As the US is refusing to sell Japan the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will have to settle for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II instead, according to an analysis piece posted on Sina's military news web portal.
The F-35 will still allow the JASDF entry into the stealth fighter club, however. China is likely to respond to the Japanese fighter upgrade with appropriate measures of its own, said the website.
F-35 Overall Analysis
There is already a dearth of articles concerning the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) research and development projects and profiles of the F-35, so the article on the Sina web portal focused on maneuverability, stealth and sensors and electromagnetic interference. From an overall design perspective, the F-35 has a similar conventional aerodynamic configuration to the F-22. Its main wings differ from the delta wing of the medium bomber version of the F-22, in that they take a trapezoid mid-wing configuration, with the back sweep angle of the leading edge of the main wings at 35 degrees and the trailing edge front sweep angle at 15 degrees. The twin tailfins are canted outward at an angle of 25 degrees. The backsweep angle on the horizontal plane of projection is 35 degrees too. The weapons bay has four pylons and on anti-aircraft missions it typically carries two AIM-120 air-to-air missiles and two AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles; when striking ground targets, it typically carries two AIM-120 missiles and two 907 kilogram guided bombs. The F-35 has improved stealth capability in terms of scattering head-on radar; its diverterless suspersonic inlets (DSI) are located on either side of the front of the body of the plane and it has no moving components and the serpentine inlet hides the face of the entire engine.
According to an article entitled The Analysis of Aerodynamic and Stealth Characteristic of F-35 Fighter in the Chinese journal Aircraft Design, at subsonic speed, the F-35's lift coefficient at an angle of attack of 30 degrees and a speed of Mach 0.3 can reach 1.6, while its lift-drag ration at an angle of attack of 5 degrees and a speed of Mach 0.5 can reach a maximum of 16. As the angle of attack increases, however, the lift-drag ration falls sharply. At an angle of attack of 10 degrees, for example, the lift-drag ratio falls to 8. This is why the F-35 has been able to improve on cruise capabilities at Mach 0.5, useful for long range ground attacks at medium speeds. However, this optimal cruise speed is a little slow for subsonic air-to-air combat, as even large Boeing passenger planes have a cruise speed of around Mach 0.8. The F-35 is more reliable at a 30 degree angle of attack at subsonic speeds, a major improvement on third-generation aircraft, but because the lift-drag ratio falls rapidly with an increasing angle of attack, the stability of turns for the F-35 is dependent upon a strong engine.