The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) expects to formalise a “framework” by the end of this year through which it will collaborate with a foreign partner on its programme to develop and build a next-generation fighter aircraft, the MoD has indicated to
The MoD also confirmed that the programme is now officially termed as “F-X” and that it has proposed a new “conceptual image” of the new aircraft, which is intended to replace the Japan Air-Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF’s) Mitsubishi F-2 fighter aircraft in the 2030s.
The image is the first known official depiction of the proposed Japanese fighter.
The Japanese MoD has released a conceptual image on the proposed F-X fighter to “raise public awareness” of the development programme, the MoD has said. (Japanese Ministry of Defense)
“The JASDF’s F-2s are scheduled to retire from around 2035,” the MoD spokesperson told
. “We will develop the F-X so that we can deliver the first production type [of the new aircraft] before the F-2 retirement starts.”
The spokesperson added, “We will continue to discuss with potential partners, then we would like to determine a preliminary framework regarding development partners by December this year when we will finalise the draft cabinet budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.
The spokesperson did not elaborate on what this framework might contain. However, the plan is likely to identify a foreign industry partner and its role in the F-X development project.