Japan, UK, Italy get together to develop new fighter aircraft
Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy plan to jointly develop a fighter jet for their air forces with the aim of deploying it around 2035. A joint statement was expected on Friday.
Japan’s aim is to introduce a successor to its F-2 fighter in the mid-2030s when the aircraft will be retired, and the UK plans to deploy the Tempest, successor to its mainstay Eurofighter Typhoon, in actual combat by 2035.
Since Japan and Britain have almost the same performance requirements, such as stealth features and high-performance radar, and their development periods overlap, governments decided to make final arrangements for joint development. The UK is joining hands with Italy to develop the Tempest.
The development team is expected to be led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd and BAE Systems, a major British aerospace and defence company. The team will oversee the overall design of the aircraft and system development, and the Japanese side has been able to secure the flexibility in modifications that they had been emphasising. Italy is expected to have Leonardo, another major aerospace and defence company, participate in the project, along with other companies.
The three countries aim to procure a total of about 300 aircraft for themselves and to export the finished product overseas.
In Japan, the Three Principles of Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and operational guidelines have been a stumbling block to exports, and the government and ruling parties have been in close talks to review them.
The Japan News
Asia News Network