Japan is planning to build its own fighter the F-X as an eventual replacement for the F-35.
Japan plans to develop the F-X program using Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as the main contractor. MHI will, however, be ‘backstopped’ by Lockheed Martin. Japan tends to build military aircraft to meet its own requirements, but is happy to share with other national programs such as the UK's Tempest and South Korea's KF-X. Worth noting the following points about the F-X:
- It is a big, twin-engine fighter, and will have more range and endurance than most other modern fighters.
- Will be heavier than the F-22 which means it is likely to weigh well over 20 tonnes—hence the ASPI's nick-name Godzilla!
- A slow development program partly aimed at keeping factories operating together with a production run of only 90 units means they are expensive—each unit costing A$170.
- The F-X should be ready to replace the F-35 in 2035 when the F-35 will probably be out of date.
Consider whether it would benefit Australia to become involved with the development of the F-X.
- Dec 2019 the Guardian, Turkey plans to speed up fighter jet project with Britain
- Jan 2020 Defense News Turkey invites Malaysia to join its TF-X future fighter jet program
- June 2020 Aerotime Hub, Russia offers crucial parts for future Turkish TF-X fighter jet.
- Dec 2020 Forbes, Japan Plans To Spend $48 Billion To Field F-X Stealth Fighters By 2035 That Would Outperform F-35 And Chinese Fighters
- Dec 2020 Popular Mechanics, Japan’s New Fighter Jet Will Have Wild Tech, Like Microwave Weapons