Japanese Military Aviation

MAR 15 2011
Military Aviation >> JASDF > Hiko Kyodotai: The JASDF's Aggressor Squadron

The Hiko Kyodotai (Tactical Fighter Training Squadron) is the Japan Air Self Defence Force’s dedicated aggressor squadron and operates some of the best looking F-15s in the world. Based at Nyutabaru, the unit provides air combat training for most of the JASDF’s combat units.

Something of an elite unit, the Hiko Kyodotai predominately operates the two-seat Mitsubishi F-15DJ Eagle, although some single seat F-15Js are also on strength. In common with most Japanese units, it also uses a small number of Kawasaki T-4 trainers for continuation training and liaison duties.

Most of the F-15s are painted in very colourful camouflage schemes, with each aircraft seemingly carrying unique colours. In contrast to US aggressor units, which tend to carry colour schemes loosely based on the camouflage of potentially hostile nations, the Hiko Kyodotai schemes seem to be purely designed to look cool!

Although they are normally based at Nyutabaru, aircraft of the Hiko Kyodotai regularly deploy to bases throughout Japan, in order to assist in the training of the regular squadrons. Recently though, the unit was forced to temporarily move from Nyutabaru to Hyakuri due to the spectacular eruption of the volcano Mount Shinmoedake, which has resulted in an extensive ash cloud hanging over south west Japan.

During their stay at Hyakuri the aggressors have been fairly active, tending to fly three short missions each day. Most of these missions have been flown independently of the local F-4 and F-15 units – normally on a regular deployment the local squadrons would hone their skills with missions being flown against the aggressors.

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