Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
July 7, 2016
A Japanese Assembled F-22 Industrial Strategy
The prototype "X-2"much smaller than the final F-3 (resulting in a Japanese built F-22). Photo courtesy Defence Aviation, April 23, 2016 which advises: MHI “have been developing the aircraft’s airframe
since 2008 with cooperation from 220 domestic companies and guidance from
Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) at an estimated
cost of [only!] 39.4 billion Yen ($322 million)…and is built as a successor to the F-2
fighter jets...developed jointly between Japan and the Untied States.”
The operational F-3, labelled "fifth generation" or "sixth generation fighter" (presumably a UAV herder) is much bigger than the X-2 and will be equipped two very
powerful engines (max. power per engine 15 ton) and excellent stealth
performance with radar cross-section (RCS) smaller than a sparrow.
This Reuters via Yahoo article of June 29, 2016 describes the process of the Japanese MoD mainly offering
US companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin (notionally European countries as well)
up to $40 billion to develop 100 air superiority fighters.
Japan clearly wants export-to-Japan
versions of the F-22 in what Japan calls the "F-3 fighter program" and many other designations.
MHI appears to be the designated Japanese prime domestic contractor. Lockheed Martin strategy Lockheed Martin's strategy appears to be to induce customers to buy the F-35 first and then a lower spec F-22 will be released for some valued customers. See my article of 2008 about Lockheed's ability to game all sides - including the US Government. Clearly the F-35 is inadequate as an air-superiority fighter, not only for Japan but for other sophisticated users, like Israel and Australia. It is no surprise that Lockheed Martin has drafted in Congressional lawmakers and the Pentagon into this beneficial-for-the-US sales strategy: Japanese industrial strategy For decades it appears Japan has followed a "We'll tell the US we'll spend $Billions re-inventing the wheel, instead of paying the US to send us high levels of technology transfer. So while we are reinventing - the US loses. But with this technology we will build US designed fighters under licence. So it is a win-win situation for Japan and the US." This F-3 strategy has worked with the earlier F-1s and F-2s decades ago: - Mitsubishi F-1 which looks like a Jaguar-Phantom hybrid which helped induce technology transfer for the F-4EJ "Kai" Phantom II. - Mitsubishi F-2 (was FS-X or SX-3) is a F-16 look alike which induced more technology transfer to Japan to build F-15Js. So the Mitsubishi F-3 is a gesture symbolising re-invention of the F-22 with the aim of inducing Lockheed Martin to hand over much F-22 technology (for a great deal of Yen of course) so Mitsubishi (MHI) can build export spec F-22s in Japan.