Senators inquire about selling F-22s to Japan

At one point I thought this had all been put to bed. But now I suspect that, eventually, we’re going to be exporting Raptors.

Air Force Times:

If the laws prohibiting foreign military sales of the F-22 were lifted, the service could begin the standard process of creating a version of the fighter that would not jeopardize U.S. military secrets, an Air Force acquisition official told a Senate panel Tuesday.

“We would go into the process dealing with the State Department policy crowd and the using normal foreign military sales processes,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition.

Four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft taxi down the flight line during their arrival at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, May 13, 2009. The F-22s, assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, are deployed here as part of the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron supporting Pacific Command\'s Theatre Support Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Bush/Released)

Four U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft taxi down the flight line during their arrival at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, May 13, 2009. The F-22s, assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, are deployed here as part of the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron supporting Pacific Command's Theatre Support Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Bush/Released)

Comments

  1. I’m a little surprised Japan doesn’t have an indigenous fighter. Eh, do they…?

    Seems to me they could throw together something pretty damned good if they cared to. And not run afoul of their constitution.

  2. Maybe we could sell them F-22’s and they could develop a transforming version. Seriously, it makes sense to continue to sell our latest fighters to Japan. Consider the JASDF a force multiplier in that region of the world. Our ace in the hole…

  3. Japan has the ATD-X, a high tech demonstrator. Though I highly doubt those Diet-criters will be in open arms with their own home-grown answer to the F-22. It’s more or less testing if its more viable to build their own stuff or order from the Americans.

    Public opinion may either be for, against, or just not caring. Although they’d have to thread lightly since they launched the Hyuga class Helicopter Destroyers. The obvious threat of a stealth aircraft can be clearly seen by Japan’s neighbors, and even if it has no aerial refueling capabilities, there will be doubts on why the JASDF would need stealth aircraft.

  4. 11Bravo, me too. Did you notice there are (apparently) doors that will cover up the mounting point if the stores are dropped? It makes sense, if you have to carry bombs externally then after dropping them you can also ditch the mounting points (or perhaps they fold into the wing) and then the door closes over them to increase the stealth.

  5. IMO – The Japan option is a way to keep the production lines open as backstop against the F-35 program imploding (which it is showing signs of doing).

  6. Oh, you might be right, I thought the doors looked too far from the wheels to be for the landing gear, but if the wheels fold up behind the inlets than that could explain it.

    I guess if they ditch the stores and pylons there’s just nothing left under the wings.

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