Gun Fire

Monday, November 24, 2014

Future War Thoughts from Japan: Longer Range Fighters Rule?

Aviation Week reports Japan is looking at a big, long-range fighter to defeat superior numbers:
Flying far is more important than flying fast, Japanese fighter technologists have found in studies aimed at defining their country’s next combat aircraft. Looking for ways for their air force to fight outnumbered, researchers are also emphasizing that Japan’s next fighter should share targeting data, carry a big internal load of large, high-performance missiles and be able to guide them while retreating.
Whether Japan will build the aircraft at all is another question. On the one hand, the country feels its security is increasingly imperiled by rising and bellicose China. On the other hand, developing a heavy stealth fighter would have to cost tens of billions of dollars.
They moved the engines inboard and left a broad space for side-by-side stowage of six medium-range missiles under the ducts, which twisted upward and inward. The additional missiles, even at the expense of greater size and cost, make good sense for a country that must contemplate fighting against far more numerous enemy forces, Barrie says.
While the aircraft design is interesting, the analysis of that concludes that "flying far is more important than flying fast" is worth thinking about.


  1. Japan and South Korea should bury the hatchet and join forces in this new Stealth Fighter effort. They would both save money and be more able to handle the mutual threat both face in the region. Their designs and mission requirements are not that far apart.

  2. What if it could do BOTH.

    Tomcat 21 anybody?

  3. Anonymous12:59 PM

    Long range was one of the most important characteristics of the Zero fighter of WWII.