Japan, Britain, Italy to Jointly Develop New Fighter Jet

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan, Britain and Italy said Friday they will jointly develop a next-generation fighter jet, a move expected to expand security cooperation between Japan and Europe.

Under the Global Combat Air Program, Japan, Britain and Italy aim to develop the new jet by 2035, the leaders of the three countries said in a joint statement.

"Our three nations have longstanding, close relationships based on the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Today, we are taking the next step in our deepening trilateral partnership," the leaders said.

This will be the first time for Japan to develop defense equipment with countries other than the United States. Japan plans to deploy the new jet as a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force's F-2.

The development will be led by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011>, Britain's BAE Systems PLC and Italy's Leonardo SpA. Japan's IHI Corp <7013> and Britain's Rolls-Royce PLC will also join the project as engine developers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press