40 Years of Japanese Aggressors
Formed on 17 December 1981, the Hikou kaihatsu jikkendan (Tactical Fighter Training Group) is the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s dedicated aggressor squadron. Flying Mitsubishi-built T-2 trainers at first, they upgraded to domestically-made F-15DJs in 1990. Like American OPFOR squadrons, they wear a mix of dissimilar schemes meant to mimic Warsaw Pact/NorK/PLAAF warplanes.
Of course, the JASDF has lots of interaction with the real deal on a regular basis, scrambling alert aircraft to intercept Soviet err, Russian Bears as well as dealing with increasingly heavy Chicom traffic in recent years.
Based at Komatsu Air Base– a former IJN seaplane base with easy access to a large training airspace over the Sea of Japan– the aggressor group is winding up for their 40th-anniversary celebration next month.
The problem is, how do you run a special livery in a squadron full of special liveries? The answer: 40th-anniversary drop tanks!