A few weeks ago, Tokyo announced that it would not accept European co-production offers for its new generation hunter program, namely the discreet French and especially the British offer carried by BAe. In contrast, US offers of assistance from Lockheed-Martin on the one hand, and Boeing on the other, remained on the table. Today, it seems that American hopes are dashed, since the Japanese authorities have announced that the F-3 program would be developed on a purely national architecture.
Concretely, the airframe and the flight controls of the aircraft intended to replace the F-2 light fighters of the Japanese self-defense forces, will be fully developed on site. On the other hand, other constituent elements of the aircraft such as the engines, the radar, or the combat system, may still give rise to partnerships with international companies. Tokyo specifies that this decision was based above all on the good results recorded by the X-2 demonstrator, which made its first flight in 2016. Developed by Mitsubishi since the mid-2000s, the X-2 is the demonstrator of the ATD-X program, for Advanced technology Demonstrator-X, implemented by the Institute for the Development of Advanced Technologies of the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
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