My colleague Stephen Trimble of The Dew Line blog alerted me
this morning to a good Friday video from
Pretty much every Japanese Air Self Defense Force aircraft shows up, notably the developmental XC-2 transport. The only disappointment is that the XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft doesn't make an appearance. Highlights are the F-4EJ Phantoms, as well as XC-2 final approaches at 9:06 and 11:00.
Viewing this reminded me of the urgency the JASDF faces in upgrading its fighter fleet. Though a sentimental favorite, the F-4EJs are obsolete, and the F-2s and F-15Js are decidedly middle-aged - and I hate writing that because these were cutting edge when I was a kid.
Bids to replace the F-4s are due this month. Aircraft in the
F-X competition for 40-50 aircraft include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
F-X is a big deal, but the future F-XX competition to
replace over 200 F-15EJs will be a monster. The F-15 Silent Eagle and F-35 are
obvious candidates, but is it possible
More intriguingly, could an unmanned system such as Northrop Grumman's X-47B compete in F-XX? A large force of UCAVs would be cheaper to maintain, there would be less training involved, and they would have the legs to hit targets deep in the Asian land mass.
I saw a statistic in the last few days that there are more