The Japanese media, citing unofficial government sources, said the Japanese authorities want to independently develop a 5th generation multi-purpose combat aircraft.
The machine will replace the current Mitsubishi F-2 in the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces and support American Lockheed Martin F-35 machines.
The decision is the result of analyzes of offers submitted by foreign entities invited to participate in the aircraft construction program, which is technically referred to as F-3. According to the media, BAE Systems, Boeing and Lockheed Martin offerings did not meet Japanese expectations. This means that the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries concern will remain the main program implementer. The development of a new generation combat aircraft can cost Tokyo up to $ 40 billion.
Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces currently operate four types of multi-purpose combat aircraft. These are:
The future F-3 is to replace the latter design. Certainly, the Japanese will want to use in the program the experience gained while working on the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin technology demonstrator, which was flown in April 2016.