TOKYO -- Japan's Defense Ministry confirmed Friday it will award a contract to a single Japanese company to oversee its next-generation fighter jet project, part of an effort to preserve a domestic defense industry that has atrophied amid decades of U.S.-led development.
The winning company -- most likely Mitsubishi Heavy Industries -- would subcontract with American and domestic partners. Japanese companies are to handle the overall design as well as development and production of key components such as engines and combat systems. IHI, which has developed a prototype high-output jet engine, is a leading candidate.
Japan plans to buy about 90 of the planes, which will succeed the aging F-2, with deployment slated for 2035. The cost of the project is expected to exceed 5 trillion yen ($48 billion). READ MORE...
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