JASDF may be in the market for more F-35s

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Corsair1963

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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 05:14

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised. If, Japan orders even more F-35's as time goes on. Which, would likely include the F-35B!
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 16:56

Out of 45 airbases and airfields available to the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), only 20 are long enough to operate jets in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fleet. Of these 20, only one airbase in the Pacific Ocean at Iwo To (Iwo Jima) has a runway long enough to operate the F-35A, limiting operational infrastructure in the region.

This can't be correct..

They aren't talking about airbases IN Japan, right? They must be talking about airbases in the region. Regardless, I wasn't under the impression the F-35A took any more runway length to operate than other jets in its class. If the F-35A can't operate out of all these airfields, I have to assume the same is true for most fast jets. Really makes me wonder why they're just waking up to this now?

What were they planning on doing, if the F-35B wasn't available??
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Unread post24 Aug 2020, 18:44

I don't pretend to know anything about Japanese military airports however they may be hamstrung by old regulations?
LDP lawmakers suggest turning Shimojishima airport into air base
24 Aug 2020 ALERT 5

"A group of lawmakers from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are endorsing a proposal to allow the military to use the Shimojishima airport in Okinawa Prefecture.

Currently, the only runways to support fighter and early warning aircraft are located on Okinawa island. Only Shimojishima airport further south has a runway of 3,000 meters. The rest of the runways on the other islands are less than 2,000 meters.

Shimojishima island is suitable for military flights to intercept Chinese aircraft heading towards Senkaku islands. The distance to Senkaku from Shimojishima is 200 km, and is 420km for F-15s to fly from Okinawa to Senkaku.

The military is forbidden to use Shimojishima airport due to an agreement with the United States Military Government of the Ryukyu Islands in 1946."

Photo:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 3s3000.jpg & https://www.pref.okinawa.jp/airport/ind ... ma00-e.htm
for: https://www.pref.okinawa.jp/airport/ind ... mmap_e.gif

Source: http://alert5.com/2020/08/24/ldp-lawmak ... more-84132
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weasel1962

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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 02:19

Like how aircraft carriers are called destroyers, it could be just a matter of redefining what "military" means. I suppose it helps further when translated into Japanese. Maybe they could do it like the Chinese and temporarily second any items to the coast guard for the training duration.
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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 02:51

Clearly, the US wouldn't object to a change in the 1946 agreement over the use of the airfield for military applications.
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weasel1962

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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 07:01

They don't need. Under the 1971 agreement, all prior agreements are only valid to the extent that it is not contrary to public policy (Article V). The grant of use of the islands is reflected in Article III which in itself can be regarded as public policy and hence allowed.

https://ryukyu-okinawa.net/pages/archive/rev71.html
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Corsair1963

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Unread post25 Aug 2020, 07:29

weasel1962 wrote:They don't need. Under the 1971 agreement, all prior agreements are only valid to the extent that it is not contrary to public policy (Article V). The grant of use of the islands is reflected in Article III which in itself can be regarded as public policy and hence allowed.

https://ryukyu-okinawa.net/pages/archive/rev71.html



Clearly, you know much more than me about the subject. Yet, then what was the point of the story??? :?
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Unread post03 Sep 2020, 16:45

http://kite-misawa.com/misawa-curry/#airbasecurry

F-35A Misawa Airbase Curry, on sale from 2020/08/29.

Curry made with Aomori Prefecture pork and vegetables, based on the Misawa AB cafeteria recipe.

Curry packed as 200 g per retort bag, and 600 Yen (plus tax) per bag.

(I presume rice not included.)
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Unread post03 Sep 2020, 17:28

weasel1962 wrote:They don't need. Under the 1971 agreement, all prior agreements are only valid to the extent that it is not contrary to public policy (Article V). The grant of use of the islands is reflected in Article III which in itself can be regarded as public policy and hence allowed.

https://ryukyu-okinawa.net/pages/archive/rev71.html


There is also a 1971 Memorandum of Understanding between the Japanese government and the Ryukyu Islands government to consider. The domestic opposition to a military air base is where the real difficulty appears to lie:
http://english.ryukyushimpo.jp/2020/08/15/32524/
A meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party National Defense Parliamentary Group saw many participants put forth the idea that the Self-Defense Forces should be allowed to use Shimojishima Airport in Miyakojima City for the purpose of strengthening defense of the Nansei Islands. This argument contravenes a memorandum of understanding executed between the national government and the Okinawa Prefectural Government prohibiting military use of Shimojishima Airport. It further throws cold water on the efforts of locals and others who have worked hard to promote regional development through civilian use of the airport. We cannot accept this.
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Unread post04 Sep 2020, 01:58

It looks like a good spot to base Coast Guard F-35B patrols...
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weasel1962

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Unread post04 Sep 2020, 02:29

Add a couple of pylon mounted drop-skids, and the coastguard might even have F-35B seaplanes. Land on water, no issue of melted decks.
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Unread post06 Oct 2020, 05:42

Consider deploying other than F-35A and Misawa Fighter bases in Hokkaido-Kyushu-Ministry of Defense Budget.

The Ministry of Defense has added a new acquisition cost (40.2 billion yen) for the four state-of-the-art stealth fighter F-35A in the 2021 budget request. Scheduled to be procured in 2013. The F-35 is deployed at the Air Self-Defense Force Misawa Air Base (Aomori Prefecture), but four aircraft will be considered for deployment at another base.

According to the Ministry of Defense, "If the number of F-35s acquired increases, it may be deployed at bases operating fighter aircraft other than Misawa. Local consent is required, and the specific deployment destination has not been decided."

Currently, 17 F-35A aircraft are deployed at Misawa base, and there will be about 20 aircraft next spring. As soon as the operational test is completed, tasks such as emergency start (scramble) will be assigned. The ministry plans to procure a total of 147 F-35s in the end, and is expected to replace F-15 fighters such as Chitose Air Base (Hokkaido) and Komatsu Air Base (Ishikawa Prefecture) that cannot be modernized and refurbished in the future.


It is expected that the capacity-enhancing F-15 will continue to be deployed at Naha Air Base (Okinawa Prefecture), where scramble missions to Chinese aircraft are frequent.

The budget request also requires the acquisition of the F-35B type, which has short-range takeoff and vertical landing capabilities, following FY2008. Type B will be deployed in 2012 as well. It will also be used as a carrier-based aircraft for the Izumo-class destroyer of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, which will undergo the renovation of "aircraft carrier".

The F-35B is supposed to be used for remote island defense and operation on the Pacific side where a vast airspace spreads. Of the two Izumo-class destroyers, the Air Self-Defense Force's Nittahara Base (Miyazaki Prefecture), which is close to the JMSDF Kure Base (Hiroshima Prefecture), which is the base of "Kaga," is considered to be the most promising deployment destination.

It also includes the repair cost (23.1 billion yen) for "Kaga" due to the aircraft carrier. The flight deck will be heat-resistant painted to withstand the exhaust heat of the F35B engine that departs and arrives, and the shape of the bow will be changed to a quadrangle so that eddy will not occur. Another aircraft carrier, "Izumo" (Yokosuka base, Kanagawa prefecture) will also be gradually renovated.


JASDFF35.jpg




https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2020100400251&g=pol
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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 06:24

There are about four references to the JSM for Japan in this thread so here is anotherie....
Japan awards Kongsberg another follow-on contract for Joint Strike Missiles
01 Dec 2020 Gabriel Dominguez

"Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace announced on 1 December that it has signed an NOK820 million (USD92.4 million) follow-on contract to provide additional precision-guided Joint Strike Missiles (JSMs) for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF’s) growing fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.

The company pointed out that this is the second follow-on contract for JSMs awarded by Japan. The first one, announced on 12 November 2019, had been valued at NOK450 million. A contract to provide “initial deliveries” of the missile, which has been designed to fit in the internal weapons bay of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A, was announced in March 2019 but the value of that initial deal was not revealed.

No details were provided about the number of missiles set to be supplied or the delivery schedule. That said, a Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesperson had told Janes on 9 September that Tokyo is expected to start taking delivery of the JSMs from April 2021...."

Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... e-missiles
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doge

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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 18:48

Bilateral interoperability 8)
https://www.airforcemag.com/article/get ... erability/
Getting Serious About Interoperability
By Jennifer Hlad March 1, 2020
USAF and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force are taking bilateral interoperability to the next level with joint F-35 training.
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan—
Pacific Air Forces doesn’t have many F-35s. Yet.
However, within five years, there will be more than 200 Joint Strike Fighters in the region—70 percent of them owned and operated not by the U.S. Air Force, but by its allies. Japan is acquiring 147 F-35s—105 A models and 42 B models—making it the single biggest international customer for the fifth-generation jets.
Ensuring all those aircraft are truly interoperable is a critical challenge, and there’s no time like the present to get that ball rolling, said Chief Master Sgt. Brian Kruzelnick, command chief master sergeant for 5th Air Force.
“We’re always looking for ways for the U.S. Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to become more interoperable,” Kruzelnick said. Japan released its annual Defense of Japan white paper, which outlines its defense policy, strategy, and priorities. “They really highlighted the fact that the U.S. and Japan alliance is the cornerstone for any multilayered, multifaceted security cooperation between allied partners in the region.”
So when the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) approached 5th Air Force about an F-35 maintenance exchange, it seemed like the “perfect opportunity to come in on the ground level and grow our interoperability together,” he said. Except that 5th Air Force doesn’t have any F-35s of its own.
    The overarching reason we’re here is to support the [Air Force] Chief of Staff’s vision of strengthening our alliances.
    ---Col. Michael Miles, commander of the 388th Maintenance Group
Enter the 388th Fighter Wing from Hill Air Force Base, Utah—the only USAF combat unit with F-35s.
“The overarching reason we’re here is to support the [Air Force] Chief of Staff’s vision of strengthening our alliances,” said Col. Michael Miles, commander of the 388th Maintenance Group, speaking louder as Japanese F-35s roared overhead. “This endeavor fits right into that priority. And the joint strike fighter, F-35, really enables a different level of cooperation than any other platform we have.”
All F-35 units share training, technical data, tools, and a common program support infrastructure, he said. But by “cooperating and sharing lessons learned, we can actually raise everybody’s performance within the program.”
Miles and seven of his Airmen flew to Misawa Air Base, Japan, in December for a two-day F-35 maintenance symposium, featuring briefings and lessons-learned discussions as well as hands-on training on specific maintenance tasks.
“My Airmen, the U.S. Air Force Airmen that I brought with me, always take back lessons learned from who we’re talking to within the program, so the value to us back at Hill Air Force Base is a greater understanding of the F-35 from the Japanese perspective that we’ll see and hear about,” he said.
The group from Hill included low observable and analysis specialists, as well as a crew chief and a maintenance officer, and their hosts were grateful to tap their expertise.
“The 388th Maintenance Group has great experience and great knowledge,” said a JASDF ammunition maintainer who declined to give his name. “We learned many things,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to hands-on training on weapons loading. “This maintenance day will contribute to our interoperability.”
Hill Airmen have previously hosted JASDF maintenance delegations in the U.S., and in 2018 the maintenance group sent a training team here for weapons loading and aircraft gun training. The continued collaboration has helped establish a “recurring battle rhythm of mutual support,” Miles said.
“The idea would be to continue this engagement as we both learn more about the F-35 and the way they capitalize on its capabilities,” he said.
The airplane was designed to be interoperable between users, “whether you’re a pilot flying it or a ground maintainer handling it,” Miles explained. “So we’re trying to break through policy and force the program to design some common ways that we can be interoperable on the ground” as well. “There are multiple levels to that beyond just flying.”
Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, commander of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force, said joint training such as this “supports our strategic objectives to seamlessly integrate during conflict and rapidly reconstitute aircraft, providing overwhelming air power against any adversary.”
Eventually, he said, “I envision Koku Jieitai airmen … generating U.S. Air Force F-35 sorties and vice versa. A projection of our integrated capabilities can deter threats; but, if deterrence fails, we must be ready to win in conflict.”
Kruzelnick envisions building a “fifth-generation fighter ecosystem” throughout the region, “where potentially at some point, any aircraft can land in the Pacific, regardless of tail flash, and any maintainer, regardless of nationality, can come out and generate that aircraft.”
As Kruzelnick put it, the objective is “really to build toward our ability to increase deterrence and then win if deterrence happens to fail.”

Front Line
Misawa is at the front line of deterrence: China, North Korea, and Russia are all within an hour’s flight of the base, and JASDF jets based here are on alert whenever there’s an incursion into Japanese air space.
JASDF fighters scrambled to intercept foreign military aircraft 246 times in the three months from April through June 2019, or nearly three times per day. Three-quarters of those incursions were by Chinese airplanes, with Russia accounting for the vast majority of the rest, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
The frequency of foreign military aircraft nearing or entering Japanese air space is on the rise, according to the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes. It said intercepts of Chinese aircraft rose 27.6 percent from fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018.
Former Japanese Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya, in the annual Defense of Japan report, said the security environment around Japan “is becoming more testing and uncertain at a remarkably faster speed than we expected.”
He added: “China is expanding and stepping up its activities in the seas and airspace neighboring Japan, with more and more fighters and bombers advancing to the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean.”
A Russian military airplane taking part in joint patrols with China entered Japanese airspace in late July in an action Japanese officials viewed as a test of Japan’s relationships with the U.S. and South Korea, according to The Japan Times.
At the time, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. called it “a potential harbinger of things that could happen in the future.”
JASDF leaders also reached out to the 35th Fighter Wing’s munitions section last year for training in building GBU-12s and loading them onto Japanese F-35s.
Building GBU-12s is “something we do all the time, every single exercise,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Edgar Ulrich, the 35th Maintenance Squadron’s munitions production section chief.
The American munitions Airmen put together a team, led by Staff Sgt. Kyle Horvat, the conventional maintenance production supervisor, to train their Japanese counterparts on how to build them safely.
Horvat said the team trained 20 Japanese airmen to build GBU-12s, then helped them test the weapons over a four-day training event. Prior to that, the munitions section provided four different bomb variants, he said, “so they could practice loading different munitions onto the F-35, since it’s a new platform for them.”
The munitions Airmen expect to train JASDF weapons crews on GBU-31s and small diameter bombs in the next few months, said Chief Master Sgt. Plez Glenn, the munitions flight chief.
Each of these activities contributes to the larger goal of bilateral cooperation and interoperability—a concept this base takes seriously.
“We’re the only truly bilateral flying operation here in Japan,” so there is plenty of day-to-day interaction between U.S. Airmen and JASDF members, explained Col. Kristopher Struve, commander of the 35th Fighter Wing.
Social functions and festivals also help “close the gap between our cultures,” he said. There are “some great opportunities back and forth for U.S. to just bridge the seams and really work on that interoperability piece, which is going to be critical if we have to go to war together.”
These engagements are at all levels, he noted, from the “logistical to tactical level.”
“We may need to be able to shoot and scoot, but we also need to be able to operate together, be it maybe in a shared strike or in shared air defense,” Struve said. “Maybe they’re manning a [combat air patrol], or manning a CAP next to us, or we’re working together, and CAP is swapping out with them. Us working together to increase interoperability, increase our tactical proficiency together, and learn from each other is really invaluable, and since we are here on the yard together, we can do that on a routine basis.”
Misawa is “a unique location to provide deterrence and help maintain the free and open Pacific,” he said. “We’re prepared all the time, ready for any aggression from North Korea, Russia, [or] China.”

Wide Expanse
The Pacific is a very big place, Miles said, and because of the “time-space problems” in the theater, “you’ve got to have—in my mind—the capability to have airplanes dispersed throughout the theater and supported by our allies. And that’s [what] we’re getting at, with common tech data for launch and recovery, and then, eventually, grow to where we can repair each other’s airplanes, load each other’s airplanes with ammunition and weapons. We’re really on the first stage of that … so we need to continue to push toward that goal. ‘How do we get the most out of our alliances, and how do we get the most out of this weapons system in a short time span?’ … We got delivered what we asked for as a DOD and program office. Now,’how do we get the most out of it?’ That’s on us.”

Lightning Tech Training
USAF is working to get the most out of its F-35 maintainers through its Lightning Technician Programs. Luke and Hill Air Force bases in Arizona and Utah have “partnered to explore the capabilities of U.S. Air Force Airmen to do multiple things for the F-35,” and the maintainers shared those experiences during the symposium through a comprehensive brief, Col. Michael Miles said.
LTP “is by no means a final product, and it’s not necessarily the way the Air Force is going, but we’re trying to explore the possibilities. What is the art of the possible with F-35 maintenance, given the design of the airplane? The way the prognostic health management system works on the aircraft really opens the door for a new way of doing sustainment, and that’s really what we’re trying to get to and share with other users,” he added.
The program is one way they are looking to build the “next-generation Airman.” Miles said he envisions a next-generation Airman to be multifaceted and able to “use the technology the world offers right now. … There’s so many great electronic devices to enable aircraft maintenance that are not in use. So I think coupling the Airmen we have in the Air Force … giving them the technology to really get the most out of what they can do on the F-35 … the technology that they can use to make them better maintainers.”
He offered an analogy: “We’ve outfitted the pilot of the F-35 with an amazing helmet with everything on the glass. Where is that for the maintainer? Where’s my Google glasses, where I can see the tech data in my glasses while I’m doing a job? … That’s where an F-35 maintainer is really making the Air Force a profit from a human-capital standpoint.”
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doge

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Unread post02 Dec 2020, 18:50

Depot 8)
https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing ... &adredir=1
Japanese F-35 maintenance depot opens for business
By Greg Waldron3 July 2020
Japan has opened its regional maintenance base for the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter.
The first aircraft to receive service at the regional depot will be a Japan Air Self-Defence Force F-35A from Misawa air base, says Tokyo’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency.
The maintenance base is located at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plant in Japan’s Aichi prefecture.

In 2014, the US Department of Defense selected Australia and Japan to shoulder heavy airframe and engine maintenance for the F-35 in the Asia-Pacific region.
The two nations were to split responsibility for heavy airframe maintenance, overhaul, repair and upgrade (MORU), with Japan covering the north of the region and Australia the south.
The two nations are destined to rank among the largest operators of the type after the USA. Cirium fleets data shows that Tokyo operates 17 F-35As, with plans to acquire about 129 more – of which 42 will be short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs.
Australia has 21 F-35As in service, and plans to build a fleet of 72 examples, potentially more.
Given troubled relations between Tokyo and Seoul, it is unlikely that South Korean F-35As will be supported in Japan.
Singapore, which is obtaining 12 F-35Bs, has not said where it will conduct heavy maintenance for its fleet.
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