07 August 2007

Japan Starts Toward Abolishing Pacifism in its Constitution

Aviation Week has an article indicating that Japan's interest in the F-22 is being driven by an turn toward a far more aggressive military policy.(subscription required)

If they just needed normal cruise missile defense, upgrading F-15 radars would do the job. The idea that that they want to acquire a large, long range, supercruising, and stealthy platform implies that they want to make preemptive strikes against cruise missile sites an integral part of this defense.

An air force must at least be able to attack the launch sites “to put an offensive ballistic missile capability at risk,” a senior U.S. Air Force official involved in the debate says. “You’ve got to get out in front of [cruise and ballistic] missile launches. Otherwise, some are going to get through.”
Of course, Scuds and their derivative (North Korea) are already mobile, and hence hard to strike and hard to hit, as evidenced by the problems in Desert Storm, when there was no threat to aircraft doing Scud hunting, and they could not reliably find the launchers.
But officials now say the fiscal 2008 budget may provide money for more upgrades. The reason is that the technology is a path to the world of network-centric warfare that has already been used by the U.S. Air Force. USAF first adopted the (v)1 radar but then upgraded it with a 21st century emitter and antenna—the 1,000-element, active electronically scanned array (AESA). That improvement, designated the APG-63(v)3, produces a radar with the ability to see small targets, such as cruise missiles, or to identify tactical ballistic missile launchers in their radar-generated ground maps. The radar also can transmit large files of imagery, electronically attack enemy sensors through jamming and insertion of false targets, and provide two-way digital connectivity to other aircraft and sensors in the battlespace.

“The Japanese could make that shift to (v)3 at any time,” the industry official says.

That shift would add another option to the decision about a new fighter for the Japanese air force. F-15s equipped with AESA would have a larger radar aperture than the F-22. As a result, in the defensive, anti-cruise missile role, the Eagle would have an advantage in detecting smaller objects at longer range because of its additional power and size. While attacking missile launch sites with the F-22 is a “strategically solid concept” for the long term, buying interim, AESA-equipped F-15Es or F/A-18E/Fs might be attractive to Japanese defense planners. So far, they have rejected the idea of a bridge aircraft.
This is the key phrase.

Aperture is the size of the antenna, and because the F-15 is non-stealthy, it has a larger antenna. The laws of physics dictate that the F-22 is inferior to the F-15 in this role.

When juxtaposed by the growing number militarist groups in Japan, and an increasing tendency toward those groups engaging in violence toward critics, this is a very troubling development.

Additionally, any problems in North Korea would handled by a the US Military, possibly with with F-22 sorties from either Korea or Japan, or F-35 sorties from a carrier.

This is intended to strike China.

Japan has never come to terms with the atrocities committed, including the only use of bio-warfare in modern military history, during its period of empire building, which is arguably the the worst of the 20th century.

Unlike Europe, where the militarism has largely been driven out of the public consciousness, in Japan it has been placed in a closet for later use.


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