BAE Systems eyes role in Japan’s future fighter programme

Harry Lye 6 November 2020 (Last Updated November 6th, 2020 12:54)

BAE Systems has outlined its support proposal for Japan’s F-X future fighter jet programme, offering the country a package of integration support.

BAE Systems eyes role in Japan’s future fighter programme
F-X concept. Image: Japan’s Ministry of Defence (MOD).

BAE Systems has outlined its support proposal for Japan’s F-X future fighter jet programme, offering the country a package of integration support.

The company responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Japanese Ministry of Defence (JMOD) Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA).

In its response, BAE outlined “technical capabilities across a range of key areas” that it could provide to support the development of the future jet.

BAE is also currently involved in the UK’s Team Tempest to develop a future combat air system that will eventually replace the Royal Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

BAE Systems’ Air business campaign delivery director for Japan Andy Latham said: “We firmly believe that we can add significant value to the F-X programme.

“We look forward to further progressing our discussions, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with Japan on this programme.”

Japan’s F-X fighter will replace the in-service F-2, a Japanese derivative of the F-16 Fighting Falcon made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The manufacturer of the F-2, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has been chosen by Japan to lead the development of the country’s future fighter jet. The finished jet will replace the F-2 by the mid-2030s.

Japan aims to begin production of a prototype jet in 2024 and plans to begin flight testing designs in 2028.

Latham added: “We have decades of experience of partnering with nations around the world to deliver sovereign capability.

“Our track record of collaborating on complex combat aircraft programmes has provided us with insight and understanding of the likely challenges and the range of capabilities, technologies and relationships required to successfully deliver the next generation of such programmes.”