Skip to comments.F-22 Raptor attractive to Japan as missile threats grow
Posted on 04/20/2007 9:12:57 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
F-22 attractive to Japan as missile threats grow
Apr 20, 2007
David A. Fulghum/Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Japanese military officials are eyeing the F-22 Raptor as an antidote to growing regional missile threats, Aviation Week & Space Technology will report on April 23.
The Lockheed Martin-built fighter is expected to become a key element in missile defense because it can detect and destroy small cruise missiles and also evade sophisticated air defenses to bomb ballistic missile launch sites. Whether Japanese law might be interpreted to allow the country's Self Defense Force to use the bombing to defend against ballistic missiles is still an open question.
Japanese military officials are quietly but firmly making it known they want the U.S. to release the F-22 to compete for its air force's F-X fighter program, and that they are adamant in wanting to field the most advanced air combat technology available.
Tokyo wants a stealthy fighter equipped with an active electronically scanned radar for cruise missile detection and wideband data links to push additional information into Japan's increasingly sophisticated air defense system - a package offered, for the moment, only by the F-22.
"I'm aware the Japanese are interested in the F-22," Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week in response to an Aviation Week question. "I'm also aware of our concerns about what we export and don't export of our high technologies. The Japanese are very close friends. We're committed to protecting Japan, so we'll work our way through it. We all need to be concerned about both ballistic and cruise missile defense. It's something that we...need to work on."
However, Congress is demanding oversight and approval of any plan for foreign sale of the stealth fighter, and active marketing of the aircraft is prohibited. The U.S. has been trying to pitch either an upgrade of in-service designs (such as F/A-18E/Fs or F-15Es equipped with advanced, small-target, long-range radars) or the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the F-X program. The primary driver for the F-X requirement remains air superiority - which includes cruise missile defense - for which Tokyo wants the F-22 made available.
Release of the F-22 is becoming a point of pride with the Japanese, who provide the U.S. forward bases in the region as well as dispersal and rapid deployment options in case of a military confrontation or natural disaster in the region, U.S. officials say.
Japan should be allowed to buy these.
F-22s to Japan
By Bill Gertz
April 20, 2007
Japan wants to purchase up to 100 of the Air Force’s ultramodern F-22 warplanes, and the subject is expected to be on the agenda of the meeting next week between President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Pro-China officials in the Bush administration are working against the sale of the advanced warplane, which has stealth characteristics and is expected to bring harsh criticism from China, which views Japan’s more internationalist military posture as a threat.
The F-22 sale to Japan is favored by conservatives who say Japan, the closest U.S. ally in Asia, needs the warplanes to counter threats from both North Korea, where missiles could be pre-emptively attacked before launch, and China, which is building up forces opposite Taiwan, where China has deployed about 900 missiles within range of the island.
“One hundred F-22s in hands of Japan could change the Taiwan balance of power for two decades,” said one official in favor of the estimated $30 billion sale. “The F-22 based in Okinawa could not only fight off [China’s People’s Liberation Army] air force but strike inside China; it is invisible to radar.”
An Air Force spokesman said sales of the jet to Japan would require changing a 1998 law that prohibits the Pentagon from selling any F-22s to a foreign government.
China scored a political victory last year when the Bush administration headed off a planned request by Taiwan to buy upgraded F-16 jets. As a result of production schedules, any future sales of F-16s will be delayed until 2011.
They or anyone can buy a real flying F-22 right now:
Here’s some great info:
No way, the F-22 is stealth, we should not allow that technology to be sold to anyone, we would lose control and risk it being leaked or stolen....unless Hillary gets elected, then screw it, put it on e-bay so we can at least make some money off it before she gives it away.
Notice the sign by the ropes?
USE OF DEADLY FORCE AUTHORIZED
Japan is also the #2 contributor to the United Nations....and they don’t even sit on the Security Council.
There were a lot of armed security police. They only let a few inside the perimeter rope at any one time. I was really shocked to be able to touch the Raptor, but I couldn’t take photos inside the perimeter rope.
They should sit there considering what they contribute IMO.
Notice they printed that in Chinese as well?
I agree. There are tons of ways to work with the Japanese and integrate our forces and technologies. The F-22 happens to be a plum. But it can wait.
Moreover, Japan has its shares of spies and turncoats. Sell them some F-22 and get ready for the following news headlines sometime around 2009. NEWSFLASH: Japanese bought F-22 stolen and flown to China. Negotiations underway.
After the Japanese have had their shot at reverse engineering the F-22, the Chinese will get theirs.
Congress has cut our planned procurement repeatedly, it now stands at roughly 180 aircraft. With each cut, production is less efficient, the cost per unit goes up, Congress sees it, and they cut still further
Selling a couple squadrons to strong allies like Australia and Japan would decrease unit cost considerably so we should be able to buy more ourselves.
That’s a win across the board.
We have to consider this carefully. The strategic value of beefing up the Japanese Air Defense Force to counter the rising power of China needs to be considered. Without a clear balancing power in the region China will likely be more dominant in Asia which is likely to hurt our interests.
At the same time, our stealth technology is quite an investment. Any foreign power (including Japan and Israel) could easily compromise our technology. And with the growing industrial might of China, they will soon be able to fund a military as large as our own. Losing key pieces of technology would mean that they wouldn't have to fund the expensive R&D like we do.
It is a tough decision. I am leaning towards selling to Japan but only with strict technology assurances and increased security. If we fail to counterbalance China we may never get another chance to do so. And the second half of the 21st century might have China as the major superpower potentially with India under its wing. In a second Cold War, we wouldn't be even remotely close to being able to compete militarily. As long as Asian countries do not form a type of Warsaw pact-like alliance, China will not likely ever be more powerful than the US and the EU.
The JSF/F-35 will be stealthy. It is an American/British project. Italy, Australia and a number of other countries want to buy these to replace aging F-16s.