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Posted: 10/7/2007 12:21:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/7/2007 12:21:58 PM EST by Lert]

Report: Japan to develop stealth fighter jets

Link
TOKYO: Japan is set to develop its own next-generation stealth fighter jets to reduce its dependence on foreign technology and counter similar moves by China and Russia, a news report said Saturday.

Japan, which wants to replace its aging fighter fleet, has also made overtures to Washington on the possibility of purchasing the U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

However, the U.S. Congress has repeatedly banned the sale of the plane to any foreign government, in an attempt to safeguard the country's advanced technology.

Japan's Defense Ministry now aims to test its own prototype stealth jet — fitted with a domestic engine, advanced control system and radar-jamming device — within five years, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper reported, citing a budget plan submitted Friday by the ministry.

A mock-up has already undergone preliminary ground tests in France, the report said. Friday's decision by the ministry to push ahead with the multibillion-yen (multimillion-dollar; multimillion-euro) project means developers will start working toward flight tests, with production in about 10 years, it said.

Japan hopes that having its own domestic stealth fighter jet would mean it would not have to rely on foreign governments for key military technology, the report said.

Homegrown stealth capabilities would also likely help Japan enhance its radar systems to counter regional rivals China and Russia, which are thought to be developing their own stealth jets, the paper said.

An official on duty at the ministry on Saturday said he was unaware of the project. He refused to give his name, citing policy.

Japan's air force has been searching for replacements for its aging fleet of F-4s and F-15s. Options include three U.S.-made planes — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-18 and advanced F-15s — as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon.

But a purchase from Washington has been hindered by its export ban, imposed in part over reluctance to share sensitive military technology with foreign governments.

Japanese navy computers' recent leak of data from a joint U.S.-Japan AEGIS radar system has also spurred U.S. concerns over sharing information with Tokyo.

On Friday, Japan and the U.S. signed a military data protection pact that tightens controls on the handling of classified information from one another's militaries.

The moves come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to bolster the country's defense coordination with the U.S.

Washington has about 50,000 troops based in Japan, its top ally in Asia, under a mutual security pact.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 12:24:57 PM EST
Great. Flying invisible ninjas coming soon.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 12:25:59 PM EST
They had enough problems with the F-2 (F-16 clones), and that's nowhere near as complicated.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:15:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I think Japan needs to restructure its Constitution and allow a military build up again.


I don't.

There are benefits to being the only game in town militarily speaking.


Japan may be our closest military ally.

Do you want to pay for the only strong military in the world?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:19:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bostonterrier97:

In the long term: we would be better off selling it to our allies (particularly: UK, Australia, and Japan) as the increased production would lower the unit cost of the jet and our Air Force could afford to buy more of them.



I hate it when we agree.

But you're right.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:20:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Japan had to cease production of it's F-2 fighter program (basically an enlarged F-16) short of it's total production goals because the costs per unit were staggering ($100 million + per pop). If they can't keep an F-16 type fighter under that pricetag, then any sort of quality stealth fighter will likely be even more expensive than an F-22. That will be problematic for a number of reasons.

If I were Japan and couldn't get the F-22, I wouldn't want to waste mucho $$$ in development of a new stealth fighter (which may turn into a flop) when I could buy Typhoons, Super Hornets (or updated F-15's with the latest AESA radars and radar absorbing coatings to reduce RCS) off the shelf and soon the F-35. The Tiffy and the Lightning will be more than capable of dealing with those pesky Sukhoi's China has if they get froggy.


Actually, this may be a case that if they can develop the stealth aspects of the fighter on their own, our objections over selling them an F-22 would be muted.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:20:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I think Japan needs to restructure its Constitution and allow a military build up again.


Japan is in the process of Repealing Article 9 in their Constitution.

They have recently upgraded their Self Defense Force from an Agency to a Ministry.

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:24:52 PM EST
Will these fighters transform into robots?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:30:11 PM EST
Here's the Japanese stealth fighter demonstrator being referenced above:











Kinda looks like what would happen if an F-18 and a F-22 had kids, doesn't it?

My guess is this won't go beyond a demonstrator model. Japan will just do enough work to show the US it is capable of building it's own stealth aircraft in the F-22 class. They probably hope that the US will just go ahead and sell them the F-22 at that point. The Japanese may figure that would save them the development cost of building their own and at the same time make us think again about selling them the F-22. Afterall, the US might not want to see Japan export any of these. So who knows what will happen?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:38:21 PM EST
if it doesn't turn into a giant robot, it's not going to impress me one damn bit!
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:43:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I think Japan needs to restructure its Constitution and allow a military build up again.


I don't.

There are benefits to being the only game in town militarily speaking.


Japan may be our closest military ally.

Do you want to pay for the only strong military in the world?


Yes. Then we can do what we want, when we want.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:48:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:49:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By AeroE:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Here's the Japanese stealth fighter demonstrator being referenced above:

aviationweek.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/06/05/rcsmodel.jpg

www.airlinebuzz.com/chickenworks/images/ATD-X.jpg

www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=430.0;attach=9195;image

www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=430.0;attach=16190;image

www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=430.0;attach=21754;image

Kinda looks like what would happen if an F-18 and a F-22 had kids, doesn't it?

My guess is this won't go beyond a demonstrator model. Japan will just do enough work to show the US it is capable of building it's own stealth aircraft in the F-22 class. They probably hope that the US will just go ahead and sell them the F-22 at that point. The Japanese may figure that would save them the development cost of building their own and at the same time make us think again about selling them the F-22. Afterall, the US might not want to see Japan export any of these. So who knows what will happen?


Pretty.


I dislike the lack of a bubble canopy. Who builds a razorback fighter anymore?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:56:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:59:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I think Japan needs to restructure its Constitution and allow a military build up again.


I don't.

There are benefits to being the only game in town militarily speaking.


Japan may be our closest military ally.

Do you want to pay for the only strong military in the world?


Yes. Then we can do what we want, when we want.


Japan having an independent military doesn't mean we cant do what we want, when we want. Unless you expect us to need to invade Japan in the near future?

Every additional man Japan puts in the field is just like putting another man in US uniform. You can expect wherever they go, we'll likely be there alongside them. I mean, would you like the US to be the only military in NATO, or would you like to have the Europeans contributing their troops to the force as well? Same thing in Japan.

On second thought, if this is the kind of people they put in the field:



Maybe I'll have second thoughts.

(That picture is from my friend's 1st Class cruise as a UF NROTC midshipman. Some sort of weird games they play on Japanese ships.)
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 1:59:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By 13-F-COLT:
if it doesn't turn into a giant robot, it's not going to impress me one damn bit!






Link Posted: 10/7/2007 2:02:34 PM EST
Is it going to use the Wii controller?

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 2:08:01 PM EST
Why would they need stealth when they can just sneak up on ya and awwwwwwwwwww shit I'm sorry...
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 2:13:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By ALLANJ:

Originally Posted By 13-F-COLT:
if it doesn't turn into a giant robot, it's not going to impress me one damn bit!




www.dfwstangs.net/coppermine/albums/userpics/10013/normal_real-veritech.jpg

www.dfwstangs.net/coppermine/albums/userpics/10013/normal_post-4-1081371268.jpg


I love Robotech.

That was the show back in the day.

Max
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 2:15:23 PM EST
They are probably going to bomb pearl harbor again.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 7:07:07 PM EST
What if a squadron of these travelled back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Would history have turned out differently?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 7:10:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
What if a squadron of these travelled back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Would history have turned out differently?


That would really suck for those F-14s which also went back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor.

Link Posted: 10/7/2007 7:28:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
What if a squadron of these travelled back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Would history have turned out differently?


No, we were ignoring what radar we had anyway.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:25:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
What if a squadron of these travelled back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Would history have turned out differently?




Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:33:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paveway_:

Originally Posted By VooDoo3dfx:
I think Japan needs to restructure its Constitution and allow a military build up again.


I don't.

There are benefits to being the only game in town militarily speaking.


Not here.
Japan will be on the front lines and will be China's first strike in any regional engagement.

They deserve the best, because they'll buy the USN and USAF time to deploy.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 2:47:12 PM EST
Perhaps Japan would be better off developing Stealthy long range UCAVs and using them in conjunction with their existing Fighters (albeit upgraded) for swarming attacks on Chinese and NK Air Defenses.

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:09:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 3:11:34 PM EST by -Duke-Nukem-]

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
What if a squadron of these travelled back in time to the eve of Pearl Harbor. Would history have turned out differently?


www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyjNInIH4Hw

Skip to about the four minute mark.

Yay!

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:16:04 PM EST
You can here a loud guitar whaling in the background.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:18:02 PM EST
Well, if Japan wants to buy the best fighter technology in the world (ours) , then halting fuel transport to our troops in Afganistan is not a good way to start.
Yeah, they announced they were bailing out of their GWOT support.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 3:53:44 PM EST
Japan could always buy some fighters from Russia, reverse-engineer them, and figure out all the inside specs and features to nullify the chicom versions. It'll cost less.

Come to think of it, have we bought a new-build squadron or two of front-line Sukhoi's and Mig's from Russia for our own use? Think about the possibilities. We know the Russkies will sell to anybody with the cash and we've got plenty. We can use them to train our guys and we can also use them for sneak attacks against enemies equipped with the same line of fighters.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:28:20 PM EST
FIREFOX! Call Clint Eastwood
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 4:57:21 PM EST
I think I would prefer to have our closest allies as well armed as possible - it takes some of the burden from us in the event of a conflict. As already mentioned, it also lowers the per unit cost to us, in addition to lowering the costs of any future upgrades if they are also on board.

-K
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:04:04 PM EST
This is principally a political game on the part of Japan, they want to be green lighted to purchase F-22s and they feel the best way to getting that to happen is to demonstrate an ability to indigenously produce a gen IV fighter comparable to the F-22. There was a good article in Aviation Leak about this a month or two ago.

Letting the Japanese buy F-22s would be one of the best moves we could make, for them and us. Keeping the F-22 production line hot longer means we have longer to order additional blocks of '22s and it also means that the per unit cost will be driven down by the economies of scale.
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