The Japanese authorities have made an “unprecedented” decision to abandon the joint development of a new fighter with the United States. This is due to the fact that the American company Lockheed Martin did not want to provide advanced technology to Tokyo, writes Shūkan Gendai edition.
The Ministry of Defense of Japan chose the UK and Italy as partners in the project. An extremely unusual situation arose from the fact that Japanese fighters have always been either produced in the States or developed jointly with Washington. Thus, the F-2 fighter jets in service with the Japanese Air Force, designed in the 1980s, were originally supposed to be created on their own, but due to pressure from the US authorities, it was decided to develop them together with the United States based on the F-16 aircraft.
A source in the Japanese military department told the publication that the American corporation Lockheed Martin did not want to share advanced technologies to create a new Japanese fighter. At the same time, the British company BAE Systems, on the contrary, promised “full transparency”. As a result, the decision to cooperate with London and refuse to work with Washington was made before the end of the year.
“By weighing the cold attitude of the United States and the benevolent British approach, the Japanese defense establishment leaned towards partnership with Great Britain and Italy,” — indicated in the article.
As a result, Tokyo faces “new challenges” associated with cooperation with Britain, and the prospects for the project are still very vague. This is due to the fact that London, “known for its triple diplomacy”, insists on a development ratio of 60 to 40 or 50 to 50, which is unfavorable for the Japanese side, so Tokyo is advised to be careful with a new partner who is “trying to push through its selfish interests.”