- Jun 19, 2013
With modernization and expansion of the People's Liberation Army Air Force of China accelerating, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) envisaged a mass deployment of Chinese as well as Russian 4.5th and 5th generation fighters in the region in the near future, and, in 2010, issued a report to call for development of a new generation high performance fighter to compensate for numerical inferiority and secure air superiority in such an environment. The report, A vision for research and development of future fighter, stressed the importance of indigenous development to maintain domestic fighter manufacturing base, and proposed a counter-stealth fighter capable of detecting enemy stealth aircraft with its combat information system composed of high-power radar, advanced sensor suite and tactical link with external sensor nodes and accompanying UAVs, and defeating them with network-based team tactics. It features advanced stealth capabilities, a fly-by-light flight control system, slim high-power engines, advanced sensor suite, "cloud shooting" capability (networked fire control), and directed energy weapons called "light-speed weapon". This highly 'informed' and 'intelligent' platform to destroy enemies 'instantaneously' with high-efficient shooting and light-speed weapons was named as i3 FIGHTER.
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