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The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (航空自衛隊, Kōkū Jieitai), JASDF, also referred to as the Japanese Air Force,[3] is the air warfare branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and for other aerospace operations.[4] It is the de facto air force of Japan. The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining a network of ground and air early-warning radar systems. The branch also has an aerobatic team known as Blue Impulse and has provided air transport in UN peacekeeping missions.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force
航空自衛隊
JASDF emblem.svg
Japan Air Self-Defense Force emblem
Founded1 July 1954; 64 years ago (1954-07-01)[1]
Country Japan
TypeAir force
RoleAerial warfare
Size50,324 personnel (2013)[2]
777 aircraft
Part of Japan Self-Defense Forces
Garrison/HQIchigaya, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Motto(s)"Key to Defense, Ready Anytime!"
Websitewww.mod.go.jp/asdf
Commanders
Commander-in-ChiefPM Shinzō Abe
Minister of DefenseTakeshi Iwaya
Chief of Staff, Joint Staff General Kōji Yamazaki
Chief of the Air StaffGeneral Yoshinari Marumo
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of Japan.svg Roundel of Japan - Low Visibility.svg
EnsignFlag of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackF-2, F-35A, F-4EJ
Electronic
warfare
E-767, EC-1, E-2C, EC-2
FighterF-4EJ, F-15J/DJ, F-2, F-35A
HelicopterUH-60J, CH-47J
InterceptorF-15J
TrainerF-15DJ, T-7, T-400, T-4
TransportC-1, C-2, KC-767J, C-130H, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-300ER
Air Defense Identification Zone of Japan

The JASDF had an estimated 50,324 personnel as of 2013, and as of 2013 operated 777 aircraft, approximately 373 of them fighter aircraft.[5]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Japan did not have a separate air force before World War II. Aviation operations were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (Kōkūtai). Following World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were dissolved. They were replaced by the JSDF with the passing of the 1954 Self-Defense Forces Act. It established the JASDF as the aviation branch.

Until 2015, women were banned from becoming fighter jet and reconnaissance aircraft pilots. The first female pilot of a F-15 joined the ranks, along with three other female pilots currently in training, in 2018.[6]

The Ministry of Defense reported in fiscal 2018 that there were 999 scrambles by JASDF jets against mainly Chinese and Russian unidentified aircraft. That is the second highest amount of scrambles by the JASDF since 1958. 638 (64%) were Chinese aircraft and 343 (34%) were Russian aircraft. On June 20 2019, two Russian bombers (Tupolev Tu-95) violated Japanese airspace twice on the same day.[7]

OrganizationEdit

 
Japan Air Self-Defense Force Air Defense Command Headquarters (2012)

Major units of the JASDF are the Air Defense Command, Air Support Command, Air Training Command, Air Development and Test Command, and Air Materiel Command. The Air Support Command is responsible for direct support of operational forces in rescue, transportation, control, weather monitoring and inspection. The Air Training Command is responsible for basic flying and technical training. The Air Development and Test Command, in addition to overseeing equipment research and development, is also responsible for research and development in such areas as flight medicine.

The Air Defense Command has northern, central, and western regional headquarters located at Misawa, Iruma, and Kasuga, respectively and the Southwestern Composite Air Division based at Naha, Okinawa Prefecture. All four regional headquarters control surface-to-air missile units of both the JASDF and the JGSDF located in their respective areas.

 
Boeing KC-767J tanker in 2017.

RanksEdit

Officers(幹部)Edit

Insignia General
空将
(統合幕僚長
および
航空幕僚長)
Lieutenant
General

空将
Major
General

空将補
Colonel
1等空佐
Lieutenant
Colonel
2等空佐
Major
3等空佐
Captain
1等空尉
First
Lieutenant
2等空尉
Second
Lieutenant
3等空尉
Type A
(甲階級章)
                 
Type B
(乙階級章)
                 
Miniature
(略章)
                 

Warrant Officer and Enlisted(准尉および曹士)Edit

Insignia Warrant
Officer
准空尉
Senior
Master
Sergeant
空曹長
Master
Sergeant
1等空曹
Technical
Sergeant
2等空曹
Staff
Sergeant
3等空曹
Airman
1st Class

空士長
Airman
2nd Class

1等空士
Airman
3rd Class

2等空士
OR-D
Self Defence
Official Cadet
自衛官候補生
Type A
(甲階級章)
                 

 
Type B
(乙階級章)
                 
Miniature
(略章)
                No insignia

EquipmentEdit

The JASDF maintains an integrated network of radar installations and air defense direction centers throughout the country known as the Basic Air Defense Ground Environment. In the late 1980s, the system was modernized and augmented with E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. The nation relies on fighter-interceptor aircraft and surface-to-air missiles to intercept hostile aircraft. Both of these systems were improved from the beginning of the late 1980s. Outmoded aircraft were replaced in the early 1990s with more sophisticated models, and Nike-J missiles have been replaced with the modern Patriot PAC-2 and PAC-3 system. The JASDF also provides air support for ground and sea operations of the JGSDF and the JMSDF and air defense for bases of all the forces. Base defenses were upgraded in the late 1980s with new surface-to-air missiles, modern antiaircraft artillery and new fixed and mobile aircraft shelters.

AircraftEdit

Current inventoryEdit

 
A JASDF F-35
 
An E-2C Hawkeye landing at Misawa Air Base
 
A RF-4EJ Phantom II
 
A CH-47J from Iruma Air Base


Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Mitsubishi F-2 Japan multirole 62[8] based on the Lockheed Martin F-16
F-4 Phantom II United States multirole EF/RF-4EJ 73[8]
F-15 Eagle United States air superiority F-15J 155[8] manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
F-35 Lightning II United States multirole F-35A 11[9][10]
AWACS
Boeing E-767 United States early warning and control 4[8]
E-2 Hawkeye United States AEW E-2C/D 13 2 on order[8]
Electronic Warfare
Kawasaki C-1 Japan electronic warfare 1[8]
NAMC YS-11 Japan electronic warfare 4[8]
Tanker
Boeing KC-767 United States aerial refueling / transport 4[8]
Lockheed Martin KC-130 United States aerial refueling KC-130H 1[8]
Transport
Boeing 747 United States VIP 747-400 2[11] call sign Japanese Air Force One
Boeing 777 United States VIP 777-300ER 1 1 on order[12]
Gulfstream IV United States VIP 5[8]
Hawker 800 United Kingdom SAR / transport 27[8]
Kawasaki C-1 Japan transport 20[8]
Kawasaki C-2 Japan heavy transport 3 17 on order[8]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 14[8]
NAMC YS-11 Japan transport 1[8]
Helicopters
CH-47 Chinook United States transport / utility CH-47J 17[8] licensed built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Sikorsky UH-60 United States utility / transport UH-60J 41[8] licensed built by Mitsubishi
Trainer Aircraft
Mitsubishi F-2 Japan conversion trainer F-2B 20[8]
F-15 Eagle United States conversion trainer F-15DJ 45[8] manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Hawker 400 United States jet trainer T-1 Jayhawk 13[8]
Fuji T-3 Japan trainer 49[8]
Kawasaki T-4 Japan jet trainer 201[8]
NAMC YS-11 Japan multi engine trainer 2[8]

Future aircraftEdit

  • U.S. State Department approved the sale of 9 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to Japan for a total of $3.135 billion.[13]
  • The Mitsubishi X-2 is an experimental aircraft designed to study and develop technologies for future stealth fighter jets. The X-2 will contribute to the eventual F-3 stealth fighter.[14]
  • The F-3 (or i3 (Informed, Intelligent, Instantaneous) fighter) is a future sixth-generation jet fighter that will be developed based off experiences from the Mitsubishi X-2. The project was initiated between 2009 and 2010 and is set to replace the Mitsubishi F-2.[15]
  • In December 2018, Japan announced they would procure an additional 63 F-35As and 42 F-35Bs, increasing their total F-35 procurement from 42 to 147.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Japan Self-Defense Force | Defending Japan". Defendingjapan.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on 2015-02-16. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  2. ^ "What is JASDF?|ORGANIZATION | [JASDF] Japan Air Self-Defense Force". www.mod.go.jp. Archived from the original on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-02-04.
  3. ^ Gao, Charlie (19 February 2018). "Japan's Air Force: The Best in Asia?". Archived from the original on 30 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  4. ^   This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/.
  5. ^ "World Air Forces 2014". Archived 2013-12-25 at the Wayback Machine Flightglobal.com
  6. ^ "First Japanese woman to fly fighter jet". BBC News. 2018-08-24. Archived from the original on 2018-08-24. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  7. ^ "Russian bombers violated Japan's airspace twice in one day, defense ministry says". Stars and Stripes. 2019-06-21. Archived from the original on 2019-06-22. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "World Air Forces 2018". Flightglobal Insight. 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Lockheed Martin unveils first F-35 built for Japan". Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2018-05-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Japan searches for new plane for Prime minister". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  12. ^ "New government plane delivered to Japan". NHK World. 17 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Japan – E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft". Defense Security Cooperation Agency. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Info" (PDF). www.kosuke.net. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  15. ^ "「将来の戦闘機に関する研究開発ビジョン」について". Japan Ministry of Defense. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  16. ^ Mehta, Aaron (18 December 2018). "With massive F-35 increase, Japan is now biggest international buyer". DefenseNews. Retrieved 22 April 2019.

External linksEdit