Kyodo reported on April 1 that in order to fully develop the follow-up next-generation fighter aircraft types of F-2 fighters of the air self-defense force, Japan’s Ministry of defense set up a new post and Department of equipment development officer in the Department of defense equipment. About 30 people participated in the project, which is expected to reach a scale of several trillion yen, to discuss the basic design of the fuselage. Japan’s defense minister, taro Kono, intends to decide whether to develop jointly with the United States or the United Kingdom within this year on the premise of Japan’s leading developers.
Japan has previously developed the X-2 “mind God” fighter to verify the technology of the fifth-generation fighter.
According to the report, with regard to the next generation of fighters, the Japanese government stated in the medium-term defense force preparation plan formulated in 2018 that “international cooperation should be brought into view and China’s leading development should be started as soon as possible”. This is due to the concern that the technology related to the domestic defense industry cannot be maintained. But if developed by Japan alone, the cost will rise. Japan has never led the development of fighters after the war, so it is necessary to cooperate with other countries in technology and other aspects.
With regard to the candidate countries for joint development, Hanoi made it clear that “Britain and the United States are being considered”. Lockheed Martin has proposed a hybrid F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter, and Boeing and BAE Systems have also expressed interest in participating in the program.
The performance required by the Department of defense equipment includes interoperability with the United States, high invisibility, electronic warfare capability to continue to fight even under various interferences, the ability to carry a sufficient number of missiles, and the freedom to conduct necessary modifications at any time.
The new equipment development officer will be the air general complement (equivalent to major general) of the air self-defense force. Officially announced on January 1.
Japan expects F-2 next-generation fighter aircraft to be retired from service in 2035. The aircraft was jointly developed by Japan and the United States, but the United States did not disclose part of the airframe information on the grounds of confidentiality, and Japan could not repair it by itself when necessary.
Note: The News has been translated by AI.