Japan Considering Replacing F-2s With Uncrewed Fighter Jets Written 13 October 2020


Mitsubishi F-2 in flight. | Jerry Gunner; Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 2.0

The Japan Times reports that Japanese government officials said that the “introduction of unmanned fighter jets has been considered to succeed the Air Self-Defense Force’s aging F-2s, which are expected to start being retired within two decades.” The “proposal was made earlier this year,” but officials said that the “Defense Ministry [discussions] were...suspended in the wake of the government’s decision in June to scrap its plan to deploy the U.S. developed Aegis Ashore land-based defense system.” The Defense Ministry “estimates that at least ¥1.2 trillion is needed to develop a manned fighter jet, while a drone – which has no space for a pilot and requires no safety equipment – costs much less to build.” The “price of the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle is believed to be around ¥1.5 billion, about one-tenth that of the F-22 stealth fighter.”
Full Story (Japan Times)