Those in charge of the United States military are smart enough to realize that the world military order is changing and we can no longer go things alone. Russia is once again flexing its military muscle all over the world and China’s military capabilities are growing by leaps and bounds every year. With all of the controversy that China is stirring up in the East and South China Sea’s, it is no wonder that the US has pushed allies such as Japan to significantly upgrade their military capabilities. Some of the fallout from this is new military technology from Japan that is proving to be superior to what we are building and also points to the fact that we may be ‘putting too many of our eggs in one basket.’
A great example of this is the current F-35 fighter program that the United States is pushing hard to get ready to virtually take over all of the air forces of every military branch. The F-35 was designed to be a one size fits all aircraft that has variants that will make it workable for every branch of service. This thinking was supposed to make the aircraft easy to maintain and very cheap to produce. This stealthy aircraft is full of advanced electronic sensors and displays that will make it a formidable aerial defense platform as it launches a wide variety of missiles at all different types of enemy combatants.
There is just one big problem with this entire scenario. When the F-35 was put into an aerial combat test with an F-16 fighter not using missiles, it failed that test miserably. The problem is the F-35 is not a very maneuverable aircraft. The lessons learned in the Korean and Vietnam wars should reemphasize the point that we cannot become too dependent on missiles because at some point they will run out and the aircraft will have to use other means to defend itself.
This is where the Japanese have recognized a weakness and have gone one up on us. They are producing an aircraft for their military with the help of the west known as the X-2. It is a similar program to their F-2 aircraft production which basically took an F-16 design and modified it with our help to produce an aircraft that better met what Japan felt were their combat aircraft needs. The X-2 is really a modified version of the F-35 but the Japanese have significantly improved it in several areas.
One of the things the Japanese have done is increased the aircrafts maneuverability while still maintaining its stealthy configuration. This will give it a much better chance of survival in an aerial dogfight and much less dependence on missiles. They have increased the maneuverability of the aircraft by using what are known as ‘thrust vector systems.’
All of this begs the question: if Japan can do it, then why can’t we? If we are going to put so much stock in the F-35, then why not make it the very best it can be and leave little to chance? Let’s hope those in charge of these types of decisions in Washington get on board with Japan’s design and make some badly needed changes to the F-35 that will significantly improve its survivability and truly make it the aircraft of the future for America’s military.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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