Japanese weapons on the F-35?

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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viper187

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Unread post31 Mar 2021, 05:49

Does Japan plan to integrate their weapons such as GCS-1, AAM-4, AAM-5 and ASM-3 on their F-35A/B since Australia, Britain and Israel use their own weapons on the F-35 too?
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Unread post31 Mar 2021, 06:07

Which Australian MADE? weapons are these? Otherwise what country specific weapons MADE are used? Otherwise I believe IF Japan wants to incorporate their own Weapons Made in Japan then they will have to pay for tests. Israel has a special TEST instrumented F-35A made especially to TEST THEIR STUFF in their own time and test sites.
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Unread post31 Mar 2021, 21:16

spazsinbad wrote:Which Australian MADE? weapons are these? Otherwise what country specific weapons MADE are used? Otherwise I believe IF Japan wants to incorporate their own Weapons Made in Japan then they will have to pay for tests. Israel has a special TEST instrumented F-35A made especially to TEST THEIR STUFF in their own time and test sites.


Indeed.
So far and as far as I know the only "country specific weapons" currently integrated in the F-35 is British Paveway IV with the also British Meteor and SPEAR missiles being planned to be integrated with Block 4.

EDIT:
In a way, the JSM could also be considered a "country specific weapon" being in this case Norwegian.
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Unread post02 Apr 2021, 18:15

Isn't Australia planning to arm RAAF F-35s with the AIM-132?
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Unread post03 Apr 2021, 01:10

viper187 wrote:Isn't Australia planning to arm RAAF F-35s with the AIM-132?


As far as I know, nope.

Australia plans to only use the AIM-9X in their F-35s which is also the only short-range IR air-to-air missile that they use in their Super Hornet fleet. The AIM-132 (ASRAAM) in Australian service is only used on their Legacy Hornets which are soon to be retired which and after this and if I'm not mistaken, Australia plans to completely replace their ASRAAMs with AIM-9Xs.

However the ASRAAM (AIM-132) will be used by British F-35s:
https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-rele ... as-asraam/
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Unread post14 Apr 2021, 20:21

ricnunes wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:Which Australian MADE? weapons are these? Otherwise what country specific weapons MADE are used? Otherwise I believe IF Japan wants to incorporate their own Weapons Made in Japan then they will have to pay for tests. Israel has a special TEST instrumented F-35A made especially to TEST THEIR STUFF in their own time and test sites.


Indeed.
So far and as far as I know the only "country specific weapons" currently integrated in the F-35 is British Paveway IV with the also British Meteor and SPEAR missiles being planned to be integrated with Block 4.

EDIT:
In a way, the JSM could also be considered a "country specific weapon" being in this case Norwegian.


UK Weapons integrated and to be integrated are:

- AIM-132 ASRAAM - WVR AAM - Already integrated and operational - Also sometimes referred to as Legacy ASRAAM
- AIM-132 ASRAAM Block 6 (known as CSP) - New build ASRAAM with CAMM technology insertion and new IR seeker - To be integrated as part of Block IV. Will completely replace legacy ASRAAM in UK service (UK Gov realised that re-lifing the stockpile would cost almost as much as buying new missiles with the latest tech so for once made a smart decision..).
- Paveway IV - 500lb GPS/SAL/INS guided munition - Already integrated and operational - US eqvt is EGBU-12 Paveway II (not as capable though, but cheaper)
- Paveway IV Penetrator - 500lb GPS/SAL/INS guided munition with new Penetrator warhead - To be Integrated as part of Block IV
- MBDA Meteor - Extremely long ranged AAM - To be integrated as part of Block IV
- MBDA Spear - 200lb class powered mini cruise missile - To be integrated as part of Block IV - nearest US eqvt is SDB2 Stormbreaker, however Spear is powered with far longer range, but smaller warhead. Often called SPEAR 3, but this is the UK MoD programme name (Selective Precision Effects At Range capability 3), not the munition name. MBDA decided to confuse everyone and call it Spear...

Potential but not yet confirmed:

- Paveway IV Moving Target - Gone a bit quiet. There was speculation that this would have an independent 'seeker' (rumours of a MMW radar) but it may just have been an enhanced laser seeker head, capable of greater slew speeds, that has been incorporated into recent production unheralded, or more likely at the same time as Penetrator.
- Meteor JNAAM - Arrives c2025. AESA seeker head on Meteor, joint programme between UK and Japan, likely to be all Meteor production from that point onwards, likely to be integrated to F-35 for UK and Japan. Should be an easy integration following the Meteor integration.
- Spear-EW - Under development. Not ordered yet, integration wise would be same form factor as Spear but may require more work to extract the full potential from it.
- SpearGlide - Under development. Not ordered yet. Basically an unpowered Spear with larger warhead, a direct match to the SDB2 Stormbreaker. Integration would be easy as same form factor and guidance method as Spear, obviously different range parameters though.
- Spear 'Spiral' Developments - Mentioned at DSEi 2019....no detail. Would likely follow the existing Spear roadmap i.e exactly same form factor, weight and CoG to remove need for drop/fit tests. Only things I can think of (on top of standard Spear, Spear-EW and SpearGlide) making sense are a really simple (read:cheap) SpearGlide variant using GPS/SAL only to remove the cost of the MMW/SAL seeker and guidance package, basically a direct competitor to SDB1. Other than that an attritable Recon-UAV style Spear with a simple E/O sensor could be useful for 'looking over the hill' or BDA in high threat areas. Still wouldn't be cheap though...with just E/O and the rest of the space taken up by fuel they could get c300 mile range on it though.
- FCASW - Joint Anglo-French missile. Currently going through requirement gathering and research. Will replace Storm Shadow/SCALP and Exocet/Harpoon. Likely to be a big (c3,000lb) store so external only, still not clear if it will be subsonic, stealthy or highly supersonic. Won't be here until 2030+. And even then the UK may not choose to integrate to F-35B...

Apart from that the 'foreign' weapons to date/or planned are:

- Norwegian/US JSM - which has had fit tests and drop trials recently on BK-01, which should arrive with Block IV. Still not clear if they are planning to mount them externally though as part of the release to service or if they are waiting for someone else to pay for that and get it scheduled in after Block 4. Until that happens F-35B won't carry it (so no JSM for the USMC, RAF/RN or Japanese F-35B at present).
- Turkish/US SOM-J Cruise missile - With the Turkish exit from the F-35 programme and complete radio silence on this I think its fair to say that this has died a death...unless LM can buy the design from Roketsan and go it alone. But Erdogan isn't going anywhere and LM has JASSM in their lineup which will get integrated to F-35 for external carry so I suspect its all over for SOM-J. To be honest apart from Turkey I can't imagine any other F-35 users were going to buy it anyway...

And thats it...there is the potential for the Israeli's to integrate their own munitions. But.....they've been buying US munitions specifically for their F-35 fleet so this may actually be unlikely (AIM-9X, AIM-120, JDAM and SDB1). Given the F-35 user base, the cost to integrate munitions, the number of US and UK munitions available for sale already, or when Block IV is complete i.e. well ahead of any Israeli munitions, the target sets that these cover, stockpiles already purchased by user's, national industrial concerns and the likely Israeli munitions I can't see any real export market for the Israeli's to exploit.

No F-35 user will buy Israeli AAM's as they're already operating/ordered/expecting; AIM-9X, AMRAAM, ASRAAM, Meteor or JNAAM. There aren't any Israeli AAM's in that class that would be suitable for F-35 (Python 5 is getting on and outclassed by 9X and ASRAAM, let alone ASRAAM CSP...Derby is nowhere close to AMRAAM C-5/7 or D and is not even comparable to Meteor). For A2G Spice is far more expensive than JDAM or Paveway's, JSOW will be available for gliding tasks so no MSOV. And Spice 250 would have to complete with SDB1, SBD2 and Spear and its variants. A crowded marketplace...and one where competitors have in built advantages (MBDA covers Europe, munitions will also get integrated to Typhoon and there is political hesitancy over buying Israeli munitions, US has SDB2 and 1. Many users will buy what the US gets).

The only other munitions the Israelis have for sale at present are the Gabriel V AShM, Delilah and Rampage. All of these have direct competitors who have made sales already to F-35 users (JSM vs Gabriel, and remember Gabriel is Harpoon sized so no internal carry) or are fairly niche munitions designed to help 4th gen aircraft attack from stand off ranges. And no F-35 user has to date seen the need for any of them on their 4th gen jet fleets...The Israeli's may integrate some munitions for themselves, but its costly and there just isn't going to be any overseas buyers for their gear...

As for the Australians there's been no news on what they're doing with ASRAAM. They apparently like it a lot, but it isn't compatible with their 23 a/c strong SuperHornet fleet (it was integrated to their legacy Hornet fleet before the SuperHornets were bought). Their 9X's were originally bought for their SuperHornet fleet. So far they've bought 2 batches of c350 and 47 respectively. Thats not a lot for a fast jet fleet of 90 aircraft (23 SuperHornet and 67 operational F-35A when all delivered). They've got at least 200 ASRAAM in stockpiles. I suspect they will carry on on the legacy Hornet fleet until full retirement and may stay in their war reserve for a little while as they will be compatible with the Australian F-35A. It will be interesting to see what they do next as their ASRAAM stockpile will need a re-life or replacement (like the UK's) to go beyond the Hornet withdrawal, however their ASRAAM were bought more recently than the UK's so have more life left in them (possibly up to the early 2030's). If they don't replace they're not going to have a large stockpile of WVR missiles as their older Sidewinders have all reached the end as well. I suspect we'll see a 9X or ASRAAM CSP (they really liked the range and speed of ASRAAM and a new seeker will improve things further vis a vis 9X) order in the next couple of years to re-capitalise their stockpile.
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Unread post14 Apr 2021, 22:03

Some details about the 23 + 1 (one aircraft is being repaired after take off accident) RAAF Super Hornet fleet would be available elsewhere [now only 11 Growlers]. Meanwhile this is the story about the for now eventual 72 RAAF F-35A fleet:
"...The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018, with the first arriving in country in December that year. The first F-35A squadron, No. 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021. All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023...." https://www.airforce.gov.au/technology/ ... ghtning-ii

Early Oz F-35As are being modified here and others undergo deep maintenance and mods as required as per:
"...“We expect four Australian F-35A aircraft to be inducted this year [2021], with these first aircraft to undergo modifications that improve their structural strength and durability, to align it with that of our newer aircraft.”..." 25 Feb 2021 https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/ ... aintenance
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Unread post15 Apr 2021, 10:51

timmymagic wrote:I can't see any real export market for the Israeli's to exploit.

Reasonable and thorough assessment. For the Israeli weapons Gabriel V is probably the only one that has any potential, and even then looks likely to remain in the naval realm. It gets a slight boost when Finland picks F-35 and if the RN's i-SSGW ends up selecting it for interim SSM (£200M) for the frigates. F-35B's packed integration schedule and availability just doesn't support the idea... and at least RN Typhoons probably don't need it. It would be a quite a twist for Typhoon to win in Finland and Gabriel V to get airborne that way. Seems a bit too far fetched (though the HX project did send a RFI to Israel as the sole non-fighter producing country). :)

JNAAM looks like a treat, so it will be interesting to see how much that tech proliferates among F-35 users.
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Unread post15 Apr 2021, 17:14

magitsu wrote:
timmymagic wrote:I can't see any real export market for the Israeli's to exploit.

Reasonable and thorough assessment. For the Israeli weapons Gabriel V is probably the only one that has any potential, and even then looks likely to remain in the naval realm. It gets a slight boost when Finland picks F-35 and if the RN's i-SSGW ends up selecting it for interim SSM (£200M) for the frigates. F-35B's packed integration schedule and availability just doesn't support the idea... and at least RN Typhoons probably don't need it. It would be a quite a twist for Typhoon to win in Finland and Gabriel V to get airborne that way. Seems a bit too far fetched (though the HX project did send a RFI to Israel as the sole non-fighter producing country). :)


Thanks, I've tried to be as fair as possible. But it does strike me that there seems to be a lot of fantastical thinking around some parts about Israeli capabilities. They're only going to have 1 test aircraft, and people seem to think it (and the Israeli team) will be able to achieve miracles of integration for weapons, systems and god knows what, that the massively larger joint team with far more aircraft, resources and understanding of the platform, in the US are unable to do...that single aircraft will be busy enough undertaking testing of any other Israeli additions (which I also think are going to be far more limited than many think) than engaging in protracted integration efforts for a whole plethora of Israeli weapons.

On the potential weapons I think you're right, Delilah would need an external pod to provide data link guidance as well, which further plays against it on F-35. Rampage can be launched from their substantial F-16 fleet (or in its EXTRA config from the ground, there were some recent strikes on Syria by Israeli ground launched missiles) so why bother? Gabriel V is the most likely of the 3, but even then its unlikely. The Finnish Air Force will probably pick F-35 (although the Gripen deal offered is very tasty). But their AO is easily covered by Gabriel V on their new Corvettes or from ground launch if necessary. So why go to the expense? I suspect if they were looking to add an AShM to their F-35 fleet the JSM would be in prime position (Norway is a fellow Nordic country after all) with integration costs already paid by someone else, with LRASM in 2nd place (particularly as they already operate JASSM, the US is paying for integration and LRASM could supplement their limited numbers of JASSM with additional land attack capability, as could JSM)

As for the RN I suspect Gabriel V is in the top 5 (due to price and re-targetting, very important for RN ROE) but not near the top. Most would have NSM, RBS.15 Mk.4 and Harpoon II+ at the top, with LRASM and Gabriel V making up the remainder of the top 5. All things being equal the RN would want LRASM, but its cost and political/national industrial concerns play against it (buying LRASM could jeopardise FCASW).

As to JNAAM I'm playing a little fast and loose...but I can't imagine a situation where it doesn't become the principal version after it is introduced. That is of course if it exportable outside of the UK and Japan due to its Japanese content...There's a part of me that hopes the UK stops its Meteor deliveries (after all we've got 3 years worth of Meteor, Amraam C-5 and Amraam D starting to arrive in 2021) and then starts them again when JNAAM arrives. F-35B with ASRAAM CSP and JNAAM will be an impressive capability.
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Unread post15 Apr 2021, 17:19

spazsinbad wrote:Some details about the 23 + 1 (one aircraft is being repaired after take off accident) RAAF Super Hornet fleet would be available elsewhere [now only 11 Growlers]. Meanwhile this is the story about the for now eventual 72 RAAF F-35A fleet:
"...The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018, with the first arriving in country in December that year. The first F-35A squadron, No. 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021. All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023...." https://www.airforce.gov.au/technology/ ... ghtning-ii

Early Oz F-35As are being modified here and others undergo deep maintenance and mods as required as per:
"...“We expect four Australian F-35A aircraft to be inducted this year [2021], with these first aircraft to undergo modifications that improve their structural strength and durability, to align it with that of our newer aircraft.”..." 25 Feb 2021 https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/ ... aintenance


I do wonder if that 2023 date has been impacted at all due to COVID.
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Unread post15 Apr 2021, 21:57

'timmymagic' pondered above: "I do wonder if that 2023 date has been impacted at all due to COVID." Australia itself has not been affected much by the actual virus while restrictions on people to prevent spread may have had an impact; whilst precautions in F-35 related environments will have had minimal effect. I would wonder about effects on overseas suppliers for the extra bits needed in Oz and there we need to look at LM/JPO experience in the States and elsewhere. IF any effect upon 2023 date that will likely be known from a parliamentary enquiry or an ADF announcement sometime.
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Unread post16 Apr 2021, 05:05

timmymagic wrote:Thanks, I've tried to be as fair as possible. ...


The real question is, can production lines provide the numbers of everything that everyone ideally wants, in useful numbers, any time soon? Plus replace them fast, as expended? Plus replace that stock after a major war has been won, to deter very serious secondary conflicts occurring and to terminate them? (think early 1950s Korean air war, Arab israeli, Suez, Taiwan Strait crisis, etc.)

Without enough production capacity we'll be back using much simpler cobbled together INS glide weapons, with no fancy-schmancy options to get effective reliable hits (which we should have done already, btw). Probably the best option of all in that case is basic JDAM-ER GPS/INS kit, against fixed targets, so that we aren't casually using up our better moving target bombs, and glide-bomb weapons (JSOW etc.) on those target types (when I see very basic fixed targets being hit with very advanced weapons it's clear a sense of war-stock economy is largely absent still, and that needs to change, to conserve and build those ... unless time expiring that is).

Our main problem is there's no reason a major conflict can't last 10 years, if an opponent just refuses to stop fighting. It's happened before. One of the greatest mistakes made prior and early into WWI and WWII was the optimistic saying, "It will all be over by Christmas". But that could not have been more wrong. it was an ordeal, and when the end came it was close to exhaustion. All US and allied countries need a production capacity now that takes this real possibility into account if an actual major war occurs. If we don;t have the sustained war-like production that can ramp fast we can still lose a lot and the war takes a longer to quell and more or less contain and end. We need planning, politics, production, materials and skills gearing-up now. If we do that the chances of needing it fall, if we don't to it now, the opposite occurs.

Plus build more of high-end new weapons faster.

The sooner Japan has a large stock of JSM, the better. Hope USMC do the same.
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Unread post16 Apr 2021, 09:11

element1loop wrote:
timmymagic wrote:Thanks, I've tried to be as fair as possible. ...


The real question is, can production lines provide the numbers of everything that everyone ideally wants, in useful numbers, any time soon? Plus replace them fast, as expended? Plus replace that stock after a major war has been won, to deter very serious secondary conflicts occurring and to terminate them? (think early 1950s Korean air war, Arab israeli, Suez, Taiwan Strait crisis, etc.)

Without enough production capacity we'll be back using much simpler cobbled together INS glide weapons, with no fancy-schmancy options to get effective reliable hits (which we should have done already, btw). Probably the best option of all in that case is basic JDAM-ER GPS/INS kit, against fixed targets, so that we aren't casually using up our better moving target bombs, and glide-bomb weapons (JSOW etc.) on those target types (when I see very basic fixed targets being hit with very advanced weapons it's clear a sense of war-stock economy is largely absent still, and that needs to change, to conserve and build those ... unless time expiring that is).

Our main problem is there's no reason a major conflict can't last 10 years, if an opponent just refuses to stop fighting. It's happened before. One of the greatest mistakes made prior and early into WWI and WWII was the optimistic saying, "It will all be over by Christmas". But that could not have been more wrong. it was an ordeal, and when the end came it was close to exhaustion. All US and allied countries need a production capacity now that takes this real possibility into account if an actual major war occurs. If we don;t have the sustained war-like production that can ramp fast we can still lose a lot and the war takes a longer to quell and more or less contain and end. We need planning, politics, production, materials and skills gearing-up now. If we do that the chances of needing it fall, if we don't to it now, the opposite occurs.

Plus build more of high-end new weapons faster.

The sooner Japan has a large stock of JSM, the better. Hope USMC do the same.


I'm a big fan of JDAM, APKWS and SDB1 for that reason. They've got the cost of a precision guided munition basically as low as it can go at present by volume and smart design. Having spiral development on top like Laser JDAM, JDAM-ER and Powered-JDAM is exceptionally sensible (to this day I cannot believe no-one has bought Powered-JDAM, looks like Boeing have resurrected it though). This is unfortunately not what we're doing in the UK. We've got lots of exquisite weapons, and to be fair we keep decent sized stockpiles (the original buy of Storm Shadow was over 900 missiles, which is a huge volume) but we only use guided munitions now, and the standard (and cheapest) munition we have is the Paveway IV. Paveway IV is probably the most advanced and costly 'standard' LGB out there (I'm excluding the French AASM as that is eye-wateringly expensive and has things like IR homing, rocket boost etc available). What we're missing is a JDAM equivalent, and gliding munitions. I'm hoping one of the Spear 'spiral' developments is a 'Simple' Spear (what used to be called value engineered) with no jet engine or MMW seeker. Just GPS/INS with an option of SAL. Basically a direct equivalent of the SDB1. Not only would it introduce a cheaper capability to UK forces but also help round out the Spear product line, which looks pretty good at present, could make it an irresistible purchase for F-35 and Typhoon users.

As to weapons expenditure the common rule of thumb these days is to think of your worse case scenario and then double it at least....no matter what you plan for you will exceed.

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