Japan to Develop Indigenous Next Generation Fighter


NSFW    TOKYO ??Japan's Ministry of Defense unveiled a timeline on July 7 for the development of an indigenous next-generation fighter jet to counter China's J-20.

The new fighter will replace the Mitsubishi F-2, which is due to be retired in the mid-2030s.

Defense News reports the unnamed fighter, tentatively dubbed the F-3, will be optimized for air dominance, stealthy and interoperable with the U.S. military.

Japanese defense minister Taro Kono said in a press conference on June 27 that the new fighter will carry more missiles than the F-35.

The F-3 is also expected to have a longer range for conducting operations at a greater distance from Japanese bases than the F-2 and F-35.

Japan will also become the largest customer of the F-35 program outside of the U.S.

Defense News reports that on July 9, the United States approved plans by Japan to purchase 105 F-35 joint-strike fighters. Japan will eventually operate 157 F-35s, including 42 F-35B short-takeoff and vertical-landing variants.
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