, all of which argues against the USAF at least buying RQ-28s. Other nations will have different operational requirements.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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