While the SCAF new generation combat aircraft program which brings together France, Germany and Spain, has been at a standstill for several months due to lack of a balanced agreement around industrial sharing, the British and their program competitor FCAS with the new generation Tempest combat aircraft continues to advance, despite threats to its financing . This risk could well be fully addressed very soon. Indeed, after having seduced Rome and, to a lesser extent, Stockholm to join the program and participate in its financing , London would, according to the Reuters agency , be on the verge of signing a historic agreement with Tokyo to merge its program with the Japanese FX program, intended to replace Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jets within the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces.
This agreement, which could be announced in the coming weeks, is the result of long and patient diplomatic and industrial work on the part of the British , who have been leading for more than 5 years now, a very strong effort to consolidate such a rapprochement. Until now, it was a question for Tokyo to 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 set aside $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 resolving the thorny problem of the budgetary equation which until now weighed on the future of its program, despite the real but more than modest arrival of Rome and Stockholm in its breast, and thus to perpetuate good faith for all its pursuit. For the Japanese authorities, this cooperation would allow its own aeronautical defense industry to make a technological breakthrough, but also to open up the hitherto opaque European market to Japanese arms.
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