Japan Joins Britain and Italy in making 5th Gen Aircraft

Japan Joins Britain and Italy in making 5th Gen Aircraft
Japan Joins Britain and Italy in making 5th Gen Aircraft

Japan has entered the final stages of talks with the United Kingdom and Italy to jointly develop and build a next-generation fighter jet, marking a turning point as Japan looks beyond the US for defence cooperation.


As reported by the local Japanese daily Asahi, a formal agreement is expected in December 2022. Japan will partner with Europe first time to develop a fighter jet. The arrangement will include provisions for the export of the future fighter jet. The Air Self-Defence Force plans to deploy the next-generation fighter starting in 2035. Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, British aviation and defence giant BAE Systems, and Italian defence contractor Leonardo SpA will oversee development. A formal agreement is expected by the end of this year.

Japan’s next-generation fighter should be a twin-engine stealth fighter which will include the research done on the experimental X-2 Shinshin, a cancelled fifth-generation fighter jet program. 
Japan Joins Britain and Italy in making 5th Gen Aircraft

The new aircraft is slated to be the successor to the Mitsubishi F-2, which was jointly developed with Lockheed Martin as a Japanese version of the F-16. The Japanese Ministry of Self-Defence initially planned to once again collaborate with a US company, which is currently developing the next-generation F-35 fighter. However, Lockheed Martin's refusal to share classified technology information raised concerns about servicing the aircraft domestically after deployment.

Japan Joins Britain and Italy in making 5th Gen Aircraft
The UK, meanwhile, has announced plans to introduce its sixth-generation Tempest fighter in 2035.