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Thu, 09/28/2023 - 01:43
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Japanese to Head Body for Japan-Britain-Italy Fighter Development

Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese national is expected to head an organization to be established by Japan, Britain and Italy in autumn 2024 for their joint development of a next-generation fighter jet, informed sources said Wednesday. The Japanese government is considering the possibility of appointing a former Defense Ministry official to the top post of the organization, which will be based in Britain, the sources said. Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Britain's BAE Systems PLC, Italy's Leonardo SpA and others are slated to form a joint venture to facilitate the joint fighter jet development. The organization is slated to study demand from the three countries and place orders for the fighter jet design and production with the joint venture. According to the development plan, the design will be completed by fiscal 2027. Production of a prototype will start in fiscal 2025, and ground and flight tests will begin in fiscal 2029 or later. Japan aims to deploy the new fighter jet from fiscal 2035, when the Air Self-Defense Force's F-2 fighters will be retired. The Japanese government plans to submit a draft treaty for the establishment of the organization during next year's ordinary session of the Diet. Some 4 billion yen has been sought for investment in the organization in government budget requests for fiscal 2024. Meanwhile, the government and the ruling parties are discussing a review of guidelines for the implementation of the country's three principles on the transfer of defense equipment, which prohibit exports of jointly developed equipment to third countries. END