Japan to Start Developing Successor for F-2 Fighter in FY 2020

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 21 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry will in fiscal 2020 start the development of a new stealth fighter to succeed the Air Self-Defense Force's F-2 jet, government sources said Wednesday.

The ministry plans to come up with the specific spending amount on the project for the year starting next April by December, when the government is scheduled to compile the fiscal 2020 budget, the sources said.

The ministry's budget request, to be made at the end of this month, will only say appropriations will be sought for initiating the new fighter project, which is expected to be completed some 15 years later, they added.

The F-2 jet was jointly developed by Japan and the United States based on the U.S. F-16 fighter. The existing F-2s are set to retire in stages from around 2035, after their deployment since 2000.

A defense program for fiscal 2019-2023 adopted late last year calls for starting the Japanese-led development of an F-2 successor at an early date. But the ministry has yet to even work out a design plan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press