My colleague Stephen Trimble of The Dew Line blog alerted methis morning to a good Friday video from
Pretty much every Japanese Air Self Defense Force aircraft shows up, notably thedevelopmental 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 wellas XC-2 final approaches at 9:06 and 11:00.
Viewing this reminded me of the urgency the JASDF faces inupgrading its fighter fleet. Though a sentimental favorite, the F-4EJs areobsolete, and the F-2s and F-15Js are decidedly middle-aged – and I hatewriting that because these were cutting edge when I was a kid.
Bids to replace the F-4s are due this month. Aircraft in theF-X competition for 40-50 aircraft include the Boeing F/A-18E/F SuperHornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
F-X is a big deal, but the future F-XX competition toreplace over 200 F-15EJs will be a monster. The F-15 Silent Eagle and F-35 areobvious candidates, but is it possible
More intriguingly, could an unmanned system such as NorthropGrumman’s X-47B compete in F-XX? A large force of UCAVs would be cheaper tomaintain, there would be less training involved, and they would have the legsto hit targets deep in the Asian land mass.
I saw a statistic in the last few days that there are morecentenarians in