The Diplomat: Japan’s Air Power Crunch

21.06.11

Categorie: Air, Asia, David Axe, Japan, The Diplomat |
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F-2s. JASDF photo.

F-2s. JASDF photo.

by DAVID AXE

Growing threats from China and North Korea, plus the aging of Cold War hardware, mean Japan is due for a revamping of its air power. But Tokyo’s aerospace needs are complicated by constitutional restrictions, a costly natural disaster and general economic stagnation.

‘The Air Self-Defence Force will need over the coming decade or two: a fifth-generation fighter aircraft; a new aircraft for transport and aerial refuelling; more modern helicopters; effective missile and air defences; and improved intelligence-collection assets, from an updated AWACs (radar plane) to more reliance on advanced unmanned systems and even space platforms,’ says Patrick Cronin, an analyst with the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C.

Some of these requirements are already being addressed by current acquisitions efforts. Kawasaki Heavy Industries began flight testing the twin-engine C-2 transport plane last year; 40 are planned. Boeing is working on a $100-million upgrade to the ASDF’s four E-767 radar planes. Boeing also delivered the last of four 767-based tankers last year.

Other needs haven’t been met.

Red the rest at The Diplomat.

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One Response to “The Diplomat: Japan’s Air Power Crunch”

  1. FooMan says:

    Gee does any of this sound familiar? We also have congressional (other than political ego) the Air Force will need over the coming decade or two: a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (in sufficient sustainable/maintainable numbers); aircraft for transport and aerial refuelling; more modern helicopters; effective missile and air defences; and improved intelligence-collection assets, from an updated AWACs (radar plane) to more reliance on advanced unmanned systems and even space platforms (Yes I stole the quote from above and changed it (VERY SLIGHTLY)). If we want to continue for use our military for foreign policy alternatives, and sell those weapons to our friends, NOW IS THE TIME TO QUIT FOOLING AROUND! Decisions need to be MADE to ensure that we can continue to do so, rather than playing political football with the outmoded systems that make up our forces. When the systems (tanks, air to air tankers, harriers, F/A 18C’s, F-15/16/A-10′s, M109a5, Harrier, LTVP7) are older than the wrench turners working on them (and trusting their lives in them), then it is time to quite messing around!

    I am A vet (a generation removed) and watch our 20+ year old helo hit the water after a failure. Our helicopters now are approaching that age, the tanks older.
    Foo

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