politics

Japan mulling purchase of 100 U.S. stealth fighters: report

38 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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© 2018 AFP

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38 Comments
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If the report is true, then Japan lied again, because Abe just saaid China isn't a threat and Japan will not counter China. Abe has more credibility than the report. Even if Japan wants to counter China, it still can't, that is the reality. China already implemented anti-stealth radar system. The only benefit for Japan to purchase more stealth fighter is to develop anti-stealth radar, as what China did. Only with stealthy fighter can one develop anti-stealth radar.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

No money for the plebs, but buckets of money for new toys! Who cares about health care when you can recline in your card board box eating cup noodles and see such, oh that's right the new toys are STEALTHY. Just look at the sky...everything is alright.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Jaspan is losing its direction and its Japanese character, its politicians do not care about people only about their own positions. China is not the threat the threat is from within. America is sinking and japan is wolountering to sink with it.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Abe has more credibility than the report. 

Proven just how? How can anyone say that Abe has more credibility?

Pray tell just WHAT exactly has Abe accomplished during his term as PM besides create more red ink and debt for the country, increases in our tax burden, lower our standard of living, and create more foreign relations problems by his stubborn push for changes to the constitution, and many other problems?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The Fear Generator is hard at work fueled by the taxes paid by those whom the Fear Generator is designed to control.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Yubaru, although Abe lied a lot, he didn't lie in everything. My statement is limited only to this report, which said Japan wants to counter China with stealthy fighter.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Excellent news, along with the news that Japan will convert 2 helicopter carriers to Aircraft Carriers. 100 F-35 Fighters will be a great addition, and big deterrent to PRC along with the US. PM Abe is standing up to bullies PRC and NK.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

What a foolish move on the part of a Japan. It would be much smarter to end the defense agreement with America and let China put bases in Japan. Think of all the tourism that would bring.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@Ganbare Japan!

Excellent news

Actually this is a terrible news for Japan's future security.

Where do you think the money for 100 F-35s and the conversion of Izumo class are coming from? From the abandoned F-3 program which is no longer mentioned in Japan's 5-year defense planning document.

Japan's neighbors are celebrating the demise of Japan's indigenous domestic combat aircraft industry as Japan drops out of 5th gen fighter jet race; only three countries will mass produce indigenous 5th gen combat aircraft now, the US, China, and Korea.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Yubaru, although Abe lied a lot, he didn't lie in everything. My statement is limited only to this report, which said Japan wants to counter China with stealthy fighter.

You can not separate them from each other. When one "lies" and has a established a pattern of not telling the truth it does not give them "credibility" particularly when he has flipped back and forth with regards to China!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

China is a vital economic partner of Japan. It is foolish for Japan to anger their economic partner. The economic enemy of Japan is America. Japan should buy 100 Chinese fighters and pay the Chinese to defend Japan. China has more than enough people to send to aid Japan and limitless wealth. More Chinese in Japan would end the labor shortage and enable Japan to thumb their nose at Trump.

That last point is vitally important.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

@Insane Wayne

China has more than enough people to send to aid Japan and limitless wealth. 

Actually China too is feeling the cash crunch and has suspended the work on its 4th aircraft carrier. Contrary to popular Chinese beliefs, China's wealth isn't limitless.

Each country has only limited amount of money to spend on new weapons, and Abe san is choosing to import cheap foreign weapons at the expense of Japan's domestic arms industry.

The consequence of this decision would be that Japan would have no military aerospace industry 10 years from now; all military aircraft will be imported and be at the mercy of their sellers, presumably the US.

Looking at the outcome of where things are going, it is pretty astounding that Korea's stealth fighter is only 3 years away from the factory roll-out, while Japan's stealth fighter is all but dead.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Given all the reporting and mis-reporting about the F35, I don't know whether buying them is good or bad anymore in terms of their actual performance. Certainly many countries continue to come onboard. Belgium recently decided on the F35 in place of European alternatives which, you would think, would be the natural choice for Belgium. There is an awful lot riding on the F35 and so that's both good and bad in terms of risk. Bad in the sense that if it is a genuine lemon, we have serious problems and good in the sense that people will be working overtime to make sure it does what it is meant to do.

I hope Japan continues to seek partners on its own fighter program. Certainly partnering with Europe seems like a solid possibility on what will be a 6th gen aircraft. Europe should seek to broaden the costs involved and bring in what would be some world class skill no doubt from Japan in terms of engineering etc.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Someone please remind the thieving LDP oyajis they are justifying the sales tax rises by supposedly govt coffers not having enough funds for rising social services costs. .......so stop buying bloody overpriced military hardware such as this and the Aegis system just to appease the orange Don master and local right winger egos.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Matt Hartwell

I hope Japan continues to seek partners on its own fighter program. Certainly partnering with Europe seems like a solid possibility on what will be a 6th gen aircraft. Europe should seek to broaden the costs involved and bring in what would be some world class skill no doubt from Japan in terms of engineering etc.

European consortium are already in fighting over work share, like engine and radar, and have nothing to spare for Japan.

There is nothing of substantial value to share with Japan, other than stuff like airframe structural parts, wing, tail, etc. Engines, sensors, and avionics will be European if Japan joined a European program.

At least the UK-Swedish program look more promising than the Franco-German-Spanish(Yes, Spain will sign up) program in getting work share on sensor and radar.

But Japan will not be able to compete with China and Korea on engineering of advanced combat jets by 2030 for sure, just like you see with stuff like 5G and chip engineering.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At least the UK-Swedish program look more promising than the Franco-German-Spanish(Yes, Spain will sign up) program in getting work share on sensor and radar.

Certainly Sweden can bring a lot to the table with its experience in building the Gripen. U.K has experience with the Eurofighter, so I agree that looks promising for Japan. Might be a bit easier to work with the ego's of Brits and Sweds v Germans and French as well tbh lol.

But Japan will not be able to compete with China and Korea on engineering of advanced combat jets by 2030 for sure, just like you see with stuff like 5G and chip engineering.

China sure, but South Korea? I don't see any real sign of Korea moving forward with a fighter jet program. They had an agreement with Indonesia which is floundering from what I read.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They crash and can easily be shot down...S-600. Control for maintaining them is in USA hands.

bow to the masters and make cash for your family.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The skeptical meaning of my question: Where's the money?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alexandre T. Ishii, Abe is very shrewd. Your question is deferred to next PM.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Matt Hartwell

Certainly Sweden can bring a lot to the table with its experience in building the Gripen.

Yes, but Sweden doesn't need new jets until 2040s. Saab has its order book full with the Gripen E/F and the Boeing T-X program. 

China sure, but South Korea?

Yup. 

I don't see any real sign of Korea moving forward with a fighter jet program.

The KF-X is in a full scale development and is three-years away from the roll out of the first unit.

They had an agreement with Indonesia which is floundering from what I read.

All that Indonesia contributed was a potential purchase of 50 units to the ROK airforce's 220 unit committed order. The Koreans tried to avoid the cost death spiral affecting most weapons development program by building up the economy of scale from early on. 300 unit is considered the break-even point and Korea had 270 units if they counted the Indonesian order. Any loss of 50 units doesn't delay the program schedule, it only affects the unit cost of jets.

Also this timeline on development

https://www.janes.com/article/81883/meggitt-wins-another-kfx-deal

KAI is scheduled to complete the CDR by 2019 and then roll-out the first KFX prototype by 2021. A total of six prototypes will be built.

All the KF-X parts supplier's press release say the roll-out date is 2021, and there are hundreds of those across the globe, supplying everything from plastic liners to ejection seats to fasteners.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Is the KF-X 5th generation?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From that Janes article

"KAI is scheduled to complete the CDR by 2019 and then roll-out the first KFX prototype by 2021. A total of six prototypes will be built."

Prototypes aren't mass production. It will be years after the prototypes before that happens.

And looking at the pics, with exposed weaponry, its clearly not 5th gen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Back on topic for just a wee second, the F35 B is not stealthy when loaded with external bunker busters. Which version are these extra 100 F35s going to be, I wonder?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Matt Hartwell

Is the KF-X 5th generation?

Yes. Block 2 and Block 3 units are. The reason they were ambiguous about the true nature of the KF-X program is to overcome the US opposition to the program. The US obviously doesn't like competitors emerging, so Koreans downplayed the true nature of the KF-X while getting US approval on certain tech transfers and parts sales, going as far as trying to make it look smaller than the F-35. Only when the US gave approvals, the KF-X blew up in size and is now bigger than the F-35.

Japan likewise would have faced a fierce US opposition to the indigenous F-3 program, but Japanese MoD officials didn't know how to play Pentagon officials like their Korean counterpart. So in this regard, Korean MoD officials are far more skilled in dealing with Americans than Japanese MoD officials are.

Prototypes aren't mass production.

These are prototypes of combat jets, not some experimental like the X-2. The scheduled IOC date of the first squadron is 2026 after 5 years of intensive testing.

And looking at the pics, with exposed weaponry, its clearly not 5th gen.

That's exactly how Koreans manages to make their weapons look non-threatening.

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=53768

Koreans regularly do this to not draw attentions to their programs.

Korea's 7,600 ton destroyer turned out to be bigger than 11,000 ton US Aegis cruisers.

Korea's 3,000 ton submarine turned out to be the biggest conventional sub of modern time.

Korea's "F-16 replacement" turned out to be bigger and much faster than the F-35.
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Wasting our tax money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Trump: "I will put more tax on Japanese cars!"

Abe: "How about us buying your fighter jets with 1 trillion yen(12 billion dollars)?

but promise me you tone down demanding to Japan, deal?"

Trump: "Deal, Done!"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is more like buying stuff from the US to clam down Trump and tariffs.

Couple of months ago Jp gov announced the plan to buy land AEGIS for also several $B.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The US obviously doesn't like competitors emerging, so Koreans downplayed the true nature of the KF-X while getting US approval on certain tech transfers and parts sales, going as far as trying to make it look smaller than the F-35. Only when the US gave approvals, the KF-X blew up in size and is now bigger than the F-35.

So what happens when it becomes apparent that South Korea has deceived the U.S?

Obviously they ain't going to be too happy. Seems very risky. Does any of this manufacturing, in terms of the supply chain, rely on components outside of South Korea and if so, how does South Korea plan to deal with the U.S once they put pressure on these countries to withdraw support for the Korean jet given that the U.S economy is far more important to most countries. Not to mention other allies that will no doubt toe the U.S line?

Its a risky move imo.

And back onto the F35. I Japan made a quick decision on procuring another 100, I would be pretty confident in delivery before South Korea had its first squadron up and running, given the entire process of manufacturing the F35 is already well established by now. Australia for instance, has already receive 10 of their jets and pilots are undergoing training and testing the aircraft in Arizona.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Any air force that relies on the F35 multi role fighter to cover all of its needs will be a poor air force.

While it has high stealth and information gathering and dissemination abilities it is to slow at mach 1.6 for interdiction and aerial superiority when fighting countries that have craft suited for the different roles.

SU 35s has a top speed of mach 2.25 and is designed as an air superiority fighter. If your out of missiles on a F35, you cant run.

Combinations of aircraft in your inventory is the best way to go. For Japan, perhaps they could offer to buy 50 SU-35S in exchange for a timeline on returning the islands in dispute. It would enhance their combat capability and even China has purchased some for their speed at interdiction.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Combinations of aircraft in your inventory is the best way to go. For Japan, perhaps they could offer to buy 50 SU-35S in exchange for a timeline on returning the islands in dispute. It would enhance their combat capability and even China has purchased some for their speed at interdiction.

Can those aircraft be sabotaged remotely? Would Japan, as a U.S ally, ever be able to trust Russian hardware?

Not saying Russian gear is not good, but if those weapons are turned on China, what action will Russia take?

Its the same question I have for the Indians and their procurement of the S400. Its clearly designed to deter China. Would Russia allow that weapon to be used to shoot down Chinese jets?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Russia and China are two different equations. They are not signed up allies. Russia sells high tech equipment to china and other nations. If they have a back door to their equipment it would be unwise to use it unless the equipment was being used directly against Russia. If they did it would end their export of military equipment with any digital reliance.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

They are not signed up allies. 

They are increasingly acting like they are.

If they have a back door to their equipment it would be unwise to use it unless the equipment was being used directly against Russia. If they did it would end their export of military equipment with any digital reliance.

I think if it becomes a choice between making the Chinese very angry and losing exports, I think they will take the second option, every single time....

Certainly if China managed to get some inside information that the systems could be sabotaged remotely, they are sure to ask the Russians to act in any sort of border conflict with India.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Russia is about as worried of China as it is of the US and it has no problem upsetting them at every opportunity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Russia is about as worried of China as it is of the US and it has no problem upsetting them at every opportunity.

I see absolutely no evidence of that statement being true. These two just conducted the largest military exercises together since the Cold War days. Russia is busy trying to tie up energy deals with China since its fortunes with Europe are on a downward trend and China is cashed up.

At every turn Putin makes it clear that Russia considers China a friend and strategic partner, if, as I say, not yet quite an outright ally.

There might be some back of the mind worries about having a country so powerful so close to your borders and being completely overpowered in terms of manpower should things take a weird turn for the worse, but its clear that for now, Russia and China are best mates and that's a message neither leader seems to mind projecting.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why on earth would Russia be afraid of making China angry? It cares so little about trade with the EU and America why would it be different with China? Russia does what it wants when it wants. Today Putin is friendly with Xi because it makes sense to offset America. Should there be issues in the future with China, Russia will not hesitate do do what it wants. If its actions upset China i'm sure Putin will not lose any sleep over it. Their nuclear arsenal has thousands more warheads than China has. Russia fears nobody.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Matt Hartwell

So what happens when it becomes apparent that South Korea has deceived the U.S?

Americans already know.

Obviously they ain't going to be too happy.

Americans are happy as long as they make money.

Does any of this manufacturing, in terms of the supply chain, rely on components outside of South Korea

Some parts, like 50% of engine, fire suppression, canopy liner, APU, etc. Also has many European and Canadian parts.

As long as Koreans can put their own avionics into the KF-X, the maintainability of the KF-X improves drastically.

Japan made a quick decision on procuring another 100, I would be pretty confident in delivery before South Korea had its first squadron up and running

Of course, but Japan's own military aerospace industry would bite dust and Japan becomes a country 100% dependent on foreign vendors for combat jets against two regional rivals with their own stealth fighters. This is a very risk preposition in terms of Japan's national security in the long term.

Can those aircraft be sabotaged remotely?

Yes

Would Japan, as a U.S ally, ever be able to trust Russian hardware?

No, because Japan and Russia are still at war, remember?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If the report is true, then Japan lied again, because Abe just saaid China isn't a threat and Japan will not counter China. Abe has more credibility than the report. Even if Japan wants to counter China, it still can't, that is the reality. China already implemented anti-stealth radar system. The only benefit for Japan to purchase more stealth fighter is to develop anti-stealth radar, as what China did. Only with stealthy fighter can one develop anti-stealth radar.

So it's Made in China tech then? Next thing you know, these equipment will be scrap in the next few years or so. Quality over quantity, always remember that amachua.

>

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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