Japan Air Self-Defense Force

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Japan Air Self-Defense Force
航空自衛隊
JASDF emblem.png
Japan Air Self-Defense Force emblem
Founded July 1, 1954
Country  Japan
Type Air force
Size 50,324 personnel[1] (2013)
777 aircraft[2]
Part of Japan Self-Defense Forces
Motto "Key to Defense, Ready Anytime!"
Commanders
Chief of the Air Staff General Harukazu Saito
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, Boeing 747-400

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.[3] 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 50,324 personnel in 2013, and as of 2013 operates 777 aircraft, of which approximately 373 are fighter aircraft.[2]

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]

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
幕僚長たる空将)
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)
Warrant
Officer
(准空尉)
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
(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
(1等空士)
Airman
Basic
(2等空士)
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 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 anti-aircraft artillery and new fixed and mobile aircraft shelters.

Aircraft[edit]

Current inventory[edit]

An F-2 taking off from the runway at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
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 63[4] based on the Lockheed Martin F-16
F-4 Phantom II  United States multirole EF/RF-4EJ 71[4]
F-15 Eagle  United States air superiority F-15J 154[4] manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
F-35 Lightning II  United States multirole F-35A 4 on order[4]
AWACS
Boeing 767  United States early warning and control E-767 4[4]
E-2 Hawkeye  United States AEW E-2C 13[4]
Electronic Warfare
C-1  Japan electronic warfare 1[4]
NAMC YS-11  Japan electronic warfare 7[4]
Tanker
Boeing KC-767  United States aerial refueling / transport 4[4]
KC-130  United States aerial refueling KC-130H 1[4]
Transport
Boeing 747  United States VIP 747-400 2[5] call sign Japanese Air Force One
Gulfstream IV  United States VIP 5[4]
Hawker 800  United Kingdom VIP / transport 27[4]
Kawasaki C-1  Japan transport 26[4]
Kawasaki C-2  Japan heavy transport 2[4] 20 on order[4]
C-130  United States transport C-130H 15[4]
NAMC YS-11  Japan transport 3[4]
Helicopters
CH-47  United States transport / utility CH-47J 16[4] licensed built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries
UH-60  United States utility / transport UH-60J 35[4] licensed built by Mitsubishi
Trainer Aircraft
Mitsubishi F-2  Japan conversion trainer F-2B 15[4]
F-15 Eagle  United States conversion trainer F-15DJ 45[4] manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Hawker 400  Japan jet trainer T-1 Jayhawk 13[4]
Fuji T-3  Japan trainer 48[4]
Kawasaki T-4  Japan jet trainer 203[4]
NAMC YS-11  Japan multi engine trainer 3[4]

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

Future aircraft[edit]

Aircraft Role Versions Quantity Note
Mitsubishi ATD-X Stealth Fighter Demonstrator F-3 1 prototype Maiden flight expected in 2015.[6]
Kawasaki C-2 Military Transport Aircraft C-2 2 prototype 40~ planned to produced[7]
Fuji TACOM Air-Launched Multi-Role Stealth UAV TACOM 6 In development and production[8]
F-35 Lightning II 5th generation stealth multirole fighter F-35J *42 *42 on order[9]
RQ-4 Global Hawk Recon UAV RQ-4 *3 *3 on order[10]
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye AEW&C E-2D *4 *4 on order[11]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]