Japan Self-Defense Forces

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Marine Corps Apologizes After Window Falls Off Helo, Injures Child
13 Dec 2017
By Hope Hodge Seck

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A CH-53 Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 462, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, forward deployed as part of the unit deployment program with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, conducts a flight off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, on July 31, 2017. Lance Cpl. Christian J. Robertson/Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is investigating after yet another incident involving U.S. military aircraft in Japan, this one featuring a 17-pound window that fell to earth from a heavy-lift helicopter and caused a young boy's arm to be injured.

Kyodo News first reported Wednesday that the window fell from a CH-53E Super Stallion and landed near Daini Futenma Elementary School, kicking up gravel that hit one boy in the arm and frightening dozens of children nearby.

In a statement, officials with III Marine Expeditionary Force in the Pacific confirmed that the incident had taken place around 10 a.m. local time. The Super Stallion had then immediately returned to the adjacent Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and reported what happened, officials said.
"This is a regrettable incident and we apologize for any anxiety it has caused the community," officials said in the statement.

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An investigation is underway, and the Marines are working with local authorities to determine what happened. The command warned members of the community to stay away from the site where the window landed to avoid disturbing the investigation.

The incident comes just a week after a "small cylindrical object" reportedly fell from a military helicopter onto the roof of a kindergarten in Okinawa, a stone's throw from the air station.

The Japanese newspaper Kyodo News reported that all Super Stallions at MCAS Futenma have been grounded so that safety checks can be conducted.

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, who has long been critical of the large Marine Corps presence in Okinawa, and particularly of risks Marine aviation poses to the local community, told reporters that having an aircraft piece fall in a playground was "unforgivable."
"The safety of children should come first," Onaga said, according to the Kyodo News report.

Kyodo also reported that the Corps initially denied the window had fallen off during flight.

It has been only three months since the Oct. 11 emergency landing of another CH-53E Super Stallion, which put down in a private field near Okinawa's Northern Training Area after catching fire during a training flight.

That incident, which required a multi-day recovery and removal effort for the damaged aircraft, prompted a five-day operational pause for all Super Stallions in Okinawa.

The cause of that incident has not yet been made public.

Super Stallions, used by the Marine Corps across the globe for troop transport and moving gear, have been called the hardest-worn of any service aircraft in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are due to be replaced by the brand-new CH-53K King Stallion, with introduction of the new helicopter set to begin as soon as next year.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/12/13/marine-corps-apologizes-after-window-falls-helo-injures-child.html?ESRC=eb_171214.nl
 

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Human Error Blamed for CH-53 Window That Fell on Playground: Probe
18 Dec 2017
By Hope Hodge Seck

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This image from an NHK broadcast shows a window from a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter after it fell onto an elementary school sports field near Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, on Dec. 13, 2017. Screenshot from NHK


A window that fell from a flying CH-53E Super Stallion and landed on an Okinawa playground, injuring a young boy, had not been properly secured, a Marine Corps investigation found.

The announcement comes four days after the Dec. 13 incident that caused some local furor.
The 17-pound window fell near where about 60 children were participating in physical education on the sports field of Daini Futenma Elementary School, according to reports.

"A thorough inquiry determined that the incident was caused by human error," 1st Marine Aircraft Wing officials said in a statement released Sunday. "The window in question is designed to be removed in order to assist pilot egress in an emergency situation. The appropriate procedures for ensuring the window was secured were not correctly followed."

Following the incident, the Corps is conducting a full-court press on training, according to the announcement. All Okinawa-based CH-53E aircraft have been inspected, with a focus on the windows, to ensure there are no mechanical or structural problems.

Aviation personnel have gotten retraining on proper window installation procedures, and maintenance crews have reviewed aircraft maintenance procedures, including those specific to the helicopter windows.

Routine maintenance days and safety meetings, as well as regular inspections and upkeep, will continue to ensure the aircraft remain safe for flight, according to the release.

"1st MAW has taken comprehensive actions to ensure the safety of all Okinawa-based CH-53 aircraft, the aircrew that fly in them, and our broader community," officials said.

The safety of Marine Corps aircraft, which operate around and over Okinawan communities, has long been a concern for some on the island. Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga, an outspoken critic of the Marine presence, called the recent incident "unforgivable."

It's particularly bad timing for the Marine Corps, coming just three months after another Super Stallion had to put down in a private field near Okinawa's Northern Training Area after catching fire in flight. The cause has not been made public.

"This incident is regrettable, and we again apologize for the anxiety it has caused the community," 1st MAW officials said of the window incident. "We strive to be good members of the Okinawan community and to ensure the safety of both our personnel and our
community in which we live and serve."

https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2017/12/18/human-error-blamed-ch-53-window-fell-playground-probe.html?ESRC=eb_171219.nl
 

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Japan Air Self-Defense Force becomes first international KC-46 customer

EVERETT, Wash., Dec. 22, 2017 – Through the Foreign Military Sale process, the U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $279 million contract for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF’s) first KC-46 tanker and logistics support, marking the aircraft’s first international sale.

Japan chose Boeing’s KC-46 tanker over competitors following its KC-X aerial refueling competition. The KC-46 adds to the JASDF’s current fleet of four KC-767J tankers.
“We are excited to partner with Boeing as we assist Japan in advancing its aerial refueling capabilities,” said Brig. Gen. Donna Shipton, program executive officer, U.S. Air Force Tanker Directorate. “This is an important step in strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance and will enhance our interoperability with both nations flying KC-46s.”
The U.S. Air Force will operate and maintain its fleet of 179 KC-46 tankers through mid-century and beyond.

“This milestone order highlights a valued partnership with Japan that spans more than six decades, and we look forward to continuing that collaboration on the KC-46 program,” added Brett Gerry, president, Boeing Japan. “The skilled Japanese KC-767 tanker and E-767 Airborne Warning and Control Systems pilots and maintenance personnel are already familiar with flying and supporting our highly efficient aircraft, and we look forward to helping them expand their capabilities in the future.”
The KC-46 is a multirole tanker designed to refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.

Boeing began developing the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the U.S. Air Force in 2011 and is assembling the 767-derivative aircraft at its Everett, Wash., facility.
First flight of the fully-provisioned KC-46 tanker took place in September 2015. Six test aircraft have now completed more than 2,200 flight hours and conducted refueling flights with F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17, A-10, KC-10 and KC-46 aircraft.

In addition to refueling, the KC-46 features a main deck cargo door and strengthened cargo deck. The floor includes seat tracks and a cargo handling system, allowing for a variety of mission configurations. The system enables KC-46 to simultaneously carry palletized cargo, personnel and aeromedical equipment in a variety of combinations. The highly reliable 767 derivative will also deliver tremendous savings through lower lifecycle costs compared to other larger or used aircraft.
Sixteen percent of the 767 airplane, on which the KC-46 tanker is based, is made with Japan. The Boeing-Japan relationship grows and expands with partnership opportunities in the space, commercial and defense businesses, continuing a legacy that spans more than 60 years. Boeing currently spends more than $5 billion annually in Japan, making the country the largest supply base for Boeing outside the United States. Boeing opened its first office in Japan in 1953 and now has approximately 200 employees at more than 20 major sites across the country.

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2017-12-22-Boeing-Receives-Contract-for-Japan-KC-46-Tanker
 

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Japan, South Korea may refit naval ships for F-35 fighters
By: Mike Yeo
27 Dec 2017

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An F-35B Lightning II takes off on the flight deck of USS Wasp (LHD-1) during routine daylight operations, a part of Operational Testing 1, May 22. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anne K. Henry/RELEASED)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Amid growing tensions in the region, both Japan and South Korea are reportedly investigating options to operate the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter on board their respective ships.

Quoting reports from unnamed military sources in their respective countries, Japan’s Kyodo news agency and South Korea’s Yonhap said that the short take-off vertical landing, or STOVL F-35B variant is being considered for operations from Japan’s Izumo-class DDH helicopter destroyer and South Korea’s Dokdo-class amphibious assault ship, turning them into combat-capable aircraft carriers.

Kyodo’s also reported that the F-35Bs could be used to defend Japan’s far flung southwestern islands, which lack long runways needed for conventional fighter jets to operate.

That strategy is being considered in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear capabilities, as well as China’s rapid military modernization,

Asked about the reports at a media conference on Tuesday, Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera repeatedly denied any plans to modify the Izumo-class to operate F-35Bs, only going as far as saying the ministry is constantly “conducting various studies evaluating Japan’s defense capability.”

Modification of the ships to operate the F-35B will enhance flexibility and expand the range of missions, with Yonhap quoting a source as saying that the South Korean military is looking at “maximizing the strategic value of the vessel’s capabilities.” The ships can carry several helicopters during normal operations, with the Izumo and Dokdo class designed to carry a maximum of 14 and 10 helicopters respectively.

Both ship classes will however need to be modified extensively internally and externally to operate the F-35B, including the application of a thermally protective coating on areas of the flight deck to withstand hot exhaust gases during F-35B vertical landings, and possibly even reshaping the flight deck to allow rolling takeoffs.

They will also need to have the ammunition magazines hardened and enlarged to accommodate the F-35B’s weapons, while aviation fuel storage facilities will also likely need to be expanded to account for higher fuel consumption compared to helicopters.

Reuters has suggested that a ski-jump may be fitted to the Izumo as part of any modification program for the F-35B, however with the Izumo-class being 248 meters long and the Dokdo 199 meters, both already have flight decks long enough for the F-35B to carry out rolling takeoffs — no ski-jump needed.

Both Japan and South Korea have a single Izumo and Dokdo-class ship in service, with another ship of each class being constructed. The two countries are also operators of the F-35A conventional take off and landing version, with Japan and South Korea having 42 and 40 F-35As on order respectively.

The possession of aircraft carriers by Japan will be a significant shift in its defense posture and is likely to be a contentious issue, with critics likely to point to Japan’s pacifist constitution banning the country from acquiring what is referred to as “war potential.”

But Corey Wallace, an Einstein postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Berlin’s Freie Universitat wrote in the East Asia Forum that Japan’s constitution does not explicitly ban specific capabilities — offensive or otherwise. Rather, its government interprets ‘war potential’ as referring to the total strength of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces relative to potential threats and international conditions, and not whether a given capability is mostly offensive or defensive.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2017/12/26/japan-south-korea-may-refit-naval-ships-for-f-35-fighters/
 

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Japan to Begin Mass Production of XASM-3 Anti-Ship Missile
19.01.2018

Japan's Ministry of Defense has officially completed development of its new supersonic anti-ship missile, dubbed the XASM-3, with mass production slated to begin in 2019, according to local media reports.

The XASM-3 missile is expected to replace older models such as the Type 80 and Type 93 air-to-ship missiles that are carried by Japan's Air Self Defense Force's F-2 multirole fighter jets, The Diplomat reported. Each of the fighter jets will be able to carry two of the new missiles.

The anti-ship missile, which can reach speeds of Mach 3, will be the first supersonic missile made by the island nation, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Though the development of the missile began in 2003, the actual testing phase did not begin until 2005, when officials conducted a total of 15 injection tests, Mainichi reported. The analysis of the project did not wrap up until the end of 2017.

In August 2017, as officials analyzed the missile, Japan's Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) released footage for the first time of the missile being tested.

As earlier reports indicate, Tokyo's move to build new weapons is part of an ongoing effort to keep up with the growing threat posed by the Chinese navy.

"The introduction of the new missile is aimed at keeping the Chinese navy – which has been taking high-handed action in the East China Sea and other places – in check," Yomiuri Shimbun reported in July 2017.

But that's not all the island nation is working on. Per reports, the Land of Rising Sun is also looking at building a new land-based anti-ship missile in an attempt to boost its defenses on Japanese-controlled islets in the East China Sea.

Japan will also reportedly arm its new F-35A stealth fighter jets with next-generation, precision-guided joint strike missiles that are expected to become operational in 2025.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201801191060898515-japan-being-mass-production-xasm-3-missile/
 

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Japan conducts missile drills in Tokyo despite detente
By Elizabeth Shim

Jan. 22, 2018

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Protesters shout slogans against a missile evacuation drill organized at an amusement park near Tokyo Dome stadium in Tokyo on Monday. The red characters on the banner read, "It's a war exercise!" Photo by Franck Robichon/EPA-EFE


Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Japanese government conducted a missile drill in the heart of Tokyo, the first time the current administration has coordinated a rehearsal evacuation in the capital.

The drills come after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech about North Korea's provocations "becoming worse," despite several weeks of détente on the peninsula, following North Korea's decision to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The drills began Monday with the ringing of sirens that warned hundreds of people in central Tokyo to duck for cover in buildings and under ground, Bloomberg reported.

The aim of the drill was to raise awareness about potential ballistic missiles headed for Japan's largest city.

North Korea's firing of two missiles that flew over Japanese territory in 2017 has heightened concerns over security.

Akina Osawa, 34, said the drills were a "chance to learn" about preparations.

But according to Bloomberg, others have criticized the government for exaggerating the North Korean threat.

Participants in the drill said they did not feel the exercises were necessary.

One elderly man who spoke to South Korean television network KBS said he "did not feel" a sense of crisis, and an elderly woman said the drills are valuable "depending on the person."

Abe had said he would take concrete actions as provocations worsen and Japan is under threat.

Japan's security depends heavily on coordination with allies, including the United States and South Korea.

It is unclear whether Abe valued the alliance with Seoul, however, according to KBS.

Abe did not describe South Korea as an "important neighbor that shares strategic interests" with Japan, a remark he did make in 2017.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/01/22/Japan-conducts-missile-drills-in-Tokyo-despite-detente/3971516638304/?utm_source=upi&utm_campaign=mp&utm_medium=2
 

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Japan's F-35A Makes First Deployment to Spy, Defend Airspace
26.01.2018

The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force's first F-35A aircraft has deployed to northeastern Japan "at a time when neighboring countries have been quickly building up their air force capabilities," the island nation's defense minister told reporters Friday.

The aircraft will monitor Japanese airspace and conduct surveillance over North Korea from Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, Kyodo News reported, where the Japanese air fleet will eventually station 10 F-35As.

In total, Japan has ordered 42 fifth-generation F-35A stealth fighters – the aircraft's traditional runway-based variant – from Lockheed Martin, but the company has been slow to deliver the orders.

In 2019, the Japanese Defense Ministry plans to acquire long-range joint strike missiles, a weapon tailored to the F-35. However, Tokyo's procurement of these missiles has not been without controversy, since they provide an offensive capability for the "self-defense" force. Japan's military capabilities are limited by the country's constitution to self-defense, not offensive operations.

According to Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, "the introduction of the missiles is not aimed at targeting enemy military bases. We rely on US strike capabilities for attacking enemy bases and this will remain unchanged."

Lockheed Martin has teamed with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build the jets for Japan. Japan's first four F-35A aircraft were produced in Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, facility and the other 38 are slated to come off the production line from a Mitsubishi plant in Japan. The F-35A that landed at Misawa Air Base for deployment was built in the Mitsubishi facility, Kyodo News noted.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201801261061107784-japan-f-35-deployment-spy-defend/
 

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Japan, Malaysia conduct joint coast guard drills
By Elizabeth Shim
| Jan. 29, 2018


Japan’s coast guard was active in the South China Sea on Monday. File Pool Photo by Katsumi Kasahara/EPA


Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Coast guard teams from Japan and Malaysia conducted a joint anti-piracy drill in the South China Sea, although the number of pirate attacks against ships has steadily dwindled since 2010.

Patrol vessels from the two countries engaged in training that included rescue scenarios in a hostage situation, NHK World reported Monday.

Japanese and Malaysian boats, including a patrol boat Japan provided to Malaysia, would approach a "pirate" ship and command it to suspend operations with whistles, according to the report.

A Malaysian special assault task force climbed down from a helicopter to conduct the rescue.

Capt. Yuji Yamamoto of the patrol vessel Tsugaru said he hopes more drills will take place with Malaysia.

The exercises took place in a portion of the South China Sea near the Malaysian coast.

China has engaged in unimpeded island-building activities in disputed waters.

Military facilities have been constructed on the Spratly Islands, also claimed by neighbors Malaysia and Vietnam.

Beijing continues to make improvements to its army, and have begun to deploy drones to transport supplies, according to the Chinese air force.

The Chinese military said large e-commerce companies SF Express and JD.com took part in the deliveries, which took place last Wednesday in remote southwest Yunnan and northwest Shaanxi Provinces.

According to Beijing's air force network, SF Express was able to deliver parts needed to repair a damaged radar in Yunnan in an hour, or half the time it would take to deliver parts by truck in mountainous areas.

In Shaanxi, antidote for a snake-bitten Chinese soldier was delivered in 22 minutes, a process which would have taken two hours without drones, Beijing stated.

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/01/29/Japan-Malaysia-conduct-joint-coast-guard-drills/9211517240935/?nll=1
 

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Japan base welcomes 1st deployed F-35A, but industry hiccups delay fighter’s supplies
By: Mike Yeo
31.01.2018


The first operational Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A taxis during an arrival ceremony at Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Jan. 26, 2018. (Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman/U.S. Air Force)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan has deployed the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to a Japanese base for the first time, with the arrival of an aircraft to an air base in the northern part of the country late last week.

The aircraft touched down at Misawa in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture on Friday, where it was welcomed in an arrival ceremony by representatives of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. This is the first of 10 JASDF F-35As slated to arrive in Misawa over the upcoming Japanese fiscal year.

Speaking at the ceremony, the commander of the JASDF’s 3rd Air Wing, Maj. Gen. Kenichi Samejima, said “the F-35A will bring transformation in air defense power and significantly contribute to the peace for citizens and ensure security.”

Misawa is also home to the U.S. Air Force’s 35th Fighter Wing, which flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter. The commander of the wing, Col. R. Scott Jobe, said the F-35A “represents not only a big step forward in technological advancements and combat capabilities but also in U.S.-Japan relations,” adding that his unit looked forward to “training alongside our JASDF counterparts and continuing to enhance the safety and security of Japan together.”

Japan’s first F-35As will be operated by the JASDF’s 302nd Squadron, which is currently operating the McDonnell-Douglas F-4EJ Phantom II at Hyakuri Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Japan’s capital Tokyo. The unit will eventually move north to Misawa to operate the F-35.

Japan has ordered 42 F-35As, with the first four assembled at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility and the remaining 38 aircraft assembled at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ final assembly and checkout, or FACO, facility in Nagoya, Japan. The first F-35A rolled out of the FACO facility in June 2017, which has also been selected to be the facility for the F-35’s North Asia-Pacific region‘s heavy airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade.

In addition to final assembly, Japanese industry is also involved in the manufacture of parts used in Japan’s F-35s.

However, it has been reported that Japanese-made parts that were to be included in the fighters have not actually been used so far, with IHI Corporation unable to get quality approval for an engine parts prototype due to delayed supplies of materials from a contractor in the U.S., while Mitsubishi Electric had other issues with subcontractors.

The Japanese government’s board of audit had said that checks by the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency showed that the Japanese subcontractors’ manufacturing processes were insufficient, and the board urged the agency to coordinate with the U.S. government to ensure that items required for F-35 production be supplied on schedule.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/01/30/japan-base-welcomes-1st-deployed-f-35a-but-industry-hiccups-delay-fighters-supplies/
 

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Japan and South Korea face headwinds on homegrown jets
By: Mike Yeo
05.02.2018

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The ATD-X was developed for research purposes and to test advanced stealth fighter technologies. (Japan Air Self-Defense Force)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Japan’s and South Korea’s aspirations for homegrown fighter jets have run into headwinds, even though both are set to press on with their respective projects.

The two Asian nations are customers of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, but are keen to develop their indigenous fighter jet programs to develop their industrial base and boost local aerospace industries.
An FMS shift in Japan

Japan originally planned to develop its indigenous fighter, tentatively designated the F-3, and introduce it into service by the early 2030s. However, reports from late 2017 indicate that the decision on whether to go ahead with the program will be pushed back to 2018.

These reports came as Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency announced that the flight test program of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries X-2 Advanced Technology Demonstrator X, or ATD-X, experimental aircraft will conclude in March 2018.

The ATD-X was developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense’s Technical Research and Development Institute for research purposes and to test advanced stealth fighter technologies. The aircraft is powered by a pair of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries XF5 low-bypass turbofan engines, each producing more than 11,000 pounds of thrust.

The ATD-X made its first flight in 2016 and is being flown from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Air Development and Test Wing at Gifu Air Base, having completed 34 of 50 planned test flights in November 2017.

Despite uncertainty about the F-3’s future, development of the program continues, with concept designs being refined. Japan is keen to restart indigenous fighter development and manufacturing, which ended in 2011 when the last Mitsubishi F-2 fighter was delivered to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the decision was made to acquire the F-35A with local industry participating in the final assembly of JASDF’s F-35s.

This has disappointed local industry, which had hoped to secure component manufacturing contracts in the F-35 program to retain industrial capabilities. Since the 1970s, Japan had pursued a policy of developing a domestic, autonomous defense industrial base that can meet its defense needs through licensing agreements and other methods of technology transfer and acquisition.

However, Japan’s uncertain security situation, with North Korea’s continuing ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program as well as China’s rising military might, means Japan’s defense needs have become more urgent. Priorities are shifting onto programs with shorter entry-into-service dates.

One consequence of this shift is that Japan has significantly increased the amount of defense equipment acquired via the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program, with Japan allocating $4.43 billion for FMS acquisitions in its fiscal 2016 budget compared to just $392 million in FY2011.

That figure is set to grow even higher in the coming years. More F-35s, Boeing KC-46A tankers, Lockheed Martin Aegis Ashore systems and other ballistic missile defense-related acquisitions are planned.

According to Corey Wallace, a postdoctoral fellow in the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at Freie Universitat in Berlin, Germany, this trend toward FMS is understandable. Still, he believes the trend should eventually be reversed because local defense companies are hurt when they lose out on contracts and capabilities. The trend, he added, also contributes to underfunding of other defense priorities as well as research and development.

South Korea‘s partnership problem
Meanwhile, South Korea is developing the KF-X multirole fighter with Indonesia. Korea Aerospace Industries is the program’s primary contractor, and Indonesia’s government-owned PT Dirgantara Indonesia is the project partner.

South Korea will be the majority partner in the program, while Indonesia will contribute 20 percent of the project cost in return for one prototype, design participation, technical data and production sharing, with the option to procure 50 aircraft at a later date.

The overall development program is estimated to cost $8 billion, with the first prototype scheduled to roll out in 2022 and deliveries due to begin in 2026.

The KF-X is a twin-engine, twin-tail, low-observable design. General Electric has been picked to supply the F414 turbofan engine ― which currently powers the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet ― for the KF-X. South Korea’s Hanwha will supply an infrared search and track system, an active electronically scanned array radar, and a targeting pod.

South Korea plans to integrate the European Meteor and IRIS-T air-to-air missiles on the KF-X.

However, reports have emerged that Indonesia has fallen behind in its share of program payments. A South Korean politician revealed in November 2017 that a payment of $124.5 million that was due the month before had not been paid. Recently, Indonesian defense officials told local media that Indonesia still owes $140 million to South Korea for its share in the program.

The payment delay is a consequence of the continuing budget crunch in Indonesia, which has in turn led to weak growth for the country’s defense budget, with its budget increasing by 1.2 percent in 2017 following a cut the year before.

Sources in Indonesia tell Defense News that the Southeast Asian country is renegotiating its financial position in the program, including the repayment of its contribution shortfall.

Despite this news ― and recent reports that Indonesia has sought information on pricing for new fighters including the Lockheed Martin F-16 and the Eurofighter Typhoon ― Indonesia remains keen on participating in the KF-X program, although the scope of its involvement may be reduced as a result.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/singapore-airshow/2018/02/05/japan-and-south-korea-face-headwinds-on-homegrown-jets/
 

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Boeing to upgrade Japanese AWACS aircraft
By James LaPorta
Feb. 13, 2018

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Boeing has been awarded a contract for mission computing upgrades in support of four Japanese E-767 aircraft and associated ground systems.

The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $60.9 million under a hybrid fixed-price-incentive-firm, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-
fixed-fee, and cost-plus-incentive-fee contract.

The Boeing manufactured E-767 is designed as an Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, aircraft.

The aircraft provides Japan with airborne surveillance and command and control capabilities for tactical and air defense forces.

Work on the contract will occur in Oklahoma City, Okla., San Antonio, Texas, and Seattle, Wash., and is expected to be completed by December 2022.

More than $56.9 million will be obligated to Boeing at the time of award, the Pentagon said.


https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2018/02/13/Boeing-to-upgrade-Japanese-AWACS-aircraft/7451518528511/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=4
 

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Japan preparing schools for North Korea missiles
By Elizabeth Shim
Feb. 14, 2018

Japan-preparing-schools-for-North-Korea-missiles.jpg

Protesters shout slogans against a missile evacuation drill organized at an amusement park near Tokyo Dome stadium in Tokyo in January. The Japanese government is stepping up precautions against North Korea missiles. File Photo by Franck Robichon/EPA-EFE

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Japanese government has decided to add guidelines on missile evacuation for schools in a move that signals ongoing wariness about North Korea despite an inter-Korea detente on the peninsula.

The decision comes from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and includes evacuation tips for students and teachers, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Wednesday.

The ministry has revised the manual to include instructions on crisis management and ways to coordinate evacuations with local government authorities, according to the report.

The guidelines introduce missile flyovers as a "new form of crisis" that is being added to a manual primarily preoccupied with violent attacks on school populations.
Japan's increasingly nationwide J-alert warning system was mentioned in the guidelines, and the instructions show students and teachers are expected to stay in evacuation positions until a potential missile's dropping point is confirmed.

After the manual is revised, it will be distributed to schools across the country by the end of March, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

Japanese television network NHK reported in November 2017 that about 85 percent of 1,648 education boards requested preparations for North Korea missiles be included in the manuals.

The move to warn schools of provocations come less than a month after Japan conducted a missile evacuation drill in the heart of Tokyo.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said in January provocations were "becoming worse."

North Korea is likely to stay away from weapons tests, however.

Kim Jong Un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang in an unprecedented gesture of reconciliation, according to South Korean press reports.


https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/02/14/Japan-preparing-schools-for-North-Korea-missiles/6341518597674/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=7
 

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F-16's Engine Catches Fire Over Japan; No Injuries Reported
Agence France Presse
20 Feb 2018


Japan's defense ministry demanded explanations Tuesday from the U.S. military after a fighter jet experiencing an engine fire dropped two fuel tanks into a lake in the country's north.

The incident, which caused no injuries, is the latest in a string of accidents involving the U.S. military that have prompted concern from Japanese officials and renewed criticism of the U.S. military presence in the country.

"We are asking the U.S. side to explain what happened and its cause, and we fully demand the U.S. side take prevention measures," Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told a press conference.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon took off from Misawa Air Base in northern Japan's Aomori region early Tuesday morning and immediately experienced an engine fire, Onodera said.

"The U.S. military has told us that it discarded two exterior tanks on Lake Ogawara just north of Misawa Air Base and landed back at Misawa Air Base," Onodera said.
In a statement, the U.S. military confirmed that one of its F-16s had been forced to "jettison two external fuel tanks into an unpopulated area" after an engine fire broke out.

"The safety of our airmen and our Japanese neighbours is our number one priority during flying operations," said Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighting Wing commander.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of this incident," he said.

The case follows a string of accidents involving U.S. military aircraft, for which U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis apologized to Onodera last month.

U.S. military helicopters made at least three emergency landings in the southern region of Okinawa in January alone.

In December, a window from a U.S. military helicopter fell onto a school ground in Okinawa, and in October a U.S. military helicopter burst into flames after landing in an empty field on Okinawa.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/02/20/f-16s-engine-catches-fire-over-japan-no-injuries-reported.html?ESRC=eb_180220.nl
 

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