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Japan to postpone decision on replacement of aging fighter

  • October 20, 2018
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Saturday morning’s Nikkei wrote that the GOJ is inclined not to decide by year’s end how to procure the successor to the aging ASDF F-2 fighter, which will be mothballed starting around 2030. Although the Defense Ministry has been considering three options – developing a purely domestic fighter, developing a new fighter with international partners, and refitting the existing model – it is likely to put off a decision until 2019 or later on the grounds that it has not been able to collect sufficient data on the performance or estimated cost of the three envisaged aircraft except for the proposal made by Lockheed-Martin to tailor the USAF-22 to Japanese specifications. According to the article, the UK is interested in jointly producing a Japanese fighter using its proposed stealth fighter aircraft “Tempest” as a model. However, a GOJ source reportedly speculated that the U.S. would react strongly if Japan elects to join hands with the UK, which is not an ally.

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