According to Asahi daily, “Anonymous Japanese officials told the news outlet that Japanese Prime Minister Suga spoke on the issue with British Prime Minister Johnson during the G7 summit last month.
At the end of June, officials from Japan’s Defence Ministry travelled to Britain for talks. Britain’s Rolls Royce is currently involved in the Tempest program as well.”
Japan expects the first fighter prototype production to begin in 2024, with flight tests starting in 2028. Full-scale production is expected to commence by 2031.
Earlier, it was reported that the government is in the final stages of negotiation with Japan’s IHI Corp. and British company Rolls-Royce to collaborate on an engine for the Air Self-Defence Force’s next-generation fighter plane.
According to Japan’s Yomiuri news, the administration wants to build a framework for collaboration by March of next year. According to the article, the UK will assist Japan in developing the air intake port for jet engines and the part around the exhaust port because they are intimately tied to the fighter’s performance.
Lockheed Martin, the US corporation behind the cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighter, provides technical help to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., which is in charge of the new jet’s airframe design and system development.
The government aims to construct the plane to replace the F-2 fighter using Japanese, British, and American technologies. The United States’ Lockheed Martin Corp. has already been selected to work on stealth F-X’s technology.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) was also said to be in talks with Northrop Grumman and BAE about gaining assistance from the latter to develop sensor fusion data-linking and electronic warfare technologies. The Japanese companies involved are IHI corporation, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Subaru, and Mitsubishi Electric.
IHI corporation has been testing the XF9-1 low-bypass turbofan engines, which have novel high-strength lightweight components that represent a breakthrough in metallurgical research, allowing the engine to withstand up to 1,800 degrees Celsius temperatures.
The Mitsubishi F-X is a sixth-generation stealth fighter in development for Japan. It is Japan’s first domestically developed stealth fighter jet.