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Japan to order 100 more F-35 fighters from US (42 F-35A + 100 F-35A/B)

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  • Vnomad
    Rank 5 Registered User

    Japan to order 100 more F-35 fighters from US (42 F-35A + 100 F-35A/B)

    Japan to order 100 more F-35 fighters from US


    Move comes in response to China's military rise and Trump's pressure

    Nikkei staff writers
    November 27, 2018 11:26 JST

    TOKYO -- Japan is preparing to order another 100 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S. to replace some of its aging F-15s, according to sources.

    The plan can be considered a response to China's military buildup, as well as a nod to U.S. President Donald Trump's call for Tokyo to buy more American defense equipment. Japan already intended to procure 42 of the new fighters.

    A single F-35 costs more than 10 billion yen ($88.1 million), meaning the additional order would exceed 1 trillion yen.

    Japan's government plans to approve the purchase when it adopts new National Defense Program Guidelines at a cabinet meeting in mid-December. It will also include the F-35 order in its medium-term defense program, which covers fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023. The government wants to obtain 42 F-35s as successors to its F-4s by fiscal 2024.

    The 42 fighters Japan originally planned to buy are all F-35As, a conventional takeoff and landing variant. The additional 100 planes would include both the F-35A and F-35B, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings.

    At present, Japan deploys about 200 F-15s, roughly half of which cannot be upgraded. The Defense Ministry wants to replace the planes that cannot be upgraded with the 100 F-35s, while enhancing and retaining the remaining F-15s.

    To accommodate the F-35Bs, the government intends to revamp the Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Izumo helicopter carrier to host the fighters.

    Japan's neighbors are busy introducing their own advanced military aircraft. China deployed its homegrown J-20 stealth fighter in February, and by 2030 some experts expect the country to build a fleet of more than 250 fifth-generation jets -- as the latest generation of fighters like the F-35 is known.

    Russia, too, is expected to introduce its fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 in 2019, at the earliest.

    To keep up, Tokyo believes it is imperative to significantly increase its procurement of the most sophisticated stealth jets.

    At the same time, Trump has repeatedly urged Japan to purchase more American hardware and reduce the trade imbalance between the countries. Buying more of the high-priced fighters is a quick way to do that.

    In September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Trump, "Introducing high-performance equipment, including American [materiel], is important for our country to strengthen its defense capabilities."

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Int...ghters-from-US
  • stealthflanker
    Rank 5 Registered User

    #2
    So, what kind of striking power we can expect from F-35B based on Izumo ?.

    Comment

    • Ozair
      Rank 5 Registered User

      #3
      So, what kind of striking power we can expect from F-35B based on Izumo ?.
      Japan has already expressed interest in the JSM so I'd expect that to be the ASCM of choice. I'd also expect SDB II for ground targets as well as the Japanese modified Meteor being developed with the UK. The jet will likely have a combat radius of approximately 500nm with a standard USMC take off profile but I'd expect the Japanese to fit the Izumo with a ski jump to reduce the take off distance. Be interesting to see if they adopt the SRVL to improve the bring back.

      Comment

      • totoro
        Rank 5 Registered User

        #4
        Getting 100 more on top of the 42 ordered, ones set to replace the F-4s, doesn't fare well for the prospect of new Japanese air superiority fighter. If half of the F-15s are replaced by F-35s, then the case for financing a new fighter is quite hard to win. To pay tens of billions just to replace 100 F-15s remaining? Even if the new fighter eventually somehow replaces the smaller planes like the F-2, that's still some 180 planes in total. Seems rather unsustainable for Japanese finances. Unless Japan desires to significantly increase its air forces (by a factor of 30-50%) or co-develops that plane with someone, halving the development costs.

        Comment

        • St. John
          Rank 3 Registered User

          #5
          Looks like 40 F-35Bs, so an extra 60 F-35As making 102 As and 40 Bs in total.

          https://defence-blog.com/news/japan-...-aircraft.html

          Comment

          • JSR
            JSR
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #6
            doesn't fare well for the prospect of new Japanese air superiority fighter.
            Japan neither has the technical ability nor money to build its own fighter. both F-15J and F-2 are likely to be replaced by F-35. but we have to see what time frame the procurement spread out.
            but this big announcement will help politically just in case they need US help with Nissan-Renault.

            Comment

            • ananda
              Rank 5 Registered User

              #7
              Their plan for F3 still there. To say world third largest economy does not have money to build their own fighter is rediculous.
              Japan does not have money..but yeah Russia have..

              Comment

              • JSR
                JSR
                Rank 5 Registered User

                #8
                I can bet on this one. Japan cannot make F-3. They throw the towel with Mistsubishi MRJ even with 99% imported equipment and foreign flight testing. Honda Jet is US made with GE engines.
                Japan competition is with smaller countries like Korea.
                They post trade deficit with shrinking population. There is no technical people left for 5G fighter let going to 6G.

                https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ja...cit-2018-11-18
                Japan posts wider-than-expected Oct. trade deficit

                Comment

                • ananda
                  Rank 5 Registered User

                  #9
                  Who says MRJ already throw the towel..? MRJ being delayed..well so does 787..
                  Will MRJ gain more market outside Japan domestic market..time will tell..but at least it won't be worse that Sukhoi Superjet..

                  F3 will be build with foreign support..so does F2 and F1..based on Japan historical performance on F2 and F1..it will be over budget..but so does any Fighter development.

                  ​​​​​​They have deficit..so does US..but it doesn't say they have no money to build F3..
                  Heck even Korea on track on building their own fighter.

                  ​​​​​​Again..how a much bigger economy then Russia did not have money to build their own fighter...?

                  Well..will see then when F3 come out..

                  Comment

                  • eagle
                    Rank 5 Registered User

                    #10
                    Getting 100 more on top of the 42 ordered, ones set to replace the F-4s, doesn't fare well for the prospect of new Japanese air superiority fighter. If half of the F-15s are replaced by F-35s, then the case for financing a new fighter is quite hard to win. To pay tens of billions just to replace 100 F-15s remaining? Even if the new fighter eventually somehow replaces the smaller planes like the F-2, that's still some 180 planes in total. Seems rather unsustainable for Japanese finances. Unless Japan desires to significantly increase its air forces (by a factor of 30-50%) or co-develops that plane with someone, halving the development costs.
                    Replacing the F-2 fleet along with the 100 or so F-15MJ with F-3 has been the plan for some time. 180 is not a small number, like the F-22 coincidentally, and about twice the number of F-2s.
                    Besides, development is going to be very expensive, no matter how many they build. It's a political choice whether or not they want so spend x billion on development. How much depends on design choices, from something like souped up F-15 to completely new 6th gen F-3, not on numbers built.
                    How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more.
                    Yngwie Malmsteen

                    Comment

                    • XB-70
                      Rank 3 Registered User

                      #11
                      Fantastic news for the F-35 program, but it likely means the domestic program for a 5G fighter is dead. Maybe they will join with a nascent 6th gen program instead?

                      St. John - 40 of the B variant seems excessive for just the two ships. The standard aviation compliment for the Izumo class is just nine helis. I'm sure you can do more, and you can perhaps pack the F-35's a little tighter. But they aren't going to be able to handle more than 14-16 combined fighters and helis while conducting ops. There just isn't enough deck space. I think 25 to 30 would be a more reasonable estimate. That would still leave some spares for training and such.

                      Comment

                      • JSR
                        JSR
                        Rank 5 Registered User

                        #12
                        Who says MRJ already throw the towel..? MRJ being delayed..well so does 787..
                        Boeing 787 is first airline that use extensive composites and advanced strong titanium. Mitsubishi MRJ is obsolete from the start. somehow Japanese don't want to mix advance composites.

                        https://www.boeing.com/features/inno...-titanium.page
                        The quest for stronger, cheaper titanium alloys

                        About 10 years ago, Vladislav Tetyukhin, then general director of VSMPO-AVISMA, and his research team, created a concept of a new lower cost alloy, VST2, aimed at replacement of Ti 6Al-4V, which could be produced with the use of scrap of various titanium alloys serially produced by VSMPO at the level of about 75 percent.


                        Will MRJ gain more market outside Japan domestic market..time will tell..but at least it won't be worse that Sukhoi Superjet..

                        The purpose behind Superjet is to build advanced civil airliner faraway from population center at same place as Fighters. it is the foundation of other Civil airline projects.
                        F3 will be build with foreign support..so does F2 and F1..based on Japan historical performance on F2 and F1..it will be over budget..but so does any Fighter development.

                        ​​​​​​They have deficit..so does US..but it doesn't say they have no money to build F3..
                        Heck even Korea on track on building their own fighter.

                        ​​​​​​Again..how a much bigger economy then Russia did not have money to build their own fighter...?

                        Well..will see then when F3 come out

                        Yes I am waiting for Japanese aviation miracle based on historical performance as if past and future are the same.

                        Comment

                        • Sintra
                          Rank 5 Registered User

                          #13
                          " according to sources."

                          Lets wait a bit, shall we?
                          sigpic

                          Comment

                          • St. John
                            Rank 3 Registered User

                            #14
                            XB-70, it wasn't an estimate, it's what the link states. You'll also find that the Izumo is far bigger than the legacy UK Invincible Class (about 25% more deck area), which could carry up to 22 Harriers. That said, they will likely put them on rotation, with only a portion of them serving at sea at any one time to prolong lifespans and allow for maintenance. Very rarely does any carrier force carry its maximum complement of aircraft.

                            Comment

                            • JakobS
                              Rank 5 Registered User

                              #15
                              - 40 of the B variant seems excessive for just the two ships. The standard aviation compliment for the Izumo class is just nine helis. I'm sure you can do more, and you can perhaps pack the F-35's a little tighter. But they aren't going to be able to handle more than 14-16 combined fighters and helis while conducting ops. There just isn't enough deck space. I think 25 to 30 would be a more reasonable estimate. That would still leave some spares for training and such.
                              That is silly, I would argue the direct opposite. If you have 40 planes then expect half of them to be unavailable at any given time. And if the crap hits the fan and you actually have to use them you will be very glad for every single one of them. Plus they may even plan to build more Izumo's. I would say a bigger number than 40 is definitely needed.

                              Comment

                              • swerve
                                Rank 5 Registered User

                                #16
                                40 F-35B for Izumo & Kaga isn't excessive. Their standard complement of 9 helicopters is far below their capacity. To fill them both, plus attrition replacements & some for training, 40's a reasonable number.

                                They're a few metres longer & with a 1 metre narrower deck than Cavour, which is supposed to be able to operate 16 F-35B.

                                As for future fighter requirements, the JASDF currently has 155 F-15J, 45 F-15DJ trainers, 82 F-2 (fewer than desired, after the 2011 losses) including 20 trainers, & 73 F-4 remaining. The first batch of 42 F-35A is supposed to replace F-4. If the report of 100 extra F-35s is correct, that still leaves at least 180 fighters (the F-2s & newer F-15s scheduled to to be upgraded) with no replacement yet decided.
                                Last edited by swerve; 27th November 2018, 22:35.
                                Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                Justinian

                                Comment

                                • QuantumFX
                                  What?

                                  #17
                                  I see several comments casting doubt over the indigenous 5th gen fighter due to this purchase. However, Japan wants an F-22 class fighter. So they have to continue with the X-2 program. They will likely jump to a 5+/5.5 gen fighter. There was already some good news regarding the next-gen engine core.

                                  Comment

                                  • F/A-XX
                                    Rank 5 Registered User

                                    #18
                                    I wish Washington would aggressive push for Japan to go with that modernized F-22 that Lockheed offered Japan awhile ago and get the USAF in on a few hundred. I'm pretty sure the Japanese are going to be in for a rude awakening when they discover the real cost of developing a 5th generation fighter.

                                    Comment

                                    • bring_it_on
                                      2005-year of the RAPTOR!!

                                      #19
                                      The modernization requirement based purely on fleet replacement needs does not factor in what capability they will need in the coming decades given the qualitatively and quantitatively evolving airpower in their region. Japan will likely need to build up capacity given where China is likely to be in the 2030+ time-frame so there will be plenty of demand for F-3's in the 2030+ time-frame as long as they can get an F-3 at a reasonable cost to develop.
                                      Old radar types never die; they just phased array

                                      Comment

                                      • J Boyle
                                        With malice towards none

                                        #20
                                        While not reading the regional press, I'd have to say the real story here is Japanese/Chinese relations as opposed to simple aircraft numbers.
                                        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                                        Comment

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