Japan Air Self-Defense Force

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Japan Air Self-Defense Force
航空自衛隊
Flag of JASDF.png
Founded July 1, 1954
Country  Japan
Size 45,000 personnel (2005)
769 aircraft[1] (2013)
Part of Japan Self-Defense Forces
Commanders
Current
commander
General Haruhiko Kataoka
(Chief of Staff, Air Self Defense Force)
Insignia
Roundel Japan Air Self-Defense Force roundel.svg
Ensign Flag of JASDF.png
Aircraft flown
Attack F-2
Electronic
warfare
E-767, EC-1, E-2C
Fighter F-4EJ, F-15J/DJ, F-2, F-35A
Helicopter UH-60J, CH-47J, KV-107
Interceptor F-15J
Trainer F-15DJ, T-7, T-400, T-4
Transport C-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.

  • Prime Minister of Japan
    • Minister of Defense
      • JASDF Chief of Staff / Air Staff Office
        • Air Defense Command: Yokota AB, Fussa, Tokyo
          • Northern Air Defense Force: Misawa, Aomori
            • 2nd Air Wing (Chitose Air Base: 201SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4; 203SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4)
            • 3rd Air Wing (Misawa Air Base: 3SQ, F-2A/B T-4; 8SQ, F-2A/B, T-4)
            • Northern Aircraft Control & Warning Wing
            • 3rd Air Defense Missile Group
            • 6th Air Defense Missile Group
          • Central Air Defense Force: Iruma, Saitama
            • 6th Air Wing (Komatsu Air Base: 303SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4; 306SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4)
            • 7th Air Wing (Hyakuri Air Base: 302SQ, F-4EJ-Kai, T-4; 305SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4)
            • Middle Aircraft Control & Warning Wing
            • 1st Air Defense Missile Group
            • 4th Air Defense Missile Group
            • Iwo Jima Air Base Group
          • Western Air Defense Force: Kasuga, Fukuoka
            • 5th Air Wing (Nyutabaru Air Base: 301SQ, F-4EJ-Kai, T-4)
            • 8th Air Wing (Tsuiki Air Base: 304SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4; 6SQ, F-2A/B, T-4)
            • Western Aircraft Control & Warning Wing
            • 2nd Air Defense Missile Group
          • Southwestern Composite Air Division: Naha, Okinawa
            • 83d Air Wing (Naha Air Base: 204SQ, F-15J/DJ, T-4)
            • Southwestern Aircraft Control & Warning Group
            • 5th Air Defense Missile Group
          • Airborne Early Warning Group: Misawa Air Base(E-2C), Hamamatsu Air Base(E-767)
          • Tactical Reconnaissance Group: Hyakuri Air Base(RF-4E, RF-4EJ)
          • Tactical Fighter Training Group: Nyutabaru Air Base(F-15DJ/J, T-4)
          • Air Defense Missile Training Group: Hamamatsu, Chitose
          • Air Defense Command Headquarters Flight Group (Iruma Air Base: U-4, YS-11EA,YS-11EB, T-4, EC-1)
      • Air Support Command: Fuchu, Tokyo
      • Air Training Command: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka
      • Air Development and Test Command: Iruma Air Base, Saitama
        • Air Development and Test Wing (Gifu Air Base: F-15J/DJ, F-2A/B, C-1FTB, F-4EJ, F-4EJ-kai, T-7, T-4)
        • Electronics Development and Test Group
        • Aeromedical Laboratory
      • Air Material Command: Jujou, Tokyo
        • 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Air Depot
      • Air Staff College
      • Air Communications and Systems Wing
      • Aerosafety Service Group
      • Central Air Base Group
      • Others

Ranks[edit]

Officers[edit]

Officer & Warrant Officer
(幹部・准尉)
Insignia General
(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).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (a).svg JASDF Major General insignia (a).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (a).svg JASDF Major insignia (a).svg JASDF Captain insignia (a).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (a).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF General insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (b).svg JASDF Major General insignia (b).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (b).svg JASDF Major insignia (b).svg JASDF Captain insignia (b).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (b).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major General insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Lieutenant Colonel insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Major insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Captain insignia (miniature).svg JASDF First Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Second Lieutenant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Warrant Officer insignia (miniature).svg

Enlisted[edit]

Enlisted
(曹・士)
Insignia Senior
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).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (a).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (a).svg
Type B
(乙階級章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (b).svg JASDF Airman 3rd Class insignia (b).svg
Miniature
(略章)
JASDF Senior Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Master Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Technical Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Staff Sergeant insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 1st Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF Airman 2nd Class insignia (miniature).svg JASDF 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]

Aircraft Role Versions Quantity[1] Note
Combat aircraft
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Fighter Aircraft F-35A 0 Order for 42 F-35A placed on 20 December 2011, with initial delivery to begin in 2016 to replace F-4s. *Another 28 added into defense budget[3]
Mitsubishi F-15 Eagle Fighter Aircraft F-15J
F-15DJ
165
48
Mitsubishi F-2 Fighter Aircraft F-2A
F-2B
61
28
5 F-2B were scrapped due to 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
F-4 Phantom II Fighter Aircraft & Reconnaissance F/EF/RF-4EJ 78 Being phased out. Capability to be replaced by existing F-15s and future F-35As.
AEW&C
Boeing E-767 Airborne Early Warning & Control E-767 4
Grumman E-2 Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning E-2C 13
Aerial refueling aircraft
Boeing 767 Tanker Aircraft Boeing KC-767J 4
Transport aircraft
C-130 Hercules Transport Aircraft
Tanker Aircraft
C-130H
KC-130H
15
1
Kawasaki C-1 Transport Aircraft
Electronic Warfare Trainer
C-1A
EC-1
25
1
Kawasaki C-2 Transport Aircraft C-2 0 20 on order to replace the C-1 transport aircraft.
Boeing 747-400 VIP Transport B747-400 2
Gulfstream IV VIP Transport U-4 5
NAMC YS-11 VIP 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 125 Flight 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-4 Trainer Aircraft 204 4 aircraft were damaged during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Raytheon Hawker 400 Trainer T-400 13
Fuji T-7 Trainer Aircraft 48
Helicopters
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Transport Helicopter CH-47J 16
Mitsubishi H-60 Search & Rescue UH-60J 36 40 on order.

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

Future aircraft[edit]

Aircraft Role Versions Quantity Note
Mitsubishi ATD-X Fifth-generation jet fighter F-3 - Maiden flight expected in 2014.[5]
RQ-4 Global Hawk Recon UAV RQ-4 1 One to be operated jointly with the U.S. by 2015. *8 on order[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]