UK, Italy, Japan consider plan to oversee new fighter jet

UK, Italy, Japan consider plan to oversee new fighter jet
# 01 February 2023 08:43 (UTC +04:00)

Less than two months after leaders of Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom said that their countries will come together to develop a next-generation fighter jet, a report has claimed that the three countries aim to set up an international body by the end of 2023 to push through such tasks of military innovation, APA reports citing AFP.

Earlier in December 2022, this cooperation was formally called the Global Combat Air Programme.

A report in Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter says that the parliaments in Rome, Tokyo and London will ratify the formation of an international body in the middle of 2024.

However, amid evolving discussions between the three countries, the "timeline could slip", the report added.

The talks between three countries are reportedly focused on whether the United Kingdom would be the lead partner or if the three nations would have equal ownership.

The cooperation exactly combines various fighter jet development programmes led by the three countries separately and softens the supply-chain mechanisms and transfer of technology under an umbrella. Once formalised, it will combine the European Tempest and Japanese F-X projects, both of which have been in the pipeline for years.

But even before the formalisation of cooperation into a formal team, the collective effort to boost airpower of three countries has begun. A report in Bloomberg said that as part of the political agreement announced last year, London-based BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s biggest defence company, and Italy’s Leonardo SpA — partners on the Eurofighter Typhoon and Tempest — will work with F-X lead contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd on the project.

The negotiations are also continuing on the creation of a joint venture, with the aim of setting the basis for commercial deals from end-2024 and 2025, it added.