Lockheed Martin to propose a stealthy hybrid of F-22 and F-35 for Japan ‘superior to F-35’
Lockheed Martin The US defense contractor proposed a new stealthy aircraft for Japan (An Aircraft superior to F-35 ). The proposed aircraft “would combine the F-22 and F-35 and could be superior to both of them,” said one of the sources.
The formal proposal will be made in response to Tokyo’s request for information (RFI) as soon as the corporation gets US government approval for selling the sensitive military technology abroad
Japan, which is already buying the radar-evading F-35 to modernize its inventory, also wants to introduce a separate air superiority fighter in the decade starting 2030 to deter intrusions into its airspace by Chinese and Russian jets.
Japan’s ambition to build its own stealth fighter was in part spurred by Washington’s refusal a decade ago to sell it the twin-engined F-22, which is still considered the world’s best air superiority fighter.
Although the Japanese stealth aircraft program, dubbed the F-3, was conceived as a domestic effort estimated to cost around $40 billion, Tokyo has recently sought international collaboration in a bid to share the expense and gain access to technology it would otherwise have to develop from scratch.
Any aircraft built with international partners must have Japanese-designed engines and radar, however, and feature other components made locally, the other source said. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries tested a prototype stealth jet in 2016 that cost the Japanese government $350 million to develop.
In addition to a proposal from Lockheed, Japan is hoping for responses from Boeing Co, which makes the F/A-18 Super Hornet multirole fighter, and BAE Systems Plc, which is part of the consortium that built the Eurofighter Typhoon high-altitude interceptor.