Friday, April 20, 2018

The proposed aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them”...This is Lockheed Martin's plan B.

via Reuters
Lockheed has discussed the idea with Japanese defense ministry officials and will make a formal proposal in response to a Japanese request for information (RFI) after it receives permission from the U.S. government to offer the sensitive military technology, said the sources, who have direct knowledge of the proposal.

The decision on whether to release parts of the highly classified aircraft designs and software to help Japan stay ahead of Chinese advances will test President Donald Trump’s promise to overhaul his country’s arms export policy.

The proposed aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” said one of the sources.

Japan, which is already buying the radar-evading F-35 to modernize its inventory, also wants to introduce a separate air superiority fighter in the decade starting 2030 to deter intrusions into its airspace by Chinese and Russian jets.

The country’s air force currently flies the F-15J, based on the Boeing F-15; and the F-2, based on the Lockheed Martin F-16. Both designs are decades old.

Japan’s ambition to build its own stealth fighter was in part spurred by Washington’s refusal a decade ago to sell it the twin-engined F-22, which is still considered the world’s best air superiority fighter.
Story here. 

I have been wondering.  The US Govt refuses to execute on a plan B when the F-35 fails.  It's been beyond obvious for quite awhile now that the plan will not deliver on its promise of performance, affordability and maintainability.

What escaped me was this.

What was Lockheed Martin's plan B when the US and its allies cut F-35 production because of the above reasons and the death spiral hits full force.

Now we know.

They're gonna try and build an airplane that deliver on all the broken promises of the F-35.

The irony?

They'll probably pull it off.  As much as I HATE TO SAY IT, build a non-stovl fighter and the dynamics of the whole thing change.  If successful this could give LM the market dominating fighter they always wanted.

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