There Goes a Tail Piece

A Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15J performing at an air show in Japan on Nov. 29 lost a section of its tail shortly after takeoff, prompting the JASDF to ground its fleet of F-15J fighters pending inspections, reports The Mainichi Daily News. The newspaper reported that the 2.4-meter-long fragment from the left tail plane fragmented into seven pieces. In addition to the F-15, JASDF flies an even older F-4 that, at one time, it had hoped to replace with an export version of USAF’s new F-22 air dominance fighter. However, the Pentagon refused Congressional prodding to consider an export F-22 and with the end of the Raptor production line in sight, Japan is considering buying F-35 strike fighters instead.