Japan, Britain, Italy Vow Cooperation on New Fighter Jet

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, center, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, right, and Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto attend a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday.

Tokyo —The defense ministers of Japan, Britain and Italy on Thursday agreed to deepen cooperation among the three countries over the joint development of a next-generation fighter jet.

In December last year, the three countries reached an agreement on the joint development. They plan to draw up a basic design by 2024.

In Thursday’s meeting in Tokyo, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said that the development of a cutting-edge fighter jet by the three countries will greatly contribute to strengthening global security.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and his Italian counterpart, Guido Crosetto, underlined the need for cooperation among the three countries amid a severe security environment.

Japan aims to deploy the new jet by 2035 as a successor to the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-2 fighter.

The meeting was joined by executives of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. , Britain’s BAE Systems PLC and Italy’s Leonardo SpA, the companies that will lead the new fighter development.