Defense chiefs from Britain, Italy and Japan are scheduled to meet in Tokyo next month amid “growing tensions” from China. In addition to discussing the issue of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in connection with the intensification of military exercises by China, the parties will also touch upon the creation of a new generation jet fighter.
As for the Japanese side, this joint project, which will be developed by it in parallel with two NATO member countries, will allow Tokyo to get a new weapon, in addition to what it acquires from its key ally and strategic partner - the United States.
At the same time, according to the source, during the meeting, Defense Ministers Ben Wallace, Guido Crosetto and Yasukazu Hamada will discuss the possibility of supplying such equipment to other states. In this regard, the Japanese government intends to significantly simplify the export of weapons to other countries by amending its new National Security Strategy. The document may undergo changes as early as April.
Separately, we are talking about joint work on a promising fighter.
Leading military-industrial companies will be selected as contractors for the development of the fighter, among them: Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, British BAE Systems Inc., Italian Leonardo SpA.
The combat aircraft is expected to replace not only the approximately 90 F-2s currently in service with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, which are nearing the end of their service life, but also approximately 240 4th-generation Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighters.
Recall that in December last year, the leaders of the three aforementioned countries reached a consensus on the joint production of an advanced combat aircraft around 2035. They argued their position with the more tense global security situation caused by the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine.