Are F-35 problems spawning a competitor?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 19:00

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

This concept has been around for awhile, but it looks like Japan is getting tired of F-35 delays and price-hikes. Would they be likely to put an aircraft based on this demonstrator on the open market, or would they keep it to themselves? Then again, maybe they're just bluffing.
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marksengineer

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 19:06

Unless it has changed I thought the Japanese Constitution prohibits military exports.
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fat_cat

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 19:38

marksengineer wrote:Unless it has changed I thought the Japanese Constitution prohibits military exports.


No I don't think so, I think that's a common misconception. I think they are just very very wary about it, basically a self imposed ban but not an outright ban if you get my drift. (Don't quote me on this though as it's just something i've heard from some guy on another forum who is very knowledgeable about Japanese stuff.)

Oh and that new fighter design does seem really cool from a looks standpoint, how good it'll be is another question though,
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 19:45

There is no way to get the ATD-X from nothing --> tech demo --> production before they get their F-35s.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 20:54

SpudmanWP wrote:There is no way to get the ATD-X from nothing --> tech demo --> production before they get their F-35s.


True, but that's not really the point. The PAK-FA isn't gonna be ready anytime soon either, but that hasn't pushed the Indians into making *official* inquiries about the F-35. In addition, one the F-35's main selling points has been that it's likely to be the only game in its class for several decades, the standard fighter-jet for the free world as it were (defraying costs through sheer numbers). The mere probability of a viable competitor in the 2030s could cost LM a lot of orders if the Japanese appear willing to sell it.

I'm particularly curious about which of LM's/P&W's competitors Mitsubishi intends to partner with on this project (I doubt they'll do it all on their own).
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fat_cat

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 21:17

SpudmanWP wrote:There is no way to get the ATD-X from nothing --> tech demo --> production before they get their F-35s.


I was under the impression that this new bird is not designed to take the place of the F-35 but rather to complement it, as in the US will operate F-35's and F-22 and the Japanese will operate F-35's and this new one. Japans own version of Raptor if you like. I may be wrong though.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 21:17

"Japan is getting tired of F-35 delays and price-hikes."

makes it sound like ATD-X will do the job of the F-35, which it will not.

IF the ATD-X ever made it to market, its price would most certainly be more than the F-35.
1. Twin engines mean more engine and maint cost
2. Lower userbase means higher costs for production and parts
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hb_pencil

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 21:35

fat_cat wrote:
marksengineer wrote:Unless it has changed I thought the Japanese Constitution prohibits military exports.


No I don't think so, I think that's a common misconception. I think they are just very very wary about it, basically a self imposed ban but not an outright ban if you get my drift. (Don't quote me on this though as it's just something i've heard from some guy on another forum who is very knowledgeable about Japanese stuff.)

Oh and that new fighter design does seem really cool from a looks standpoint, how good it'll be is another question though,


Actually it was prohibited until about two months ago, when there was an major policy shift.

http://newpacificinstitute.org/jsw/?p=9590

The AD-X has been an ambition for quite some time. However I think the program is now far less likely to happen. First, I think the F-2 saga has basically soured many to the need for full indigenous industry production. The japanese success at subcontracting for US commercial aerospace stands in marked contrast to the cost overruns on the military side. The F-35 also made it less likely they would pursue the program. So while the fighter looks like a possible contender, I think its seen more as a backup program and useful political tool keep LM in line.
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fat_cat

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 21:56

hb_pencil wrote:
Actually it was prohibited until about two months ago, when there was an major policy shift.


Ah, thankyou. I stand corrected. That'll teach me to take what people say at face value without looking into it. :oops:
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 22:01

SpudmanWP wrote:"Japan is getting tired of F-35 delays and price-hikes."

makes it sound like ATD-X will do the job of the F-35, which it will not.

IF the ATD-X ever made it to market, its price would most certainly be more than the F-35.
1. Twin engines mean more engine and maint cost
2. Lower userbase means higher costs for production and parts


Again, true; and again, not really the point. Fighters aren't selected for acquisition based solely on production and maintenance costs. Customers like choices and have different preferences, and that's just taking technical aspects into account. The F-35's loneliness as the only 5th generation fighter available for purchase for the next 20 years has given LM an arrogant Henry Ford attitude ("any color as long as it's black") that many countries will doubtless find off-putting.

But like you said, only "IF the ATD-X ever made it to market."
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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 22:14

The US and it's Partner nations decide, together, what is included (and when) for the F-35. It is most certainly not a take-it or leave-it type of program.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 22:19

SpudmanWP wrote:The US and it's Partner nations decide, together, what is included (and when) for the F-35. It is most certainly not a take-it or leave-it type of program.


As long as they're ok with one engine (of one type) and one pilot.
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Unread post30 Mar 2012, 22:29

Well they would not be a partner otherwise.

All those options mean that the ATD-X has NOTHING to do with being a competitor based on the the F-35 being late or over budget.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post31 Mar 2012, 01:13

SpudmanWP wrote:Well they would not be a partner otherwise.

All those options mean that the ATD-X has NOTHING to do with being a competitor based on the the F-35 being late or over budget.


You seem a bit overly upset. Personally, I believe that ADT-X was originally a response to congressional refusal to sell the F-22; but if the F-35 was on time and on budget, they probably would have shelved the project permanently by now. In any case, there aren't really any sources to confirm your argument or mine. The only tangible indication that it might compete with the F-35 would be its weight (given at a very unrealistic [possibly mistranslated] 17,636 lbs on Wikipedia). Given the engines available to Japan, I'm guessing it will be in the F-35's weight-class, perhaps a touch heavier.
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Unread post31 Mar 2012, 04:03

To be a competitor in other markets besides Japan, the successor to ATS-X would have to be going after the same customers and functions... which it does not seem well suited for.

Don't worry, you did not upset me ;)

I just popped one of my infamous migraines this morning and you got the brunt of it, my bad.
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