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Lockheed Martin to help Japan build stealth fighter

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Who knows after January 20 this deal may be blocked.

Because a strong Japan will not help Chinese dreams..

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Home grown design? Here goes another multiple trillion on a project that's just not going to cut it, if it ends up not being cancelled.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Yup, and a declining birth rate with fewer young people to pilot and service the aircraft let alone to support society and the economy. LDP can't think ahead; only what's right in front of their nose, or abenomask.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Isn't this the one that's rumored to be/based on the YF-23?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Always promising news to see the Japanese Military being beefed up. Bring on the F-3 fighter, probably around 200 of them. Looks like an awesome fighter jet. Make Japans neighbors to the West and North tremble!

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Home grown design? Here goes another multiple trillion on a project that's just not going to cut it, if it ends up not being cancelled.

Why? The F-2 has been built in large numbers and has served the JASDF well.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Over 75 years ago Lockheed P-38 LIghtnings were dogfighting with Mitsubishi Zeros over the Pacific. Today they work together to stop the Chinese dictatorship from taking over the Pacific.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Yup, and a declining birth rate with fewer young people to pilot and service the aircraft let alone to support society and the economy. LDP can't think ahead; only what's right in front of their nose, or abenomask.

So what is your preferred solution? And obtw China faces a more daunting demographic time bomb than Japan does as fully a third of its population still lives in abject poverty and they do not have the NGOs and civil society organizations available to help their elderly and their poor.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan might want to ask the USAF for a peek at the NGAD, Next Generation Air Dominance, fighter a prototype of which, possibly more than one prototype, has been tested by the USAF.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Isn't this the one that's rumored to be/based on the YF-23?

While faster and more stealthy than the F-22 the YF-23 lacked the the F-22s agility. In addition the YF-23s long narrow weapons bay was less flexible than the two wider weapons bays in the F-22. Indeed while the YF-22 successfully employed missiles during testing that was not the case with the YF-23 prototype.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, if Japanese taxpayers are in for half of the cost, that's only about 16 billion yen per every man, woman and child in Japan.

That's a bargain at twice the price. Get to work and pay those taxes. Gambare!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

I'm aware. But that doesn't confirm or dispute the rumor that this plane will be based on the YF-23....

They'd probably save a some money expanding that design.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, if Japanese taxpayers are in for half of the cost, that's only about 16 billion yen per every man, woman and child in Japan.

I don't know where you're getting your money from, but that number would be roughly USD$160 million dollars per person. Or 5 Quadrillion dollars.

I think your numbers must be wrong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In the world today, exaggeration and false facts are the new norm.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm aware. But that doesn't confirm or dispute the rumor that this plane will be based on the YF-23....

They'd probably save a some money expanding that design.

The YF-23 flew 40 years ago. It's yesterday's technology. USAF is already testing a 6th generation design called NGAD. No F designation yet, and no images, but supposedly a production decision is not far off.

https://theaviationist.com/2020/09/15/the-u-s-air-force-has-secretly-built-and-flown-a-full-scale-demonstrator-of-its-next-generation-fighter/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Over 75 years ago Lockheed P-38 LIghtnings were dogfighting with Mitsubishi Zeros over the Pacific. Today they work together to stop the Chinese dictatorship from taking over the Pacific.

The P-38 was the highest scoring fighter the US had in the Pacific but in Europe escorting bombers over Germany it was altogether unsatisfactory. Cabin heat was inadequate for the cold high altitude missions they flew, frostbite was a real danger, and engine management was very difficult compared to single engine fighters. They had to run at lower rpm and lean mixtures to have the range necessary to escort the bombers but they couldn't fight at those lean power settings. A lot of P-38s were lost before their pilots could, in sequence, push the mixture control to full rich, increase propeller rpm to max and only then could the throttles be advanced to full power to maneuver and dogfight. Tactics in the Pacific were different and engine management was never the problem in that theater plus the climate was hot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In the world today, exaggeration and false facts are the new norm.

Do you really think that is true? Were they still alive William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer might disagree with that statement if they were honest, which they often were not. They were notorious in the late 19th and early 20th Century for their "yellow journalism" and self promotion. They have a lot in common with Rupert Murdoch. Hearst is even famously quoted saying "You provide the pictures, I'll provide the war". It is ironic that today the Pulitzer name is used to reward the very best modern journalism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Begging the question of whether they are really even necessary, wouldn't it be cheaper to simply buy them off the shelf and thus assure compatibility and integrity of replacement parts with the aircraft flown by allies?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Alright, let's be honest.

Fighter aircraft are a massive waste of money, except as a money making vector for the military industry.

Hypersonic ground-to-air hardware is more effective.

The biggest single limitation of fighter aircraft is the limited g-load capacity of humans in the cockpit.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The biggest single limitation of fighter aircraft is the limited g-load capacity of humans in the cockpit.

We are at moment of pilotless planes. Smaller, lighter, cheaper.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@porto

Isn't this the one that's rumored to be/based on the YF-23?

No, a deltawing F-22.

@Desert Tortoise

Japan might want to ask the USAF for a peek at the NGAD

NGAD is off-limit to all foreign countries.

YF-23 lacked the the F-22s agility

YF-23 met the maneuverability requirement. What made the USAF choose the YF-22 was the USAF's aversion of Northrop over the cost overrun of the B-2 program; the USAF feared the YF-23 would repeat the B-2's history of cost overruns, so it chose Lockheed over Northrop.

Now the time has changed and it's Lockheed that's the contractor to avoid. My understanding is that the NGAD prototype is a Boeing, the result of Black Diamond program.

@Peter Neil

So, if Japanese taxpayers are in for half of the cost

No, 100% of cost. If Japan wanted to cost share, it should have chosen BAE Tempest program instead.

@expat

wouldn't it be cheaper to simply buy them off the shelf

1) National Pride thing. China and Korea are already rolling out their own stealth fighters, Japan alone doesn't have one.

2) Industrial preservation.

3) Japan claims no existing jet can meet the range requirement.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Good, and every other company with a brain should be backing anyone who understands the threat china is to world freedoms and development. Iif you you support the CCP time to stop, if you continue to buy china time to stop.

When they stop threatening and bullying the region then they can sit down and re negotiate the terms of their involvement in the world until then hard line with them and support any one who opposes their oppression and bullying, well done Lockheed Martin, anyone else going to step up ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

China already has flying drone armadas. What can stop a coordinated attack by these?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We've done this with a few jets. The F-16 has a Japanese copy as well, and I believe General Dynamics helped Mistubishi every step of the way on that, too.

I wonder how much of that comes from it being easier to sell an expensive program if the taxpayers think it's for advanced Japanese aerospace technology made in Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fighter aircraft are a massive waste of money, except as a money making vector for the military industry.

Hypersonic ground-to-air hardware is more effective.

The biggest single limitation of fighter aircraft is the limited g-load capacity of humans in the cockpit.

Hypersonic weapons have strengths and limitations but missiles alone are not enough to take control of an enemies air space. For taking down air defenses you need persistence, the ability to loiter for a period of time to figure out what the enemy has and where and make some choices on how to take their defenses down. To do that today against the best ground based air defenses you need all aspect stealth so you can loiter and look for their radars and missiles. They are necessary to provide those hypersonic missiles their targeting information. For taking out an enemies air force how do you propose to do this using only missiles? How do you propose to get close enough to the enemy to fire these missiles? For that you need aircraft that can penetrate an enemies air defenses to get close enough to the enemy air force to defeat it. Likewise you need an air force with airplanes to defend your own territory and your own forces when deployed. Missiles alone are not enough and ground based systems don't have the sensor horizon to do the job. Unmanned stuff with AI can do some of this but not all. But you can team inexpensive unmanned aircraft in large numbers with manned aircraft to achieve synergies at a fraction of the cost of using all manned aircraft. That is apparently the future of air combat, a mixture of manned and unmanned air vehicles. The XQ-58 Valkyrie is an example of something like this on the low end. At their current price point comparable to a cruise missile the USAF could buy many thousands to throw at an enemy and not be too concerned about losses. The RQ-180 is an example of something on the high end.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Begging the question of whether they are really even necessary, wouldn't it be cheaper to simply buy them off the shelf and thus assure compatibility and integrity of replacement parts with the aircraft flown by allies?

Alliances can change over time. Nations can be cut off from allies in time of war or the ally itself can be under attack and their own fighter jet production disrupted badly. Nations often prefer to develop and build their own weapons, including front line combat jets, in order to have the ability to do so independently of any other nation. The knowledge to do this kind of work, to keep abreast of the latest military/aviation/technological developments, understand the newest technologies and translate these into a fully tested combat jet ready for production is a highly perishable commodity. It is a skill that has to be exercised regularly or its lost. Once lost it is very hard to recapitalize. Just knowing how to conduct a successful test program, knowing what to test, in the lab, the wind tunnel or with pre-production prototypes is a very specific skill set. It takes time to learn these skills and even more time to get really good at it. Countries like the US, Britain and Russia have done it so many times since the beginning of aviation they know the process inside and out. Once you are there you don't ever want to surrender that skill by buying from someone else even if doing so is less costly. There is a great cost to surrendering those skills and letting the supporting infrastructure wither.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how much of that comes from it being easier to sell an expensive program if the taxpayers think it's for advanced Japanese aerospace technology made in Japan?

Programs like the F-2 are part of the learning process. Co-production of someone else's design is the first step. Think F-15J and the F-4 before that. You start off assembling kits produced abroad and over time do more of the subcontracting work in house until you are building all of the aircraft domestically. That teaches the production piece but the nation still has no idea how to design and test a new aircraft. Often, to do that a nation that has been producing someone else's design and work with their aerospace companies to come up with a new design that is a derivative of something already flying but changed to fit the needs of the nation that will build it. That teaches aspects of initial design, prototyping and very importantly, how to conduct a successful test program. Then you have to design a production line, the necessary tooling and all of that to bring your new design to production. Japan has done all of this and is now taking the next logical step, a clean sheet design tailored to Japanese requirements with some help from experienced aerospace giants.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YF-23 met the maneuverability requirement. What made the USAF choose the YF-22 was the USAF's aversion of Northrop over the cost overrun of the B-2 program; the USAF feared the YF-23 would repeat the B-2's history of cost overruns, so it chose Lockheed over Northrop

No, that is not the case. In fact what you mention is not allowed to be considered in a source selection. Source selection teams are only allowed to consider what is presented to them by the contractors in their source selection documents. The documents have a rigidly specific format. If the contractor varies from that specified format their offer is not considered. If you vary from this the government gets sued by one of the contractors and the program is delayed, possibly even cancelled. Source selection teams are usually exquisitely careful to follow the rules and make their decisions only on what is presented to them by the competitors. The first KC-46 source selection is taught as a classic example of how not to conduct a source selection. People went to jail btw. If prior cost overruns were a criteria in source selections or in allowing contractors to bid the US would never be able to contract with anyone! Cost over runs are sadly ubiquitous. Every DoD contractor is guilty of them, because cost over runs and schedule delays are more profitable than being on time and on budget. Typically on competitive cost-plus and firm fixed price contracts, cost over runs are on the order of 40% over the original expected contract value. Amazing but true, supposedly firm fixed price contracts historically have cost overruns as large as those with cost-plus contracts. Interesting sole source contracts tend to overrun less often and when they do it is typically under 10% above the original contract value. I know this because I live it.

The YF-22 had greater agility than the YF-23 demonstrated and its weapons bay was not as flexible as that of the F-22. Both may have met the minimum thresholds for agility but one was superior to the other and that is the aircraft that won. In addition N-G was never able to demonstrate any weapons with their YF-23 prototype where the YF-22 successfully deployed a variety of weapons. Weapons integration takes a lot of time and money and the YF-22 demonstrated that Lockheed-Martin was well ahead of N-G on this matter. The YF-23 is a beautiful sexy aircraft. I have seen and touched one. But the F-22 was better. Both are now being made old tech by the NGAD.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

China already has flying drone armadas. What can stop a coordinated attack by these?

They haven't demonstrated the sort of coordination the US envisions. They just fire a lot of stuff at you but it the drones aren't talking to each other coordinating their activities. It's just a lot of stuff to fill up the radar screen so hopefully an airplane with bombs gets through the clutter without being shot down. The US has small aerial decoys too for the same basic purpose ADM-160 MALD is an example of such a system. Swarming drones are far beyond this technology however, but you might see swarming tech show up in the XQ-58 Valkyrie, which supposedly has a weapons bay and the ability to carry jammers or other EW gear.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

That was a lot to read, but you make some valid points.

My own two cents on the matter.

The F3 is definitely necessary in the current climate and conditions. Not because we want to waste money, but because we need to protect a nation of 127 million people, #3 economically, at a very important location geographically. Next to big powers like China, Russia and a North Korea equipped with Nuclear weapons that's unpredictable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quite honesty, I would be sceptical about doing any joint venture with Japan, at this time.

Nor would I concede any exchange of technological information to Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Alan HarrisonToday  06:08 am JST

Quite honesty, I would be sceptical about doing any joint venture with Japan, at this time.

Nor would I concede any exchange of technological information to Japan.

Why not? Gives your country a chance to steal it as usual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quite honesty, I would be sceptical about doing any joint venture with Japan, at this time.

Japan is developing the SM-3 Block II with Raytheon and the US MDA. Seems to be working well for everyone involved. They just shot down an ICBM target, which is something well beyond the scope of earlier versions of SM-3 or THAAD, which are aimed at shorter ranged and lower flying IRBMs and battlefield missiles. Hitting an ICBM is the Holy Grail of BMD. The only times it has been done before have been with much larger and heavier missiles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aughh, Japan has as much to share with the US as US is sharing with Japan.

The slim engine prototype that can generate 107.9 kN dry and 147.10 kN wet with a diameter less then a 1M is nothing to sneeze at.

Another would be the smart-skin sensor system and the newly developed GaN powered AESA radar system which will also act as a microwave weapon against incoming missiles.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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