Many US and European military companies want to take part in Japan's stealth fighter program, Japan or free ride.


Many US and European military companies want to take part in Japan's stealth fighter program, Japan or free ride.

According to Reuters in July 6th, according to three sources, Northrop Grumman is currently focusing on a jet fighter project involved in Japan, and Northrop Grumman may compete with Lockhead Martin. Nearly thirty years ago, Northrop Grumman was defeated in a similar competition for the US air force to manufacture advanced stealth fighters.

Among them, a source familiar with the plan said: "Northrop is very interested." He said Northrop has responded to the Japanese inquiry and has held preliminary negotiations with Japanese defense officials.

According to the sources, Northrop Grumman has provided a list of technologies to promote the development of the next generation of F-3 fighter projects, but it has not yet provided a specific bid to Japan.

These sources refused to disclose their identities because they were not authorized to disclose the situation to the media.

The report said that Northrop will compete with Lockheed Martin, which includes the design of a hybrid Stealth Fighter Based on the F-35 "lightning -II" fighter and the F-22 "Raptor" aircraft. The F-22 "Raptor" beat the YF-23 black widow verifier of Northrop in 1991 and got a lucrative "American Advanced Tactical Fighter project" contract.

The US has banned the export of the F-22 Raptor fighter, which is currently only used by the US air force. Japan ordered 42 F-35 fighters to upgrade the country's aging fighters. Japan also plans to increase the purchase volume of F-35 fighter planes, including the purchase of vertical take-off and landing F-35 fighters for aircraft carrier operations.

It is reported that Northrop Grumman and Lockhead Martin all need the approval of the US government to provide sensitive aircraft technology to Japan.

In addition, the Japanese government is also trying to make Boeing bid. Boeing manufactures a F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter. Japan is also trying to explore the prospects for cooperation with European defense companies, including the British aerospace system, which is the main member of the enterprise group that makes the euro "typhoon" aerial interceptor.

According to another Japanese defense insider, the British company has also provided a technical list of the Japanese defense ministry to participate in the project.

The introduction of foreign partners allows Japan to share R & D costs (R & D cost is estimated to be about $40 billion), and Japan can also acquire some technology. If such cooperation is not carried out, the Japanese side will need to start developing these technologies from scratch.

However, Japan wants to ensure that Japanese enterprises provide avionics and flight hardware, radar and engines for F-3 fighters. Ishikawa broadcasting and heavy industries group is currently carrying out relevant research and development work.

According to a number of sources to Reuters reporters, the Japanese government has issued three information on the F-3 aircraft project as of now and has written to the UK and the United States government to specify the requirements.

Any foreign company selected to participate in the F-3 project should cooperate with MITSUBISHI heavy industries, a Japanese defense contractor.

The report commented that the A6M "zero" fighter, produced by MITSUBISHI heavy industry, had been in the air over the Pacific during World War II over the Pacific Ocean with the "will" fighter and the "wild cat" fighter. The last time the company developed a fighter plane was 20 years ago. That's the F-2 fighter, which was jointly developed by MITSUBISHI heavy industries and Lockheed Martin.

In addition, MITSUBISHI heavy industries is also responsible for assembling Japan's F-35 fighter. Northrop Grumman provides parts such as wing panels for the project. Other military aircraft produced by Northrop Grumman also include the E-2 Eagle eyed air warning aircraft and the Global Hawk UAVs, and Japan has also bought these two aircraft.

Northrop Grumman has also produced the B-2 "ghost" stealth bomber, and is currently developing a new B-21 stealth bomber for the US air force.

The last fighter produced by the company is the F-14 "male cat" fighter, which retired from the US Navy in 2006, but is still serving in the Iran air force.

It is not clear when Japanese officials are starting the F-3 aircraft project, given that Japanese officials are trying to determine the focus of their spending, and the military planners are considering the aircraft's design. Defense officials hope that the aircraft can be put into operation in the mid 30s of this century to implement air deterrence in China and Russia.

According to another person who knows the strength of the Japanese defense industry, Japan needs to start the project in the next two years to ensure that Japan still has advanced stealth fighter manufacturing technology as many of the engineers who have designed F-2 fighters have reached retirement age. (compiling / Wang Chao)


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