Japan to Club F-2 Successor Jet Development with British Tempest Program

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:48 PM, August 17, 2022
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Japan to Club F-2 Successor Jet Development with British Tempest Program
Artist's rendering of future British Tempest sixth-generation fighter jet @RAF

Japan could integrate plans to create a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-2 fighter with that of an aircraft currently under development in Britain.

Sources told the Japan Times that Tokyo wants to join these projects in an effort to utilize the technologies of both countries and lower production costs. Italy, which will take part in the British fighter jet program, may also join the initiative between Japan and Britain.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Britain’s BAE Systems are likely to lead the development of the new fighter jet. IHI Corp. and Rolls-Royce are expected to develop the engine, while Mitsubishi Electric and the British arm of Italian defense contractor Leonardo SpA are likely to be in charge of the radar system.

Related news: Leonardo, Mitsubishi to Co-Develop Radar for F-X/FCAS Aircraft

The Japanese government hopes to finalize the joint development plan by the end of the year, the sources said.

Tokyo’s next-generation fighter is expected to enter service around 2035, around the same time as the British Tempest.

The JASDF F-2 jets, first deployed in 2000, will retire once Japan’s new fighter is ready. Tempest will replace the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon.

The two new aircraft models have almost identical requirements, including high stealth, cruising range, aircraft size and number of engines, the sources were quoted as saying by the report.

The British side is willing to disclose information, ensuring a degree of freedom in future modifications, the sources added.

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