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.
Archived posts with tag ‘fighter’
Chinese Stealth Fighter in High-Res
Via China Defense Blog, here’s the highest-resolution photo published so far of China’s new J-20 stealth fighter.
The full implications for Japan of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, as well as the ongoing problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, remain unclear. But an ambitious and likely pricey military program could be one of the first political casualties as Tokyo weighs the cost of recovery.
Dave Dietsch from the U.S. Air Force Association advocacy group is worried about the future. Specifically, he’s worried that the U.S. military will lose its traditional air-defense prowess, rendering vulnerable thousands of American drones, attack planes, spy planes, transports and helicopters. “Without enough modern fighters to control the skies over future battlefields, American soldiers and Marines will lose the vital information and support these systems provide,” he wrote in a newspaper editorial. “Losing the air power edge — ever — would be inconceivably costly in the lives of American ground troops.”
There’s a crisis in Chinese jet fighter production. Quality-control issues threaten to ground ambitious plans to provide modern aircraft to Chinese forces and for sale to foreign air arms.
How to Turn Drones into Dogfighters
What comes next for the U.S. Air Force’s air-superiority fighter force? According to the Pentagon’s first 30-year aviation plan, published this month, the next dogfighter could be a robot. “In the far term, the Air Force will retire its fourth-generation fighter/attack fleet,” the report reads. “In evaluating replacement options, it will consider both manned and unmanned options.”