In early 1996, Arlington Splendor, Engineering Consultants (ASEC) began studies in support of its multi-role maritime fighter concept, the MRMF.  At that time, the objective of ASEC's MRMF effort was to design a unique fighter aircraft specifically for the defense of the Japanese islands.

It was thought that the defense of Japan posed special problems, most of which were the direct result of Japan's geography.  Japan did not possess any "defense in depth" in that Japan is basically a group of large islands; but, islands nevertheless.  As such, most military bases were situated in close proximity to the sea; and, this fact alone made the defense of those bases a formidable challenge.

The MRMF was developed to be highly mobile, with minimal dependence upon large airfields and logistical depots.  The MRMF could be launched from small stretches of Japan's highways; and, it could be stealthy dispersed to operate from small remote facilities on short notice.  This would make it difficult for a potential enemy to launch a surprise attack upon the entire fleet of MRMF aircraft.  Many MRMF could survive with the capability to effect a retaliatory strike against the enemy forces.  Not only could the MRMF survive a first strike, the MRMF could return to landing areas away from military bases and sensitive target areas chosen by the striking forces.

Since the MRMF was designed with capability to operate from small island complexes, ASEC began to explore other parts of the world where such an airborne weapon system might be employed.  The idea here was to allow the Japanese aircraft industry to selectively offer foreign sales of the MRMF to offset its developmental costs.  In short order, the focus of ASEC studies turned toward the oil rich regions surrounding, and including, the South China Sea theater.

DSL & Cable viewers click on this China Sea photo

One thing led to another; and, when the projected situation was analyzed, for the time period 2015 - 2020, it became obvious that the U.S. Navy would be highly involved in operations in this theater.  And yet, it also seemed likely that the presence of a large U.S. naval battle group, to police the waters off Viet Nam, would not go over undisputed by the neighboring nations.  So many large naval vessels in close proximity to the Chinese mainland would be seen as highly provocative. If naval operations were to take place in this theater, such operations would almost certainly involve the use of U.S. Marines (USMC) in a highly mobile fashion.  This would likely involve the use of special vehicles and weapons systems.  An example of this appeared to be evident in the development of the USMC V-22 Osprey VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle.

It is from these strategic studies that the development of the MRMF concept took shape.  These geographical studies were also expanded to include political studies of oil producing nations, since much oil is being developed offshore; and, the MRMF was ideally suited to the task of providing maritime security for these offshore facilities.  The same could be said for the "sister" concepts that arise when viewing the capability of the V-22 Osprey aircraft.

After September 11, 2001:


The events prior to, and following, 9-11 gave new urgency to ASEC's "out of the box" approach to strategic studies.  As was the case with our innovative approach to fighter design, we felt that ASEC could offer our nation, and the world, a unique perspective on the problems that now faced us in common. This is where we have arrived today.

"I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane
will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."
Joseph Campbell   (1904-1987)