ASDF

To Counter China, Defense Ministry Considering F-15s at Civilian Airport

Well, this is certainly interesting: Japan is considering using a civil airfield in the Ryukyu islands to base F-15s, because those based on Okinawa are too far away. The planes would be stationed on Shimojijima Island, which is much closer to the Japan-administered Senkakus, which China claims as the Diaoyu, than to Okinawa’s prefectural capital...

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On the Misuse of the Reconstruction Budget

On the Misuse of the Reconstruction Budget

James Simpson takes issue with the reporting of misuse of reconstruction budget funds by the Ministry of Defense.

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Shukan Bunshun, "The Reasons Why the Senkaku Islands are Japan Territory"

Shukan Bunshun, “The Reasons Why the Senkaku Islands are Japan Territory”

A translation of an article in the Shukan Bunshun reflects upon the Japanese perspective on the Senkaku island dispute and China's rise.

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Key Figures from the MoD FY2013 Budget Request

Key Figures from the MoD FY2013 Budget Request

The Ministry of Defense publishes its FY2013 budget appropriations request including several previously unreported figures.

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The Kageura Survey: Japan, the U.S., Nukes, Missiles, and Women

JASDF Colonel Seiki Kageura, an international fellow at Brookings, wrote a paper on how think tankers and the media view Japan entitled, “Japan’s Defense Policy: The View From Washington D.C.” (PDF). The survey — and the responses by think tankers to the survey — stirred up some things I’d been thinking about for some time....

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Japanese Think Tank Fellow on American Think Tanks Thinking About Japan

Japan Air Self Defense Colonel Seiki Kageura, a 2012 International Security Fellow at Brookings, conducted a survey of American think tankers and what they think about Japan. You can read it here (PDF). Why think tankers? During this research, the author focused on American think tanks because they are home to many of the experts...

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Japan's F-35 Sticker Shock

Japan’s F-35 Sticker Shock

It’s sticker shock in Shinjuku time. 238 million US dollars. That’s how much each Japanese F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is going to cost, including maintenance and training expenses. From the U.S. Department of Defense announcement (h/t Mike Yeo): All aircraft will be configured with the Pratt and Whitney F-135 engines, and 5 spare Pratt and...

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The F-35 and long-term implications for the US-Japan alliance

The F-35 and long-term implications for the US-Japan alliance

Credit where credit is due, Professor Hornung has written a very timely and useful piece on whether the F-35 selection by Japan could end up doing damage to the US-Japan alliance relationship. He straightforwardly details the difficult situation Japan will be in if cost and delivery delays increase. He ends with the very appropriate question:...

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Problems piling up for the Japanese F-35 dream

Problems piling up for the Japanese F-35 dream

The Yomiuri has published (j) a report worrying about the British Sunday Times’ revelation that BAE Systems internal network may have been hacked by Chinese spies and critical information on the F-35 fighter may have been lost. Both the UK and the US were targets of the attack. In particular there is concern that the advanced...

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The Mystery of Japan’s KC-130 Buy

JSW pal Mike Yeo posted last week at his blog, The Base Leg, about a strange Japan Self Defense Forces purchase. Japan is purchasing 6 ex-US Marine Corps KC-130R transport/refueling aircraft. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency says in a statement: The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale to provide 6 KC-130R and 30...

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Mainichi: Japan tells U.S. it may halt F-35 purchase if prices rise

From Mainichi Daily News yesterday:

Japan tells U.S. it may halt F-35 purchase if prices rise

[...] In a letter dated Feb. 13, the ministry expressed its concern to the Pentagon over a rise in the price tag of the F-35, which is being developed by an international consortium led by U.S. aircraft maker Lockheed Martin Corp., the sources said.

The ministry also requested a review of the procurement system under a foreign military sales arrangement that allows the United States to change prices at its discretion, the sources said.

[...]

The letter was sent by Hideshi Tokuchi, chief of the ministry’s bureau of finance and equipment, and addressed to Frank Kendall, acting under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Tokuchi said in the letter that the possibility of canceling the F-35 procurement in the event its price rises cannot be denied. If the price does go up and the matter is deliberated in parliament, it would “invite severe criticism” and “jeopardize” the F-35 procurement plan, he said. [...]

Read more at the Mainichi Daily News site

It will be a great shame if Japan cancels its orders of the F-35 due to a price range, not least because the ASDF could really do with being shot of the F-X program so that it can look ahead to the successor to the F-15Js which seem to be slowly deteriorating.

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Two Fuels Tanks Drop Off F-2 Fighter

ASDF F-2 Fighter with three fuel tanks - one mounted on each wing, and one attached to the fuselage

ASDF F-2 Fighter with three fuel tanks - one mounted on each wing, and one attached to the fuselage (Source: Mariana)

While accidents involving parts falling off the F-15 have proven quite common recently, it is the F-2 that is making headlines with this latest incident near Guam.

According to NHK, who have a video report accompanying their article, on Feb. 16th, while conducting joint training with US forces (presumably Exercise COPE NORTH) over the Pacific, two fuel tanks fell from an ASDF F-2 fighter. According to the ASDF, the tanks were both seen falling into the sea and there are no reports of any damage as a result of the accident.

The tanks are 6 meters long with a diameter of 80 cm and a weight of 170 kg a piece when empty.

The ASDF is currently investigating the incident and searching for the tanks, so if you spot two floating torpedo-shaped objects in the Pacific near Guam this week, be sure to contact someone at Andersen Air Force Base where the ASDF are housed during COPE NORTH.

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