Air SDF to scrap 12 fighters, citing tsunami damage

September 15, 2011

By TAKASHI WATANABE / Staff Writer

Twelve Mitsubishi F-2 fighters used by the Air Self-Defense Force were damaged beyond repair by the March 11 tsunami and will be scrapped, the Defense Ministry said.

Six others will be repaired at an estimated cost of 80 billion yen ($1 billion), the ministry said, more than the original purchase price of the six aircraft.

The 18 F-2s were stationed at the Matsushima Air Base in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture.

According to the ministry, the jets were damaged when the air field was inundated with tsunami seawater 2 meters in height.

The ministry spent 13.6 billion yen trying to determine whether the aircraft could be repaired. After months of examination, it decided that 12 of the F-2s were too heavily damaged to return to service. The jets will be parted out with undamaged components salvaged for use in other jets or equipment.

The ministry requested a total of about 109 billion, including 80 billion yen for repairing aircraft, to be included in the third supplementary budget to be submitted to the Diet.

The F-2s at Matsushima Air Base were mainly used for training and educating pilots.

Since the air base was damaged by the tsunami, the Defense Ministry has commissioned other air bases in Japan and U.S. bases, for training pilots.

By TAKASHI WATANABE / Staff Writer
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F-2 fighter aircraft washed away by tsunami in a photo taken March 13 at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Air Base in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture (The Asahi Shimbun)

F-2 fighter aircraft washed away by tsunami in a photo taken March 13 at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Air Base in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture (The Asahi Shimbun)

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  • F-2 fighter aircraft washed away by tsunami in a photo taken March 13 at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Air Base in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture (The Asahi Shimbun)

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