Mitsubishi F-3: Japanese fighter superiority over America
What was reported by the Tokyo edition of The Japan News, until recently was out of the realm of fiction? However, Lockheed Martin is ready to hand over to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) key secret f-35 Lightning II technologies for the project of the new Japanese fighter Future Fighter (F-3).
First of all, we are talking about the «brains» of Lightning II, which, incidentally, has repeatedly been criticized in the United States. From public sources, it is known that the F-35 software, containing at least eight million lines of code, is currently exclusively in the hands of the developer of the Lockheed Martin aircraft and is a strictly protected military secret. Consequently, the decision to transfer was taken at the very top as a result of complex intrigues and negotiations.
This is hardly a gesture of goodwill and a desire to help one’s ally. As you know, April 9 in the Pacific crashed the F-35 Japanese air force. Soon the command of the Self-defense forces reported that in the 302nd Squadron of the Japanese air force, consisting of 13 Lightning II fighters, seven accidents of this type of aircraft were recorded. Moreover, only by a miracle managed to avoid disasters.
It was against this unpleasant background for Americans on April 16, and then on April 18, the media of the Land of the rising sun, referring to Japanese government sources, shared with their readers the news: «the United States declared its readiness to disclose confidential information about the software installed on the F-35.»At the same time, Washington is trying to mislead the whole world that for the first time a sensational proposal was made before the death of Lightning II of the Japanese air force. Yes, there is some truth in this: the Americans really strongly advised the allies to work together on the F-3 project, which will replace the current already outdated Japanese f-2 aircraft. Moreover, the details of the future transaction were discussed and even some declarative papers were signed.
So, last autumn, the Diplomat wrote that in Japan there were rumors that the United States wants to offer MHI Corporation to make a hybrid of the 5th generation: «cross» glider F-22 with an electronic complex F-35. So about any transfer of program code at all no stutter, and Tokyo on the initiative of the developer of the Lightning II is not appreciated.
Who does not know: in Japan, the guidelines of the national defense program (NDPG), which clearly states that the air force of the self-defense forces is required to obtain a national fighter, which is not equal in the world. That is Mitsubishi F-3 should not be one of the best, and the best, and — strictly their aircraft, and not the result of controlled design.
It can be assumed that in relations between Tokyo and Washington there is a geopolitical shift associated, among other things, with the fact that the United States is doing worse with the role of the hegemon. And with weapons at the Pentagon is not all brilliant.
If not for the disaster with the F-35 at sea off the coast of Aomori Prefecture, it is unlikely that Americans began to whirl tail, offering the best that is in Lightning II. It seems that in the brainchild of Lockheed Martin found so many technical problems and software errors that the Yankees just fell into a state of shock and, as Ostap Bender would say, ready to «give the keys to the apartment where the money is.»
Tokyo has already formed a conglomerate of Japanese firms to implement the Future Fighter project led by MHI. The dates when the super-fighter of world domination will take off — until 2029, that is, within the time limits of the medium-term defense program (MTDP) are also indicated.
Today, the Japanese air defense Forces have 90 multi-purpose f-2 fighters, which are a deep modernization of the American f-16 aircraft. By the end of the next decade, they should be replaced by about 100 cars of the 5th generation — F-3.
In this regard, the industrial giant Lockheed Martin was considered by the Japanese as one of the five partners that can be attracted by the government of Shinzo Abe for joint work on the Mitsubishi F-3. Four more Western aircraft manufacturers, BAE Systems, EADS, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, confirmed their readiness to cooperate with samurai engineers.
Despite the fact that last year a Protocol of intent was signed between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin, the publication of The Japan News, citing sources in the Ministry of Finance of Japan, reported that this cooperation will not continue. Like, too expensive. Americans estimated their participation in the F-3 project in the amount of $ 20 billion, while MHI agrees on an order of magnitude less. In reality, the Yankees got a polite kick in the ass.
The fact is that the MHI Corporation seems to be interested in the «English death» f-35, J-20 and su-57 fighters — the British 5th generation aircraft, which is being developed within the Tempest project. «Free press», by the way, stopped on this topic.
If the Japanese and the British combine their efforts, then, of course, cooperation will go already without Americans. However, Tokyo plans to buy an English glider BAE Systems Replica, developed 20 years ago by BAE Systems and a long time dusting in the warehouse, as well as a power plant from the legendary engine Builder Rolls-Royce. Everything else samurai engineers want to develop themselves and no one to share.
At the same time, like the British, the Japanese are trying to make the f-3 fighter a cheap enough aircraft to produce it in thousands of batches in case of war. And at the same time, of course, do not depend on the White House. I must say, there is a serious reserve. Moreover, Japanese engineers redesigned the F-16, in 2005 built a prototype fighter stealth X (ATD-X) programme Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin («Soul» — translated from Japanese.). The plane, by the way, could easily become a competitor to the F-22, so the Americans have made every effort to freeze the project. In fact, just as they did with the British.
In fairness, Shinshin still did not have the stealth that demonstrates the F-22. But having today the Japanese digital design technology and unique achievements in materials science allow us to safely assume that the Mitsubishi F-3 is able to become a fighter of world superiority.
Will it be better in performance than the su-57 and F-35? Theoretically — it is quite possible. Whether this will help the Japanese achieve their geopolitical goals is certainly not. Here’s why.
Today, there are 6 types of aircraft in the world, which can be attributed to the machines of the 5th generation or 4++ with technologies to reduce radar visibility. These are Americans F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and F-15SE Silent Eagle, Chinese Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31, as well as Russian su-57. If you look at the background of their creation, they all had to replace the parks of their predecessors, and one on one. In particular, according to the plans of the star-striped generals, F-22 was to replace the F-15J. But all of the above super-fighters have one critical drawback — sky-high price, clearly inappropriate combat missions. They are not in the required amount.
Lockheed Martin’s attempt to reduce, for example, the cost of the F-35 immediately led to problems of operation, and this in peacetime. On the other hand, the long monopoly possession of the aircraft superiority F-22 did not give the United States any geopolitical trump card. On the contrary, America’s influence has even declined. Therefore, even if the Japanese create conceived Mitsubishi F-3, they will not win anything in the confrontation with China or Russia. And here is and Americans — to be sure, lose.
By the way, when in the «zero» years was designed and built Shinshin, in the Land of the rising sun, this fighter was considered as a competitor to the F-22 — in the sense to «wipe your nose» Americans. There is no doubt that the hatred of the States for the atomic bombing of peaceful cities is still stored in the Japanese hearts. No wonder the developed aircraft was called «the soul in which the pain hides.»