Japan, Britain and Italy to jointly build sixth generation fighter jets
Japan, Britain and Italy are merging their next-generation jet fighter projects to build an advanced front-line 6th generation fighter into operation by 2035. It is for the first time that Japan is collaborating in a defence project without the participation of the United States of America since World War Two. It is seen as a move by Japan to counter an increasingly assertive China and Russia in the region.
The project will merge the British-led Future Combat Air System project, also known as Tempest, with Japan's F-X programme in a venture called the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP).
Britain's BAE Systems, Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Italy's Leonardo will lead design of the aircraft, which will have advanced digital capabilities in AI and cyber warfare.
The newly developed fighter plane will replace Britain’s Typhoon fighters and Japan’s F -22 fighter plane.
Britain, Italy and Japan are part of the US fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter program and parts of the planes are assembled in Italy and Japan. The new jet is not expected to affect the F-35 program.
China and Russia also are developing the 6th generation fighter plane. At present China has 5th generation fighter planes J-20 and J-31, while the Russian 5th generation planes are Su-57.
India which has the Rafale fighter plane is considered to be a 4.5 generation plane.
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