Japan plans to design a new missile for the next generation of fighter jets it is developing with Britain and Italy, aiming to equip them with it when they are first deployed to the Asian nation in 2035.

As reported by Kyodo News, a study involving Japan and Britain on what would be suitable for new fighter jets to be used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force showed that a domestically-made air-to-air missile would initially ensure better performance. at a lower cost than the Meteor air-to-air missile developed in Europe.

In the future, however, Japan may consider equipping its new fighters with missiles used on British and Italian warplanes to improve their capabilities.

The launch of the joint fighter jet project was announced last December by the leaders of Japan, a close security ally of the US, and the two NATO members amid an increasingly dire security environment, including Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and China’s military buildup.

It is the first time that Japan has participated in the development of defense equipment with a country other than the United States.

Currently, the three countries are working on the basic design of the body of the aircraft and on the details of the engine.

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To expedite the development process, they are holding talks to create a body to execute decisions made by their defense authorities, according to the source.

Japan plans to field the new fighters as successors to some 90 aging ASDF F-2 fighters due to start retirement in 2035, and in total they will replace some 240 Eurofighters from Britain and Italy, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

The Meteor missile, developed by six European states including Britain and Italy, is used in Eurofighters and other aircraft, and is also likely to be a candidate for use in both countries’ new fighters.

As for the electronic devices that will be put on the new fighters, an ASDF C-2 transport plane will be modified for flight tests.

The study of artificial intelligence will also be promoted to develop drones that help in fighter operations.

Source: https://reporteasia.com/relaciones-diplomaticas/defensa/2023/08/29/japon-disenara-un-nuevo-misil-para-los-cazas-de-ultima-generacion/

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