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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:59 pm

Some interesting info on the indecision Japan has with its follow on fighter development, the continued investment in fighter technologies and a suggestion that any intro in service is now looking more like 2035...

Japanese acquisition officials reveal next steps in search for advanced fighter jet

Japan is pushing ahead with research and development into advanced fighter jet technology, despite uncertainty over its acquisition strategy for a next-generation fighter and questions about the degree to which Japanese industry will be involved in the program.

These technologies include a new fighter engine, thrust vectoring control, stealth shaping for low observability as well as the weapons carriage and release mechanism for internal weapons bays, according to representatives from Japan’s Acquisition, Technical and Logistics Agency, or ATLA, who spoke at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo, which ended Nov. 30.

Several of these technologies were fitted on the Mitsubishi X-2, a technology demonstrator built by the Japanese and used to test and validate several of these features.

Since then Japan has continued development work on the 15-ton thrust XF-9 afterburning turbofan. That turbofan displayed an improvement up to 70 percent during the time it took to spool up to full thrust from idle, when compared to the earlier XF-5 used by the X-2, said Lt. Gen. Hiroaki Uchimura, director general of aerial systems at ATLA.

Japan is also working on an advanced active electronically scanned array radar, as well as manufacturing techniques to reduce or eliminate the need for fasteners in aircraft structures. Neither feature found its way to the X-2, but work continues on both fronts, with the radar having been tested in the laboratory and slated for flight tests onboard a Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet test bed.

The continuing R&D effort is reflected in the budget requests the Ministry of Defense made for next fiscal year, which begins in April 2019. This includes $194.6 million for research into fighter “mission system integration studies and manned-unmanned aircraft teaming technology,” and is on top of the $1.7 billion Japan has invested in fighter research since 2009. That first figure is also more than 10 times the amount spent on R&D for Japan’s Mitsubishi F-2 fighter, according to Uchimura.

Japan’s next-generation fighter will replace the F-2 around the mid-2030s, and both Uchimura and ATLA Commissioner Nobuaki Miyama, who spoke at different conference sessions at the aerospace exhibition, touched on five critical attributes for Japan’s next fighter program.

These include its ability to secure air superiority over potential adversaries; the ease of upgrading as new technologies emerge; the latitude to domestically perform upgrades and sustainment without requiring overseas approval; the level of involvement of local industries in performing those upgrades and sustainment; and the need for the fighter and program as a whole to have a “realistic and feasible” cost.

Japan is currently studying several different procurement strategies for its next-generation fighter, including a wholly domestically developed and manufactured design, an international collaboration, or what it calls a “spinoff” development of an existing design.

Japan and the United Kingdom have agreed to exchange information with each other for their respective fighter programs. Reuters previously reported that both Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman responded to Japan’s request for information on potential fighter offerings, with the former said to have an “F-22/F-35 hybrid” in mind.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... ghter-jet/
Posts: 3108
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:49 am

Thought I would put this here in the context of what Japan is doing with their existing fighter fleet and how this inputs into their future fighter structure.

Looks like more info will come out shortly about upgrades to the F-15 fleet but at the moment it appears the upgrade will cover EW upgrades, a radar upgrade, potentially the new pylon that Boeing is demonstrating with greater AAM carriage (I don't expect it will involve opening up the extra outside wing pylons) and potentially several additional air to surface weapons.

US government, Boeing to help Japan upgrade missile, electronic warfare capabilities for F-15 jets

Japan’s planned upgrade of its Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jets will involve support from the United States and Boeing, the Japanese Defense Ministry has confirmed.

Shigeyuki Uno, the principal deputy director of the defense planning and programming division of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, told Defense News during an interview at the ministry’s headquarters that the U.S. government and Boeing will provide support for the upgrade through the Foreign Military Sales process, adding that the Japanese defense and aircraft industry will also be involved.

The Defense Ministry requested $89 million to upgrade two of its F-15J/DJ interceptors in its latest budget request for its next fiscal year, presumably to serve as prototypes for the upgrade program. A further $386.7 million was requested for nonrecurring costs for the program.

The upgrades will cover what the budget request describes as “new electronic warfare equipment with the ability to respond to increased capabilities of neighboring countries’ air forces.” The upgrades are also expected to increase the number of missiles Japan’s F-15s can carry, as well as integrate standoff missiles such as the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.

Boeing displayed a model of its Advanced F-15 Eagle concept carrying 18 air-to-air missiles at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo that ended Nov. 30, a significant increase from the maximum of eight carried by the F-15 in its current air defense configuration.

Uno also confirmed that the F-15J’s radar would be part of the upgrade, although the budget request document did not specifically mention that an improved radar will be part of the program.

While Uno did not say so, the new radar will almost certainly be an active electronically scanned array, as Boeing has a clear pathway integrating such radars on the F-15, with U.S. Air Force F-15C/Ds, Singapore’s F-15SGs and Saudi Arabia’s F-15SAs using the Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)3 radar, while American F-15E Strike Eagles are being fitted with the AN/APG-63(V)1 by the same company.

Uno added that Japan’s newer F-15J/DJs, which were originally built to Multi-Stage Improvement Program standards — of which about 88 were further upgraded in the past decade to incorporate additional improvements like Link 16 — will be the first to receive this latest round of improvements.

Japan’s midterm defense program guidelines, set to be released by the end of 2018, are expected to provide more details on this program, including the number of F-15s Japan plans to upgrade.

Mitsubishi built 213 F-15s under license for Japan between 1981 and 1999, of which some 200 remain in service with seven combat squadrons based throughout Japan, and one more acting as a dedicated aggressor unit.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... f-15-jets/

The model Boeing showed at the recent Japanese Aerospace Exhibit.


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