Japan's New Fighter Jet Will Carry More Missiles Than the F-35

TR_123456

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In March 2020, then-Japanese defense minister Taro Kono said the country’s next fighter plane must carry more air-to-air missiles than the current Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter can do.



"We will emphasize network functions and demand high stealth performance, Kono told reporters. “It will carry more missiles than the F-35."

The requirement should come as no surprise. The F-35’s comparatively small weapons capacity while in stealth mode is one of its operators’ biggest complaints. The conventional-takeoff F-35A in its current configuration can carry just four AIM-120 air-to-air missiles in its internal bays.



External weapons are a major booster of a plane’s radar signature. To remain stealthy, a radar-evading fighter must carry its munitions internally. But that can impose limits on a plane’s loadout that can put it at a disadvantage in a pitched fight where every missile counts.

Older, non-stealthy Russian and Chinese fighters in certain configurations can carry a dozen or more air-to-air missiles. Russia’s Su-57 stealth fighter and China’s J-20 stealth fighter apparently can pack six missiles in their internal bays. The U.S. Air Force’s F-22, also a Lockheed product, can fit eight missiles in its bays.

The superior missile capacity of a conventional fighter design weighed on the U.S. Air Force’s decision to begin buying upgraded Boeing F-15EXs in parallel with ongoing purchases of F-35s. The Air Force in 2020 is acquiring the first eight of up to 144 F-15EX. The service already operates around 200 F-35As and has been buying additional copies at a rate of around 50 per year. An F-15EX and an F-35A both cost around $100 million.



Where the F-35 maxes out at just four air-to-air missiles, the F-15EX could, in a pinch, haul a whopping 22 missiles, according to Boeing test pilot Matt Geise.

Twenty-two missiles would impose a weight and drag penalty that makes such a loadout unattractive for normal operations. But even with a much smaller missile load, an F-15EX easily could carry into battle twice or three times as many missiles as an F-35 can do.



If Japan wants its new F-3 fighter to carry more missiles, it will need to develop a stealth fighter with a layout similar to the F-22 or acquire a non-stealthy plane in a similar class as the F-15EX.

Not coincidentally, Lockheed has proposed to co-develop with Japanese industry an F-3 design that combines the airframe of the F-22 stealth fighter with the F-35’s sensors and electronics. But it’s worth noting that Japan already operates around 200 older F-15Js.

 

Cabatli_TR

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Japan has great capabilities in aerospace and aircraft technology fields. I believe they will be able to develop an aircraft that will do what It is designed to do.
 

xizhimen

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Japan has great capabilities in aerospace and aircraft technology fields. I believe they will be able to develop an aircraft that will do what It is designed to do.
Do they still? See nothing amazing coming out of Japan for quite some time now, Korea fares much better than Japan in the past decade.
 

Ryder

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Do they still? See nothing amazing coming out of Japan for quite some time now, Korea fares much better than Japan in the past decade.

Because of Japans pacifist constitution.

Japan has the economy and the technology to build themselves a military industrial complex.

Look at the times when Japan industrialised and became a powerhouse that rivalled European powers and the USA. Not to mention they built their own stuff look at the I400 submarines and the Yamato along with the legendary Zero planes.

Japan still has what it takes. Honestly I hope Turkey and Japan collarborate in the future.
 

Merzifonlu

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Honestly I hope Turkey and Japan collarborate in the future.
I doubt they would be willing to do so.

i) They must think they are superior in the navy or electronics field.

ii) Opportunities to cooperate with the USA in the drone or aerospace force are also available to them.

iii) They don't need to attach so much importance to ground forces.

IMO Considering all these factors, Japan will not see Turkey as an adequate partner for military cooperation.
 

xizhimen

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Because of Japans pacifist constitution.

Japan has the economy and the technology to build themselves a military industrial complex.

Look at the times when Japan industrialised and became a powerhouse that rivalled European powers and the USA. Not to mention they built their own stuff look at the I400 submarines and the Yamato along with the legendary Zero planes.

Japan still has what it takes. Honestly I hope Turkey and Japan collarborate in the future.
I m not only talking about military and weapons, I m talking about overall situation, Koreans made impressive progress all across the board especially in electronics, AI and shipbuilding, not so much about Japan, which the whole nation seems to be stuck in stagnation for over a decade.
 

Merzifonlu

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I m not only talking about military and weapons, I m talking about overall situation, Koreans made impressive progress all across the board especially in electronics, AI and shipbuilding, not so much about Japan, which the whole nation seems to be stuck in stagnation for over a decade.
That's correct. The main reason for this is the rapid aging of Japan's population. From now on, if they want to maintain their economic power, they must both allow highly educated and uneducated immigrants and make babies quickly. I don't think they're willing to do either.

China can avoid this fate if it starts making enough babies in time. Since China started this job on time, she does not need uneducated immigrants. Every country needs highly educated immigrants, including China.
 

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