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Old 29th Mar 2017, 07:13   #1 (permalink)
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Anglo-Japanese Fighter

The demise of UK participation in joint European programmes post Brexit????

Japan-UK Fighter Project Sign Of Closer Defense Partnership | Defense content from Aviation Week

Britain and Japan will look at jointly developing a fighter, probably for entry into service in the 2030s. The surprising move is the latest bringing the two countries closer in defense technology.

Even if an Anglo-Japanese fighter does not emerge in the end, BAE Systems is likely to be interested in assisting Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in an indigenous combat aircraft program. But in seeking cooperation, Tokyo probably hopes for a cost-sharing national partner, not just a heavy-lifting technical advisor.

This may be a problem for France, the nation probably most inclined to work with the UK on a new fighter. The two have already agreed to do technology-acquisition work together.

Tokyo and London will begin by exchanging information on the ambitions for their current, preliminary projects: the Japanese Future Fighter and Britain’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS). In assessing the feasibility of a joint program, they will also advise each other of their capabilities, says the Japanese Defense Ministry, presumably meaning they will lay their technology cards on the table.......

The UK is shaping up as Japan’s closest defense-technology partner after the U.S. The two countries agreed in 2012 to strengthen bilateral cooperation, even before Tokyo formally said in 2014, after years of discussion, that it would allow arms exports under limited circumstances. The export decision made joint development and manufacturing possible because Japanese companies could now make parts for a partner. In 2016, the two governments said they would look at integrating an advanced Japanese seeker on the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile, development of which has been led by the UK.

The defense ministry in Tokyo gives no time frame for entry into service of the contemplated joint fighter, but the national schedules do not look too far out of step. Japan needs the Future Fighter to be ready in the 2030s as a replacement for the MHI F-2. The Eurofighter Typhoon is due to leave Royal Air Force (RAF) service before 2040; a replacement will have to be ready a few years before that.

After Japan and Britain understand each other’s fighter requirements and technologies, they will decide by late this year whether to proceed with a joint study for a fighter, says The Nikkei newspaper.

A crucial difference between the two sides could be regarding whether their next combat aircraft needs a pilot. Years of Future Fighter studies, the most recent of which is a concept design called 26DMU, have all envisaged a manned aircraft, because Japanese defense technologists think air-to-air combat is just too complex for a computer program. But FCAS work has focused on an unmanned jet. Underlining this point, Japan is flying a subscale demonstrator for a manned fighter, the MHI X-2, whereas Britain has been evaluating its technologies with the unmanned BAE Taranis. Furthermore, the UK and France have agreed to build two full-scale technology demonstrators for an unmanned combat aircraft by 2025. Still, the British Defense Ministry has said the FCAS effort could result in a manned aircraft.

Japan’s fighter technologists want a big jet. Their designs emphasize range, endurance and weapon bay volume over maneuverability, relying on a big load of large, high-performance missiles for standoff engagement. The concept is somewhat similar to that of the RAF’s now-retired Tornado F3.

The Future Fighter, to be called the F-3 when in service, would be built by MHI, the national fighter specialist. Japan wants to decide in its fiscal year ending March 2019 whether to go ahead with an indigenous project. It is not at all clear that the UK would want to commit by then, even if full-scale development did not need to begin until a few years later for entry into service in the mid-2030s.

Stealth technology would be a focus of the Anglo-Japanese study, says Nippon News Network television. Gaining know-how in that aspect of fighter design is likely to be high among several priorities for Japanese fighter engineers, who have been working on the technological underpinning for the Future Fighter but have most recently developed a fighter, the F-2, only with considerable help from Lockheed Martin. Some British stealth technology has been developed in cooperation with the U.S. and cannot be shared with other countries. But the rest has been acquired independently and can be supplied to Japan, to the extent that London is willing to share. Indeed, Tokyo may find that London is a little more generous in this area than Washington.

IHI Corp. is building a demonstrator for an advanced, 33,000-lb.-thrust engine for the Future Fighter. Home to global propulsion giant Rolls-Royce, the UK would not use a Japanese engine, so a jointly developed powerplant would be needed. It may not be too hard for the Japanese to walk away from their design, however; they could offer their newly developed technology for a joint engine. Moreover, Japan’s air force, probably wondering whether IHI has enough experience for the project, might be more than satisfied with the idea of Rolls-Royce’s involvement.

From the British point of view, the exploratory discussions may open a path for BAE Systems to sustain and extend its skills in combat-aircraft engineering—even if no joint fighter results—by acting as a technology partner. That is just the sort of work the company has been looking for, because it has no immediate UK program for a fighter beyond the Typhoon.

BAE is still building Typhoons in cooperation with Airbus and Leonardo and, following development work, has moved to a largely manufacturing role in the Lockheed Martin F-35 program. Having built and tested the Taranis, its engineers have the Anglo-French technology-demonstrator project to work on, with no guarantee that it will turn into a full development and production program. But under a £123 million ($150 million) heads-of-agreement deal signed between the Turkish and British governments in January, BAE will assist Turkey in developing the TF-X fighter. That nation will use BAE’s expertise and facilities, including for simulation and testing of radar cross-section—while incidentally helping to keep BAE in the game.

Cooperation with the Japanese could turn into something similar and would probably run a few years behind Turkey’s program, conveniently spreading out the load on BAE’s key engineers. The UK would have the option to eventually join either the Turkish or Japanese programs as a development and production partner. But Japan may want Britain’s money as well. Those two countries and France have similar-size defense budgets. Japan should need a partner as much as the other two, for developing a first-rank fighter. Indeed, the exploratory talks threaten to unseat France as the UK’s prospective partner.

In another sign of London and Tokyo moving closer in military affairs, the British Defense Ministry said on March 15 that it and its Japanese counterpart had agreed to supply each other with material and services when deploying their forces. A flight of RAF Typhoons visited Japan in November, giving the Japanese air force its first opportunity to exercise at home with a country other than the U.S. It was the first British fighter deployment to Japan in decades.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 10:16   #2 (permalink)
 
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Very interesting, orac. I only take issue with your first line; clearly Britain is now actively examining deals and partnerships around the world. But it's not a zero-sum game and a deal with Japan doesn't have to mean the demise of something else.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 10:20   #3 (permalink)
 
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So called "Brexit" does not preclude Britain from working with our European neighbours on this or thousand of other mutually beneficial projects.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 10:26   #4 (permalink)
 
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It just makes it more difficult if no trade deal can be arranged. However, Jaguar was conceived and in service before Britain joined the EEC and well before customs union. Same with Tornado.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:07   #5 (permalink)
 
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History isn't helpful. Tornado sales efforts to Japan failed, Typhoon sales also look like a busted flush. The only success I can think of was the sale of a handful of HS125s for a maritime patrol role many years ago. Still, here's hoping...

Ultimately I expect the politics will come to the fore. Would anyone place a serious money bet against the USA coming out ahead?

The brexit complication for any future European collaborative efforts will be in the area of goods crossing borders (followed closely by people crossing the same).

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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:26   #6 (permalink)
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The Japanese are researching a fighter in this class because the USA refused to sell them the F-22. , and presumably will do the same with the next generation PCA fighter.

In which case the UK might be knocking at an open door.

And there is a long history of Anglo-Japanese military cooperation...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impe..._and_Influence

Last edited by ORAC; 29th Mar 2017 at 11:53. Reason: sp
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:28   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAP86 View Post
History isn't helpful. Tornado sales efforts to Japan failed, Typhoon sales also look like a busted flush. The only success I can think of was the sale of a handful of HS125s for a maritime patrol role many years ago. Still, here's hoping...

Ultimately I expect the politics will come to the fore. Would anyone place a serious money bet against the USA coming out ahead?

The brexit complication for any future European collaborative efforts will be in the area of goods crossing borders (followed closely by people crossing the same).

EAP
Of course it will be. Same for all other industries. I fear for our remaining military and civil aviation manufacturing capability because it is mostly not UK owned.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:53   #8 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by EAP86 View Post
History isn't helpful. Tornado sales efforts to Japan failed, Typhoon sales also look like a busted flush. The only success I can think of was the sale of a handful of HS125s for a maritime patrol role many years ago. Still, here's hoping...
More recently, the MCH101 although I can't recall if that was Westland or Agusta led.

Interesting that the article doesn't distinguish between the roles of future aircraft - the Japanese are looking at an air defence aircraft, whereas FCAS and the Anglo-French studies were always touted as a strike aircraft (At one point a Tornado replacement!) so the two requirements are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:55   #9 (permalink)
 
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I don't understand, with their very similar requirements, why Japan and South Korea have not collaborated on their new fighter projects.

It is not, however, the first time that Japan and the UK have done business over building fighters. In 1939 one Japanese company (may have been Mitsubishi, but I'm not sure) purchased a licence from Supermarine to produce a particular fighter aircraft in Japan. As the saying goes it was overtaken by events.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:58   #10 (permalink)
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I think it's fair to say that, in the timeframe mentioned, the RAF will be concentrating on some mark of F-35 as its offensive platform along with an unmanned adjunct developed from Taranis et al.

As such a Typhoon replacement will be primarlily an AD platform with a secondary strike capability - the same role the Eurofighter was originally designed for - and a good match for the Japanese requirement.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 15:40   #11 (permalink)
 
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I can only imagine how strange this news sounds to any members who were serving in 1942.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 15:43   #12 (permalink)
 
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Why is it any stranger than (say) the Tornado or Typhoon programmes in colaboration with Germany and Italy?

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Old 29th Mar 2017, 15:45   #13 (permalink)
 
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How many Americans drive Japanese cars now? The world has moved on a bit, or I hope it has (watching the UK over the next few years will prove that or not).
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 16:14   #14 (permalink)
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I don't understand, with their very similar requirements, why Japan and South Korea have not collaborated on their new fighter projects.
I suggest you do a little reading into the history and relationship between the two.......

Effect of Japanese rule in Korea
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 23:38   #15 (permalink)
 
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And there is a long history of Anglo-Japanese military cooperation...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impe..._and_Influence
plus Herbert Smith, the designer of the Sopwith Camel, designed several aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 23:58   #16 (permalink)
 
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Ironic the Japanese partner would be Mitsubishi. Are there any WW2 British aircraft manufacturers still in existence? :-(
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 05:18   #17 (permalink)
 
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Many of Japan's military aircraft such as the F-15J were built under license by domestic companies like MHI.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 08:58   #18 (permalink)
 
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I wonder what they will call it?

I rather like the idea of Banzai for the strike version and for the recce varient, Japseye.

Quote:
Are there any WW2 British aircraft manufacturers still in existence
There are but are merged into other companies, Slingsby, Shorts etc
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 09:53   #19 (permalink)
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Or Banzai for the Japanese version and Bullseye for the British...... 😊
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 10:16   #20 (permalink)
 
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"Asama" - a Japanese Cruiser built by Vickers on Tyneside in the 19th Century....................
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