Friday, May 18, 2012

F-35はでたらめ、日本は購入しない方がいい! The F-35 is a real dog, a boondoggle, Japan should not buy it.

I have read that Japan intends to buy four F-35 fighter jets from the US this June.


Well first of all the plane does not exist.  It is not built yet.  And according to more and more American analysts, it will likely never be built at all.


F-35 photo


I found this article on the Mother Jones web site.  They wonder if the Pentagon can still build any kind of of aircraft.

最近、Mother Jonesのサイトで、この記事を見つけました。アメリカ軍が本当に軍機を造れるかと疑問視しています。

However, let us be clear about something.  The proposal to buy the F-35 is is to immediately replace the F-4, which are now quite old.  Japan now has 117 F-4's in it's inventory.


I remember the F-4 from my Marine Corps days.  All Marines loved it.  It was a bomber, an air superiority fighter, a reconnaissance aircraft.  It could do everything, and everything well.  And it was built by America.  The F-15, which is also in Japan's Air Force, was also built by America.  And it is a well proven airplane.


So what is the problem?  In this blog post, I will examine the problems with the F-22 and the F-35.


First, let us look at an aircraft that does exist, the F-22.


Reading the above link, basically the F-22 needs 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight.  When it first came out, I read figures of 150 hours for every hour of flight.  Well that is better.


F-22 photo


But keep reading the link.  The airplane cannot fly in the rain, because that destroys it's stealth skin.  And it can only fly an average of 1.7 hours before major problems develop.


Also, many US Air Force pilots are refusing to fly the plane.  they complain of hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen to the brain.  There is a problem with the plane's oxygen system, without oxygen, pilots lose consciousness and crash.


There have been several crashes due to this problem.  The Air Force says that it is not a serious problem, yet all aircraft were grounded for investigation for 5 months in 2011.  They were not able to discover the cause of the problem.


As I remember, originally the number of aircraft was planned to be something like 2,500.  Production was stopped at 188.  Yet the greatest evidence that something is wrong here is the fact that the US military have never used the F-22 in combat.


Combat use is invaluable for a weapon.  Yet America has never used this plane in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The more I read about this airplane, the more I think it is useless as a combat aircraft.


Now let us look at the F-35.


It is way behind schedule, and the US military is now declining to predict when it will ever reach production.  Let me mention some facts from the above link.  In air to air fighting, the F-35 is inferior to the F-16, and in bombing, it does not have the range of the F-15.  In close combat support, it is very inferior to the A-10.


It will have the same extreme maintenance difficulties of the F-22, so flying time will be very limited.


And as far as "stealth" goes, let me quote from the above link:




It has limited detection against some radars at some angles.




What this means is that it is not invisible to radar, merely difficult to detect.  With multiple radars at multiple locations, detection should be possible.


And I have made little mention of costs.  Taking a look again at this link, on the first page, it is written that the total costs of producing this aircraft will be more than the GDP of Spain.


And the link also says, 80% of the tests for the F-35 have not been performed yet, so inevitably more problems will arise, that will add to the final cost.


I think that both the F-22 and F-35 were too complex from the beginning.  Certainly Lockheed stands to make a lot of money from these planes.  Yet the more I read, the more I see an aircraft that is too delicate to fight in a war.


From what I see, the best that can be expected from these planes is that they will fly once in the beginning of a potential war.  The few aircraft that are not destroyed on the ground by enemy counter strikes with missiles and aircraft might make another flight or two.  The long maintenance time required after every flight makes them vulnerable.


But that is not enough to win or even fight a war.  Japan will need aircraft that can perform continuously.  In any weather.  The F-15 is already equal or better than anything that China actually possesses. 


So why build more new and improved F-15's?  Americans involved in the development of the American stealth program argue that for America to continue dominance, it must develop aircraft better than any possible enemy.  Before they do.


However, for Japan, we are not trying to dominate the world.  We merely need weapon systems that are better than our immediate neighbors.


I think for defense, a greater number of less expensive F-15's, which are much more reliable than the F-22 or the F-35, makes more sense.


Yes, I know that China has tested a stealth fighter.  And Russia has one under design.  But with Japan's superior industrial ability, if China seriously began to develop stealth aircraft, we could out produce them.


Personally, I think for Japanese defense it is much more important to create a Japanese Marine division, and to increase the number of Japanese submarines.  And we should get some British harriers for our Navy's Ise and Hyuga.


Photo of Japan's first post WWII aircraft carrier, the Hyuga.


America is going bankrupt building expensive weapon systems that don't work, that cannot function in a war.  Japan should not follow that same path.


1 comment:

ASH.K said...

X-2 shin shin is a fine aircraft i doubt there is a need to buy any F-15s or F-16s for that matter definitely not F-35s. Japan should focus on the X-2 shinshin the specifications of the aircraft is promising, 3 dimensional thrust vectoring, 100 kn thrust( 2 X 49kn engines) for 9,000 kg aircraft it will be highly maneuverable. Japan should speed up work on X-2 shinshin.