Japan grounds F-15s after fuel tank falls off

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by nrj, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    TOKYO — Japan has grounded its F-15 fighters for the second time in three months after a fuel tank and parts of a mock missile fell off a jet on a training mission, officials said Saturday.

    Japan Air Self-Defense Force officials said that the flight suspension involves all missions except emergency scrambles and will last until the safety of Japan’s 202 F-15 fighters has been confirmed.

    No one was injured in Friday’s incident near Komatsu base in Ishikawa Prefecture and the pilot landed safely. In July, Japan’s F-15s were grounded after one of the jets crashed into the East China Sea.

    The latest incident comes as Tokyo is moving ahead to replace its aging fighters.

    The fuel tank was 6.6 meters long, 0.8 meter in diameter and weighed 155 kilograms, the ASDF said. The tank, which was empty, and parts of the dummy missile detached and fell from the plane as it was nearing the field for landing. The debris fell on 10 locations, including a sewage plant.

    “We take this accident very seriously,” ASDF head Gen Shigeru Iwasaki said at a news conference late Friday. He said the cause was under investigation.

    Japan is the biggest foreign user of the U.S.-designed planes but is looking for a newer aircraft to replace its aging fleet. It is expected to announce its choice by the end of the year in a deal worth more than $8 billion.

    Because of Japan’s close military ties with Washington, options such as the Lockheed F-35 and Boeing F/A-18 have long been the top contenders, but the Eurofighter Typhoon is also being considered.

    The deal is expected to involve 40 or 50 new planes.

    Though many upgrades and changes to the planes have been made over the years, F-15 fighters have been in service since the early 1970s and are increasingly expensive to maintain. The United States, which also relies heavily on the aircraft, is planning to phase out its F-15s in favor of the more advanced F-35 and F-22.

    The Japanese versions of the plane, originally built by McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing, are produced domestically under a license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

    Japan has been flying the F-15 since 1982. The plane involved in Friday’s accident went into service in 1998.

    Japan grounds F-15s after fuel tank falls off near residential area in Ishikawa ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion
     
  2.  
  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    Knowing Japanese, they'd fix this problem in a week and can even have the same number of new jets in a week's time whereas it would take at least 4 years if it were to happen in India.
     
  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    Plane which met accident was inducted in '98. This is 2nd time in 3 months that entire f15 fleet is grounded. God save japanese air force.
     

Share This Page