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Japan's Next Gen Fighter Will be Based on a Western Design

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posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 07:24 PM
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Japan is seeking proposals for a new advanced jet fighter based on an existing Western aircraft and wants American and British cooperation to help kick-start development of the project, which is estimated to cost around $40 billion, three sources said.

Japan this month issued a third request for information (RFI) to defense companies, seeking proposals for the new aircraft, dubbed the F-3. Unlike the first two requests, this one went only to foreign companies in the United States and Europe, with a separate, more detailed document delivered to London and Washington, according to the sources, who have direct knowledge of the requests.

“Japan expects specific proposals for designs based on existing aircraft,” said one of the sources. The two previous RFIs did not attract any detailed proposals, he added.

The requests for a design based on existing aircraft and the separate documents sent to the British and U.S. governments have not been previously reported.

The sources declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Existing airframes Japan could use include the F-35 Lightning II stealth jet built by Lockheed Martin Corp or Boeing Co’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; and the Eurofighter Typhoon, manufactured by a European consortium including BAE Systems Plc.


www.reuters.com... ources-idUSKCN1GK06R

I think that pretty much means its going to be derived from the F-35. The other designs are not even close to 5th gen. I'm surprised that the brits are involved because the sources are stating it needs to be a current design.




posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: anzha

i thought mitsubishi was working on a domestic one?



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

They flew a demonstrator that was used to determine if they should build their own, or go with a license build of something.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

ahh. from what i remember of the pictures the build looked pretty far along as far as a complete system.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

It was far more successful than they planned, and finished everything in like 35 flights instead of the 50 they allotted. But something must have come up to make them go license instead.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:13 PM
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Japans being allowed to arm again...

I'm sure the Chinese are paying close attention. Especially with America backing them.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

A very strong part of our Asian Iron Curtain.

A powerful fortress and high tech weapons, bring back that fiery spirit from once was, now tempered and sharpened by American power.
edit on 8-3-2018 by Arnie123 because: Meh



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 10:04 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

Japans being allowed to arm again...

I'm sure the Chinese are paying close attention. Especially with America backing them.


I may be wrong about this but my impression is that Japan's mandate to remain disarmed offensively was self imposed and not a stipulation dictated in any surrender treaty.



posted on Mar, 8 2018 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

i forgot how it was worded to me in regards to nuclear weapons and Japan.


but basically they could have their own weapons ready in weeks if not days.

if all they need to do is assemble the parts it could go very fast.



but as far as the jet goes, maybe they saw something they liked in there F-35B's they built over there and want to licence parts.



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 12:33 AM
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I'm going to go way, way out all by myself on a limb and say an F-15 variant might be the best guess. The "SE" and "Advanced Eagle" come in all sorts of flavourss. Lots of different ways to go to tailor to specifications -- and it significantly underbids the F-35. The F-15 still has (comparatively) large growth potential because of it's size/thrust available. Advanced Eagle variants already have the homework done. Much longer range/endurance than the F-35 (and SH). And the JASDF is already intimately familiar with the Eagle, and Boeing could even leverage modernization packages for older F-15J airframes as part of a larger deal at very favourable prices over just new-build airframes. Avionics, rewings, the RCS treatments (let's be honest: mostly marketing from all of them but Lockhart's F-35). All license work done by Mitsubishi, new or old (which I suspect will be the big driver in the decision). Operating costs are offset by the fact you don't have to bring in entirely new supply lines and training programs. Most bang for buck (excepting a possible standard block F-35 order)

F-35 "variant" makes little sense for a couple of reasons. First, even allowing Israel to outfit their own EW set was like moving a mountain. Second, it would just drive the cost up further (see Mitsubishi F-2). Third, I don't see much capability being added that isn't already planned in a block of F-35 production. Why pay for a small run variant when you could simply buy more F-35's off the line? If you want the F-35, the easiest solution is the F-35 off the big line (which Japan gets a piece of through Mitsubishi assembly).

SH has no legs. Honestly seems like a nonstarter. Rafale and Tiffy would be interesting, but I don't know how the politics would play out. Can the Typhoon compete on cost with the F-35 and co? Austria seems disatisfied as a customer on operating costs, as well. What are the partners willing to divest regarding production or assembly? Can Dassault make a competitive bid for a country already an F-35 customer?



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

japan has already rolled out one of there domestically built F-35Bs

they and everyone else obviously dont get the full potential of the F-35 other than the US.


but during the building process or a certain manufacturing process of the F-35 that might be copyrighted that would otherwise take years and millions to develop on your own might just be easier to license the parts or the process.

for an example, making the windscreen for the F-35 was a major engineering task as silly as it sounds it is very hard to get right and to do it right
edit on 9-3-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 01:06 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

I don't think they'd get much, if any, capability faster through an independent "variant" than they will waiting for the standard blocks. The whole point of the program was to let the partners share the workload and drive costs down. Is Japan going to buy out every partner's share for their low-number run of offshoots?



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 01:26 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

no i was thinking maybe they saw something in there own process that they chose not to chase after if they could get the part and process to make made available to them.


i was just using the F-35 as an example, you idea of the F-15SE could be switched out for my example just as easy. The ran into some issue they are choosing to have the work outsourced
edit on 9-3-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 01:37 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

I think they just realized the costs and time required to put it all together and integrate all the systems when you're starting from scratch. It's not easy, quick, or cheap, but they can definitely do it. Yet then depending on your requirements, why reinvent the wheel? That and with the rapid new arms race in the SEAsia, they seem to be pushing for fast solutions. A lot faster to piggyback your effort on a relatively proven program. Obviously tech and industrial offsets are also going to play a role (which may cut down development time later if they decide to chase their own program again).



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 02:32 AM
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a reply to: anzha

I read it a bit differently

Japan's Next Gen Fighter MAY be Based on a Western Design



“We are considering domestic development, joint development and the possibility of improving existing aircraft performance, but we have not yet come to any decision,” a Ministry of Defense representative said.


I think they want to know their options before committing. Their previous RFIs were ignored. So they've reduced the requirements to existing platforms. Imho.



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 03:45 AM
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They're going to have to build a bird with some range if they're going to take on Godzilla the next time he takes a stroll through Tokyo.



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 05:26 AM
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Agree F-35 isn't likely, unless we're talking about longer term development like over a decade away.

$40 billion is for development + procurement, I assume?

Could PCA be a contender?

Major supplier for notional F-35 block V?

Joint development of something, sort of like BAE/ TAI?

Seems like they are aiming for air superiority, as well, so probably not F-35.

Also on paper, the F-35A has similar or better range than the F-15SE in its LO configuration. The F-15 still outclasses the F-35 in range if it is carrying external tanks + conformal tanks. External tanks for the F-35 were cancelled, it's not clear if the plumbing still exists either, but if they were added you could expect 1000 nm combat radius. In terms of practical employment, flying at subsonic speeds at medium altitude using stealth and advanced sensors to avoid threats also allows the real world range to be much greater (probably one of the reasons why the tanks were cancelled).



Start at 1:04:32

Will probably get third stream / variable cycle engine as well.
edit on 9/3/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 06:07 AM
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In a stealth timeline the F35 is a middle age man where Japans effort is a newborn..USA has been playing with stealth since the U2..



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 08:41 AM
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originally posted by: Arnie123
a reply to: intrptr

A very strong part of our Asian Iron Curtain.

A powerful fortress and high tech weapons, bring back that fiery spirit from once was, now tempered and sharpened by American power.

The Soviets had an "Iron Curtain" across Europe too. We called that evil. Now the EU, US (NATO) is replacing it with their own.

But thats okay.

(PS) I can't believe you used that term. You're supposed to say "Asian Pivot", like its a dance step. Sounds more benevolent. We aren't invading anywhere, we are intervening. We aren't conquerors we are humanitarians, we aren't arming despots, we are providing Aid.



posted on Mar, 9 2018 @ 08:49 AM
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originally posted by: CharlesT

originally posted by: intrptr

Japans being allowed to arm again...

I'm sure the Chinese are paying close attention. Especially with America backing them.


I may be wrong about this but my impression is that Japan's mandate to remain disarmed offensively was self imposed and not a stipulation dictated in any surrender treaty.

Wow, whoops. Yes, US strictly limited Japans defensive ability after WWII. We (US military) have provided for their 'defense' ever since. Japan is been under military occupation ever since signing the instrument of "Unconditional Surrender".

a quick read



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