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Upgraded Japanese Hunters

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Hawker Hunter Mk.55 'J-Plus' - 204th Hikotai, Japanese Air Self Defence Force, 1982


With the passing of the 1954 Self-Defense Forces Law the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, or JASDF, was formed as the aviation branch of Japan's armed forces. The F-86F was initially selected to be the standard fighter of the revived JASDF with Mitsubishi building 300 F-86F's under licence in an ambitious programme scheduled to start in 1956. As an interim stop-gap the UK Government offered to supply 100 Hawker Hunter Mk.55's (essentially a simplified Hunter F.6 without air-to-ground capability) and these entered service with the 204th Hikotai in December 1954 and later equipped the "Blue Impulse" aerial display team who flew the type until 1979. 


The Hunter Mk.55's proved to be a popular aircraft in JASDF service and an aggressive rivalry soon developed between the ten JASDF Sabre squadrons and the four Hunter squadrons. Whilst the capabilities of the JASDF Sabres was sharply increased with the arrival of the Sidewinder missile in the early 1960's the Hunter squadrons received no upgrades until the late 1960's when the surviving Hunter Mk.55's were upgraded by a joint Hawker-Mitsubishi team to emerge as the Hunter Mk.55A gaining Sidewinder capability on new outer wing pylons and later being further upgraded by Mitsubishi during the late 1970's to Mk.55 'J-Plus' standard with new LAU-7/A Sidewinder pylons on the inner wing roots and AN/ALE-40 chaff and flare dispensers. Two squadrons continued to operate the type into the early 1980's with the 204th Hikotai being the last squadron to operate this very popular aircraft in JASDF service when they disbanded in December 1983.
















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I pretty like it, but I am wondering what kind of local name they would had given to her with the original name of "Hunter". Saw how they named their war machines I will opt for something like "Pleasant morning dew of the Honourable cherry blossom."

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why not just bring back the Ki-44's name? Shoki (devil queller or demon hunter)

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