Lockheed Martin is proposing to offer Japan a stealth fighter that combines the designs of the F-35 Lighting II and the export-banned F-22 Raptor. Japan is hoping to introduce an air superiority fighter sometime after 2030, to counter new stealth fighters from China and Russia. Japan has a $40 billion stealth fighter program.
The F22 has more internal weapons. The F22 is bigger and faster and has supercruise.
The F35 has newer electronics but has had software problems.
The F-35 had design compromises because of a shared platform with the US Marines which added vertical takeoff and landing.
Japan’s domestic fifth-generation fighter F-3 program resulted in the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin prototype being flown in 2016, but this project is believed to have stalled due to the high cost of going it alone.
The indigenous effort was initiated after the US refused to sell the F-22 to close allies including Japan. A law passed by Congress in 1997 prevents the export of F-22 technology from the US.
Japan’s current F2 fighter was largely based on the F-16. It was designed to carry a larger payload especially in an anti-shipping configuration, the F-2 has a 25% greater wing area than the F-16, and other modifications such as greater use of composites.
In 2017, there was a study for restarting production of the F-22 stealth fighter. Total includes an estimate of approximately $7 billion to $10 billion for non-recurring start-up costs and $40.4 billion for aircraft procurement costs. It would cost about $50 billion to procure 194 additional F-22s.
The USAF has admits the F-35 is no match for the F22 jet air combat capabilities.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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