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The government is considering operating F-35B fighter jets from about fiscal 2026, in an effort to utilize airports on remote islands and thereby improve the nation’s capability to defend the isles, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
Considered the most advanced stealth fighters, F-35Bs are currently operated by the U.S. military based in Japan.
The Japanese government is also eyeing the operation of the fighters on Izumo, the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest-class destroyer and which Tokyo is considering remodeling into an aircraft carrier, according to government sources.
As for the F-35B, the government is planning to indicate the number of aircraft to be procured in the next Medium Term Defense Program, which is to be compiled at the end of this year. It is also mulling including related expenses in the fiscal 2019 budget plan, with a view to starting the delivery of F-35Bs from around fiscal 2024, the sources said.
The F-35B is likely to be defined as a successor to the F-15, the ASDF’s main fighter jet. One plan is to introduce about 20 to 40 F-35Bs, which would correspond to one to two squadrons. Tokyo is also considering increasing the number of F-35As in the next midterm defense program, according to the sources.
originally posted by: anzha
It almost certainly means an indigenous stealth fighter is thoroughly dead. At least until the 2030s, if not later.
As an aviation enthusiast, I'm pretty bummed. The X-2 was a gorgeous plane and I thought Mitsubishi ought to have teamed with an American company to offer it as a T-X contender. It was a fantasy long shot, but it would have been a great way to both help the Japanese and get us a good trainer. Assuming Boeing doesn't biff it, I'd say they've got the T-X at this point.
Bet that as it may, the point is, the decision on whether or not to move forward on the underlying ADT-X Project and the new F-3 fighter jet was delayed last year:
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: mightmight
The X-2 program wasn't going anywhere but an experiment.
originally posted by: thebozeian
Seriously? Is the JASDF retarded or did someone just misreport this? You DONT replace an all weather air superiority aircraft with a VSTOL gimmick. And if the X-2 was so successful why would they elect to not continue with it and produce a production 5th Gen? I smell a rat here and I think it lies in Washington.