New JASDF Stealth Fighter Jet to be "Made In Japan"

Not your grandfather's Mitsubishi...Not your grandfather's Mitsubishi...
The words "Mitsubishi fighter" still have the power to send a chill down the spines of American war history buffs. It was, after all, just 65 years ago that the Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" ruled the skies over the Pacific by outclassing the vast majority of Allied WW2 fighter planes sent to oppose it. (above drawing by J. P. Santiago)

...but gramps sure would be proud!...but gramps sure would be proud!
Now it seems that a descendant of the legendary Zero fighter may soon be stretching its wings across the skies of Japan - and perhaps further afield. Alarmed by new developments in stealth fighter aircraft technology displayed by traditional adversaries China and Russia, JASDF (Japan Air Self-Defense Forces) planners have been attempting to acquire the American F-22 Raptor jet fighter to replace their current F-15 Eagle fighter planes.

The F-22 Raptor is packed with the latest avionics and stealth technology but its high tech features have the Pentagon concerned about security leaks.

Stealthy, speedy and made in JapanStealthy, speedy and made in Japan
Even though the United States would lose out financially by not selling Japan the F-22, security issues are front & center these days and Japan is now looking to its own aircraft designers to provide a home-grown solution.

If the history of Japan is any guide, we can expect a more than respectable match for the F-22, F-19 or other state of the art jet fighters to eventually roll off the Mitsubishi production lines.


"Son of Zero", resplendent in carbon fiber"Son of Zero", resplendent in carbon fiber
The process may already be in motion - on August 9, the above photo was taken of what may be Japan's next-generation stealth fighter jet. The 46 foot long carbon fiber mock-up was designed and built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, builder of the Zero and many other WW2 fighter planes, at their Komakiminami Factory in Aichi prefecture.

Freshly returned from France where it had undergone testing of its stealth technology, this sleek mock-up foreshadows what just might be the future of Japanese military aviation. (via News On Japan and newsinfo.inquirer, Zero image c/o murphybytes)

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Aug 11, 2008
by Anonymous

I hope they do

Good news for me. Japan is a great U.S. ally and I wish them the best in this endeavor. WE need a strong and armed Japan

Aug 22, 2008
by Anonymous

I think fighting is stupid

I think fighting is stupid but the designs for military tech are brilliant...if only those designers spent their genius designing internationally helpful tools for all of mankind to benefit from during peace times.

Aug 31, 2008
by Anonymous

The f-22 raptor not Japaese

Tyhe F-22 raptor isnt even Japapenes its american ive been reading about it 4 half a year

Jan 8, 2009
by Anonymous

look at the cockpit visibilty is at a minimum lol

good god even if they had the money to produce we own their rights for military part of peace treaty they signed in ww2 they dont have the means to mass produce there own fighter let alone match our hardware lol they get our left over's i mean yeah it looks like a early version of a f22 by looking at it i can already see its not as stealthy and the cockpit ?? kind of hard to see out the back oh right thats because YOU CANT looks like they should just stay in the 40's lol oh well it wont happen but fun to talk about.