British FCAS/Tempest and Japanese FX fighter jet programs may soon merge

While the FCAS new generation combat aircraft program which brings together France, Germany and Spain has been on hold for several months for lack of a balanced agreement on industrial sharing, the British and their program FCAS competitor with the Tempest next-generation combat aircraft continues to move forward, despite threats to its funding. This risk could very soon be fully addressed. In effect, after seducing Rome and, to a lesser extent, Stockholm to join the program and participate in its financing, London would be, according to the Reuters agency, about to sign a historic agreement with Tokyo to merge its program with the Japanese FX program, intended to replace Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jets in the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.

This agreement, which could be announced in the coming weeks, is the result ofa long and patient diplomatic and industrial work on the part of the British, who have been leading a very sustained effort for more than 5 years now to consolidate such a rapprochement. Until now, it was a question for Tokyo of turn to the British Rolls-Royce, and not to the American engine manufacturers General Electric or Pratt & Whitney, for the engine of the FX, a program for which the Japanese authorities have provided $40 billion. London and Tokyo could indeed greatly benefit from cooperation going well beyond propulsion. For the British authorities, it would be a question of solving the thorny problem of the budgetary equation which until now weighed on the future of its program, in spite of the real but more than modest arrival of Rome and Stockholm in its within, and thus to perpetuate a good faith for all its pursuit. For the Japanese authorities, this cooperation would allow its own aeronautical defense industry to make a technological leap, but also to open up the European market, which until now has been opaque to Japanese armaments.

FX Defense Analysis | Fighter jets | Military aircraft construction
The FX program aims to develop an advanced 5th generation device

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