Japan Working on New Stealth Fighter

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Japan Has an All-New Jet Fighter In the Works
Kyle Mizokami
Popular Mechanics July 9, 2020, 5:27 PM
[Linked Image from armytimes.com]

Photo credit: Japan Ministry of Defense

Japan has announced a timeline for a new, unnamed fighter jet to challenge China's J-20 fighter.

The new, stealthy fighter will enter production in 2031.

The aircraft will replace the aging Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet, which is based on the American F-16.

The Japanese government has officially proposed a timeline for a new fighter jet designed to maintain an aerial advantage over potential North Korean and Chinese adversaries. The unnamed fighter, which will be optimized for air-to-air combat, will replace the Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet, which was originally based on the American F-16 Fighting Falcon. Tokyo expects the new fighter to enter production in 2031.

[Linked Image from fighterjetsworld.com]


The plan, according to Defense News, was laid out by Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. It envisions selecting a prime contractor as soon as October 2020, followed by construction of the first aircraft by 2024. First flight would follow in 2028, followed by production in 2031. The new jet will officially join the Japan Air Self Defense Force, Japan's air force, in 2035.

Japan had originally planned to replace its fleet of 200 plus F-15J Eagle fighters with the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor but the U.S. Congress, fearing a leak of F-22 technology if the plane were sold abroad, passed a law to prohibit the jet's export.

Instead, Japan is purchasing 157 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and will continue to fly approximately 90 Mitsubishi F-2s. A larger, more robust version of the F-16 first developed in the 1990s, the F-2 will age out in the 2030s when the new jet will take its place. It is unclear how many planes Japan would ultimately build, or whether or not it would be offered on the international fighter market. Given the extreme cost of developing a fighter, Tokyo will probably try to sell as many of the jets overseas as possible.

Japan faces armed pressure from its neighbors, among them China, Russia, and North Korea. Japan has territorial disputes with both China and Russia, and Beijing and Moscow regularly fly warplanes near Japanese airspace as a show of force. North Korea, although equipped with an aging and largely obsolete air force, is armed with nuclear weapons and considers Japan an enemy state.

Japan's timetable to build the new fighter is ambitious, but it flew a fighter-like technology demonstrator, ATD-X, between 2016 and 2018. According to the Alert 5 blog, it will also receive assistance developing the jet's turbine engines from the U.K. The early work and foreign assistance should provide a much-needed developmental boost.

The Defence News
 
Japan had always wanted to buy the F-22, but US gov't said no foreign sales of that fighter. Guess they were forced to design and build their own. The concept drawing looks pretty cool.
 
Interesting I was just having a conversation about this with someone.

Is the F-22 the most advanced within the US inventory?
 
Originally Posted by Marco620
Good on them. Im retiring there so I have something to see.


I want to go to Japan. Looks very nice.
 
I don't understand how the F-22, designed nearly 35 years ago, has technology that still needs to be protected from export, while the 10 years newer and equally complex (maybe more so) F-35 can be sold seemingly to any friendly country that wants to help pay the bills for it.

I know there's more to the F-22's capabilities than just its shape but the F-35 surely has electronics that are at least as 'special' F-22's.
 
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
I don't understand how the F-22, designed nearly 35 years ago, has technology that still needs to be protected from export, while the 10 years newer and equally complex (maybe more so) F-35 can be sold seemingly to any friendly country that wants to help pay the bills for it.

I know there's more to the F-22's capabilities than just its shape but the F-35 surely has electronics that are at least as 'special' F-22's.


The F-35 for export sales may be void of some of the more secretive technology. If I recall, that was something they considered if the F-22 was going to allowed be be sold to foreign countries.

The F-22 (as most fighter aircraft) are continually upgraded to help stay current with technology. It has a "Modernization" program to do so.
 
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
I don't understand how the F-22, designed nearly 35 years ago, has technology that still needs to be protected from export, while the 10 years newer and equally complex (maybe more so) F-35 can be sold seemingly to any friendly country that wants to help pay the bills for it.

I know there's more to the F-22's capabilities than just its shape but the F-35 surely has electronics that are at least as 'special' F-22's.

F22 is strictly developed by the US.
F35 is joint project similar to F16 with numerous other countries.
Both are platforms. F22 in 2020 is not F22 from 35 years ago.
 
I keep reading opinion articles about how fighters are obsolete and how unmanned drones are better. Yet it seems that we have produced a big bunch of F35's. Others are working on, or producing generation 5 fighters. Seems they are still considered useful. Sometimes it's good to look at what is done, instead of what is said. I work in a flight department and over the years I've learned to watch what is done, carefully. From absurd claims, to vaporware, what firms tend to claim is often useless.
 
Last edited:
Originally Posted by Cujet
I keep reading opinion articles about how fighters are obsolete and how unmanned drones are better. Yet it seems that we have produced a big bunch of F35's. Others are working on, or producing generation 5 fighters. Seems they are still considered useful. Sometimes it's good to look at what is done, instead of what is said. I work in a flight department and over the years I've learned to watch what is done, carefully. From absurd claims, to vaporware, what firms tend to claim is often useless.


UAS have their place. Problem is that a lot of operations require eyes on the ground or in the air. How you do air policing with UAS if airliner has malfunctioning radio?
 
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
I don't understand how the F-22, designed nearly 35 years ago, has technology that still needs to be protected from export, while the 10 years newer and equally complex (maybe more so) F-35 can be sold seemingly to any friendly country that wants to help pay the bills for it.

I know there's more to the F-22's capabilities than just its shape but the F-35 surely has electronics that are at least as 'special' F-22's.


I don't think that is the issue any longer. There was talk of trying to restart the F-22 line for sale to Japan, and perhaps to replace and even boost US numbers of the Raptor. The issues are the avionics are based on 1990's tech and some of the machining and die have mysteriously been lost so it would be phenomenally expensive and not worth the trouble and there are better places for the money as the US is looking for its next generation of fighters...
 
Originally Posted by PimTac
Originally Posted by ZeeOSix
Japan had always wanted to buy the F-22, but US gov't said no foreign sales of that fighter. Guess they were forced to design and build their own. The concept drawing looks pretty cool.




There is this though.


https://www.defensenews.com/smr/2020/07/09/us-gives-the-green-light-to-japans-massive-23b-f-35-buy/


The Japanese are looking for a multi-engined, dedicated fighter aircraft for long patrols over the islands. Of course they would be able to carry air to ground ordnance such as anti-shipping missiles. But mainly they want one aircraft focused towards the air threat like the F-15J and the other as a multirole platform like the F-2, which the F-35 will fulfill. I doubt this means Japan will dump their F-2 (read expensive F-16s) anytime soon though...
 
Originally Posted by marine65
2031 production date?
The world can change a lot in 11 years.


But they will be 11 years ahead of the others countries new fighters
 
Originally Posted by Cujet
I keep reading opinion articles about how fighters are obsolete and how unmanned drones are better. Yet it seems that we have produced a big bunch of F35's. Others are working on, or producing generation 5 fighters. Seems they are still considered useful. Sometimes it's good to look at what is done, instead of what is said. I work in a flight department and over the years I've learned to watch what is done, carefully. From absurd claims, to vaporware, what firms tend to claim is often useless.



Fighters will never be obsolete as they are secure and controlled from within.
A drone is controlled by external radio transmission. It would mean losing a war if your enemy figured out how to jam communications to a drone and you had no jet fighters.
Jet fighters are secure.
Heck even Iran took control of our drones. Can't do that with a manned fighter.
Any super power can mess with radio transmissions, if you relied on drones your dead
 
Last edited:
Originally Posted by alarmguy
Originally Posted by marine65
2031 production date?
The world can change a lot in 11 years.


But they will be 11 years ahead of the others countries new fighters


Hahha... i dont think so
 
Look no further than the F-117A Nighthawk. It was developed from the have blue program, and has been retired for a decade. The North Tonopah Test Range (NTTR) had to upgrade its security just to house the aircraft in a non-flying state. Who knows what tech the F-22 has, or non-export F-35's.
 
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