Ospreys and F-35s on Japan’s $240B Shopping List

Ospreys and F-35s on Japan’s $240B Shopping List

Japan adopted its first “National Security Strategy” Tuesday aimed at shaking off the restrictions of its pacifist Constitution to confront perceived threats from China by buying a vast arsenal of advanced U.S. weaponry to include MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and F-35 fighters.

The strategy approved by the Cabinet of nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe noted that “Japan is vigilant against China’s activities in the East and South China Seas to change the status quo based on claims that are inconsistent with international law.”

Under the plan, Japan would spend $240 billion over the next five years on new equipment for the military to include 17 MV-22 Ospreys, 28 F-35 fighters, three unarmed Global Hawk drones and 52 amphibious troop carriers to shore up the offensive capability of its Self-Defense Forces.

If fully implemented, the Japanese strategy would provide a major boost for Bell Boeing, maker of the Ospreys, and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program. Both firms have struggled to attract interest from foreign buyers in their aircraft.

For years, Bell Boeing and the Marine Corps have stressed that there was growing interest from foreign buyers in the $70 million Ospreys, but solid deals never seemed to emerge in the effort to keep open the production line in Fort Worth, Tex., past the current phase out date in 2018.

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Israeli counterpart announced a major arms package for Israel that would include four or five Ospreys for Israel’s Special Forces, but the financing was still being worked out.

In Abe’s design for a new era of “pro-active pacifism” by Japan, most of the new defense spending would go towards efforts at monitoring and defending rocky uninhabited islets in the East China Sea called the Senkaku Islands by Japan, and the Diaoyu by China.

As part of the plan, Japan would create a Marine Corps-style amphibious quick reaction force within its Self-Defense Forces that would be capable moving rapidly to defend the islets that are currently administered by Japan. The new force would be based in southwestern Japan, which is closest to the islets.

“The security situation around Japan has become even more severe, and in order to maintain peace, it is necessary to implement national security policies in a more strategic and structured manner,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“This does not in any way change Japan’s pacifist policies, which have been consistent throughout the postwar period,” the Ministry said.

Japan’s Constitution, largely written by U.S. occupation forces following Japan’s surrender in World War II, bars the nation from possessing “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential” for action other than self-defense. Under Abe’s new plan, the definition of self-defense would be expanded to include action on behalf of allies under attack.

China rattled the region earlier this month by declaring an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea to include the disputed islets, warning that aircraft passing through the ADIZ without identifying themselves could be subject to “emergency measures.” The U.S. and Japan have mostly ignored the ADIZ.

In response to the new Japan strategy, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua said that “if Japan really hopes to return itself to the ranks of a ‘normal country’, it should face up to its aggression in history and cooperate with its Asian neighbors instead of angering them with rounds and rounds of unwise words and policies.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Manila for talks with Philippine officials, spent time trying to ease tensions over Japanese defense build up.

Kerry said the Japanese plan represented “the joint vision of Japan-U.S. cooperation in terms of security for the region and elsewhere. This is not a sudden response to something or anything that anybody should get particularly upset about,” Kerry said.

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Bell Boeing and Lockheed-Martin having trouble to attract foreign buyers?

This statement is vastly inaccurate. The F-35 has 12 other countries buying the aircraft.

First of all, it is no surprise Israel is getting some V-22’s, courtesy of the US taxpayers. Hence — that’s not much of a “sale”.

However, given the tone of the discussion w/r/t V-22’s being based in Okinawa in the recent past, it is a surprise to have Japan interested in purchasing them. China’s diplomatic blundering (unless they have a strategy that seemingly makes no sense whatsoever) is causing the western pacific nations to increase their military spending and unite against their diplomatic aggression.

Regarding the F-35 purchases and the recently released inspector general’s scathing report regarding the plane and the putridly run program would appear to make little sense. That said, the article doesn’t specify which F-35 variant they’re going to buy. Japan doesn’t have large-deck carriers, so the C/carrier version is unlikely. That leaves the B and A variants — with the A only being good for runways. I’d guess they’d buy a mix of A’s and B’s, as the B’s will be useful should they need to land on the deck of one of their “helicopter destroyers”, or to station a few on one of the disputed islands.

I hear they are going to buy the Maginot Line from France too. If that doesn’t make them safe from China’s aggression, nothing will.

Japan has long been identified as planning to procure up to 42 F-35A models. Never have they been shown to be in the market for the VSTOL –B variants, and the large deck “destroyers” they have built & are building haven’t been shown as being able to accommodate F-35Bs. The –A models are projected to replace a portion of the JASDF’s F-4 Phantom IIs

I’m sure some chinese fanboys will be along to explain how freaking their adversaries out and giving them time to arm themselves with more and newer weapon systems is all part of their “long view” and their devious superior master plan to dominate the region. Ahh yes, I see it clearly now, alarm everyone with aggressive strategic moves and make them rally together, organize and arm themselves better. Sheer military brilliance.…

Can someone provide a run down on the history of the disputes islands over which this buildup is targeted to defend? I thought Japan’s claim was based on their pre-WW2 agression occupation? Who owned the islands before Japan? China? Tawain?

Plus, issues like these, especially when the islands are uninhabited but may have valuable natural resources in the area, sound like the perfect fit for United Nations type management. Managed on behalf of the world, since they really don’t belong to anyone. We could pay for the UN that way.

Japan is the only nation to my knowledge that ever physically used them, a fish processing plant I believe. We controlled them at the end of WW2 and turned them over to the Japanese in the 70’s as part of the Okinawa treaty. the Chinese claim rights based on some charts and maps from earlier but to my knowledge never physically exerted any kind of control. Taiwan’s claim is a non starter. China’s is about as thin or thinner than Argentina’s claim to the Falklands.

I wouldn’t trust the UN to manage baking cookies let alone anything else. It is a benchmark for bureaucratic incompetence and corruption.

Indeed, the more clever People’s Republic simply shakes hands and makes friends across the region…until America realizes it has no more friends in the region. Of course, the quiet modernization of the PRC has to go hand in hand to at least be ready when SHTF with Most Favored Exportee.

PRC’s economy is certainly more diverse than ours. If the United States wants to compete effectively, it might be best served by supporting grass-roots organization of labor, environmental laws and the like, just to slide the scale of comparative advantage slightly more in favor of everyone else.

Their present helicopter carriers have very low helicopter capacities. Without the ski-jump it would force the F-35B into a VTOL mode…presumably seriously compromising payload and range.

It has 12 other countries paying for R&D and on paper committed to buying a product. They might walk away if all they see is R&D and no aircraft, like a bad Kickstarter.

The Japanese would product improve both aircraft.

Putting our own economic house in order is the single best thing we could do. We already do the right things in the region in regards to humanitarian issues and everyone wants to do bizzness but as long as we are hamstrung with deficit spending it’s hard to exert real influence.

Eliminating payload actually. It can VTOL with zero stores/payload.

Not necessarily. The US does not now use, nor intends to equip its LHD/LHA with ski-jumps. The F-35B needs something like a 550 ft run at max take off weight. The Hyūga-class are reported as 646 ft long, but their foredeck(?) might require some imaginative taxing on a take off run, or a reduced operational load. The new Izumo-class are something like 813 ft, so would likely have little problem with deck lengths for take off. I think more of a problem would be elevator size and hanger space. I don’t see parking a quarter billion dollar plane on the deck for extended periods.

Thanks, STemplar, on the islands history.


Stumbled on this image, shows comparative size of Hyūga & Izumo classes. I believe the superimposed red outline is hanger deck dimensions. Of note is the 550 ft box on the Izumo. A simple eye-ball measure makes me think it might be possible to get a full max weight take off run on a Hyūga.

It has a 6000–7000 pound excess capacity for VTO, depending on temperature/altitude. This can be divided up between payload and fuel.

The same time as the suposed bad press this was going on off the coast of San Diego http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​9​W​Y​a​Q​Y​R​2​Vv0 … 6 months ago… so can’t say Im surprised.

Wanting all this expensive stuff is one thing. Affording it is another.

Considering Japan only spent 1% of its GDP on defense compared to the US at 4.4% last year I’d think they could afford to up that a bit.

The Chinese viewpoint.

“The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands” http://​kristof​.blogs​.nytimes​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​9​/​1​9​/​t​h​e-i

The Chinese have a saying — kill the chicken to scare the monkey. Japan is increasingly looking like the chicken.

Very true. I’m positing improving labor conditions in the PRC as a way of encouraging people to come back to the United States; though they are just as likely to move to a different slave-country, as a taste for cheap labor is hard to wash out. Indeed superpower status stems from the economy that sustains the military: nations with militaries larger than their economies can sustain economically implode, or attack their neighbors to stay afloat.

Japan should acquire an AC carrier fully loaded with F-18 EFs. This action alone will quiet the Chi-com ‘s bullies…

With sequestration, the U.S. should just transfer its western Pacific fleet to Japan. We can’t afford it. Then we can cancel that $800 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds they bought and decrease our national debt. After all, we’ve never charged them for WW2 war reparations. They’re a wealthy country. Let them defend themselves.

On the other hand, China is not a threat to Japan. Look at all the suppliers in China that support Japanese manufacturing.

I think the problem has been the budget crunch. Everyone, including Europe has been feeling it.

Japan has always been buying the US Designs over the last decades and improving on them. Such as the Kongo Class DDGs which are essentially DDG-51 ships on steroids..considered to be by some as Cruisers vs Destroyers due to their tonnage. F-15 & 16s (aka Mitsubishi F-2) have been produced in japan as well and reconfigured for their use. Having Osprey redone by them may turn some interesting variants and innovations the Bell hasn’t thought of able to fund.

I’m surprised that there was enough momentum in the Japanese government to allow the SDF to be able move up there ability to forward deploy more effective equipment. Having their “Helicopter Destroyers” being able to deploy the F-35B would be improve things. However, F-35Bs aren’t true interceptors, their attack planes first. The latest class of the DDHs (in reality CVHs) just starting to enter service, hopefully they thought of reinforcing their flight deck due to the F-35’s hot exhaust melting things (USS Wasp had its deck reinforced for them.)

They just delivered the 100th production F-35. Hardly “no aircraft” http://​www​.defensenews​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​2​0​1​3​1​2​1​6​/​D​E​FRE

We can’t even buy .22 rifle shells here.

China has a carrier (sorta) and they’re building a couple more. Carriers require thousands of sailors, escort ships, and millions each year in operations and maintenance which Japan may not be able to invest. For a carrier to be a credible threat you need more than one. Japan doesn’t even need a carrier to achieve its security goals. China and Japan both could fight a war over the Senkaku Islands from home bases without needing air refueling.

BTW, the US has a dozen aircraft carriers fully loaded with F-18s and that doesn’t seem to matter to China.

If development stops tomorrow; costs/100 aircraft=some crazy high number.

Also, America will probably have first dibs on any aircraft produced if production comes to a halt. It’ll be cheaper to reimburse the foreign countries for their R&D costs than to give them a few aircraft at the price they paid into the program at.

It’s called trolling, and they know their real opponents are going to have to adjust to the new reality.

At least Japan buys the equipment unlike Israel that is bought and paid for by the American and German taxpayer.

Hysteria has consequences.

You are either very sarcastic or very naive.

I’ve been to China and seen the Japanese and South Korean company names on the factories there. Why would you go to war over a rock when your economy depends on your best buddy’s economy? China should just send a check to Japan and pay them off to buy the island.

So basically jack pv was trying to say the Japanese would produce an improved aircraft of both types. Not the wording he said that made very little sense.

Why indeed? That’s the $64k question. Why in God’s name would China pursue a so completely provocative adversarial strategy when they could easily through perfectly legitimate acts of good will ascend to supremacy in the region. The path defies logic and reason and that’s the problem.

The correct acronym for the Bravo is STOVL not VSTOL.



Not just reinforcing, a special coating from Thermion. I imagine it should be retrofittable where needed. However, the million dollar question is if it can STO from your ship.

Well, China tried to invade Japan once, but failed (typhoon). Japan did invade China (so did the U.S. during the Boxer Rebellion, along with all the other European colonialist powers)(and Korea) and basically conducted an extermination campaign. China has a long memory, is setting out its defense perimeter, and wants unobstructed access to the Pacific (which is exactly how the U.S. looks at our needs). Japan has limited natural resources and wants anything that might be under or near the islands, like oil.

Blight, I beg 2 differ: Take the US.…143 MAJOR refineraries, boo coo smaller ones, China.…..95. We arethe country with the most x-tensive pipeline network in the world. We have what 20–25 MAJOR cargo handle facilities (ports) a large & well maintained railway system. The world’s largest & most efficent agriculture & food distribution system in the world. As battered as it is America still has the largest auto manufacturing base, not counting over-seas plants of US companies. 90 something Nuc plants & the worlds highest density electric distribution system. Aerospace…we go un-challenged, the euro’s have 2 gang up on us. We lead the world in medical research & space, communication & satilite technology. The US is still the Economic center of the world 4 the moment. Now the bad stuff: Albeit outside of the military, American shipbuiding is dead, along with certain sectors of low tech “heavy manufacturing” clothing long dead, bar high fashion. a troubling stat: in 2000 41% of world investment (extern. us) came to US based companies, now its 14% & then there’s the 900 lb Gorilla 17 Trillion of Nat. debt which will top 20 in 3 yrs , while cities start to default on their muni bonds! I believe that the PRC will in the next 5–10 years, as they continue hoarding, buying up & mining gold like maniacs will make a move to “Annouce” that the Yuan, now a “fixed rate currency” will be backed by gold reserves to the .01 Yuan, thats the end of the dollar as the reserve currency of the world.…how does “a barrell of oil today rose to 41 Yuan 2 day”? or Gold has hit a new high of 585 Yuan/ounce.…scary…but within 5 years if we don’t get our fiscal house on order, it very well may happpen & that along with the US’s HUGE debt, very well might “collapse” the dollar.….….

I believe the answer to that ST is that Chinese Prez Xi JinPing is using this “Incident” to unifiy the PLA ruling class behind him, as I wonder if he has truly unified command of his military, his provincal ldrs & ruling class

Well, whatever China’s motives (w/r/t their newfound, overt, diplomatic belligerence), if lulling their local rivals into pacifism was their goal, they’re certainly heading in the wrong direction.

Sun Tzu would seemingly be unimpressed.

The Mongols were briefly in control of China, and that’s when they tried to invade China.

Using the history of the “Republic of China” in the ‘20s, it did not invade Japan-Japan invaded Korea, then China.

That still doesn’t justify or mean what they are doing makes a shred of common sense. The whole world is doing business with China who precisely do they need to defend against? The majority of the biggest nations they are doing business with are right around them. forcing a war with them makes zero sense.

F-35 is Worthless a Non-Stealth platform that has been in development for 20 years at 2 Trillion dollars. JSF has Hardware and Software issues that are enormous and obsolete without ever being operational. A complete waste of any Countries Budget. As someone who Engineers Systems on JSF. I can state that the JSF is a complete waste of Funds and Worthless in the upcoming Battlespace. Two of the three variants have no internal Gun for Air-Air, OCA-DCA Combat. Once JSF runs out of its meager internal weapons… and I mean meager.… it will have to return to base and hope someone is left to run the information through ALIS and OMS to upload additional weapons…LOL.. Japan really needs to re-think their position.

Maybe the Idiot Governor of Texas where JSF is currently manufactured flew to Tokyo to beg for business. If anyone talked Japan into thinking of purchasing this worthless platform really needs to LOOK HARD at the consequences… You will be in the Grips of Lockheed Martin’s business Plan… High Dollar Operations, Logistics and Maintenance.… Operations, ALIS, OMS, PMD, Pooled Logistics, Simulators that do not function. The Air Force, Navy and Marines Hate the Platform… Please don’t forget to purchase some F/A-18G’s for Jamming… You are going to need them in any scenario…

Conservative Japanese politicians in Japan have always been easy to convince with bribes from US defense contractors

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