Typhoon, F/A-18, F-35 could duel in Japan fighter bid

Typhoon, F/A-18, F-35 could duel in Japan fighter bid

They don’t want to say it out loud, but here’s what Boeing and Lockheed are thinking right now: “Not again!”

According to a report this week in the Financial Times, Japan says it would be open to choosing the Eurofighter Typhoon as its new front-line fighter jet, setting up a possible three-way battle between it, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed’s F-35 Lightning II.

This would be the second time in recent history that American defense giants have battled Europe for a major Asian opportunity, after India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. And as we all remember, that program  did not end well for the Americans. But India is India, and this is Japan — America’s staunchest Asian ally, right? They buy stuff from the U.S. all the time, so this should be a lock for either Big B or Lockheed, right?

No — not according to the FT’s Mure Dickie, who wrote this:

In an interview with the FT, [new Defense Minister Yasuo] Ichikawa said Japan’s alliance with the US would not be a “major criterion” in deciding between the Eurofighter Typhoon and US rivals Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

After years of delay, Tokyo is now set to decide before the end of December on the purchase of around 42 fighters, a deal estimated to be worth more than $6bn and that could have far-reaching implications for the competing aircraft.

Analysts have in the past generally assumed that Tokyo’s close military alliance with Washington and post-war practice of relying almost exclusively on the US for imports of advanced weapon systems meant Eurofighter had little chance of winning the deal. However, Washington’s decision not to allow Japan to buy Lockheed’s stealthy and highly capable F-22 – Tokyo’s favoured option – appears to have opened an unprecedented opportunity for the Eurofighter consortium.

Adding India and Japan as members would be huge for Club Eurofighter, although neither deal is final yet. There are elements in the aerospace game with fingers crossed that India’s competition will fall apart and open up another opportunity, and it’s at least theoretically possible the U.S. also could give Japan what it wants, too.

Here’s a scenario for you: Lockheed is still assembling the very last F-22s at its plant in Marietta, Ga.; it has said the no-kidding final fighter would roll off the line in November. If Congress acted quickly to lift the ban on foreign military sales of the Raptor, then Lockheed rushed over to Tokyo with a bid, it might check a lot of boxes: A Foreign Military Sales windfall for the U.S. and Lockheed; a newly strengthened security relationship with Japan; and a potential strategic game-changer in the Western Pacific, where China’s J-20 would not be the only fifth-generation game in town.

It’s all possible, but it probably won’t happen — Congress will not lift its FMS objections on the F-22, which it has kept in place since 1998, and if this issue even made it onto lawmakers’ agendas, they might not be able act before Japan’s December deadline. (Congress is so dysfunctional we could soon face another prospect of another possible government shutdown.) Also, Boeing might have something to say about all of this, too.

Still, it could happen — what do you think? Is it time to reconsider foreign Raptor sales while they’re still feasible?

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What secret technology does the F-22 have that we dont want to share that the F-35 doesn’t have? oh yeah its secret so we will never know. right?

F-35 out of question will get a win in Japan .It will dominate NCW-based war.Typhoon?NO ‚Japanese do not think about it. F/A-18E/F fitted with APG-79 AESA, AIM-120D,AIM-9 Block II is much better than Typhoon in the sky.

With japan still picking up the pieces from the tidal wave and earth quake from last spring I don’t there be a winner soon there in financial ruin also.

If stealth is important to them then the F-35 is a shoe in.

What about Typhoon purchases by Taiwan since the US won’t sell them the F-16C/D versions? Or better yet, how about F-15s to them?

If they select the Typhoon they are no chance to win any battle with the Chinese J-11 or J-20, Typhoon is the plane of the pass and versus J-20 Typhoon will survive less than five minutes. The only little chance is to buy the F-35.

The F-22 would clearly make the most sense for both Japan and the United States (mind you, I say this as a Canadian, looking on from the outside). It is in the US’ interests to have “an unsinkable carrier” (i.e. the Japanese homeland) equipped with true 5th Gen capabilities on China’s doorstep. Also keeps the F-22 production line open longer, a big win of course for LM but also for USAF in terms of keeping its options open should the F-35 prove inadequate. And clearly the Japanese want the robust Air Dominance capability the F-22 provides. Although I respect the fact that the US has put a lot of R&D into stealth, supercruise, etc., selling F-22 to “very friendly” nations (such as Japan, but I’d include others that aren’t officially interested right now but in theory could be, like: UK, Canada, Australia) isn’t much of a security or industrial risk IMHO. Congress is being a bit paranoid and it really just hurts US interests in the long run, again IMHO.

the F-35 is high risk option that can allready is the opposite of cheap. The Raptor is too late in production wind down to easily and cheaply ramp up again.
Non-US designs have all the advantage.

I think it boils down to this, as I’ve been trying to convey for a very long time to F-35 “fanatics”: The F-35 will be, WHEN IT’S A COMPLETED DESIGN, extremely capable, even moreso than the F-18 or EF-2000… But right now, it’s such a risky and high-priced proposition to commit to the F-35, I think what Japan should do, if they really want it, is purchase either of the other 2 aircraft in quantities that make sense (a gap-filler), leaving the option open to get some F-35s if that’s really what they want.

On that note: It’s sickening to look at the F-35 and watch the fanatics, and the politicians with their own agendas, calling for ramped-up production of an UNTESTED aircraft, and lamely argue that it’s for “cost-control”. REALLY?.. Exactly how much money do they think we’re saving by ordering 50 extra aircraft (out of an anticipated order of thousands!) early in production, all of which will need to be “fixed” as the test results come back?… It’s happening right now –The last bill I saw, to correct the “unanticipated design changes” on the “completed” airframes, was for close to $1 Billion… and the latest news is we’re now looking at a modified Helmet sighting system, a “problem” with DAS imagery, a wing design “flaw”, a generator “issue” … Common sense should tell you, concentrate on getting it right, then we’ll talk about price and procurement; but common sense hasn’t visited the F-35 Club in a LONG time.

While, yes, Japan would be taking on an additional aircraft to support, there are 3 important positives that would result from such a decision: 1). They’d get working aircraft (F-18 or EF), for a KNOWN price, with KNOWN capabilities, in the timeframe they’re looking for… 2). IF they DO decide to fill the fleet out with –35s, they can procure a limited number for the extremely unlikely instance where they NEED to penetrate an advanced IADS that their EFs or –18s can’t handle (kinda like the limited purchase of F-117, F-22, B-2 and such, due to the high capabilities of each airframe)… and 3) IF they decide to consider the purchase of F-35s after some EFs or –18s are procured, at that time ( hopefully :-) ) everyone will know the F-35s REAL procurement cost and capabilities and all (ok, most) of the kinks are worked out.

@ICBM Killer, “F/A-18E/F fitted with APG-79 AESA, AIM-120D,AIM-9 Block II is much better than Typhoon in the sky.”

One of the reasons why the F/A-18 didn’t get shortlisted in India is because it lacked in an area where the Eurofighter Typhoon excelled, in air-to-air! So your logic of an F/A-18 is better than the Typhoon in this area is nonsense. Even with Captor, AMRAAM and ASRAAM, the Typhoon is superior and this is before you talk about raw performance. Add Captor-E, Meteor, ASRAAM or IRS-T then the F/A-18 really does not stand a chance.

F-35’s future is questionable, theres no known price apart from it’d be very expensive to buy & maintain, add on top of that Japan will never have their own way with it, upgrades etc. Stealth features will likely to be down-graded, meaning sanctions. Not worth it. F/A-18 was a fine multi-role fighter in it’s day but now its getting very long in the tooth & I wouldn’t rely on it to take on enemy fighters and it’s growth potential is at a dead end. Eurofighter Typhoon is the only realistic option for Japan.

Paul, I agree with you. The F-35 might turn out to be an excellent aircraft but it is not yet a proven system. It has not yet fired a missile or dropped a bomb. Nor has it flown against the any of the teen series it is intended to replace or against potential rivals such as the Typhoon. In these circumstances I also advocate spreading the risk. Since the US denied its close Pacific allies Japan and Australia access to the F-22, it is reasonable that they consider alternatives while the F-35 goes through its long and painful gestation. Australia has bought 24 F/A-18F’s, and is considering buying more SH’s, because of the delays afflicting the F-35. The Australians currently remains firmly committed to the F-35, but IMHO they would be wise to hold off making a final decision until the F-35 is closer to IOC.

Eddie, you are right about the Typhoon. The updates on offer to India and Japan that you describe will make it a highly effective fighter. It is also proving itself in the ground attack role in Libya. Japan is sensible to select its next fighter via a real competitive process. Australia should do the same.


Asked if the Eurofighter and Rafale were superior in technologies to the other four contenders…
The Air Chief Observed that Admittedly, the USA had the Best of the Combat Radars, Weapons and Systems

What country has 50,000 marines defending Japan and sent 19 naval warships to help with disaster recovery after the earthquake and typhoon? Sure, the Eurofighter has a snowball’s chance in hell, right.

You guys are forgetting one factor. If I were Japanese I would choose European do to one factor which is very important. China political and economical pressure over the US. I mean.… in the 90s Taiwan was an undisputable friend of the US … now because of pressure from China the US will not sell them new F16 or more F16.…just un upgrade.
That shows that US lawmakers are sensitive to what China wants … at some extent they are …they slightly bent over to Chinese interests. Who can be sure that Japan will not suffer the same thing in 20 years from now …even 10.

I would as India did, diversify the source of supplies for its military. Thinking otherwise is just to risky. Besides, having only 42 planes from European makers does not send any message to the friendship with the US …maybe only that the senate does not consider Japan that much friend to get the good stuff (F-22).

J20?Do you think it is a true stealth fighter?hohoho.….. It is only a political toy made by the Comunist government of China. J11?it is a low-quality copy of Russian SU-27 that much too worse than F/A-18E/F.

Eddie Eddie Eddie. Firstly,Policical reason made F/A-18E/F lost the bid,not a technology issue. it was said that American do not want to translate some advanced techonology including Source Code.Secondly,Indian dot not believe in America for its enemy-Pakistan.Out of question ‚F/A-18E/F is much much much better than Typhoon in the area of AA and AG combat operation.

Your talking complete rubbish, do you know anything about aviation and fighters ? The Typhoon has the second best BVR capability at the moment after the F-22. It’s raw performance is the best out all the 4th Gen fighters. One squadron of Typhoons would handle any J-11 force no one yet knows what the J-20 is capable of .. I would say no better than a 4TH Gen fighter.

The F-18 has no legs and is way under powered. It may have AESA before the Typhoon, but when Eurofighter actually pull their finger out and give the Typhoon AESA in around 3 years time, a Typhoon with Asramm and IRS-T it would have no problem taking care of a super bug. Japan is a sea water nation with no carriers, it needs a twin engined jet, with power. The only two large twin engined fighters out there available to them are the Typhoon and the F-22. As you say Typhoon is the option.

I do not believe the J-20 is a stealth fighter at all, neither is the PAK-FA. There is nothing that I have seen or been told that will change that opinion.

@ICBM Killer. Political reasons did play a role in the F/A-18 getting dropped, so did technical reasons. For example — During the trials the Typhoon was the only aircraft at Leh Air Base to take off, perform a display and land using only one engine, full A/A load, three drop tanks with max fuel, the others failed to do this, F-16 and Gripen had to do this without reheat but also failed. On aircraft design, the Typhoon was designed to operate at very high altitudes in all temps with full A/A weapons, drop tanks & take on enemy fighters and win. The F/A-18 was not, simples, reason why its not considered to be “all that” in A/A. The Typhoon will carry more A/G weapons and still have at least 6 A/A missiles onboard at any one time. No contest.

Your analysis is incorrect and historically inaccurate. The dynamics in the relationship between the US and Japan as opposed to Taiwan are completely different. In addition the US has a long history of seeking to maintain balance between China and Taiwan. All the way back to the 80s, Reagan refused to sell them F16s and Clinton only did with major caveats. All that took place long before China was any kind of threat or economic power, so it isn’t as if there is something overwhelmingly new taking place here. In addition, the upgrades being offered are by no means minor and do make Taiwan’s existing F16s far more lethal.

Your analysis is also incorrect.
There is something very new.… China owns a substantial part of the US debt .…and is getting more and more.

You are right Monty. People think just because F-35 is stealth is the best aircraft ever…People read, the F-35 is only low-obsevable in the front aspect build for ground atack (not BVR fight)…While the F-22 is a supercruise all aspect very low observable air-dominance aircraft…Plus The J-20 will reach IOC in like 8–10 years, Typhoon is flying today

The F-35 is not low-observable in the front aspect only. Though like most stealth designs that is where it has the lowest RCS. Also it is a multi-role fighter meaning it was designed to deal with both ground and air targets.

More powerful variants of the F414 are in development and the Super Hornet has respectable range, more so with the conformal fuel tanks in development. The only major advantage the Typhoon will (eventually) have is the Meteor BVRAAM. I’m sure Super Hornets will eventually get JDRADM though.

Respectfully, you are on Medication. The Japanese Defense is closely tied to the US and the F-35 is the only Stealthy 5th Generation Fighter available to counter the Russian PAK-FA and/or Chinese J-20. Sorry, it’s the US that has all of the Advantages.

Your very missed informed. The F-35 JSF is doing very well and will exceed the performance of the F-22 in many respects. Really, I laugh at the Lightning Critics. As they sound “exactly like” the one that claimed doom and gloom with the F-16 Viper and M-1 Abrams Tank.….…..Which, both turned out to be hugely successful.

The Typhoon and Super Hornet would be adequate in the short-term. Yet, fighters stay is service for decades. So, even if you believe the PAK-FA and J-20 have short coming. It would be extremely risky to cound on 4.5 Generation Types for the future of your nation defense.

Do you play any instruments? Tiny Models Nn

they are developing their own 6th gen. fighter.

Except it cant counter the PAK-FA or J-20. It’s a aerodynamic dog compared to even existing generation aircraft.

“well and will exceed the performance of the F-22 in many respects.”

yea return to Lockheed shareholders

Both the F-18 and JSF are aircraft built to maximize pork and they will never be competitive to aircraft built to win the fight. The Indians have already voted with their feet. While Lockheed is a byword for corruption in Japan they don’t want an air force that is second best compared to even the Indians.

And now why the hell wasn’t the F15SE put forward again?

If upgraded engines were a real deal breaker, the Mig-31 would have been the hottest jet on the planet in the 80s. New F-414s will not undo the weaknesses of a wing and body design optmised for slow approach speeds. You just can’t get the “hot” kinematics out of any Super Hornet that you can with a Eurofighter.

Nick, I would have to say you make a very good point… My whole problem with the deal is that, sad to say, I don’t really know for sure what the requirements for the Japan replacement are, and that is the REAL question that only the Japanese can answer. If they are looking for a capable air-to-air fighter RIGHT NOW to defend against advanced 4th-gens, and for additional air-to-ground capabilities, then I honestly think any of them (EF, F-18 or F-15SE) will fit the bill nicely.

While I’m not a huge fan of the –18, my concerns mainly lie in the aircraft’s range. But make no mistake about it, the –18 Super Hornet, IF supplied with the APG-79, HMS, and IRST, IS a real force to be reckoned with. If, on the other hand, the idea is for a good fighter with MAJOR emphasis on air-to-ground, I think the –15SE or –18 would be the way to go… And if they want a real stealth capability, then they could consider if that of the –15SE is good enough, or wait for the –35 (which, again, would mean they still need something to reduce their risk short-term; which is my major issue with the F-35)
I kind of like this to buying a car: If you know you need an SUV, then look at the SUVs — Some have things you want, others have things you need, they’re ALL SUVs… Similarly all of the aircraft in question are VERY GOOD aircraft —

IMHO, the Eurofighter is completely under-rated in the air-to-air role by those who don’t really know too much about it (low LCS; VERY capable radar moving towards AESA; extreme maneuverability; VERY impressive avionics; HMS with PIRATE; great short, medium, and long-range air-to-air with ASRAAM/Iris-T/-9X, AIM-120, and Meteor;…) — I guess we’ll all know shortly what Japan really wants as soon as the first order is placed… My bet right now is on the –18 short-term, F-35 long-term (IF it survives and delivers.) But honestly, I’d love to see the first order for the F-15SE — Since the F-22 is no longer in production, this seems to me like something the U.S. could use to replace the oldest F-15s, and also act as replacement for some of those aircraft that the F-35 was PLANNED to replace.

F-35 is a turkey, just like F-105 was. Japan needs a very good air-to-air fighter, F-35 is a stealthy bomb truck.

they will most likley go euro fighter good air to air and air to ground good thrust and altitude plus it is combat ready and tested

@Paul. Theres a few things thats worth pointing out about the Typhoon’s A/A capabilites; firstly is the AESA radar which will come with it, it’ll be fitted to a Repositioner giving it a wider Field of View, 110 degrees by 120 degree wedge. Another thing that many people might not know about, is that the Typhoon will fitted with GaN systems as well as HMSS giving the pilot and aircraft all round SA — HMSS giving the pilot to “see through” the aircraft. There is also other abilities to deploy, the likes of Towed Radar Decoys and a follow on system called ARTS by QinetiQ, very clever bit of kit. Going for the F/A-18 then for the F-35 is the more expensive option, it really ain’t worth it for Japan in the short nor long run. Way too risky!

Since the decision was made some years ago was for the U.S. to go to an all-stealth fighter fleet, I think that the Japanese purchasing the F-15SE has some real attractive points for both the U.S. AND Japan. First, the Japanes would acquire a great capability. Secondly, the U.S. would be able to replace older F-15 airframes with the –SE, supplementing the F-22’s limited numbers and providing for an even more survivable strike platform than the F-15E, and probably get a decent price considering concurrent build with Japan Lastly, while the F-35 “shakes out”, the –SE could replace a considerable number of older F-16s and act as a gap-filler for countries wishing to hold-out for the F-35. It may cut into F-35 sales, but that’s just the way things go sometimes; delays like this should have been considered a long time ago… and weren’t.

Eddie: Agreed (I thought I stated that the Eurofighter is under-rated, but no matter.) But I can understand the reluctance from potential customers that want (for whatever reason) TRUE stealth and the best INTEGRATED targeting systems available: The cost of the Eurofighter is already pretty high, and if they keep trying to make it a “jack-of-all-trades”, it’ll suffer the F-35’s cost increases and delays trying to get the capabilities. . Nah, I think the Eurofighter is great the way it is; it’s marketing has been deplorable though.
Burning Man… Yes, the F-35 is a stealthy bomb truck, everyone WANTS that… But if and when all is said and done and the design is finally completed, tested, and fielded, I don’t think any of the discussed aircraft would want to tangle with it air-air… Its avionics and sensors, combined with stealth, will be VERY tough for them to contend with, no matter what they’re towing or “packing” :-). BUT, we don’t know WHEN its required performance will actually be deliverable to customers, or what it will cost.

Paul, you bring up a valid, relevant question: the actual requirements in selecting this fighter don’t seem to be clear. I’m sure there are well defined reasons within inner circles for proposing each of the 3 models, but it seems like a pretty broad based range of strategies and reasoning being covered.

I mean, so the F-22 was JASDF’s original choice, but now they are taking bids from Super Hornet? How do those requirements compare? I’d concur fully with the question also; why no F-15J++? (At least an incremental F-15SE-lite)?? That would indeed seem to bridge strategic value from the would-be F-22, with a very tactical capability provided by Typhoon and Super, would it not? Besides, it would have twice the patrol range (or escort endurance) of even the F-35, let alone the Super.

But I would tend to think that if JASDF requires a reliable, good-enough multi-role replacement in the near-term, Typhoon would provide a sufficient balance. Just supplement the Typhoon, or affordable Super Hornet, with a VLO UCAV robots by 2020 and they would cover all the requirements.

Japan will also be thinking about how it’s industry will benefit, Eurofighter are offering far more to Japan than either of the American options. So Japan will have full software code, and will be able to partake in future upgrades to the aircraft.
Cost has been mentioned, and with the F-35 is continuing to increase, in both flyaway cost and per hour (double the value for the F-18 or Typhoon).

@Paul, I got what you said about the Typhoon being under-rated, just though I would add more to what you said ;)

The cost of the Typhoon is around $120 million, so it is high as you say, however that figure is what the buyer would get for the Tranche 3 variant, (proposed to India & Japan too I presume) which is fitted with more weapon systems that would support Meteor, Brimstone, Storm Shadow, Taurus, Pilum, Paveways, anti-ship missiles & so on, it would also feature enhanced electronic warfare sensors and such. Theres your aircraft, just need to order those weapons.

The Typhoon is okay the way it is, but it does need what I say above and as luck would have it, its recieving those capabilities.

Good points, STemplar and you are actually more correct in your analysis as you argued them. Absolutely, there is night and day difference in the geopolitical relationships with respect to PRC w/ US+Tawain, and PRC w/ US+Japan. These are similar in some broader senses, sure, but apples to oranges in relevant cases such as strategic alliance, etc.

PRC in no way have the same arguments with respect to US+Japan’s bonds, as she has with respect to US+Taiwan’s strategically ambiguous relations and US’s desire for peaceful settlements between them.

Well, true costs for an AESA upgraded, systems-enhanced Typhoon tranche (equivalent to US’s definition of PUC cost, e.g.) are probably still subject to change, especially for a 2014 order date and as such, can’t really be thrown around with full knowledge yet. I could be wrong, but that’s my gut feeling.

That being said, F-35’s PUC cost by FY14 (still a pre-mature and untested bird) will likely be much higher than is currently advertised, as growth costs in unit procurement have been under-estimated to date and 2014 orders will likely be reduced further. Important to consider, that the low-ball per unit price estimates are based on a production run of 3,150+ units — highly dubious.

BTW, are you by chance ‘Eddie’ the diplomatic blogger?? :)

With China as our biggest trading partner(and the holder of so much of our debt) actually it is in the USAs interests to foster Strategic alliances with the PRC. Sell China the F-35 and F-22 as part of buying back all that really bad paper notes we have sold to them. Cost of the Aircraft + the money we will save them on their 5th Gen R&D would go back to the US Treasury. China can afford our top of the line stuff, with Japan thats kinda iffy. When was the last time China attacked Japan, Austrailia, or the USA? They are much less a war like nation than Japan or Korea.
The USAF says it needs a new penetrating bomber? We can buy 60 SU-34 Fullbacks for less than the cost of the 1st evaluation of offerings from the Usual Suspects.

One thing that I have not really seen discussed is what seems to be a very gentle “re-militarization” of Japan. They have been formally restricted from many military activities by the McArthur-inspired post-war constitution, but at least in the Naval arena they seem to be moving out of the traditional “limits”. It might be that the Japanese would make the same move from a “strictly defensive” posture that a Typhoon might better fit, ie an air defense fighter with a less impressive A-G capability. Could it be that the Japanese might just be looking for a more robust offensive capability with a credible air-to-air option?

Actually the F-18 got spanked in almost every phase of the Indian evaluation. The same result in Brazil. But if your talking Euro-canards, remember the Rafale and Gripen have totally bested the American legacy Fighters(F-15,16&18) and Typhoon in every head to head exercise. It has not even been close.
As the French and Swedish will tell you, Dont go to Red and Green Flag and kick ass, because the Americans won’t invite you back.

50,000 Marines that the people of Japan and Japanese Government want out. The only pro-USA troops folks in Japan are landlords and bar owners. The Japanese have asked formally four times to remove all Marines from Japan and cut back USAF and USN forces drastically as recently as 2010. Bit we have treaties to protect Japan, from what?

Typhoon is a good jet kinetically but the Super Bug is a lot cheaper (which is why Japan has it as an alternative vice the F-15SE) and already has APG-79 integrated. Saying CAPTOR makes the Typhoon the radar equal of the Hornet is like saying the F-35 is a proven quantity. Paper design in software and radar is as hard to turn into a capability as is hardware (F-35, Nimrod MR4P, Global Hawk Block 40, etc.)
India chose the European designs for technology access and developmental reasons as much as for performance and Japan may find a lot of the technology they would like to codevelope is already promised to the Indians. I would say Typhoons chances in that regard may edge up if Raphael wins in India and BAE makes a low ball offer in price, but it is still likely just a stick to make the US get serious with GOJ about technology transfer on the F-35.

F-22 looks very impressive at airshows and has been pretty eyewatering in service BUT it has some very major technology obsolescence issues and LO maintainability problems. Lets give Gates some credit when he decided to kill production. F-35 development has been anything but smooth but its subsystems are about half a generation superior to F-22s, its parts and upgrades will be spread over a much larger fleet of aircraft (F-16 vs F-15 kind of scale) and most importantly its software code was written from day one with different levels of access to allow for export. The Raptor does not have the last feature so any export would either involve a massive bet that the Japanese could not be hacked (Lockheed is having enough trouble and the Japanese have had some very embarrassing recent leaks) or essentially rewriting all the code from scratch.

Japan should partner with the USAF to develop their Mitsubishi ATD-X and scrap the F-35…

I’m not sure many of you realize that the Typhoon is nearly twice the cost as the F-35 atm.
I’m just saying


The currently ‘estimated’ ‘eventual’ ‘average’ ‘FRP’ REC cost is advertised to be affordable, yes. But some obviously don’t realize yet that F-35’s actual average FRP PUC cost will be astronomically higher than originally (and still officially) ‘estimated’.

There will be far fewer annual production rates, both over the remaining LRIP lots and eventual FRP lots. That will further drive up unit costs above those which would still be substantially higher than estimated unit costs, even if the maximal economies of scale order rates were kept.

Besides, JASDF apparently might want to begin procurement prior to F-35 FRP which will present even far higher unit costs than folks ‘not-in-the-know’ assume. One would not justify buying (gambling on) an early, risky block III because of any competitive cost argument which will not be the reality.

Hi Eddie, very interested in the claims concerning there Gripen and F-16 with no re-heat, do you have a link to this?

Ah, The Register, they are so full of nonsense its unreal. If it ain’t an F-35 or F-22 its nothing. There is NO given price for the F-35 yet, apart from it will be overpriced because of all these delays and hell knows what.

Hmm… that sure would roil the waters, on the other hand, consider… ATD-X is Mitsubishi’s first cut at a “steathly” fighter. Lots of lessons to be leared as we have seen profusely in the F-22 and F-35 (and just because its Japanese, I really dont think we can discount the fact that they have to climb the hill too, as we have seen with Toyota and cars). Second, the pictures I see of the mockup shows a smaller, single engine version of the F-22 (at least in terms of “mold-line”). Not bad, but… the Mitsubshi F-2 ended up with a very similar profile to the F-16 (unsurprising given the design assistance given and its ancestry). If I remember correctly, they found that just matching the contour does not match the plane with some very considerable “developmental problems” from the changes incorporated into the design and a very high cost when compared to Block 50 F-16s. Why would ATD-X be any different?

the eurofighter is the best option for japan at the moment for a number of reasons the tranche 3 is going to get a lot of goodie attached to it as some one said stormshadow and other weapons better radar. plus euro consortium is not a tight bunch like the americans we are willing to share.

I am impressed that the Gripen was even able to take-off with one engine out! ;-)

Everyone gets that the Typhoon, F-35, and J-whatever are all either make work projects to keep defense contractors and their middle class employees happy OR vain efforts by a status obessed Chinese government crying out for attention? They’ll never actually be used in combat against each other. So all this back and forth is the equivalent of arguing about who would really win in fight between Snakes-Eyes and Storm Shadow.

No it isn’t. The amount of misinformation that goes on about this particular point is startling.

1. @ Joey so the finalc price of the F-35 will be over 300 mill each? it will be more t han the euro fighter or the F-22? thats how much a typhoon casts after all.

2. So every major player in the area will have stealth designs by 2025, (Aussies, Russians, SK, Chinese, India,) but the japanese will be left with the non stealthy Typhoon to police the islands sky?

3. How are you going to deal with advanced air defences with the Typhoon?
a. Its not a jamming platform
b. its not stealthy
c. Cruise missles are not good at hitting targets that pack up and leave!
The bottom line is that you have a aircraft that costs more than a F-35 and F-22 together, with 1/2 the capability. It cant penetrate, it will be dog meat versus a T-50,
4. The F-35 is pegged at about $100 mill right now. Please give me another modern aircraft that you can buy
(excluding the super hornet, you need to buy 2 of those to match the F-35) that costs less than $100 mill and then we will talk!

@Jessmo24, give us an official source of how much the F-35 will cost when it shall be operational and after all the problems it has are mended, then we can talk. Like it or not the Typhoon costs around $120 mil including development and production costs. It may not be stealthy but you underestimate it a great deal.

Are you serious? Sorry, but Typhoon is a better fighter than the F-18. F-18 has limited speed, and the Typhoon is faster, and carries more ordinance. The F-35 does not fight what Japan wants because unlike the short sighted US, 2 engines are always better than one.…

Well, Lockheed seems to think differently. They could wind back up with no problem if the US would just let them sell the fighter. If they did that in the 1st place, then costs would have gone way down.

Robert, you may want to do more research. The F-15 has been bested by only one fighter, and that’s the F-22. Please let me know what exercise the F-15 was bested because at red flag, it has not happened.…

They were only able to best the F-16 squadrons.…..

Here is my whole thing with this argument. As much as I love the F-18, it was not even the best fighter the navy had,. Pound for pound the F-14 was a better fighter, but suffered from having to have 2 pilots on board, and having rules of engagement that would never let them use the one weapon it was designed around.

The bottom line is that the US is getting long in the tooth and is forgetting one of the 1st tenets of war. Get there the fastest with the mostest. Lite weight fighters are not going to get in in the air superiority game.

Eddie: Very good points about the Typhoon; I think we’re in agreement that IF Japan is looking for a very good fighter without top-end stealth, all the benefits of purchasing it (joint-production, future mods, etc.) are tough to over-look, even if the Japanese have historically bought American.
TacAir Command: Agree with the F-15J argument and the remote vehicles… Just not sure if you mean UCAVs in the role of what we think of as a “fighter”, or as an ISR/strike platform (?)… Unlike many out there, I think we have a LONG way to go to duplicate what a manned fighter does right now — I think you’ll agree it’s one thing to fly a UCAV to a hostile area, target it, and destroy it (a la Predator); and completely another to fly a UCAV out there and have a controller make split-second decisions (not even taking into account jammed or “time-lagged” communications) against an incoming flight of EF’s, T-50s, J-10s, or worse yet, some “unidentified” bogies. You sound too intelligent to not reckognize that, so I’ll assume that I misread what you meant; no offense intended whatsoever :-)

Wally: Yes, the F-22 prototype flew 20 years ago… And yes, it’s electronics are of a design from the 90s. However, allow me to make this point: The F-22 was, and still is, a “no-compromise” aircraft. It has top-end stealth superior to anything out there (including the F-35)… Its avionics, while “dated”, were cutting edge for the time, and even without taking on the F-35s technology transfer, I would vehemently argue is still far superior to anything anyone else has. Its supercruise ability offers an advantage in so many ways, it’s hard to comprehend, especially when that kind of speed is merged with an incredibly maneuverable, high-altitude, nearly invisible airframe with a no-holds-barred APG-77 AESA/ALR-94 EWS package.

Wallace (con’t): The point, I guess is this: AIRFRAME IS EVERYTHING… and an airframe like the F-22 possesses ain’t cheap. You can give the F-22 the abilities of the F-35 (or any other fighter for that matter) because electronics and avionics can be upgraded. But no Eurofighter, F-35, or anything else I’ve seen (except T-50 possibly; but we’ll have to wait a while to see) will be able to PHYSICALLY DO what the F-22 can do… unless they want to start over with a new airframe… But then again, you’d be better off just building more –22s.
You’re absolutely right about the export of the F-22. But I firmly believe that an export version SHOULD have been considered — There’s a reason Australia and Japan were willing to foot the bill for an export version… Because they understand the value and capability of that airframe, even with reduced stealth and a toned-down avionics suite. But truth is, politics jumped in under the realization that an F-22 costing $140Mil (off-the-line, end of prod. cost), after a run of only 187 aircraft, is a “steal”… An export version would be even cheaper, which wouldn’t bode well for the –35.

Jessmo24: Agreed.. to a point. While the EF is not a true “stealth” aircraft, it does have a very good (i.e., Low) RCS — If Japan has to break through an S-300PMU-2 or S-400 system, then agreed, they can’t fly the EF into the teeth… Just like they aren’t gunna fly the F-4s they’re replacing straight into an SA-11 system today. But the EFs would provide great PROTECTION from enemy fighters (I think that’s what they’re looking for; verdict’s still out though), and very respectable precision targeting with the help of some capable jamming support, even against the S-300/400s… They’d just have to be real smart about reckognizing the EFs strengths and weaknesses (a critical part of any warfare, isn’t it?).
The F-22, on the other hand… a-hunting it would go :-)

To all: Some of you feel the F-22 is too expensive… I agree that it is. But for those countries, like Japan, that MAY want a fighter to defend a known or perceived air-to-air threat (again, the verdict’s still out on WHAT they’re really looking for), they understand that the F-22 is to all other rivals what the F-15 was to the rivals of its day… and then some. An export version would be cheaper than the –35, and provide for MUCH better cruise missile and “stealth” interdiction defense.
Since the F-35 is now “too big to fail”, and the F-22 prod. line has been effectively shut-down by “look only at the small picture in your face” Gates, then the F-35 is the only choice for countries that want 1) true stealth (at least in the forward hemisphere), 2) 5th-gen capabilities and inter-operablility, and 3) incredible ground-attack capabilities.
The F-22 could have demonstrated all of that by now, for less than has been spent on the F-35 program thus far. The Marines and Navy, I feel, are the only ones with the unique requirements to justify the program… Everyone else wants the –A (i.e., toned-down F-22.)

Oh, almost missed your post AK McNeil: Yeah, the F-14 was big and heavy, but the Phoenix had quite an intimidation factor, didn’t it?… I think if the –14 were produced today and given a little more power on a composite airframe with a LITTLE stealth, F-18/-22 avionics with 1 pilot, and an AESA to match that nose cone, man what a killer that thing would be! :-) Even STILL, she’s sorely missed. :-(

Normally, I like your contrarian viewpoint, but this time it was weak Monsieur PP.

My stuff is better than yours!…blah blah blah..typical internet argument…sounds like a m16 vs m4 vs ak47 vs ak74 fight. What are the metrics the Japanese are looking for? Cost? Distance? Speed? Amount of arms? Fuel Efficiency???

You’re thinking like a pragmatic, wind shifting, soft backbone, realpolitik European…remember “RED MENACE!!” (/somewhat sarcastic)

high speed cruising, relatively long distance(from Naha to East China sea) and twin-engine, preferable stealthy one.

In the past, US sends several dozen of Raptor to Kadena, and Japan’s air force does have chances to see them in their eyes from their fighter planes’ cockpits.

possibly but with the experience of the F-35, I would hope that the “lesson learned” that you can’t serve more than one master (at least well) would be incorporated and that the USAF and JASDF would just focus on a good single engine, modular / upgradable, affordable, land based, long range interceptor / fighter with an excellent BVR missile and a excellent short range AAM linked to a HMS for close range combat.

The F-35 is not a fighter it’s a bomb truck with not much of a load. Japan needs fighters.

Indeed one of the greatest supporters for killing off the f-22 was Lockheed who saw that much more money could be made from the F-35 scam.

It already exists it’s called the Su-35

Your lesson perhaps SHOULD have been learned on the F-111 a long time ago.

I might offer that you do have one oxymoron in your comment.…” .… . a good single engine.… interceptor/fighter”. A single engine fighter is the absolute best (economically) in peacetime, but then a Cessna 150 could be even more economical to operate. In wartime, where infrared guided missiles “love” those tailfeathers, two engines start feeling REALLY good. Also, I think you might have some tradeoff issues between “single engine” and “long range” and the thrust to weight required for “knife fighting” vs modern fighters with good IR-AAMs. Two engines (and twice the thrust) just makes those tradeoffs easier.

if you sell china f22, you’ll be seeing f22 knockoffs in a few years! :) and they would not bother buying from the US anymore. China –the best in reverse engineering!

valid point but nothing happens in a vacuum, the cost issue has to be front and center for development, single engine saves money… a bit simplistic I realize and it carries its own issues / limitations but cutting out the cost of an extra engine at procurement and during it’s operational life can not be ignored.

It has the performance of a legacy F-16 big guy and you know it. The F-35 was NEVER supposed to be an air supremacy fighter, that was the job of the F-22 back when we were going to build enough of them.

Unescorted against the J-20 or the PAK-FA the JSF is doomed. It’s not fastest enough, it can’t fly high enough. it can’t supercruise, it doesn’t carry enough A2A weapons, etc, etc, etc.

The F-35 is at least five years behind schedule, billions over budget, and remains completely incapable of warfighting over a decade after the program started. But somehow in your opinion that qualifies the as doing fine!?

Really who exactly is misinformed here??

There are two other numbers that must be entered into your “single engine” calculus though. First off, instead of “assumed” differences in attrition, look at the peacetime attrition (engine related) between the F-16 and the F/A-18 as well as the wartime (DS-I) attrition /mission for these two. Same basic missions, same threat, and not a single F/A-18 was lost to MANPADs. And before you sharpen you pencil too finely my friend, remember that Ford Motor Co had that same calculus to do with the Pinto fuel tank problem. The numbers wont lie, but sometimes the numbers dont tell the whole story!

Great idea. WWII has been over for a long time now and the Japanese are staunch allies. Selling them the F-22 would keep the production lines open while Congress gets it’s act together and realizes the folly of buying so few of this magnificent bird.

Reminds me off the Corsair pilot with hot running engine being told to wait for a B-52 with one engine out “ahh! the dreaded seven engine approach!”

All of those parameters are “nice to have”, but. .. . so long as a pilot can find an “edge”, they just dont matter! P-51s destroyed ME-262s by catching them in the landing pattern, or catching them with one engine out, or catching them on the ground, or…. . . Its strange what the “edge” might turn out to be, but when your life depends on finding it, you look REALLY hard and then you use it. With Hellcats, it was the weave, with the P-47 it was to just push over into a dive, with the F-86.… ‚. .. ..… … etc etc, etc.

LOL! That single pilot thing is another one of those “accountant inspired improvements” my friend. Two sets of eyes and two brains are a very strong advantage in aerial combat. A lot of “jocks” will whine about loosing that extra 500 lbs of fuel or whatever it happens to cost by putting in the second seat, but… when the shooting starts, that GIB/WSO/navigator/BN/ballast is a very cheap insurance policy.… :-)

umm…Typhoon is cheep, has super cruise, and can maneuver aggresively under high G loads without killing the pilot…F-22 drops chunks just going stright and level when supersonic…also pilots have trouble catching their breath…30k difference in service ceiling…makes you wonder why we are paying 500 million per copy for this turkey. No body else will…

Are you on crack?

Hell yes! F-14 was extremely manuverable and had a great range for something big and heavy. I agree, upgrade that bad boy and also add supercruise with engines that vector in every direction not just up and down. Variable geometry wings are still the best and give the aircraft the best of both worlds.

Seymour: Umm.. The Typhoon is NOT cheap (neither is the F-14, –15, –18, or any other air superiority fighter worth its salt); and yes, it can supercruise, no argument there,…so long as you recognize it’s not in the class of the F-22, because it’s never gunna do what the –22 was designed to do; every fighter out there “can maneuver aggressively under high g-loads without killing the pilot”, otherwise it would be neither a fighter nor safe enough for production; not sure on the “drops chunks” comment, so I won’t respond; you’re “catching their breath” comment doesn’t deserve a response; yes, the Raptor will typically fly 30K (I’d say more like 20K) higher than the Eurofighter (your point???); and your $500 million per copy figure (a little high, but ok, I’ll let you have it) includes the development of revolutionary advances that both the F-35 and EF are HOPING to acquire — Figure in the R & D for the EF (or any of the other fighters in question), and what’s it cost? If it costs $250 Million a pop, then how do you figure that’s cheap?

Look, no matter what, you’re gunna get what you pay for, more or less. All of the aircraft in question (let’s leave the F-22 out of it, it’s in a league all it’s own, hence the pricetag!) are expensive… But that’s the point — They aren’t F-4s or Mig-21s or F-16As, they’re some of the best 4th + 5th gens out there. With the EF and F-18 at least you know what you’re getting, and what the price is. The real problem with the F-35: what country out there really NEEDS stealth aircraft? There were very few aircraft internationally that could bring down an IADS during the Gulf War, yet now, everyone has to have stealth… WHY? Answer: Because we told the countries they had to have it… for “interoperability”, “cost-effectiveness”, “capability, etc.”.. Has the F-35 demonstrated any of this? That’s why, if I were Japan, choose the EF or –18 — If you still “buy the line” in another 5–10 years, then go for it (F-35)..

LOL, the F-14 handled like a pig compared to the F-15C, F-16 and F/A-18.… let alone their Russian counterparts.

Variable geometry wings add additional weight, complexity, acquisition cost and maintenance cost. Hence why there’s only one aircraft in US service that survives, with the rest having been phased-out. The jet was heavy enough as it is just from being carrier capable and rather large (comparable in physical size to the F-15 and Su-27).

The F-14 needed the V-G wings just so it could take off in a combat load-out and still have good acceleration. The combat maneuverability they add is more than offset by various factors: 1) the additional weight of the system, 2) the engines needed to be spaced apart for the “pancake” section down the centerline to house V-G system, 3) roll spoilers were used instead of ailerons, 4) slats were still needed to complement the flaps for wing camber adjustment to improve lift for take-off and landing (which again, adds weight, complexity, and cost). The wings needed to be swept back for high-speed dashes, because the jet is heavy and the TF30 engines were anemic. Even when the TF30 was replaced by the F110-GE-400, the aircraft’s thrust-weight ratio was still less than 1:1 (whereas the F-15C and even the single-engined F-16 surpasses that).

The aircraft was designed to be more of an interceptor than an air superiority fighter, so speed, acceleration, rate of climb and engagement range was more important than maneuverability.

The only thing the F-14 had going for it was it’s ability to carry the long-ranged AIM-54.… which the US Navy never managed to get a single kill with. During the Gulf of Sidra incident, the F-14’s got their kills with AIM-7’s and AIM-9’s. Three AIM-54’s were fired in 1999 while enforcing the Iraqi no-fly zone… and all three failed to hit their targets.

The AIM-120D is able to achieve engagement ranges near that of the AIM-54 (firing conditions permitting), filling in the range gap.

The F-14 is a sitting duck in a dog-fight. In a medium-range BVR engagement, the F-15C surpasses it (with both aircraft employing the AIM-120) due to it’s ability to out-climb and out-accelerate the F-14D. In a long-range BVR engagement, history shows that the effectiveness of the AIM-54 is dubious (Iranian information regarding combat employment of the AIM-54 is even more dubious).

In short, the F-14 is overrated. Not saying it was useless, it had it’s purpose and it performed it well. But it wasn’t the mystical fighter to end all fighters.

If i was Japan, I’d probably buy a MIG. Cheaper and not a political timebomb. Stealth will be a passby soon as new radars are catching up and finding them. Heck the Indians are flying Mig-35’s. As to the Taiwan turndown, what do you expect from Obama. He’s not going to piss off his banker. They too can but alot more Migs for the money. And no I’m no commie, just fed up with the politics and pork in our Government.

And maybe the US should consider purchasing more KiAs instead of Hondas. What goes around comes around.

That’s not necessarily true. If the Super Hornet really was better then it would have been selected for India’s final decision. The Typhoon will soon have the Meteor missiles that have longer range than the AIM-120Ds, the off-boresight system is already in place, and the AESA Radar will soon follow. Yes it is cheaper, but it is not as agile, and cannot supercruise. Typhoon also has smaller Radar signature. As for the F-35, it is not better in every way, BVR combat yes, but it can’t dogfight as well, nor can it supercruise, and Typhoon has a higher payload.

He probably means that the Typhoon doesn’t have the same problems as F-22 or F-35 with regards to agility, While the F-22 is (obviously) more agile, that puts more of a strain on the aircraft’s delicate skin, you probably know the F-22 needs 35 man hours of maintenance for each hour of flight, whereas the Typhoon is mostly carbon fibre, not Radar absorbent material. I’m waiting to see what the F-35 is like in this regard, I think they will have learned from the F-22. That would meanTyphoon is less prone to skin problems. Either that or he’s saying that the Typhoon can operate under high Gs for longer than the USA’s legacy fighters.

What new radar is defeating stealth? Do you mean the low-freq radar that can better indicate that an aircraft is there but ain’t worth squat for targeting? Sure, everyone’s moving towards long-range, low-freq radar in an attempt to try and get a bead on stealth… But to say that stealth is a “passby”? — That’s the equivalent of making the statement that we should stop building tanks because they’re too easy to spot from the air; or we should stop using carriers because they’re sitting ducks for cruise missiles. Heck, the Russians have downplayed stealth with that same nonsensical argument for years, but guess what?… their pak fa has stealth shaping (somewhat), and stealth coatings, and IR suppression. Stealth is a HUGE advantage, it involves a whole lot more than just diminishing a radar return, and even the russians are backpeddling. Stealth isn’t magic.. and it isn’t obsoleted by radar, just like radar isn’t obsoleted by stealth… Each improvement is a counter to the other.

But here’s a simple fact … A stealth fighter against an “equivalent” non-stealthy fighter isn’t even a contest… That’s why Japan and others are so concerned about the T-50 and J-20 — It doesn’t take phenomenal stealth like the F-22 enjoys to make for a real problem for your air force, when you’re air force doesn’t HAVE stealth.
Let’s say the Pak Fa attains an RCS of 0.01m2 (pretty good, but doable) and we disadvantage the Pak Fa by assuming his radar only reaches to 75 miles (it will be ALOT higher than that, but let’s continue) — We’ll give your radar a range of 100 miles against a small 1m2 fighter. The result??? Pak Fa sees you at 75 miles, you see him at 25… Who has the BVR advantage well before the merge? Hopefully your “anti-stealth” radars warned you to “get the heck outta there, something’s comin’ fast.”

I agree with the “politics and pork in the government” statement though :-)

All this A-A manuvering discussion about the F/A-18 and the Typhoon reminds me of the report of a F-15 meeting a Eurofighter over england, the EF tromped the F-15. Given the F/A-18 superhornet is no better air manuverability than the F-15, that also means the EF would tromp the F/A-18 in A-A manuvering.

R Firth: Although the details behind the engagement and defeat of TWO F-15s by that Typhoon are sketchy (personally, I think the Eagles were toyin’ with the EF to see what it could do — outmaneuvering 1 Eagle is extremely difficult; doing so to 2 at the same time… that smells to me like “hyping” by the EF consortium), it’s maneuverablity is very impressive, and is only ONE of the reasons I think it’s not taken as seriously as it should be. It probably hs the best man-machine interface out there, great displays and HMS, among other goodies. Even at $100 mil a pop, the Typhoon has a lot of positives going for it, including a Consortium eager for foreign sales and a willingness/capability to integrate an AESA, good air-to-ground capabilities, and of course, full tech transfer and production.

IMHO, when the AESA and Meteor get fitted to the EF, it’ll make for a very tough adversary to the latest F-15s and certainly F-18s. Even the F-35 would do well to stay at a very long arms’ length… The F-22, in any real-world scenario, would chew ‘em all up in the long run; certainly it would take losses, but would definitely deal out so many kills, it’d wear any air force into submission…and that’s the capability-to-cost stats that intrigued Japan to push so hard for it. On the surface, F-35 fans look at price alone to determine the better deal… Unfortunately for their argument, there’s a lot more considerations entwined in an air-air capability than just cost… Like effectiveness, deterrent value, survivability, and growth-capability… The F-22 stands alone in these categories… by quite a bit.

The last line of this article asks, “what do you think? Is it time to reconsider foreign Raptor sales while they’re still feasible?”, my answer is that it’s long-overdue. The major problems with the idea are rather ironic (IMO): You’d have to take an otherwise good design, put a bunch of restrictions on its airframe to make it sellable to foreign governments, shave away at its performance envelope, and buy in enough quantities to “pay for the lost capabilities” — sound familiar F-35 fans? At least the countries wouldn’t be handcuffed to an unproven airframe, avionics suite, or sensor package; or tied to an airframe designed with restrictions imposed on it in an attempt to meet the requirements of 3 similar “variants”, each of whose development is directly affected by progress, or lackthereof, made by the other variants.

India rejected the Mig-35; in fact the Indian government/air force asked Russia not to bid for the MMRCA contract since the Mig stood no chance at all.

The Typhoon can carry 6 air to air missiles alright but what is it’s “heavy strike” capability; it only has 3 hardpoints stressed for more than 1,000 kg; unlike the Super Hornet/Rafale which both have 5. Of course, the advantages/disadvantages of that depends on what a customer wants but the Eurofighter is not exactly the best for a long-range strike role. The Rafale can carry 3 X 2,000 litre along with two Scalp cruise missiles and 4–6 air to air missiles. A Eurofighter deploying two Scalp/Storm Shadow missiles can only carry a single 1,000 litre tank. See the difference.

AKA, the F-15 is no longer the top dog it used to be for over 20 years; The newer European fighters are lighter, more agile and have equivalent/better avionics and sensors.

AK McNeil — You got that right about two engines are better than one.

Cocidius — Actually the F-35 is at least 8 years behind schedule according to the report I’ve heard.

common sense — The F-15 is still a top dog. Its being claimed that Boeing could continue manufacturing variants of its F-15E extending the production line all the way until the 2020s.

common sense — Although the newer European fighters are lighter, more agile and have equivalent/better avionics and sensors. For example:

The Eurofighter Typhoon with AMSAR will compete with the Su-35BM/Su-35–1 in terms of close combat agility and dash speed, but it does not have a decisive advantage in systems and sensors and cannot match the radar range of the Irbis E, and will not match a supercruise engine equipped Flanker.

The Dassault Rafale share many qualities with the Typhoon, but is smaller, and much the same comparisons apply to the Su-35BM/Su-35–1.

Fantastic aeroplanes but they can only compete with the Chengdu J-10 Vigorous Dragon, JF-17 Thunder and MiG-29/35 Fulcrum fighters.

common sense — The Lockheed-Martin F-35 JSF will be outclassed in all cardinal performance parameters, with the exception of radar signature when the JSF is flown clean with internal stores only. That advantage may also be entirely academic if the Flanker is networked with low frequency band radar to cue it to the JSF. It is also not entirely clear whether the radar signature of the export variants of the JSF will be low enough to deny lock-on by the powerful Irbis-E (Snow Leapord) at useful missile ranges.

The F-35 is unsuitable for Japan because the F-35’s single-engine design would be a concern during maritime combat air patrols, as it increases the odds of engine issues causing the complete loss of the aircraft. Beyond that, the F-35’s industrial structure is largely set, its development delays could make on-time deliveries a problem, any early deliveries will cost well over $100 million per plane.

common sense — To me Japan should’ve stayed with the F-15SE. While a combined F-15J/DJ Kai/ F-15SE buy appeared to be the easiest move. Because it adds a number of important advances that will help it hold its own with currently-fielded fighters, and is optimised for the kinds of long-range, bigger weapons payload and over-water combat patrol operations the JASDF should require for its defence needs.

Thinking_ExUSAF — Why was the F-15SE eliminated from the F-X project for JASDFs needs?

According to whom? Yes, the F-35 can’t match the F-15, F-22, Typhoon, and Flanker in the high-altitude, high-speed regime. Yet the F-35 should do very well in the part of the flight envelope that the F-16, F/A-18, Rafale, and MiG-29 excel in.

Expecting these Flankers to have a non-existent low-band radar capable of detecting the F-35 at a decent range is rather unlikely. The Japanese have also operated the single engine F-2 for some time without serious attrition, until their recent disaster wiped out a squadron on the ground.

Give Gates some credit for killing production of the world’s best air-superiority fighter, forcing the USAF to rely almost exclusively on the F-35?

Looks like a Marine F-35B landed on a carrier this week… The only thing the JSF “managers” need to do now, for “cost control” purposes, is convince Japan and others that they NEED a stealthy STOVL. :-)

William C — The F-35 won’t do very well in the part of the flight envelope that the F-15, F-22 and Flanker variants.

William C — Thats exactly what I’ve mentioned to you before that the F-35 has inferior acceleration, poor manoeuvrability, short range with no loiter time and very limited weapons payload that is unsuited for bomber and cruise missile defence and unsuited for air superiority role when compared against Sukhoi family of aircraft. And I’m sure that you and I both know its a concern for its suitability to any air forces needs.

William C — I just want you to realise that single engine aircraft were good in there day. Remember its a old hat and the F-16 for e.g. should be the last single engine fighter, not the F-35 (it should be cancelled). Western air forces really needs better equipment a larger fighter with two engines for safety reasons etc etc to fulfill the defence needs better rahter than just small airframes with low capability.

Without the big fighters, only relying smaller ones just doesn’t provide a lot of punch, Russian/Chinese fighters can easily rip them apart.

Look at the Russians William, do you ever see single engine jets operating in their inventory. The answer is no, well apart the L-39 Albatross jet trainers are still flying. All their fighter/bomber fleets are all equipped with two engines.

It’s amazing to me that LM has offered final assembly of the F-35, plus parts manufacture, in its attempt to convince another country to buy into the F-35 sooner rather than later… Wouldn’t be so bad I guess, except for the fact that LM just announced massive layoffs in the U.S. due to the budget crunch and reduced buys — If that’s not a clear indication of a troubled program that requires self-inflicted wounds just to proceed, then I don’t know what is… “Too big to fail”, once again slapped right in U.S. taxpayers’ faces! Since we have the F-22, it’s beginning to look like building a brand-new AESA-equipped, avionics-upgraded F-16 variant HERE IN THE U.S. would yield a cheaper, more maintainable aircraft, and it’d probably be delivered before any real capability is delivered in production F-35s, AND we wouldn’t be selling our souls on a project WE’VE mostly funded..

Wow, it just keeps getting better, doesn’t it? — The incredible avionics we’ve all been promised, complete with an HMDS with full night vision, DAS, and EOTS imagery and data projected onto it, replacing the HUD that’s NO LONGER in the cockpit, has now gone through “risk mitigation efforts” … Resulting in a new contract to supply a COTS-based night vision goggle, which will have no initial requirement for DAS imagery or symbology, but qhich will have this capability added in later IF the original HMDS continues to fail to deliver required performance… IF???… Who would have thought that the best “risk mitigation” to this mess would have been the continued production of the aircraft that Gates said was too expensive, unnecessary, and didn’t have the flexibility needed?… at least until this turkey flies with a low price, becomes necessary, and has the “flexibility” to fly with its paraded and trumpeted “standard” equipment!

You better believe we’ll sell it on-time for $65Mil a piece Canada! — That’s with no internal gun, “risk-mitigating” HMDS, god-knows what kind of stealth, 2 air-ground weapons noone can decide on, 2 AAMs you can’t cue to target before you’re toast, a Block 2.1 software and weapons match that’ll be less capable than your –18Cs’, a single engine and aux power setup with reliability problems, an airframe that’s not even close to life-time tested when we deliver them, “see through the floor” night vision, complements of goggles and a roll-down canopy :-), “eye-watering: 7.5G turn capability, and a partridge in a pear tree … But man, are those color displays gunna be sweet! Here’s an idea for us all — How about PROOFING a plane before selling it!

F-22 is US’sTyphoon. Nothing else, including F35, comes close as an air defender.

Geo-politics is not one of the assessment criteria in the competition. In operational termsTyphoon brings as much to the Japan-US relationship as either F35 or F18.

actually the 35 has considerable range and the 3 different variants all preform their jobs very well. Single engine aircraft are still fine pieces of machinery and the statement about the f35 lacking power is an outright lie it uses the f135 prat and whitney which is one of the largest endines ever placed in a fighter. While it may not be able to compete head to head on maneuverability it was never meant to the us and eu doctrines are much different and the us believes modern air wars will be fought at distance rather than up close and personal the main reason for the single engine design was so that it could be stovl and land vertically like the harrier recent reports say it handles beautifully and with a radar sig thousands of times less than the eu typhoon it can dominate the skies like the raptor typhoon and eu designs are outdated if anything i mean if you can’t se it you can’t kill it

ya your right the f15 dominated at reflag in alaska and indian pilots even stopped 1v1ing the reason other planes beat them before mainly lies on the restrictions the f15s were not allowed bvr which is what their weapon systems are based around but when they were nothing could come close surprisingly the su-30mkI also took much longer to get airborne contrary to pop belief and the French didn’t do much either(do they ever) they mainly hung back and tried to gather intel before they were engaged by the F15s also just bragging wise F-15 was the first plane to shoot down a satellite first plane with a greater thrust to weight ratio first to shoot down a satellite and first to fly with 1 wing OHHH 1 MORE THING ITS NEVER BEEN SHOT DOWN BY AN ENEMY JET 104:0 ya thats right 00000000

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