Home Air BAE expresses interest in Japan’s F-X fighter development program

BAE expresses interest in Japan’s F-X fighter development program

Illustration: JASDF file photo of the F-35A aircraft

UK defense technology company BAE Systems revealed it has responded to a request for information (RFI) from Japan’s defense ministry for work on the country’s F-X next generation fighter development program.

BAE Systems is the first international company to express its interest in taking part in supporting the development program. Other aerospace majors could be expected to join.

The company’s offer, which includes a package of integration support, follows Japan’s recent decision to pick Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as the lead on the F-X development.

According to BAE Systems, the response to the RFI, which was issued by the JMOD’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, outlines technical capabilities across a range of key areas.

“We firmly believe that we can add significant value to the F-X program,” Andy Latham, campaign delivery director – Japan, for BAE Systems’ Air business, said. “We look forward to further progressing our discussions and we are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Japan on this program.”

Japan plans to invest around $40 billion into the development program and start flying the new fighter before 2040. The future F-X is envisioned as a replacement for the F-2 multirole fighter Mitsubishi Heavy Industries manufactured in cooperation with Lockheed Martin.