LightningZ71
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:38 pm

LOL, you have that right. That the SuperHornet was sold as a simple upgrade to the legacy hornet was political maneuvering at it's finest. Granted, the SuperHornet is a fine aircraft for it's purpose, it may not have been ideal to meet the Navy's needs at the time as compared to what could have been done by competitors.

The F-16XL was a solid advancement for the F-16. With a bit more development, it would have made for an interesting product for a lot of buyers. However, it wasn't miles better than the competition at the time. It needed a bit more power and perhaps some more attention to low observability. I suspect that, if development had continued a few more years, and it could have gotten an upgraded/uprated engine, the CFTs that were developed for the F-16 and the diverterless supersonic duct that was prototyped on another F-16 frame, it would have been a much more attractive product on the export market as it would have solved it's range problems, it's performance deficits as compared the the Strike Eagle it was originally bid against, and would have likely had a lower RCS than many competing platforms due at least partially to having a smaller size. I really wish that that had seen the light of day.

Getting back on topic, While I don't see NG pitching a revived F-23, I do think that that particular overall design had some attractive qualities. It wouldn't shock me to see a further development of the concept into a newer product that "resembles" it.

As for the endurance qualities of the F-35, remember that it carries most of it's stores internally. Load an F-2 with a pair of ASMs and then an F-35 with a pair of ASMs (
which should fit internally for two) and then compare their flight ranges. Then compare how close they can get to the enemy without being detected. Then, give the F-2 its external tanks that it almost always carries and do the same exercise. The F-35 will be able to get closer and launch, then retreat over and over again without coming under threat, unlike the F-2, which will need the external tanks for better range, but will become even more observable in the process. Then, if you absolutely have to carry 4 ASMs in a heavy assault profile, the F-35 can still do that, and also carry external tanks to get the same range. It's about flexibility.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:12 pm

This order will likely not be large enough to justify a clean-sheet design (or really any program) from NG, IMHO. Plus one might need to consider recent trade concerns as well.

The YF-23 argument seems pointless to me - it's fun to think about, but in addition to losing out over two decades ago, it would need to not only catch up with developments in the past two decades which which the Raptor has been benefiting from (as well as an incredible amount of funding for Lockheed to do so) but surpass where the F-22 stands in its latest iteration. Then you have the systems and experience obtained with the F-35 project as well, you've got to catch up and surpass the achievements and capabilities of that current program as well. THEN with all of that figured out, build a new plane which is cheaper and employs the same (or better) technology at a faster intro to service than Lockheed? It just blows my mind to even comprehend such a feat. There's no way. PLUS presumably you'd only be selling a few aircraft anyways, at least the only firm commitment would be from Japan.

Like it or not, Lockheed would seem to have a massive advantage of building such an aircraft, and the company as a whole is set up fighter design, from prior R&D to engineering staff, computer modeling, etc. Besides I think Northrop is busy trying to stay on time and on budget for the B-21.

Perhaps they could use the F-35C as a starting point, with the larger wing and 20,000 internal fuel capacity - remove the folding wing mechanism and get some more fuel in there. They could perhaps "fatten" the fuselage a bit to fit more in the weapons bays, or make them deeper at the expense of some internal fuel capacity, but I still think that Japan's goal of internal weapons seems unattainable with a single-engine design.
 
Ozair
Posts: 2635
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:09 am

estorilm wrote:

The YF-23 argument seems pointless to me - it's fun to think about, but in addition to losing out over two decades ago, it would need to not only catch up with developments in the past two decades which which the Raptor has been benefiting from (as well as an incredible amount of funding for Lockheed to do so) but surpass where the F-22 stands in its latest iteration. Then you have the systems and experience obtained with the F-35 project as well, you've got to catch up and surpass the achievements and capabilities of that current program as well. THEN with all of that figured out, build a new plane which is cheaper and employs the same (or better) technology at a faster intro to service than Lockheed? It just blows my mind to even comprehend such a feat.

Agree completely. Technology has moved on significantly from the YF-23, especially when you consider that the selection was made in 1991… nearly 21 years ago.

estorilm wrote:

Perhaps they could use the F-35C as a starting point, with the larger wing and 20,000 internal fuel capacity - remove the folding wing mechanism and get some more fuel in there. They could perhaps "fatten" the fuselage a bit to fit more in the weapons bays, or make them deeper at the expense of some internal fuel capacity, but I still think that Japan's goal of internal weapons seems unattainable with a single-engine design.

The C would be a bad choice to base the Japanese aircraft on given the wing significantly impacts transonic acceleration. They are after essentially a platform capable of supercruise and the F-35C will never be an effective supercruiser. It also doesn’t have a range advantage over the A model even though it carries more fuel. Sure you could take out some weight from the wing and perhaps fuselage with the requirement to not take off and land on a carrier but it would be better to just use the A model and pay $40 million less per copy.

The overall best option is to wait for the Adaptive engine upgrade that is coming for the F-35 fleet and follow on US fighter in the mid 2020s. That promises 30% range increase at higher thrusts and should push the combat radius of the F-35A easily past 1000nm and likely in the profiles the Japanese would fly greater than 1200nm radius.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:28 am

Ozair wrote:
Agree completely. Technology has moved on significantly from the YF-23, especially when you consider that the selection was made in 1991… nearly 21 years ago.

Hmmm.... I think you mean 27 years ago? Or nearly 30 years ago....? :scratchchin:

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:25 am

Tugger wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Agree completely. Technology has moved on significantly from the YF-23, especially when you consider that the selection was made in 1991… nearly 21 years ago.

Hmmm.... I think you mean 27 years ago? Or nearly 30 years ago....? :scratchchin:

Tugg

It is 2012 isn't it... ;)
 
Ozair
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:04 am

An update on what Japan are considering for their F-2 replacement. Frustrating that we don’t know any more details about what LM, or the other manufacturers have proposed. there is some price info which states LM is suggesting approx US$180 milion per aircraft...

Lockheed Martin seen leading race to develop F-2’s successor

The Defense Ministry views Lockheed Martin Corp. as the leading candidate to develop fighter jets to succeed the F-2 fighters in the Air Self-Defense Force, according to government sources.

Lockheed, fellow major American defense contractor Boeing Co. and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC submitted their proposals on developing a successor to the F-2 to the ministry on Friday.

Though the ministry favors Lockheed’s plan, it is carefully examining the three proposals as the price presented by Lockheed was higher than the initial estimate.

According to the government sources, Lockheed’s plan is to develop the new fighters based on the F-22, which are the U.S. Air Force’s high-performing stealth fighters. The proposal calls for the installment of electronic devices that are used in F-35 fighter jets, which are part of the ASDF fleet, in the new fighters. The plan assumes that Japan and the United States will jointly develop the new aircraft.

Boeing’s plan is to use F-15 fighters, which are the ASDF’s mainstay fighters, as the basis of the new fighters, which will have partial stealth capabilities through joint Japan-U.S. development.

BAE Systems’ plan will have Japan and Britain jointly developing the new fighters by utilizing technologies applied to Typhoon fighters, which are the British Royal Air Force’s mainstay fighter jets.
The ASDF now possesses about 90 F-2 fighters. These will start to be retired from service beginning around 2030.

In February, the ministry notified the three companies of the capability requirements for the successor fighter model. Among the demands was that the new fighters be high-performance stealth jets with a maximum speed above Mach 2. The ministry requested the three companies to provide their proposals by Friday.

According to the government sources, Lockheed’s plan better meets the demands of the ministry, mainly in terms of stealth capabilities compared with the plans of the other two companies, as the proposed development of the new fighters will be based on the F-22. The F-22 has been dubbed the “world’s most powerful” fighter jet, praised for its high-level stealth capabilities that make it extremely hard to detect by radar and its flight performance.

In Lockheed’s plan, however, the proposed price for each new fighters is more than ¥20 billion, which is far higher than the ministry’s initial estimate.

If development and production costs are so high, it is possible that the ministry may reject the company’s plan from the standpoint of cost-effectiveness.

Another focus of attention will be the extent to which Japanese companies will be involved in the development.

In the past, the government tried to import F-22 fighters, but the United States prohibited exports of the F-22 to prevent U.S. military technologies from being stolen. Japan thus decided to introduce F-35 fighters instead.

The current administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is enthusiastic in expanding exports of U.S. weapons. Thus, it is possible that the U.S. administration will allow the plan to develop Japan’s new fighters based on the F-22.

The ministry has also compiled an initiative as part of the design of the new fighters that the successors to the F-2 will carry small, unmanned aircraft for detecting enemies in faraway positions. But the ministry sees this option as a medium- to long-term issue, so it was not included in the demands for the new fighter capabilities

http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004585084
 
estorilm
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Posts: 284
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:57 pm

Ozair wrote:
estorilm wrote:

The C would be a bad choice to base the Japanese aircraft on given the wing significantly impacts transonic acceleration. They are after essentially a platform capable of supercruise and the F-35C will never be an effective supercruiser. It also doesn’t have a range advantage over the A model even though it carries more fuel. Sure you could take out some weight from the wing and perhaps fuselage with the requirement to not take off and land on a carrier but it would be better to just use the A model and pay $40 million less per copy.

The overall best option is to wait for the Adaptive engine upgrade that is coming for the F-35 fleet and follow on US fighter in the mid 2020s. That promises 30% range increase at higher thrusts and should push the combat radius of the F-35A easily past 1000nm and likely in the profiles the Japanese would fly greater than 1200nm radius.

Good point - I hadn't even really thought about the supercruise limitations - in addition to the fuel I suppose the primary requirement was manageable TO/landing speeds for carrier use.

In any event, while the next gen engine upgrades will indeed be impressive for the F-35 program, I'm still not sure it'll be capable of supercruise (even with a sleek design and two VERY powerful engines, the F-22 engineers had a difficult time achieving it - even late into the design phase they were modifying large elements in the wind tunnel.)

The biggest thing is Japan's strange requirement for 8 (I believe?) internally-stored air-to-air missiles. I don't really see any iteration of the F-35 being capable of this.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 284
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:10 pm

Ozair wrote:
An update on what Japan are considering for their F-2 replacement. Frustrating that we don’t know any more details about what LM, or the other manufacturers have proposed. there is some price info which states LM is suggesting approx US$180 milion per aircraft...

Lockheed Martin seen leading race to develop F-2’s successor

The Defense Ministry views Lockheed Martin Corp. as the leading candidate to develop fighter jets to succeed the F-2 fighters in the Air Self-Defense Force, according to government sources.

Lockheed, fellow major American defense contractor Boeing Co. and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC submitted their proposals on developing a successor to the F-2 to the ministry on Friday.

Though the ministry favors Lockheed’s plan, it is carefully examining the three proposals as the price presented by Lockheed was higher than the initial estimate.

According to the government sources, Lockheed’s plan is to develop the new fighters based on the F-22, which are the U.S. Air Force’s high-performing stealth fighters. The proposal calls for the installment of electronic devices that are used in F-35 fighter jets, which are part of the ASDF fleet, in the new fighters. The plan assumes that Japan and the United States will jointly develop the new aircraft.

Boeing’s plan is to use F-15 fighters, which are the ASDF’s mainstay fighters, as the basis of the new fighters, which will have partial stealth capabilities through joint Japan-U.S. development.

BAE Systems’ plan will have Japan and Britain jointly developing the new fighters by utilizing technologies applied to Typhoon fighters, which are the British Royal Air Force’s mainstay fighter jets.
The ASDF now possesses about 90 F-2 fighters. These will start to be retired from service beginning around 2030.

In February, the ministry notified the three companies of the capability requirements for the successor fighter model. Among the demands was that the new fighters be high-performance stealth jets with a maximum speed above Mach 2. The ministry requested the three companies to provide their proposals by Friday.

According to the government sources, Lockheed’s plan better meets the demands of the ministry, mainly in terms of stealth capabilities compared with the plans of the other two companies, as the proposed development of the new fighters will be based on the F-22. The F-22 has been dubbed the “world’s most powerful” fighter jet, praised for its high-level stealth capabilities that make it extremely hard to detect by radar and its flight performance.

In Lockheed’s plan, however, the proposed price for each new fighters is more than ¥20 billion, which is far higher than the ministry’s initial estimate.

If development and production costs are so high, it is possible that the ministry may reject the company’s plan from the standpoint of cost-effectiveness.

Another focus of attention will be the extent to which Japanese companies will be involved in the development.

In the past, the government tried to import F-22 fighters, but the United States prohibited exports of the F-22 to prevent U.S. military technologies from being stolen. Japan thus decided to introduce F-35 fighters instead.

The current administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is enthusiastic in expanding exports of U.S. weapons. Thus, it is possible that the U.S. administration will allow the plan to develop Japan’s new fighters based on the F-22.

The ministry has also compiled an initiative as part of the design of the new fighters that the successors to the F-2 will carry small, unmanned aircraft for detecting enemies in faraway positions. But the ministry sees this option as a medium- to long-term issue, so it was not included in the demands for the new fighter capabilities

http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004585084


Very interesting, and surprisingly close to what I conjured up earlier in the thread.

The advantages LM has makes Boeing's F-15-based proposal almost embarrassing. The entire point of this process highlighted the needs of something better than their domestic stealth attempts as well as their latest F-15 variants.

As far as the price being higher than they wanted... uhm. They're asking for essentially a tailor-made aircraft which will most likely become the most powerful and deadly in the world. Something that (in their time frame and budget) only one country and one company is capable of creating. Not exactly the best position to be in if you plan on negotiating! :white:

In any event, compared to a Typhoon or F-15 variant, the LM proposal would almost certainly jump out into a totally different realm of capabilities. Based on their initial request for proposals, it would seem they're seeking something exclusive that no current design can achieve now - BAE and Boeing will have a tough time here. At the end of the day, they already have VERY capable F-35's coming on-line, they want something beyond that aircraft, and I'm not sure anyone would want to be driving an F-15 or Typhoon against an F-35. :? Even an advanced variation of either aircraft would seem sub-par to their existing F-35 fleet.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:28 pm

I'm guessing that Boeing is again pitching a development of their "Silent Eagle" project? While it would be a marked improvement over the F-2 in most every way, it won't be inexpensive to procure (just look at the latest SA and QR variants and how much they cost without expensive work being done for RCS), and it certainly won't be extremely stealthy. A merging of the F-22 with the F-35 systems, with the incorporation of lessons learned over the years from operation and upkeep, will certainly be a leader from a capability standpoint. The Typhoon project will have such a long lead time, I can't imagine that it would be ready in the timeframe that they want.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
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Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:02 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
I'm guessing that Boeing is again pitching a development of their "Silent Eagle" project? While it would be a marked improvement over the F-2 in most every way, it won't be inexpensive to procure (just look at the latest SA and QR variants and how much they cost without expensive work being done for RCS), and it certainly won't be extremely stealthy. A merging of the F-22 with the F-35 systems, with the incorporation of lessons learned over the years from operation and upkeep, will certainly be a leader from a capability standpoint. The Typhoon project will have such a long lead time, I can't imagine that it would be ready in the timeframe that they want.

There are some aspects of the Silent Eagle that are interesting - presumably enough to warrant the proposal, but there are also glaring deficiencies.

As an air superiority "interceptor" type, it would be great - as it's extremely fast (at least compared to F-35) and can carry a LOT of A2A weapons. It also has powerful electronics, radar, etc..

My issue is really seeing this thing confronting the perceived threat for Japan, which would be 5th gen aircraft from China, advanced UCAVs, etc - and I'm just not sure you'd want a 4+ gen fighter going up against those machines. The other issue is cost - I continue to be amazed at the price the latest F-15 variants command, when you're dumping that kind of cash into a program, it's just painfully tempting to go that extra bit further and obtain what would be possibly the best fighter in the world in LM's proposal.
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:36 pm

Cost is clearly going to be an issue for this and restarting F-22 production was always going to cost a lot of money and that is before the airframe is upgraded with F-35 tech. If I was a gambler I would put my money on the end result being more locally manufactured F-35s to replace the F-2s. Joining the new UK program is certainly a possibility but it doesn’t fit the replacement timeframe Japan is looking at.

High cost may disrupt plans for new fighter jet

The Defense Ministry’s plan to jointly develop a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-2 fighter jet has been shaken, as the price presented by Lockheed Martin Corp. was far higher than the initial estimate.

The ministry has been exploring the possibility of jointly developing the successor model with other countries, with Japan taking the lead. Yet questions have been raised over the cost-effectiveness of this approach, in which the proposal from Lockheed had been favored.

Currently, the ASDF deploys about 90 F-2 fighters, which are expected to be retired from service from around 2030.

Given that it takes about 10 years to develop a fighter jet, the ministry hopes to include its concrete plan to develop the fighters in the next Medium Term Defense Program for fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023, which will be compiled at the end of this year.

The ministry has studied three options, including Lockheed’s plan to develop a new high-performance stealth jet based on the F-22 (see below) and equipped with electronic devices from the F-35.

The other two options have been presented by Boeing Co. and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC. Boeing has proposed applying technologies from F-15 fighters — the ASDF’s mainstay fighters — while BAE Systems proposed the use of technologies of Typhoon fighters, which are the mainstay of the British Royal Air Force.

These three proposals have been made on the premise of joint development with Japan.

Lockheed’s proposal exceeds the other two in terms of stealth capabilities and flight performance. Since the information-gathering stage, therefore, the ministry has viewed it as the leading candidate to develop the successor to the F-2.

Lockheed, however, submitted its official proposal Friday with a price tag of more than ¥20 billion for the new fighter. This is far higher than the ministry’s initial estimate of ¥15 billion, and far above the ¥13.1 billion price tag for the F-35 introduced by the ASDF.

“It’s just too expensive. We can’t accept this in its current form,” a senior ministry official said.

There are three options for the development of the successor to the F-2: domestic development, joint development with another country, and improvement of existing, foreign-made planes.

The Defense Ministry and Liberal Democratic Party members with strong ties to the ministry and the defense industry support the domestic development of the jets, so as to maintain the domestic defense-related industry’s production and technology bases.

However, enormous budget spending would be required to do this. The cost of developing a new fighter jet domestically is estimated at about ¥1 trillion to ¥2 trillion. The entire project, including production and maintenance, is estimated to reach ¥6 trillion.

The Finance Ministry, which plays a key role in budget compilation, is negative about the development of new fighter jets regardless of whether they are developed solely by Japan or jointly with another nation. Its position is prompted by concerns about cost-effectiveness and the uncertainty linked to newly developed planes.

“The government just should purchase extra F-35 fighter jets,” a Finance Ministry source said.

To address the Finance Ministry’s concerns, the Defense Ministry has explored the basic idea of joint development that would apply the technologies of Japanese firms to U.S. fighters with a strong performance record.

Even if the major hurdle of cost is cleared, problems remain with Lockheed’s proposal.

As U.S. technologies are applied to key components such as fuselage, engine and electronic devices, joint development would likely be led by the United States. If Japan is not involved in the core parts of the development, repair and maintenance of the new jets would not be conducted domestically.

About 10 countries including Japan, the United States, Britain and Russia currently have technologies to develop fighter jets. Of these, only the United States, China and Russia are said to be able to develop stealth fighters.

“If Japan cannot develop F-2 successors led by domestic companies, we’ll miss an opportunity to advance our technologies,” a senior Defense Ministry official said. “And we could lose our position as a developer of fighter jets.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004590698
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 2994
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:29 am

Ozair wrote:
Cost is clearly going to be an issue for this and restarting F-22 production was always going to cost a lot of money and that is before the airframe is upgraded with F-35 tech. If I was a gambler I would put my money on the end result being more locally manufactured F-35s to replace the F-2s. Joining the new UK program is certainly a possibility but it doesn’t fit the replacement timeframe Japan is looking at.

High cost may disrupt plans for new fighter jet

The Defense Ministry’s plan to jointly develop a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-2 fighter jet has been shaken, as the price presented by Lockheed Martin Corp. was far higher than the initial estimate.

The ministry has been exploring the possibility of jointly developing the successor model with other countries, with Japan taking the lead. Yet questions have been raised over the cost-effectiveness of this approach, in which the proposal from Lockheed had been favored.

Currently, the ASDF deploys about 90 F-2 fighters, which are expected to be retired from service from around 2030.

Given that it takes about 10 years to develop a fighter jet, the ministry hopes to include its concrete plan to develop the fighters in the next Medium Term Defense Program for fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023, which will be compiled at the end of this year.

The ministry has studied three options, including Lockheed’s plan to develop a new high-performance stealth jet based on the F-22 (see below) and equipped with electronic devices from the F-35.

The other two options have been presented by Boeing Co. and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC. Boeing has proposed applying technologies from F-15 fighters — the ASDF’s mainstay fighters — while BAE Systems proposed the use of technologies of Typhoon fighters, which are the mainstay of the British Royal Air Force.

These three proposals have been made on the premise of joint development with Japan.

Lockheed’s proposal exceeds the other two in terms of stealth capabilities and flight performance. Since the information-gathering stage, therefore, the ministry has viewed it as the leading candidate to develop the successor to the F-2.

Lockheed, however, submitted its official proposal Friday with a price tag of more than ¥20 billion for the new fighter. This is far higher than the ministry’s initial estimate of ¥15 billion, and far above the ¥13.1 billion price tag for the F-35 introduced by the ASDF.

“It’s just too expensive. We can’t accept this in its current form,” a senior ministry official said.

There are three options for the development of the successor to the F-2: domestic development, joint development with another country, and improvement of existing, foreign-made planes.

The Defense Ministry and Liberal Democratic Party members with strong ties to the ministry and the defense industry support the domestic development of the jets, so as to maintain the domestic defense-related industry’s production and technology bases.

However, enormous budget spending would be required to do this. The cost of developing a new fighter jet domestically is estimated at about ¥1 trillion to ¥2 trillion. The entire project, including production and maintenance, is estimated to reach ¥6 trillion.

The Finance Ministry, which plays a key role in budget compilation, is negative about the development of new fighter jets regardless of whether they are developed solely by Japan or jointly with another nation. Its position is prompted by concerns about cost-effectiveness and the uncertainty linked to newly developed planes.

“The government just should purchase extra F-35 fighter jets,” a Finance Ministry source said.

To address the Finance Ministry’s concerns, the Defense Ministry has explored the basic idea of joint development that would apply the technologies of Japanese firms to U.S. fighters with a strong performance record.

Even if the major hurdle of cost is cleared, problems remain with Lockheed’s proposal.

As U.S. technologies are applied to key components such as fuselage, engine and electronic devices, joint development would likely be led by the United States. If Japan is not involved in the core parts of the development, repair and maintenance of the new jets would not be conducted domestically.

About 10 countries including Japan, the United States, Britain and Russia currently have technologies to develop fighter jets. Of these, only the United States, China and Russia are said to be able to develop stealth fighters.

“If Japan cannot develop F-2 successors led by domestic companies, we’ll miss an opportunity to advance our technologies,” a senior Defense Ministry official said. “And we could lose our position as a developer of fighter jets.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004590698

Or, maybe develop a Japanese-specific variant of the F-35, fitted with interfaces for Japanese developed avionics and weapons, like the Israeli's.
 
estorilm
Topic Author
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:07 am

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:13 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Cost is clearly going to be an issue for this and restarting F-22 production was always going to cost a lot of money and that is before the airframe is upgraded with F-35 tech. If I was a gambler I would put my money on the end result being more locally manufactured F-35s to replace the F-2s. Joining the new UK program is certainly a possibility but it doesn’t fit the replacement timeframe Japan is looking at.

High cost may disrupt plans for new fighter jet

The Defense Ministry’s plan to jointly develop a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-2 fighter jet has been shaken, as the price presented by Lockheed Martin Corp. was far higher than the initial estimate.

The ministry has been exploring the possibility of jointly developing the successor model with other countries, with Japan taking the lead. Yet questions have been raised over the cost-effectiveness of this approach, in which the proposal from Lockheed had been favored.

Currently, the ASDF deploys about 90 F-2 fighters, which are expected to be retired from service from around 2030.

Given that it takes about 10 years to develop a fighter jet, the ministry hopes to include its concrete plan to develop the fighters in the next Medium Term Defense Program for fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2023, which will be compiled at the end of this year.

The ministry has studied three options, including Lockheed’s plan to develop a new high-performance stealth jet based on the F-22 (see below) and equipped with electronic devices from the F-35.

The other two options have been presented by Boeing Co. and Britain’s BAE Systems PLC. Boeing has proposed applying technologies from F-15 fighters — the ASDF’s mainstay fighters — while BAE Systems proposed the use of technologies of Typhoon fighters, which are the mainstay of the British Royal Air Force.

These three proposals have been made on the premise of joint development with Japan.

Lockheed’s proposal exceeds the other two in terms of stealth capabilities and flight performance. Since the information-gathering stage, therefore, the ministry has viewed it as the leading candidate to develop the successor to the F-2.

Lockheed, however, submitted its official proposal Friday with a price tag of more than ¥20 billion for the new fighter. This is far higher than the ministry’s initial estimate of ¥15 billion, and far above the ¥13.1 billion price tag for the F-35 introduced by the ASDF.

“It’s just too expensive. We can’t accept this in its current form,” a senior ministry official said.

There are three options for the development of the successor to the F-2: domestic development, joint development with another country, and improvement of existing, foreign-made planes.

The Defense Ministry and Liberal Democratic Party members with strong ties to the ministry and the defense industry support the domestic development of the jets, so as to maintain the domestic defense-related industry’s production and technology bases.

However, enormous budget spending would be required to do this. The cost of developing a new fighter jet domestically is estimated at about ¥1 trillion to ¥2 trillion. The entire project, including production and maintenance, is estimated to reach ¥6 trillion.

The Finance Ministry, which plays a key role in budget compilation, is negative about the development of new fighter jets regardless of whether they are developed solely by Japan or jointly with another nation. Its position is prompted by concerns about cost-effectiveness and the uncertainty linked to newly developed planes.

“The government just should purchase extra F-35 fighter jets,” a Finance Ministry source said.

To address the Finance Ministry’s concerns, the Defense Ministry has explored the basic idea of joint development that would apply the technologies of Japanese firms to U.S. fighters with a strong performance record.

Even if the major hurdle of cost is cleared, problems remain with Lockheed’s proposal.

As U.S. technologies are applied to key components such as fuselage, engine and electronic devices, joint development would likely be led by the United States. If Japan is not involved in the core parts of the development, repair and maintenance of the new jets would not be conducted domestically.

About 10 countries including Japan, the United States, Britain and Russia currently have technologies to develop fighter jets. Of these, only the United States, China and Russia are said to be able to develop stealth fighters.

“If Japan cannot develop F-2 successors led by domestic companies, we’ll miss an opportunity to advance our technologies,” a senior Defense Ministry official said. “And we could lose our position as a developer of fighter jets.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004590698

Or, maybe develop a Japanese-specific variant of the F-35, fitted with interfaces for Japanese developed avionics and weapons, like the Israeli's.

That's not what their request was for though - the parameters and specs of the overall aircraft would remain the same, which they already know about and seem happy with (as a strike aircraft, and "good" A2A combat platform).

The initial article I read stated that they wanted higher speeds and up to 8 internally-carried A2A weapons, basically an air superiority / interceptor type aircraft to go up against anything China may throw at them. I believe they also wanted the capability to carry large anti-ship weapons, which isn't really possible in the F-35 with a decent A2A loadout simultaneously. Clearly a very different aircraft than the Lightning II - but we knew this, at they're already receiving F-35s and have subsequently sent out a proposal for an entirely different aircraft.
 
LightningZ71
Posts: 429
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: Lockheed to pitch hybrid "F-22/F-35" design for export to Japan

Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:39 pm

No matter which way they go, there's a price to pay. If they choose an upgraded 4th gen design, they will suffer the reduction in capabilities that presents with respect to sensor fusion and RCS. If they go with an all new design, there will be considerable development costs and time involved. If they go with the LM proposal, they still have a longish lead time and a considerable amount of lead time, though maybe not as bad as all new.

The Silent Eagle may actually have the best overall cost profile here with a reasonable timeframe of delivery, but it's not going to be a long term platform for them. Assuming that they can also slow roll a long term development project for its replacement, and get reasonable prices on the Silent Eagle/2040 model, that could be a reasonable route for them to take.

I wonder if Boeing could do a version of the F-15 with the PW F-135-100 instead of the PW-F100-229? It's only slightly longer, and it's outside dimensions are the same as or smaller than the 100. While it's additional thrust may not be needed as much, having a common engine for both the F-15 and the F-35 might be a desirable thing and help offset the upkeep costs of both programs. I can see that working as an advantage for the Silent Eagle in any future sales campaigns as well, especially as the F-35 continues to spread around the world.

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