Japan Air Self-Defense Force

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Japan Air Self-Defense Force
航空自衛隊
Flag of JASDF.png
FoundedJuly 1, 1954
CountryJapan
Size45,000 personnel (2005)
769 aircraft[1] (2013)
Part ofJapan Self-Defense Forces
Commanders
Current
commander
General Haruhiko Kataoka
(Chief of Staff, Air Self Defense Force)
Insignia
RoundelJapan Air Self-Defense Force roundel.svg
EnsignFlag of JASDF.png
Aircraft flown
AttackF-2
Electronic
warfare
E-767, EC-1, E-2C
FighterF-4EJ, F-15J/DJ, F-2
HelicopterUH-60J, CH-47J, KV-107
InterceptorF-15J
TrainerF-15DJ, T-7, T-400, T-4
TransportC-1, KC-767J, C-130H
 
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Japan Air Self-Defense Force
航空自衛隊
Flag of JASDF.png
FoundedJuly 1, 1954
CountryJapan
Size45,000 personnel (2005)
769 aircraft[1] (2013)
Part ofJapan Self-Defense Forces
Commanders
Current
commander
General Haruhiko Kataoka
(Chief of Staff, Air Self Defense Force)
Insignia
RoundelJapan Air Self-Defense Force roundel.svg
EnsignFlag of JASDF.png
Aircraft flown
AttackF-2
Electronic
warfare
E-767, EC-1, E-2C
FighterF-4EJ, F-15J/DJ, F-2
HelicopterUH-60J, CH-47J, KV-107
InterceptorF-15J
TrainerF-15DJ, T-7, T-400, T-4
TransportC-1, KC-767J, C-130H

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (航空自衛隊 Kōkū Jieitai?), or JASDF, is the aviation branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations.[2] The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems. The branch also has an aerobatic team known as Blue Impulse and has recently been involved in providing air transport in several UN peacekeeping missions.

The JASDF had an estimated 45,000 personnel in 2005, and as of 2013 operates 769 aircraft, of which approximately 350 are fighter aircraft.[1]

History[edit]

Before forming the Japanese Self-Defense Forces after World War II, Japan did not have a separate air force. Aviation operations were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service and the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. Following World War II the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were dissolved and replaced by the JSDF with the passing of the 1954 Self-Defense Forces Law with the JASDF as the aviation branch.

Organization[edit]

JASDF C-130H
Kawasaki T-4 training aircraft in Iwakuni base

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 on Okinawa. All four regional headquarters control surface-to-air missile units of both the JASDF and the JGSDF located in their respective areas.

Ranks[edit]

Officers[edit]

Officer & Warrant Officer
(幹部・准尉)
InsigniaGeneral
(統合・航空
幕僚長)
Lieutenant
General
(将)
Major
General
(将補)
Colonel
(1佐)
Lieutenant
Colonel
(2佐)
Major
(3佐)
Captain
(1尉)
First
Lieutenant
(2尉)
Second
Lieutenant
(3尉)
Warrant
Officer
(准尉)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF General insignia (a).svgJASDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svgJASDF Major General insignia (a).svgJASDF Colonel insignia (a).svgJASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svgJASDF Major insignia (a).svgJASDF Captain insignia (a).svgJASDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svgJASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svgJASDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF General insignia (b).svgJASDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svgJASDF Major General insignia (b).svgJASDF Colonel insignia (b).svgJASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svgJASDF Major insignia (b).svgJASDF Captain insignia (b).svgJASDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svgJASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svgJASDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF General insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Major General insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Major insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Captain insignia (miniature).svgJASDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg

Enlisted[edit]

Enlisted
(曹・士)
InsigniaSenior
Master
Sergeant
(曹長)
Master
Sergeant
(1曹)
Technical
Sergeant
(2曹)
Staff
Sergeant
(3曹)
Airman
1st Class
(士長)
Airman
(1士)
Airman
Basic
(2士)
Type A
(甲階級章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (a).svgJASDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svgJASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (a).svgJASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (a).svgJASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (a).svgJASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (a).svgJASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (b).svgJASDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svgJASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (b).svgJASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (b).svgJASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (b).svgJASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (b).svgJASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svgJASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (miniature).svg

Equipment[edit]

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 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. Although support fighter squadrons started being modernized in 1989, they lacked precision-guided weapons for support of ground operations and attacks on hostile ships, and JASDF pilots receive little flight training over oceans to prepare for maritime operations. Base defenses were upgraded in the late 1980s with new surface-to-air missiles, modern antiaircraft artillery and new fixed and mobile aircraft shelters. The JASDF is not allowed to have strategic bombers for that would go against the self-defense–only policy.

Aircraft inventory[edit]

AircraftRoleVersionsQuantity[1]Note
Combat aircraft
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIFighter AircraftF-35A0Order for 42 F-35A placed on 20 December 2011, with initial delivery to begin in 2016 to replace F-4s.[3]
Mitsubishi F-2Fighter AircraftF-2A
F-2B
61
28
5 F-2B were scrapped due to 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Mitsubishi F-15 EagleFighter AircraftF-15J
F-15DJ
153
45
F-4 Phantom IIFighter Aircraft & ReconnaissanceF/EF/RF-4EJ78Being phased out. Capability to be replaced by existing F-15s and future F-35As.
AEW&C
Boeing E-767Airborne Early Warning & ControlE-7674
Grumman E-2 HawkeyeAirborne Early WarningE-2C13
Aerial refueling aircraft
Boeing 767Tanker AircraftBoeing KC-767J4
Transport aircraft
C-130 HerculesTransport Aircraft
Tanker Aircraft
C-130H
KC-130H
15
1
Kawasaki C-1Transport Aircraft
Electronic Warfare Trainer
C-1A
EC-1
25
1
Kawasaki C-2Transport AircraftC-2020 on order to replace the C-1 transport aircraft.
Gulfstream IVVIP TransportU-45
NAMC YS-11VIP Transport
Electronic Warfare Trainer
ELINT
Flight Checker
Navigation Trainer
YS-11P
YS-11EA
YS-11EB
YS-11FC
YS-11NT
3
2
4
3
1
A need for the replacement of the YS-11 in GSDF service has been acknowledged but is currently a low priority.[4]
Search and rescue aircraft
BAe 125Flight Checker
Search & Rescue
U-125
U-125A
3
23
2 U-125A were damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Trainer aircraft
Kawasaki T-4Trainer Aircraft2044 aircraft were damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Raytheon Hawker 400TrainerT-40013
Fuji T-7Trainer Aircraft48
Helicopters
Boeing CH-47 ChinookTransport HelicopterCH-47J16
Mitsubishi H-60Search & RescueUH-60J3640 on order.

Future of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force[edit]

Future aircraft[edit]

AircraftRoleVersionsQuantityNote
Mitsubishi ATD-XFifth-generation jet fighterF-3-Maiden flight expected in 2014.[5]
RQ-4 Global HawkRecon UAVRQ-41One to be operated jointly with the U.S. by 2015.[6]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "World Air Forces 2014". Flightglobal.com
  2. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
  3. ^ "US Lockheed Martin F-35 chosen as Japan fighter jet". BBC News. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Japan plans to add Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle for reconnaissance duties in 2015 - Armyrecognition.com, 24 August 2013

External links[edit]