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MHI seen winning orders for core parts of Japan’s next fighter jet

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28 Jul 2020 11:07:28 GMT9
28 Jul 2020 11:07:28 GMT9

TOKYO: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is likely to win orders for engines and other core parts of Japan’s next fighter jet, informed sources said Tuesday.

The Defense Ministry is in talks with MHI, while planning to conclude a contract with a domestic manufacturer on the development of a successor to the existing F-2 fighter of the Air Self-Defense Force, according to the sources.

The ministry will formally decide the contractor as early as October and aims to map out plans for joint development and technical cooperation with US, British and other companies by the end of this year.

Foreign companies that have shown interest in the project include Lockheed Martin Corp. of the United States and Britain’s BAE Systems.

On the F-2 successor development, the ministry will select a single company to oversee the development process, rather than have direct contracts with multiple companies, in order to improve coordination among participating companies.

By selecting a domestic company for the main role, the ministry hopes to ensure flexibility in upgrading the envisioned jet, as well as to shore up the domestic defense industry.

Production of a prototype of the next fighter jet is scheduled to start in fiscal 2024. After test flights are conducted, its mass production is slated to start in fiscal 2031. The ministry aims to deploy the new fighter from 2035, when the decommissioning of the F-2 fighter is expected to begin.

JIJI Press

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