BAE Systems responded to the Japanese Ministry of Defense (JMOD)’s Request For Information (RFI) through the proposal of an integration package for Japan’s next-generation F-X fighter jet development project.
BAE System’s response to JMOD Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency’s RFI includes outlines technical capabilities in a number of key areas for the development of the F-X program.
BAE Systems representative Andy Latham: “We believe that we can contribute greatly to the F-X program. We’re pretty excited to carry on with the discussions and we’re honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with Japan in this program.”
The prime contractor will be Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Ministry of Defense announced the agreement with the company in the early hours of October 30th. The ministry, on a brief announcement made on their website, said: “Our next fighter jet (F-X) will be developed in determining cooperation with Mitsubishi.” On the local media, Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi said that an agreement with an international partner would be signed by the end of this year.
MHI’s being chosen as the prime contractor for the F-X program, when looked at the Japanese determination for reacquiring domestic fighter jet power, is not surprising. MHI is seen as the only company in Japan with relative experience. The company also featured in Top 100 Defence Companies list of Defence News as 21st best.
Japanese Aerial Defence Forces are replacing their long-lasting F-4 jet fleets with Lockheed Martin F-35s while maintaining around 200 Boeing F-15s. F-X will feature F-2 jets, a variant of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets built in cooperation of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin over 20 years ago.