• Jiji

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The Defense Ministry-affiliated Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency on Wednesday set up a dedicated team to develop the successor to Japan’s retiring F-2 fighter jet.

The team will be led by an Air Self-Defense Force major general working in the position of equipment development officer in charge of the country’s next-generation fighter. It will consist of a total of about 30 ASDF officers, engineering officials and others.

Aiming to start the deployment of its next-generation fighter in 2035, Japan plans to establish a framework for joint development and technical cooperation with the United States and Britain by the end of this year.

Japan requires that the new fighter have a land-sea-air networking capability, an advanced stealth sensor, an electronic warfare capability and a missile-loading capacity equal to or greater than that of the cutting-edge F-35 stealth fighter, as well as allowing interoperability in joint missions with the U.S. military.

About ¥11.1 billion is earmarked for the fighter’s development in the government’s fiscal 2020 budget.