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Author: Subject: Japanese airforce, 2017 onwards
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[*] posted on 25-12-2018 at 06:17 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Wolftrap  
You know what ... those F-15 when running through an upgrade could well be of interest even for European countries. Russia would turn green when F-15s are operated in Europe or worse, Eastern Europe

Whose left who'd want them, most CE/EE countries have settled on F-16s and Gripens?




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[*] posted on 25-12-2018 at 11:33 AM


Poland, to replace the Ex DDR Mig29's they have left............?
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[*] posted on 25-12-2018 at 11:59 AM


I suspect they'll be sticking with more F16's.



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[*] posted on 26-12-2018 at 10:40 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ARH  
I suspect they'll be sticking with more F16's.


Or F-35...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 26-12-2018 at 01:51 PM


F-35's could be the go...........they also have 30+ Su-22's that need replacing sooner rather than later. Replacing these plus approx 30 x Mig-29's are not financially feasible for the moment, at least not with F-35.

The Japanese F-15's run the similar engine from the P&W F-100 family, just different variants. An AESA radar upgrade is possible following USAF NG recent orders.........

Using 20 x F-15's as AMRAAM missile barrage launchers much as the USA has proposed for their own NG versions, and for Japan, would give any enemy forces cause for great concern...........The Poles don't have a shit-pot load of spare cash kicking around after their HIMARS and PATRIOT buys, so F-35 may be as much as 10 years away.
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[*] posted on 26-12-2018 at 10:47 PM


Maybe, though the F-35 has been proposed by L-M along with F-16 for Poland’s requirement to replace both the MiG-29 and SU-22 which they are replacing at the same time...

They seem to think Poland has enough cashola for the F-35...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 14-1-2019 at 08:02 PM


​Kawasaki C-2 to get an electronic warfare variant

14 JANUARY, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GREG WALDRON SINGAPORE

Tokyo plans a major investment in electronic warfare (EW) to help counter rising threats in the region.

According to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbum, Tokyo plans to adapt the Kawasaki C-2 tactical transport aircraft as an EW platform, with deployment planned for 2027.

Citing sources, the report adds that the P-1 maritime patrol aircraft may also be adapted for the electronic warfare mission. Other media reports have suggested that Tokyo is interested in acquiring the Boeing EA-18G Growler, the EW variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Tokyo’s recently approved Medium Defence Program reportedly calls for a greater emphasis on electronic warfare.

There is a precedent for adapting the C-2 platform for other uses. In February 2018, images and video of a C-2 modified for electronic intelligence (ELINT) appeared on social media. The aircraft was conducting test flights from Japan’s Gifu air base.

Modifications included large blisters aft of the wing, several antennas under the fuselage, and a dome on the upper part of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit and forward of the wings. In addition, the top tail was modified with an additional fairing, while the radome is larger than on the baseline C-2.

Japan’s strategic rival, China, is also boosting its electronic warfare capabilities. Among other efforts, it is developing a two-seat variant of the Shenyang J-15 and J-16 fighters with pods that resemble the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-216 wingtip pods used on the EA-18G.

In addition, US ally Australia has 11 EA-18Gs – the 12th was lost in an engine fire during takeoff. In 2018, L3 Technologies secured an $83 million deal from Canberra to upgrade two Gulfstream G550s to the MC-55 electronic warfare version.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the Japan Air Self Defense Force operates a fleet of eight C-2s, with an additional 14 examples on order.
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[*] posted on 13-3-2019 at 08:04 PM


​Japanese F-35s get powerful anti-ship capability

13 MARCH, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GREG WALDRON SINGAPORE

Kongsberg has entered into a deal with Tokyo to supply its Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

The Norwegian company disclosed the deal in a statement, but said that neither it nor the Japanese government are disclosing the number of weapons or the value of the contract. The timing of deliveries was also not discussed.

“The international [Lockheed Martin] F-35 user consortium is showing great interest in the JSM and Kongsberg is very proud to have been selected by Japan to provide the JSM for their F-35 fleet,” says Eirik Lie, President, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

“This is a major milestone for the JSM program, entering into the production phase.”

The F-35 can carry two JSMs internally. At the Japan Aerospace show in 2016, the company told FlightGlobal that the weapon can also be adapted to serve aboard the Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

Kongsberg has said the JSM is well suited to attacking modern warships, which feature three layers of defensive systems: long-range missiles, short-range missiles, and rapid-fire cannons.

To evade the first two threats, the IR-homing, high subsonic missile features low-observable characteristics and a sea-skimming flight profile. To defeat the last obstacle, it flies an erratic flight profile in the seconds before impact, throwing off guns’ ability to lead the missile effectively. The weapon’s 120kg warhead all but guarantees a mission kill.

The Japanese JSM acquisition comes as Tokyo’s main regional rival, Beijing, is rapidly increasing the size and capability of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Tokyo has plans to eventually obtain up to 147 F-35s, which would make it the world’s second largest operator of the type. Of these, it is likely that 107 will be conventional take-off and landing F-35As, while 40 will be short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs.

Cirium Fleets Analyzer indicates that so far Tokyo has taken delivery of 12 F-35As.
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[*] posted on 30-3-2019 at 11:31 AM


Japan stands-up first operational F-35A unit

Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

29 March 2019

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) stood up its first operational Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) unit on 26 March.

The milestone took place at the home of the 3rd Air Wing at Misawa Air Base in the northern part of Honshū island, and saw 302nd Squadron swap its McDonnell Douglas-Mitsubishi F-4EJ-Kai Phantom IIs for the F-35A. As well as transitioning over to the new type, the unit has relocated from Hyakuri Air Base to replace the Provisional F-35 Squadron located at Misawa Air Base.

The government of Japan competitively selected the F-35A as Japans next-generation front-line fighter in December 2011, primarily to replace its ageing F-4EJs.

(135 of 330 words)
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[*] posted on 30-3-2019 at 12:17 PM


Japan declares F-35A squadron initial-operation capable

29 MARCH, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GARRETT REIM LOS ANGELES

Japans air force stood up its first operational F-35A fighter squadron, the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, on 29 March.

The stealth fighter replaces the squadrons aging, third-generation Mitsubishi F-4EJ Kai fighters, which are Japanese-licensed variants of the Vietnam-era McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. The squadron is stationed at Misawa Air Base, which is near the northernmost point of Japans main island.


Japanese F-35A
F-35 Joint Program Office


Japan now joins a growing number of military services with operational F-35 squadrons: the US Marine Corps, US Navy, US Air Force, Israeli Air Force, Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

This is a major milestone for the F-35 enterprise, as it marks the first F-35 IOC for an Indo-Pacific region customer, says Vice Admiral Mat Winter, F-35 programme executive officer. This significant achievement is a testament to the global nature of this programme, and the F-35 Joint Programme Office (JPO) values the long-established bond with our Japan allies. This could not have happened without the hard work and collaboration between the F-35 JPO, the Japan F-35 programme, our industry partners and the Japanese Air Self Defense Force.

The first aircraft to be assigned to the 302nd Tactical Fighter Squadron was also the second F-35A assembled at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-35 Final Assembly and Check-Out facility in Nagoya, Japan. Japan is one of four F-35 foreign military sales countries, along with Israel, South Korea and Belgium.

According to the F-35 JPO, more than 360 operational F-35s have been built and delivered worldwide. Those aircraft have collectively flown more than 177,000 flight hours, with more than 760 F-35 pilots and 6,900 maintainers trained to operate and support the aircraft.
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[*] posted on 13-4-2019 at 12:30 PM


Defense Ministry: F-35A Had 2 Emergency Landings

(Source: NHK Broadcasting Corp.; posted April 11, 2019)

Japan's Defense Ministry says an F-35A fighter jet that crashed into the sea off northern Japan on Tuesday had made two emergency landings in the last two years.

State Minister of Defense Kenji Harada was speaking at a Lower House committee meeting on Thursday.

The minister referred to a test flight by US manufacturer Lockheed Martin in June, 2017, before Japan deployed the aircraft. He said the flight was aborted after a cooling system alert.

The minister said the manufacturer found faults in the system and replaced the defective parts before delivering the jet to the defense ministry.

A ministry official also said at the committee meeting that while the same aircraft was flying in bad weather last August, there was a malfunction in the position indicator.

The Defense Ministry says the defective parts were replaced.

The Air Self-Defense Force began deploying F35A jets at its Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, in January last year.

The ministry official told NHK that it's not known whether the two incidents were linked to Tuesday's crash.

(EDITORS NOTE: Japans Ministry of Defense this morning identified the missing pilot of the F-35A fighter that crashed into the Pacific on April 9 as Maj. Akinori Hosomi, 41.

(ends)

Top SDF Officer Apologizes for F-35A Crash

(Source: NHK Broadcasting Corp.; posted April 11, 2019)

The chief of Japan's Self-Defense Forces has apologized for the crash of an F-35A fighter jet off the coast of Aomori Prefecture.

The SDF Chief of Staff, Koji Yamazaki, made the apology at a news conference on Thursday.

The F-35A from the Air Self-Defense Force's Misawa base in the prefecture crashed on Tuesday evening. The ASDF says the missing pilot is a 41-year-old major, Akinori Hosomi, who belongs to the base.

Yamazaki said he was deeply sorry for causing concern to local communities and people across Japan. He said search and rescue operations will continue around the clock. But he stopped short of discussing how the accident may affect the plan to deploy more of the stealth jet fighters.

Yamazaki said the SDF intends to use the aircraft for scrambling and other operations after personnel have had sufficient training. He added that more thought will be given to the matter while the accident is investigated.

Yamazaki also said the SDF will keep a close watch on the movements of vessels from neighboring nations. He indicated that efforts are being made to protect information about the cutting-edge aircraft, which is also being introduced in the US and other countries.

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[*] posted on 13-4-2019 at 12:33 PM


Daunting Salvage Task Awaits Japanese F-35 Investigators Baffled By Crash (excerpt)

(Source: Reuters; published April 11, 2019)

By Tim Kelly

TOKYO --- Two days after one of Japans F-35 stealth fighters plunged into the Pacific and no closer to finding out why it happened, investigators face a daunting task to recover what remains of the highly classified jet from the ocean depths.

Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) investigators have found small sections of the F-35s wing floating in the sea which suggests the advanced aircraft hit the water, but not why it disappeared from radar screens without warning.

We have not recovered anything that would point to a cause, an air force official told Reuters as the search continues for the missing pilot.

The remaining wreckage of the $126 million fighter lies at a depth of around 1,500 meters (4922 ft), including the flight data recorder which would shed light on what happened off the coast of northern Japan on Wednesday evening.

Twenty-eight minutes after taking off with three other F-35s from Misawa air base in Aomori prefecture on a night training flight, the jet vanished from military radar at about 7:27 p.m. (1027 GMT), the ASDF said.

The normally stealthy Lockheed Martin jet is fitted with a transponder that pings its position and can be configured to light up on radar scopes during training flights, the air force official said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence-f35/dauntin...

(ends)

Japan Won't Consider Revising F-35A Procurement Plans While Cause Of Crash Still Not Known (excerpt)

(Source: The Japan Times; published Apr 12, 2019)

By Reiji Yoshida

TOKYO --- The Defense Ministry is not considering a revision to its plan to procure a total of 105 F-35A stealth fighters despite the crash Wednesday of one of the jets into the sea off Aomori Prefecture, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday.

We dont know the cause (of the crash) yet, so we are not thinking of revising the procurement plan now, Iwaya told a news conference Friday morning.

Given the depth of the water in the area, it is probably possible to recover the jet, which is believed to have sunk to the bottom of the sea, if it is ever found, Iwaya added. But first we need to confirm the situation.

(/)

During the news conference, Iwaya said the Self-Defense Forces are staying on alert 24 hours a day to monitor the situation in the area of the crash. But the SDF has yet to detect the military presence of any countries other than Japan and the U.S., Iwaya said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Japan Times website.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/12/national/japan-...

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[*] posted on 15-4-2019 at 10:28 PM


Japan to Examine Ties Between Crash of F-35 jet and Its Past Troubles (excerpt)

(Source: Mainichi Japan; posted April 12, 2019

TOKYO --- Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Friday his ministry will investigate any possible links between the recent crash of a Japanese F-35A fighter jet and two emergency landings it previously undertook.

Iwaya also said at a press conference that Japan will ask the United States to cooperate in a probe into the cause of the accident in which the advanced stealth jet, produced by U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin Corp., crashed into the Pacific during an exercise on Tuesday.

The Air Self-Defense Force aircraft made an emergency landing in June 2017 after an alarm warned of a problem with the cooling system. It made a second such landing in August last year following another malfunction, according to the ministry.

As search operations continued for the missing pilot, 41-year-old major Akinori Hosomi, and the wreckage of the plane, the Maritime Self-Defense Force dispatched a submarine rescue ship, Iwaya said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Mainichi website.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190412/p2g/00m/0na/10...

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[*] posted on 16-4-2019 at 12:50 PM


Japanese F-35 Crash: Undersea Search Begins

by David Donald - April 15, 2019, 6:15 AM


A Boeing P-8A Poseidon from the U.S. Navy's VP-8 "Fighting Tigers" taxis in at Misawa on April 10 following a mission to search for the missing JASDF pilot. (photo: U.S. Navy)

More details regarding the April 9 loss of a Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A flying from Misawa air base have emerged in recent days. A major search continues to locate the missing pilot and the aircraft.

The pilot has been identified by the JASDF as Major Akinori Hosomi, 41, an experienced pilot with around 3,200 flying hours, of which 60 were in the F-35A. According to press briefings by the JASDF and Japans defense minister Takeshi Iwaya, the aircraft was one of four that launched for an evening air combat training sortie. Hosomi called for the formation to end the training portion of the sortie before his aircraft disappeared from radar. No further communication was received. The F-35 is equipped with a system that sends a distress signal if the ejection seat is fired but, according to a report by The Mainichi newspaper, the JASDF confirmed that no such signal was received.

In response to the missing aircraft, Japanese maritime forces launched a major surface search, with support from the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem from the U.S. Navys Seventh Fleet. Boeing P-8A Poseidons joined the aerial search alongside various Japanese aircraft. Some wreckagereportedly from the F-35As twin tailswas found and recovered. U.S. Forces and Japan also revealed that the Lockheed Martin U-2R had been used in the search, presumably aircraft from the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, which are normally based at Osan, South Korea, but also often operate from Kadena air base on Okinawa. U.S. officials also denied rumors that Boeing B-52 bombers participated in the search.

Now an undersea search has been launched to locate the F-35 and its pilot, which are thought to have crashed into the ocean in an area where the depth is around 1,500 meters (4,920 feet). The submarine rescue vessel JS Chiyoda has been dispatched to the area. It is equipped with seabed-scanning sonar and deep-sea submersibles with cameras.

While, naturally, the first concern is to locate the pilot, there is a pressing need to recover the aircraft and its flight data recorder to help establish the reason for the loss. The JASDF has grounded its 12 F-35As, and other operators have considerable interest in establishing the causes. There is also a significant security angle, as China and Russia would both have a clear interest in finding the wreckage. Minister Iwaya told Japanese media that no unusual activity had been detected in the crash area, but that it is being closely monitored.

A factor that may have no bearing on the investigation, but will be taken into account, are two previous incidents to befall the aircraft in question. State Minister of Defense Kenji Harada told a lower house committee on April 11 that it had aborted flights in June 2017 and August 2018, but in both instances, the causes had been traced and the defective parts replaced.
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[*] posted on 17-4-2019 at 09:22 PM


​No word on missing Japanese F-35A

17 APRIL, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GREG WALDRON SINGAPORE

The search continues for a Lockheed Martin F-35A operated by the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force that crashed last week in the northern Pacific Ocean.

Japanese media reports indicate that that the aircrafts tail has been recovered, but the aircrafts fuselage and the body of the pilot have yet to be located.

The aircraft crashed on 9 April during a training mission while operating from Misawa air base. The aircraft involved bore the serial number AX-5 and the registration 78-8704 - the first example built by Mitsubishi final assembly line in Nagoya.

US and Japanese ships, aircraft, and a submersible continue to search for the missing jet. The search area is reportedly 135km out to sea east of Japans Aomori prefecture.

Media reports suggest there is a concern that the aircraft, if not found, could possibly end up in the hands of foreign powers, such as China or Russia.
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[*] posted on 18-4-2019 at 01:32 PM


Japan's F-35A Jets in 7 Emergency Landings Prior to Pacific Crash

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com with Mainichi; posted April 17, 2019)

PARIS --- Japans fleet of 13 Lockheed F-35A fighters suffered seven emergency landings since entering service, before one crashed in the Pacific Ocean on April 9, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said April 16.

The emergency landings took place between June 2017 and January 2019 during flight tests and drills, Mainichi Japan reported on Wednesday. It said unplanned returns to base were made after the planes reported issues with systems relating to fuel, hydraulics and other parts.

Mainichi reported that, of the 13 aircraft in service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, five have been forced to make emergency landings in seven separate incidents. Of these, two emergency landings were due to faults recorded in the aircraft that crashed last week. The ministry said it confirmed the aircraft were safe to fly after each incident, but a possible connection is still being investigated.

One case was due to an error by the aircraft's monitoring systems, but in the remaining six cases the fighters were inspected, and parts replaced, before they were confirmed safe and returned to flight, the Ministry said.

Final assembly of four of the aircraft which reported errors, including the fighter that went missing April 9, was carried out in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The other aircraft were built in the US by Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth. Earlier reports showed the crashed fighter had issues with its cooling and navigation systems twice, on June 20, 2017, and Aug. 8, 2018, respectively.

Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya addressed the need to investigate the cause of the crash at an April 16 press conference. "The technology on board the F-35 is highly classified. With cooperation from the U.S., we would like to take the initiative in thoroughly investigating the causes while gaining cooperation from the United States," he said.

Iwaya added that he would be discussing the issue at a Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee "two-plus-two" meeting set to take place in Washington on April 19.

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[*] posted on 18-4-2019 at 01:34 PM


Japan and U.S. Struggling to Find Wreckage of Crashed F-35A Despite Around-the-Clock Search

(Source: Agence France Presse; published Apr 16, 2019)

TOKYO --- One week after an F-35A stealth fighter jet crashed off the northeastern coast of Japan, U.S. and Japanese military vessels are struggling to find the wreckage and protect its valuable secrets.

The Japanese jet vanished from radar on April 9 over the Pacific as it was conducting a training mission with three other aircraft some 135 kilometers (85 miles) east of Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

A Defense Ministry spokesman said that the remains of the jets tail had been found but they were still hunting in vain for the rest of the fuselage, as well as the pilot.

On average two aircraft, including a helicopter, and two patrol vessels are constantly deployed in the around-the-clock search operations, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force has also dispatched an unmanned submersible vessel.

Separately, the U.S. military has dispatched one military aircraft and one vessel to join the mission, said the official, adding that the search has not yet been scaled back.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said the crash would be discussed at a meeting with his U.S. counterpart in Washington on Friday, which will also involve the two allies foreign ministers.

The F-35A is an airplane that contains a significant amount of secrets that need to be protected, Iwaya told reporters.

With the help of the United States, we will continue to take the leading role in investigating the cause of the accident, he said.

Akira Kato, a professor of international politics and regional security at Tokyos J.F. Oberlin University, said rivals China and Russia would have a strong interest in collecting even a single screw of the state-of-the-art plane.

And Hideshi Takesada, a defense expert and professor at Takushoku University in Tokyo, said it would not be a surprise if Moscow and Beijing were engaged in undercover activities to find some of the debris.

Even if Japan and the U.S. find it, they may not disclose details, including its exact location, due to concerns that China and Russia might try to collect it, Takesada said.

Japans Defense Ministry confirmed it had not spotted any suspicious vessels or aircraft from a third country near the site.

The air force announced a commission last week to study the cause of the accident but it remains unclear exactly what happened to the plane.

U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin touts the high-tech fighter as virtually undetectable and says it allows the U.S. and its allies to dominate the skies with its unmatched capability and unprecedented situational awareness.

Japan is deploying F-35As, each of which costs more than 10 billion ($90 million), to replace its aging F-4 fighters.

The jet was one of 13 F-35As deployed at Misawa Air Base, according to the defense ministry. The remaining 12 fighters have been grounded for the time being, the ministry said.

The F-35A jets are a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abes efforts to upgrade the nations military capability to meet changing power dynamics in East Asia, with China rapidly modernizing its armed forces.

Over the next decade, Japan plans to purchase as many as 105 F-35As and 42 units of other high-capacity jets, most likely the F-35B variant.

The upcoming two-plus-two meeting in Washington will be attended by Iwaya and Foreign Minister Taro Kono, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

They plan to release a joint document that will likely highlight the countries defense cooperation in areas including space and cyberspace, according to Japanese officials.

The previous two-plus-two talks were held in August 2017.

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[*] posted on 19-4-2019 at 07:06 PM


Officials Dismiss Idea that Rivals Might Try to Salvage Downed Japanese F-35A


A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A flies overhead at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 2, 2017. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

18 Apr 2019

Stars and Stripes | By Seth Robson and Hana Kusumoto

TOKYO -- Speculation about foreign nations racing to find the wreckage of a downed F-35A stealth fighter in the Far East appears unfounded, according to U.S. and Japanese officials.

A search for the lost aircraft, property of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and its pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, continued Thursday, a JASDF spokesman said.

The plane went down approximately 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base, its home field in northeastern Japan, just before 7:30 p.m. April 9. A search team found parts of the jet's left and right rudders in the water about two hours later.

It's the first loss of an A variant of the fifth-generation fighter anywhere in the world. A Marine Corps F-35B, capable of short takeoffs and landings, crashed in September near the Marine air station in Beaufort, S.C.

Media reports have offered speculation about the potential for America's adversaries to find the plane first and exploit the sensitive equipment and information on it. Assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the missing aircraft was purchased from the U.S., part of Japan's goal of procuring a total 105 F-35As.

The Okinawa Times newspaper reported Thursday that a Bahamas-registered deep-water support ship, the Van Gogh, was docked at the U.S Naha Military Port. The article suggests that the ship may have been chartered to recover the F-35A wreckage.

Business Insider reported Tuesday on concerns that a foreign power might get to the wreck first.

"Were Russia or China to recover the downed F-35, it could be a major intelligence windfall, especially given the fact that both countries have their own fifth-generation fighter programs dedicated to rivaling the US fighter," the article states.

Tyler Rogoway, the editor of the defense publication The War Zone, tweeted soon after the crash: "If one of Japan's F-35s is sitting at the bottom of the Pacific, we are probably about to see one of the biggest underwater espionage and counter-espionage ops since the Cold War."

However, U.S. and Japanese officials have poured cold water on those fears.

"There has been a lot of wild speculation in the media about other countries racing to find the wreckage," a U.S. military official said in an email Wednesday. "To date, we're not seeing it, but we continue to monitor."

Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters April 12 that no evidence of foreign craft searching for the lost plane has turned up.

"We have been watching the activities of foreign aircraft and vessels in the area surrounding our country 24 hours and 365 days, but we have not confirmed any unusual cases," he said in response to a question about countries such as China or Russia attempting to salvage the plane.

Carl Baker, executive director of Pacific Forum in Hawaii, said foreign adversaries would be interested in the plane's avionics, surfaces, sensors and computer systems.

However, he said, a covert salvage effort wouldn't be possible since getting to the plane would require a surface ship and divers and would take some time.
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[*] posted on 22-4-2019 at 02:12 PM


Japan reassures US on F-35 purchase despite crash

Jet's role in diplomacy and defense trumps safety concerns -- for now


RIEKO MIKI, Nikkei staff writer

APRIL 21, 2019 21:12 JST

WASHINGTON -- The recent crash of an F-35A stealth fighter jet will not stop Tokyo's plans to buy more of the aircraft, which is crucial to strengthening defense capabilities and maintaining a strong relationship with its ally, the U.S., Japan's defense minister said after meeting his American counterpart.

"At this point, we have no specific information that would lead to a change in procurement plans," Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters after meeting Friday with acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at the Pentagon. Iwaya said he and Shanahan discussed Japan's plans for deploying American defense equipment, including F-35 purchases.

The Japanese government is positioning the mainly U.S.-developed F-35 as the backbone of its air force, replacing aging F-4s and F-15s that have become difficult to keep up to date. After its initial order of 42 F-35As, the cabinet last year approved plans to buy another 105 jets. This includes 42 F-35Bs, which are capable of vertical takeoff and landing and could be deployed from a destroyer that Japan is converting into an aircraft carrier.

The additional purchases come against the backdrop of U.S. President Donald Trump's repeated calls for Japan to buy more American defense equipment to shrink its trade surplus. Trump personally thanked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for buying so many F-35s when the two leaders met in Argentina last November.

Japan has received 13 F-35As so far, of which four were built in the U.S. and the rest assembled in Japan from American components. The government plans to procure six more this fiscal year. Going forward, Tokyo will stick to importing finished jets, as it is more cost-effective.

Though Japan's Self-Defense Forces have yet to put F-35s into active service, Tokyo hopes that adding U.S.-made planes to the fleet will help it serve as a greater deterrent, especially given the jet's capability to be equipped with advanced interceptor missiles that could potentially destroy ballistic missiles in midair.

But the April 9 crash during a training mission could derail these plans. Little is known about the crash as both the U.S. and Japan scour the Pacific off the northeast coast of Japan to look for wreckage of the jet. The pilot, who is still missing, had called for the mission to end before his plane went down. Should the incident turn out to have been caused by a defect in the plane, Tokyo could face calls to stop buying them.

According to the Defense Ministry, five of Japan's 13 F-35As have been involved in seven emergency landings. Two of the incidents involved faults in the plane that later crashed. While the jets were inspected each time to confirm they were safe to fly, the ministry is checking again to see if there might be any links to the accident.

The U.S. has not disclosed details of the F-35's state-of-the-art technology to other countries, and there are worries that China or Russia could get their hands on the wreckage and unlock some of its secrets, including the jet's capability to shoot down ballistic missiles. This is among the reasons why Washington is sending a deep-sea search vessel to the site of the incident to help find the wreckage.

If the cause of the crash turns out to involve sensitive information about the plane, the U.S. could be reluctant to share it with even its close ally Japan.

The medium-term defense program approved by the Japanese government in late 2018 calls for a record 27 trillion yen ($205 billion) in spending over the next five years, in an effort to bolster Japan's defenses as well as revitalize its defense industry. The F-35 is central to these plans, and a disruption to procurement would throw a wrench in the works.
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[*] posted on 23-4-2019 at 01:25 PM


USA and Japan confident China wont find missing F-35A wreckage

22 APRIL, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GARRETT REIM LOS ANGELES

The defence chiefs of the USA and Japan are confident that China wont be able to recover pieces of the Lockheed Martin F-35A that crashed off the coast of Japan on 9 April.

A flurry of media reports had speculated that parts of the aircraft were vulnerable to discovery by the Chinese or Russian militaries, giving those countries armed forces an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities or copy the fighters stealth technology.

The radar wake of the Japanese F-35A stealth fighter disappeared over the Pacific Ocean about 73nm (135km) east of Misawa air base on 9 April while practicing night-time training with three other F-35A jets. Parts from the F-35As twin tail was reportedly recovered by Japan, though the rest of the fuselage and the pilots body remain missing.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Japanese Minister of Defence Takeshi Iwaya dismissed those concerns in a joint press conference about US-Japan military cooperation at the Pentagon on 19 April.

We're supporting the investigation there, or the incident -- whatever you want to describe it as, says Shanahan. The Japanese have the lead there, and we're working very collaboratively with them, and we've got a lot of capability if what they have doesn't prove to be sufficient, okay?

Speaking through a translator, Iwaya echoed the US Department of Defenses belief.

We don't have such [a] possibility, absolutely no, he says. We are conducting our surveillance and warning activity so that we can identify and find the missing aircraft.

Should China or Russia recover bits of the F-35A they might gain critical insights into its radar, electronic warfare capabilities or stealth coatings, among other important military secrets. The USA is especially protective about the stealth fighters capabilities given the tens of billions of dollars already invested in the development of the aircraft and its advantages against adversaries radar and air defences.

Getting hands-on time with an adversarys weaponry is the ultimate coup for military intelligence. For example, after the defection of a Soviet pilot flying a MiG-25P to Japan in 1976 the USA was able to dissemble the aircraft and draw conclusions about its capabilities, as well as the weaknesses of allied air defences against the jet.
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[*] posted on 3-5-2019 at 09:53 PM


The U.S. Military Now Denies That Japan's Missing F-35A Has Been Found

(Source: The War Zone; posted April 30, 2019)

By Joseph Trevithick

There has been some confusion over whether or not Japanese or American authorities have found the main wreckage a Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter that crashed in the Pacific Ocean earlier this month. A senior U.S. military officer had told reporters that personnel had found the plane, only to get contradicted by multiple other U.S. military spokespersons.

U.S. Air Force General Charles Brown, head of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), told reporters that the location of the stealthy fighter jet was known during a press briefing on Apr. 30, 2019, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The F-35A crashed on Apr. 9, 2019 off the coast of Japan. The exact cause of the accident remains unknown. 41-year-old Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Major Akinori Hosomi was at the control of the plane at the time and also remains missing.

The aircrafts been located, Brown said, Nikkei reported. Its now in the recovery aspect.

However, Nikkei later updated its story to add a statement from U.S. Air Force Colonel John Hutcheson, a spokesperson for U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ), who said that this was incorrect. Hutcheson did not clarify whether General Brown had simply misspoken or had himself received inaccurate information ahead of the press briefing.

The aircraft has not been located at the bottom of the sea, Hutcheson told Nikkei. The U.S. military is still working with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to locate the wreckage.

Aircraft and ships searching for the downed aircraft and Major Hosomi did find debris from the crash, including a piece of the F-35s tail, in the days following the mishap. There have been no reports yet that Japanese or American personnel, or anyone else, have recovered more significant portions of the plane. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Drive website.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/27737/the-u-s-military...

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[*] posted on 8-5-2019 at 09:17 AM


Flight Data Recorder from Japan's Crashed F-35A Retrieved, But Key Data Still Missing (excerpt)

(Source: The Japan Times; posted May 07, 2019)

By Reiji Yoshida

The Defense Ministry has retrieved part of the flight data recorder from a F-35A stealth fighter that went missing last month, but it was heavily damaged and did not include a storage device to record speed and altitude data, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Tuesday.

The discovery on the sea floor, the exact location of which has been withheld for security reasons, is therefore unlikely to help determine the cause of the crash.

What looked like some parts of the stealth fighter which cost more than 10 billion were also spotted on the sea floor, about 1,500 meters below the surface. The Defense Ministry plans to salvage them, said a public relations officer with the Air Self-Defense Force in Tokyo.

The F-35A stealth fighter went missing on April 9 about 135 kilometers east of Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, during a combat exercise together with other three F-35As.

The pilot, Major Akinori Hosomi, has yet to be found. (end of excerpt)
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[*] posted on 29-5-2019 at 09:18 AM


Missing Japanese F-35 Finally Found on Seabed During Trump's Official Visit

(Source: Sputnik News; published May 28, 2019)

Japanese military rescue teams have discovered the wing and an engine fragment from a fifth-generation F-35A multipurpose combat aircraft, operated by the country's Air Force, which fell into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Aomori Prefecture in the north of Honshu Island on 9 April.

The news was announced on Tuesday at a press conference in Tokyo by Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya. Discovered fragments were raised to the surface, they have sustained serious damage, Kyodo news agency quoted Iwaya as saying.

We will continue the search; there are still scattered fragments of the aircraft lying on the seabed.

Earlier in May, divers found part of the missing aircrafts cockpit and the flight data recorder in the search area, however, it was missing its memory card. The reasons for the crash remain unknown.

The F-35A stealth fighter disappeared from radar screens in April during a training flight from Misawa Air Force Base in Japan. The pilot's body was not found.

The aircraft had been assembled in Japan from US components at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant.

This is the first such accident involving an F-35A, since these jets are only just becoming operational in the armed forces of various countries.

Last year, a F-35B short take-off and vertical landing aircraft crashed in the US. The F-35B was modified for the Marine Corps with the ability to take off and land vertically while also providing fifth-generation electronic surveillance and weapons capabilities.

Japan plans to acquire 105 US-made stealth warplanes for its air force as well as two light aircraft carriers, thus making it home to the largest F-35 fleet of any US ally.

The news was announced by US President Donald Trump during his official visit to Japan.

The United States supports Japan's efforts to improve its defence capabilities, and in recent months we have sent them a large amount of military equipment, Trump said at a press conference.

The US F-35 programme has been slammed as wildly over budget and years behind schedule.

Japan's government announced in its latest defence budget in December its intention to buy 105 F-35A aircraft, with local media saying at the time that the purchase could be worth a total of more than one trillion yen ($9.1 billion).

Japan and the United States have a long history of collaboration. In particular, the nations cooperate with respect to defence, with about 50,000 US military personnel stationed across the island nation.

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[*] posted on 29-5-2019 at 09:19 AM


Trump Hails Japan for Acquiring 'Largest F-35 Fleet' of Any Ally (excerpt)

(Source: Nikkei Asian Review; issued May 28, 2019)

TOKYO --- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday became the first American president to board a Japanese warship, in a symbolic tour designed to stress the allies' partnership amid increased tensions with North Korea and China.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the JS Kaga helicopter carrier, one of the country's biggest vessels, which is to be refurbished into a carrier for F-35B stealth fighter jets Japan is buying from the U.S.

"This purchase will give Japan the largest fleet of F-35s of any of our allies," Trump said in a speech in the hangar of the Kaga, at the Japan Self-Defense Force base in Yokosuka -- south of Tokyo. "And soon this very ship will be upgraded to carry that cutting-edge technology."

The president continued: "With this extraordinary new equipment the Kaga will help our nations defend against a range of conflicts [and] threats in the region and far beyond." (end of excerpt)

(EDITORS NOTE: Despite the publicity given to US President Donald Trumps statements about having sold 105 additional F-35 fighters to Japan, Tokyo in fact decided on the additional purchase back in mid-December, as reported at the time by Japanese media.
The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 18 that Japan plans to spend around $10 billion to become the largest customer outside the U.S. for Lockheed Martin Corp.s F-35 jet fighters, as it responds to a rising China and pressure from President Trump to spend more on American military hardware.)

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[*] posted on 31-5-2019 at 08:00 PM


Japan receives first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

31 May, 2019 SOURCE: Flight Dashboard BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) has taken delivery of its first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Northrop Grummans longstanding partnership with Japan is beginning a new chapter with the delivery of the first Japan E-2D, says Northrop Grummans Jane Bishop.

This aircraft provides a significant increase in early warning and surveillance capability to outpace Japans evolving security needs.

The aircraft is the first of four aircraft on firm order, and it first flew in November 2017. According to Northrop, it was handed over to JASDF in March.

In September 2018, the possibility of additional orders was raised when the US government cleared Tokyo to obtain nine additional examples.

Japanese E-2Ds have several modifications compared with those operated by the US Navy from its aircraft carriers. Given that Tokyos aircraft will operate from land bases, it is modified to carry extra fuel in a wet wing, providing endurance of 8h, compared with 5h for the US E-2Ds. Those aircraft rely on air-to-air refuelling to boost endurance.

Ciriums Fleets Analyzer shows that Tokyo operates 13 E-2Cs and four Boeing E-767s in the AEW&C mission.

Northrop notes that Tokyo has operated the E-2C since 1983, and that it is the worlds second largest operator of the type after the US Navy.

The E-2D delivers a two-generation leap in radar technology, allowing the aircraft to track threats at extended range, says Northrop.

The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination. The E-2D offers interoperability with next-generation aircraft systems and U.S. Navy allies to support regional security cooperation.
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