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Japan to jointly develop new fighter jet with UK, Italy

Japan to jointly develop new fighter jet with UK, Italy

Baku, December 9, AZERTAC

Japan announced Friday that it will jointly develop its next-generation fighter jet with the U.K. and Italy as it looks to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States, according to the AP.

The Mitsubishi F-X fighter jet will replace the aging fleet of F-2s that Japan previously developed with the United States.

The nations will merge their current plans for development of next-generation planes — the F-X and Britain’s Tempest, a successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon — to produce the new combat aircraft for deployment in 2035. The deal will give Japan greater support in countering China’s growing assertiveness and allow Britain a bigger presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The announcement came four days after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set spending targets aimed at building up Japan’s military capability, including a huge boost in defense spending over the next five years. To meet the five-year spending total of 43 trillion yen ($316 billion), the government will need an extra 4 trillion yen ($30 billion) in defense spending annually. Of that, a quarter is to be funded through tax increases.

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