On F-22s for Japan

It’s unlikely that Japan will get to buy the F-22, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said yesterday. He told the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., that the “three obstacles” to such an export are probably too tough to overcome. The Obey Amendment makes such a sale illegal, and while it could be reversed, that would take time, Schwartz said. Second, “Unlike the F-35, the F-22 was not designed from the outset to be exported,” and to render it into a releasable state of technology “even to as trusted a partner as Japan” isn’t a “trivial” task, he said. “In fact, financially, it’s very substantial,” he noted. Finally, by the time the first two obstacles were overcome, there’s no certainty the production line would still be running, and if not, “there are considerations with produceability,” he observed. He said the Air Force has no expectation that the US will export the Raptor. “I doubt that position will change,” he said.