28 août 2020 | International, Aérospatial

Japan requests foreign help with F-X as programme moves into next phase: reports


Japan’s ministry of defence is inviting foreign suppliers to help develop the country’s next-generation fighter aircraft, known as the Future Fighter programme, or F-X.

The solicitation was made via a public notice and a press briefing by Japanese defence minister Taro Kono on 25 August, according to reports.

The Japanese ministry of defence wants components that are at high-technology readiness levels, in areas such as stealth unmanned air vehicles, airborne missile systems, radar, sensors, electronic warfare and communications equipment, according to media outlet Janes.

The notice reportedly adds that this next phase will continue discussions related to development of F-X with the USA and UK.

“We are inviting companies to [support] the integration of the fighter aircraft,” Kono says. “We are currently exchanging information with the US and UK to deepen our consideration of international co-operation in this development project.”

In July, the ministry of defence said it would choose a single Japanese company to serve as prime contractor and lead systems integrator for the jet, according to Janes. That company is thought likely be Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which builds the Mitsubishi F-15J and runs a final assembly and check-out facility for the F-35 Lightning II in Nagoya, Japan.

The Future Fighter is to replace Tokyo’s Mitsubishi F-2 fleet in the 2030s. The F-2 is a fighter derived from Lockheed Martin’s F-16.

Mass production of the F-X is reportedly planned to start in 2031. The next-generation aircraft would be deployed in 2035.


Sur le même sujet

  • NATO declares space ‘operational domain,’ but more work remains

    26 décembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    NATO declares space ‘operational domain,’ but more work remains

    By: Bradley Bowman and Andrew Gabel  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization recently declared that space is an “operational domain” for the alliance. Though much work remains to actualize an integrated NATO space posture, the affirmation is an important benchmark as NATO scrambles to meet rapidly evolving space and counter-space threats. Today, space-based assets are an Achilles’ heel of U.S. military operations, representing a vital enabling mechanism upon which success often depends. In addition, great power adversaries could target civilian space assets to wreak havoc on the homeland in ways that redound far beyond the military realm. America’s enemies have taken notice. “Foreign governments are developing capabilities that threaten others’ ability to use space,” according to a 2019 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assessment. “China and Russia, in particular, have taken steps to challenge the United States.” Russia has spent decades building up its counter-space arsenal, from cutting-edge electronic warfare capabilities to probable ground-launched anti-satellite weapons. Moscow believes that “achieving supremacy in space” can enable victory in future conflicts. China’s People’s Liberation Army apparently agrees. Beijing has also identified space superiority — and space denial — as essential planks in its modern “informatized” military strategy. Indeed, China “continues to improve its counterspace weapons capabilities and has enacted military reforms to better integrate cyberspace, space, and EW into joint military operations,” the DIA assessment read. These threats are already materializing. Russia is suspected to be behind nearly 10,000 GPS spoofing incidents — affecting over 1,300 civilian navigation systems — according to a report by C4ADS released last June. China has also targeted America’s vulnerability in space, notoriously hacking U.S. weather systems and satellite networks in 2014, after testing an anti-satellite weapon in 2007, which generated a cloud of hazardous space debris. Fortunately, NATO is beginning to respond. In June 2019, NATO approved a new space policy, which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has described as an acknowledgment of NATO’s reliance upon satellites for a range of fundamental military functions. These include, for example, communications, tracking, early warning, surveillance and navigation. Though only a “framework” for now, it is an important start. Today the U.S. shares space situational awareness data with its NATO allies and vice versa. Yet, there is potential for deeper collaboration in additional areas such as hosted payloads on satellites and communications. And while there is disagreement within the alliance with respect to space weaponization, this tension should not prevent the alliance from forging ahead on a number of important initiatives. Examples include general space-asset resilience (including within the electromagnetic spectrum), space-reliant communication, synchronized threat warning, command and control, and surveillance and reconnaissance. A space sensor layer, for instance, will be critical to tracking and intercepting Russian hypersonic missiles, an emerging threat against which there is currently no adequate defense. NATO must take swift action to redress these areas of exposure. But how? To begin with, NATO could publish a publicly available strategy document analogous to the U.S.-produced National Defense Strategy. This would provide multiyear strategic signposts and, because of its public availability, outside accountability. As proposed by others, NATO could also run annual “Space Flag” exercises akin to the current “Red Flag” exercises, which today help hone large-scale, multinational joint air operations. “Space Flag” could likewise be used to systematically develop and refine space contingencies against red cell adversaries. In addition, NATO could explore co-developing NATO-specific space assets from inception, tailored for NATO’s mission and permanently integrated into NATO’s command structure. The United States and Europe’s combined space experience and infrastructure is a comparative advantage vis-a-vis Russia and China. If put to proper use, it could give NATO’s space dominance efforts a significant leg up. Finally, NATO could entertain the formation of a combined NATO-operated space assets pool, to which existing current member states could contribute existing capacity. A study conducted by the NATO-sponsored Joint Air Power Competence Centre found it “demonstrably feasible” to complete multination, multi-satellite constellations. The study suggested such an approach could emulate NATO partnerships related to the E-3A, C-17 and A-400M platforms but would be “potentially conducive to additional flexibility and innovation.” The same report cites the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, or DMC, program — an existing multinational satellite-monitoring program used for disaster relief — as an existing example of effectively marshaling space assets. DMC’s shared capabilities “reduce cost, enable sharing, and can be upgraded and expanded to address emerging concerns.” So, too, might a NATO constellation. Officially recognizing space as an operational domain and establishing a framework for a unified space policy are laudable steps forward for NATO — necessary to counter both present and future threats. But waking up to the threat is not enough. Now is the time for tangible and urgent collective action to secure the ultimate high ground. Bradley Bowman is senior director for the Center on Military and Political Power with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Andrew Gabel is a research analyst. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/12/16/nato-declares-space-operational-domain-but-more-work-remains

  • A spy satellite revolution?

    11 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    A spy satellite revolution?

    By JACQUELINE KLIMAS Small, lower cost satellites are beginning to gain traction among intelligence agencies, says a top industry executive. National security agencies are steadily testing out more small satellites before committing to new constellations of the lower-cost alternatives, according to Bill Gattle, the president of Space and Intelligence Systems at the Harris Corporation. “We’re seeing a lot more acceleration, certainly in the intelligence community, on their willingness to adopt it. We’ve certainly seen some things out of Army,” said Gattle, a former program director of terrestrial communications and director of engineering for defense programs at the Pentagon. “It’s moved from ... customers being intrigued to believing it’s worthy of a demo.” Small satellites are typically no bigger than a refrigerator and weigh less than 180 kilograms, according to a NASA fact sheet. By comparison, some of the largest satellites are the size of a school bus. The reduced size means small satellites are typically cheaper but less capable than their larger counterparts. To make up for that gap, small sats can be launched in a constellation of tens or even hundreds of satellites, networked together, making the entire system more resilient if one goes offline. At the beginning of 2018, Harris had three customers for its small sats. A year later, it has five government customers under contract for 17 small satellites. One of those is for an Army communications satellite, Gattle said, though the company could not provide additional details. That doesn’t mean there’s been universal acceptance. Even Gattle acknowledges there are hurdles the small satellite industry needs to overcome to see sustained growth in the military and intelligence market. “How do you get the data quickly from the satellite to the war fighter who needs it?” Gattle said. “It doesn't help you to know a missile landed five minutes ago. You have to have the timeline be very quick and you need need a communications backbone ... which will be pivotal to how fast this grows.” Gattle also talked about the launch of Harris’ first small satellite last month, how the company is going on a hiring spree and what 2019 has in store for the industry. Full article: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/09/satellites-bill-gattle-national-security-1089126

  • La nécessaire relance de la défense en France

    6 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    La nécessaire relance de la défense en France

    Dans une tribune publiée dans le journal Les Echos, Cédric Perrin, sénateur (LR) du Territoire de Belfort, et l’économiste Bruno Alomar appellent à une relance économique de la filière défense. Les crises récentes et à proximité de l’Europe ont montré l’importance du rôle des armées et la nécessité d’un « Etat-puissance ». Une autre raison est économique. Les entreprises de défense sont « transverses » industriellement et sont réparties sur tout le territoire. Les armées représentent « également de formidables bancs d'essai pour de nombreuses entreprises de petite et moyenne taille qui trouvent dans le client militaire un outil de retour d'expérience, leurs matériels étant testés et éprouvés au-delà de toutes conditions ». La Base industrielle et technologique de défense (BITD) « n'assure pas seulement les besoins opérationnels de nos armées. Elle est très puissamment imbriquée avec les filières aéronautique et spatiale, au travers de la dualité des technologies, ainsi que de celle des compétences de pointe qu'elle mobilise ».  Les Echos du 29 juin 2020   

Toutes les nouvelles