As China becomes the world’s dominant economy and as Japan picks up more of the tab to protect itself militarily, there will be more spending by Japan on military hardware. Under US pressure as always, Japan is now considering purchasing more F35s as well as an aircraft carrier to transport them to any future war zone in the Pacific. I’m sure the Russians are paying particular attention to Japan’s military buildup. At some point it would be worth seeing Lockheed Martin’s expensive fighter jet go up against a top-of-the-line Russian Sukoi 35. The F-35 continues to be plagued with problems even though it is the world’s most expensive fighter manufacturing program costing an estimated $1 trillion. What is the discernible justification for spending $1 trillion on this aircraft? Keep Lockheed Martin in profits? More value to the stock portfolios of US congressional members? The continued almost ludicrous rhetorical theatrics of war against North Korea?
December 26, 2017
Japan Eyes Buying More F-35s, and an Aircraft Carrier to Transport Them
Japan has reportedly expressed interest in purchasing more Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, including F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) fighters that would be perfect to accompany an aircraft carrier – a type of ship Japan has not possessed since World War II.
In 2011, Japan announced the purchase of 42 F-35As, most of which will be built domestically by Mitsubishi. The F-35 A has a conventional landing mechanism, while the B has STOVL capabilities at the cost of about a third of its fuel volume. Lockheed Martin describes the F-35B as being “designed to operate from austere bases and a range of air-capable ships near front-line combat zones. It can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways on major bases.”
Article 9 of the postwar Japanese constitution prohibits Japan from maintaining an offensive military force — and aircraft carriers are generally classified as just that. However, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces (JMSDF) has a quartet of “helicopter destroyers,” which look much like small aircraft carriers and serve a similar function in wartime.
Tokyo has argued that the helicopter carriers are defensive weapons as they are not equipped with offensive warplanes such as attack aircraft or strategic bombers. Their Izumo-class carrier is over 800 feet long and carries as many as 14 helicopters, and Japan commissioned their second ship of the class earlier in 2017.
Please go to Sputnik to read the entire article.
Russia’s answer to the F-35, the Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter