Japan Ready To Develop 6th Generation Fighter Jet With United Kingdom

FX Jepang /Eurasian Times

International Military - Japan will soon get the latest generation of fighter aircraft in the country. It is known that the East Asian country even has cooperation with Britain. To be more precise, Japan-based Mitsubishi will work with UK-based BAE Systems.

This cooperation is intended to develop Japan's future FX fighter aircraft. In other words, the FX is a Japanese sixth generation fighter jet.

Reporting from 19fortyfive.com, the aim of the program is to replace the domestically built Mitsubishi F-2 by the mid-2030s. Not only that, Japan also has ambitions to strengthen the defense industry of Asian countries. Tokyo's defense posture is changing, and the development of FX is expected to help Japan enter the international arms market.

As reported by The Drive, the Japanese air force mainly relies on US-made fighters, including the F-15J Eagle and F-35A. In 2020, the Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-35, was a potential partner in the FX program.

The deal appears to be falling apart due to technology transfer issues, including upgrades. It has been suggested that American defense contractors seek to maintain control over software and even hardware upgrades, thereby limiting Japan's autonomy over the project.

Now it seems the Japanese government may be looking to the UK for the next generation of aircraft. Tokyo and the UK have even announced plans to collaborate on engine parts.

The UK and Japan have further agreed to collaborate on sensor technology for the sixth-generation Tempest fighter and the future FX fighter program.

They have also agreed to cooperate on the Universal Advanced RF system of Japan and the United Kingdom or JAGUAR which is a universal radio frequency sensor technology. Obviously, a loss for the US is a gain for the UK. It is known, Lockheed Martin does not seem interested in developing FX.

Quoted from The Diplomat, this was conveyed by a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, who is a defense policy expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Lockheed Martin is not very enthusiastic about developing Japan's next-generation fighter aircraft,” said a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker

"Moreover, for the US, the timing of Japan's next fighter development is not right because the US has already developed the F-35," the lawmaker said. In their May 5 talks in London, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, confirmed that their countries would agree to a review of the joint development program by the end of the year. It is also equipped with the defense authorities of the two countries finalizing the specifications of the expanded cooperation.

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