Japan, Britain and Italy on Thursday reiterated their commitment to advance joint development of a next-generation fighter jet as a core part of their ever-closer defense ties amid growing threats from China, Russia and North Korea.
In December, Japan announced a joint development of a next-generation fighter jet with Britain and Italy as it seeks to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States.
The nations agreed to merge their previous individual plans for next-generation aircraft development – Japan’s Mitsubishi FX to succeed the outgoing F-2 developed with the United States, and Britain’s Tempest, a successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon. to produce the new fighter plane.
On Thursday, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and his British and Italian counterparts Ben Wallace and Guido Crosetto reiterated their commitment to fighter jet deployment in 2035.
The deal will give Japan more support to counter China’s growing assertiveness and allow Britain a larger presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Hamada said the joint fighter jet development is significant because it brings together the three countries’ technological advantages to develop the next-generation advanced fighter jet and the necessary cutting-edge technology.
Wallace and Crosetto said security in Europe and Asia was inseparable. The environment in the Indo-Pacific is also critical for Britain and Italy, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry. The two ministers stressed the importance of working together and with Japan, which is increasingly seen as a key defense partner.
The ministers also met with industry officials from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, BAE Systems and Leonardo to exchange views while confirming joint efforts by governments and industries to achieve the mission objective, Japan’s defense ministry said.
The new aircraft will be a multi-role stealth fighter superior to the F-35 and Eurofighter, with advanced sensors and networks. The fighter jet is set to replace 94 F-2s in Japan, 144 Eurofighters in Britain and 94 Eurofighters in Italy, Japanese officials said.
counteract growing threats from North Korea and China, Japan has expanded its defense partnerships with countries in Europe, Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific, including Australia.
Japan released one improved national security strategy in December, doubling the country’s defense spending in five years and acquiring long-range cruise missiles to increase strike capability – a break with its post-war principle of self-defense.
Source : news.yahoo.com